Cuba: Comparative Health Systems

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Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Health Sciences


  • Cuba

Program Term

  • Spring Break

For more information, please contact:

Dan Skinner, Ph.D.

Program Director


Global Health Initiative


Apply for this OHIO Credit Program by Oct 1, 2022


Immerse yourself in the language, culture and history of Cuba as you explore the Cuban healthcare system for one week over spring break!

Cuba is a dynamic nation with a health care system that has much to teach Americans. Experience this island country and its people as they begin their own journey out of decades of isolation. Learn how, despite limited resources, Cuba built a health care system known for its emphasis on prevention, universality, urban-rural parity, and a commitment to train health providers from other low-resource countries. Interact with local health care professionals at clinics in Havana and in a nearby rural village. Explore the culture and history of Havana, a grand old but vibrant city by the sea.

Highlights and Excursions 

  • Enjoy a historical tour of Havana
  • Participate in Salsa and Cuban dance lessons

Study Away and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial, and academic risk. The CDC advises that you should delay travel until you are vaccinated. Note that entry to some countries and participation in local program and free-time activities, including in the U.S., may be severely restricted or potentially unavailable to unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated travelers should additionally expect to incur extra expenses and onsite logistical challenges due to onsite testing requirements. For further information, contact

Living Arrangements 

Lodging with other students in residencias. Your meals will be taken together in the home where you’re staying. Residencias are located right off one of the main thoroughfares in Vedado. In each residencia, students will be housed in double, triple or quad rooms, sharing a bathroom. Each residencia has a small safe/security box for students' valuables.

Program Dates 

2023 Program Cancelled. Scheduled to run Spring Break of 2024.


Students register for 3 credits of undergraduate or graduate credit. Students choose one of the following:   

  • IHS 3222: Comparative Health Systems (3 OHIO Credits)
  • IHS 4900: Special Topics in HSP (3 OHIO Credits)
  • IHS 5222: Comparative Health Systems (3 OHIO Credits)
  • IHS 5900: Special Topics in HSP (3 OHIO Credits)


The program fee for this program includes: Student airfare, accommodations, Cuban Visa, breakfast and dinner daily, five group meals, airport transfer, excursions, transportation to all program-related activities, welcome dinner, and international medical health insurance.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 3 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

2023 Undergraduate/Graduate Student Budget Worksheet [PDF]

2023 Medical Student Budget Worksheet [PDF]

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 
  • For programs completed over winter-break and spring break, the credit-hours associated with the program are part of the spring semester. Students taking between 12 to 20 Athens campus hours, including those associated with the program, will not incur additional tuition costs for the spring semester. Students taking less than 12 or more than 20 Athens campus credits for the spring term will see their tuition charge adjusted accordingly.  
  • Due to Cuban Visa requirements, a group flight from Columbus will be arranged and all participants must arrive and depart on the prearranged flights. 

Funding Opportunities

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages. 

Heritage College of Medicine and College of Health Sciences and Professions students are invited to apply for a Global Health Travel Award for this program. 

Eligibility and Requirements 

Open to OHIO medical, nursing, and other health professions students with junior or senior standing in good academic standing (Heritage College) or at least a 3.0 overall GPA.

All participants are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $500 (to be credited to student’s program fees) as part of the acceptance process.  

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter or reside in the country. Entry and exit requirements can be found  here

U.S. citizens  will not  need a visa or other special document to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to this program. 

For more specific visa related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens  can be found  here.