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Health in Cuba


Health in Cuba

The Health in Cuba program is intended for UGA students who plan to pursue careers in healthcare and who are working actively toward this goal. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the Cuban healthcare system through guest lectures, round table discussions, tours of healthcare facilities, and other related activities. In addition to these experiences, participants will enroll in BIOL 4910 (Advanced Topics in Biology) for 3-credit hours.

BIOL 4910 - Topics in Biology

This program meets UGA's experiential learning requirement.



Due to the ongoing pandemic, some aspects of this program may be modified to ensure the health and safety of the participants while in Cuba.

The program provides an in-depth look at the ideological foundations of healthcare in the island nation, its successes, and its challenges while simultaneously examining the successes and challenges of our system in the US. Through many carefully curated activities, this program offers a unique academic and travel experience for undergraduate students who seek to grow in cultural awareness while learning about another healthcare system.

Program participants will live with host families and tour historical and cultural sites in Havana.  Host families run international Airbnbs and have been approved by our provider, the Institute for Study Abroad, to host students. Check the itinerary tab for more details.

Important notes:

Spanish language knowledge is not necessary to participate in this program. Professional interpreters will be present at all guest lectures and academic visits.

Program participants will be required to attend pre-departure orientations and academic meetings in the spring semester. 


General Information

Program Dates: June 11-June 19, 2022
Estimated Program Fee: $1,885 (includes lodging, breakfast, several lunches and dinners, program-related transportation, and entrance fees for program-related academic and cultural activities). It does not include plane fare, UGA tuition or UGA fees. Prices will vary depending on enrollment, but should not exceed the current estimated program fee. Click here for more details.
Application Opens: Currently Open
Application Deadline: November 15, 2021
Program Contacts: Ms. Amanda Spohn ( and Dr. Hilda Mata (


Applicant Eligibility

  • Open to all students at the University of Georgia.
  • Required
    • BIOL 1108/L must be completed by the end of Fall 2021 to be eligible for the 2022 Maymester.  BIOL 1108/L is a prereq for the courses taught in the program.
    • Have university credit for at least two science courses (in biological sciences, chemistry, ecology, physics/astronomy) prior to application.
    • 3.0 or higher GPA.
    • Satisfactory academic and disciplinary records.
  • Preferred
    • students enrolled with a pre-health intention. 
    • successfully completed at least two sciences courses (in biological sciences, chemistry, ecology, physics/astronomy) for a grade (A-F) at UGA.
    • successfully completed at least 30 credit hours at UGA prior to application. 


Admission Process

  • Begin an application on the portal. Complete all pre-decision materials by the deadline (11/15/21) to be considered.
  • Qualified applicants will be invited (via UGA email) for a brief interview with the program faculty. Please note that an interview does not guarantee admittance into the program due to the limited number of spaces. Interviews, however, are a mandatory part of the selection process.
  • Once all interviews are completed, applicants will be notified via their application portal whether they have been admitted or waitlisted.
  • Admitted students will have one week from the date of acceptance to commit (or withdraw/decline) and pay a non-refundable $300 deposit. Waitlisted students will be admitted as spaces become available.




Kris Miller, Ph.D
Director of Biological Sciences  
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Georgia



Amanda Spohn, M.Ed.
Interim Coordinator
Pre-Dental, Veterinary & Optometry Advisor
Pre-Professional Advising Office
Office of the Vice-President for Instruction
University of Georgia



Cuba map

Havana, located in western Cuba, is the island's capital and most populous city with 2.1 million residents. The Spanish name of the city is La Habana.


Breakfast and dinner with host families unless otherwise specified. Lunch locations will vary.

Day 1:  The group will fly together to Havana and arrive at José Martí International Airport, where they meet the IFSA staff (Institute of Study Abroad) and transfer to host homes.  The group will reunite for an in-country orientation led by IFSA staff, followed by a Cuban-style welcome meal before returning home for a night's rest.  Host homes are international Airbnb vetted and hired by IFSA staff to host students.

Day 2: Get ready for a guided tour and some free time in La Habana Vieja (Old Havana), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Day 3: Classes begin at the Research Center for Psychology and Sociology (CIPS). First guest lecture: Overview of Cuba Healthcare System. Afternoon visit to a polyclinic and a family doctor's office. 

Day 4: Classes at the Research Center for Psychology and Sociology (CIPS). Second guest lecture: Training of Medical Professionals in Cuba. Afternoon visit to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM). Evening salsa dance lessons.

Day 5: Class and third guest lecture: Maternal and Infant Care in Cuba. Afternoon visit to a Maternity Home with Q&A with the resident obstetrician, and an elder care home.

Day 6: Class and fourth guest lecture: Nutritional Issues in Rural and Urban Cuba. Afternoon visit to a sports medicine facility or physical therapy facility.

Day 7: Day trip to Las Terrazas, a small community two hours from Havana as designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Tour of Cuba's beautiful countryside. Farewell dinner with IFSA staff.

Day 8: Bid farewell to beautiful Havana and fly home.