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Study Medicine in Cuba for Free; Review of Latin American Medical School-ELAM; Scholarships, Application Requirements and Visa

Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Unwana Akpan

Find out how to study medicine in Cuba for free at this prestigious medical school in Cuba; Latin American School of Medicine – ELAM.

About Cuba

Cuba is home to one of the world’s top medical institutions. Cuba has been educating and sending medical doctors around the world to countries that are undeserved, as it has the lowest doctor-to-patient ratio in the world.

On top of that at their largest medical school, ELAM, located 22 miles (35 km) west of Havana, they now provide free medical tuition to students from around the world to come study abroad in Cuba.

Created and founded by former President Fidel Castro following the devastating Hurricanes George and Mitch that devastated parts of Central America and the Caribbean in 1998, ELAM is currently the largest Latin American Medical School.

Study Medicine in Cuba for Free; ELAM Medical School Admissions, Scholarships and Visa

Please note that students at ELAM will study Spanish, Cuban history and culture for up to one year and then delve deeply into a curriculum based on preventive health.

Please note that after Comandante Fidel accomplished his dream of graduating 50,000 medical doctors to serve their own communities and nations, the ELAM scholarship program was launched in 2010. All scholarships must be issued by the country of the student and not by the Republic of Cuba. Palestinian and Sahrawi students are the only two exceptions to this law, with the Republic of Cuba providing scholarships through their embassies and governments.

Admission Requirements For Studying in Cuba for Free

Students who are interested in applying must be;

  • Aged from 18 to 25 years when they apply
  • Graduates from high school or have a bachelor’s degree from their country of origin (BS or BA)
  • Without a criminal record and free from addiction or substance misuse
  • From a low-income or underserved community
  • Willing to live according to the laws and regulations of ELAM
  • Capable of passing the fundamental admission test

Please note that preference is given mainly to applicants with low incomes. In exchange for obtaining free medical education, in underserved communities where the need is greater, students are required to make a non-binding commitment to practice medicine.

Application Process at ELAM

New students are given annual admission to the Latin American Medical School by the Cuban government. The application is processed in the student’s home country via the accredited Cuban diplomatic missions. The Cuban Embassy or Cuban Interests Section must be contacted to request correct information.

In particular, the application process is intended for young people from economically disadvantaged families who fulfill the following requirements;

  • High school certificate
  • High school transcripts

Either of these two documents should come with the stamp of your country’s Ministry of Education, or your country’s Department of Foreign Affairs, or your country’s embassy or Cuban Interests Office.

  • Certificate of Birth
  • Health Certificate, including HIV and pregnancy tests
  • At the time of enrolment, the age does not exceed 25 years
  • To undertake medical research, be physically and mentally fit
  • Police report
  • Filled application form for Scholarship
  • Passport photographs and international passport
  • Required registration documents for filing at the Office of the Registrar

In order to be eligible for the US scholarship program, applicants must be U.S. residents (with a U.S. passport), between the ages of 18 and 25, with a college-level science background, and a willingness to practice medicine after graduation in low-income and medically underserved communities in the U.S.

Available Scholarships in Latin American School of Medicine – ELAM

The scholarship includes full tuition, dormitory lodging, three meals a day in the campus cafeteria, all-course Spanish textbooks, school uniforms, basic toiletries, bedding, and a modest 100 Cuban pesos ($4) monthly stipend. The scholarship does not include travel costs to and from school that are not expected in the first three out of six years, as all classes are within walking distance of the dorms during those years. There is also no travel to and from Cuba included in the scholarship.

Student Visa for Studying Medicine in Cuba for Free

You would need a student visa in order to study medicine in Cuba as an international student. To apply, please contact your home country’s Cuban Consulate and request information, as the criteria vary from one country to another. You need a visa, which must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, to enter Cuba. You will be asked to provide your chosen university with your full name, address, passport number, expiration date, three months before you arrive.

In Conclusion

To learn more, please visit their website. Note that the site’s content is in Spanish, so you will have to translate it automatically to English. It is a very worthwhile experience to study medicine in Cuba for free tuition. I’d really urge you to take a chance at it.

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