Medical students can study medicine in Cuba with a full scholarship at ELAM Medical University. (Escuela Latinoamericana de Ciencias Medicas in Spanish.) ELAM is a major international university in Cuba and also a a prominent part of the Cuban healthcare System. The Cuban government created ELAM in 1999 with a goal of increasing the number of medical professionals available in disadvantaged areas of the world. The school is operated by the government and is often described as the largest medical school in the world with over 19,000 students from 110 countries.
All the students enrolled are international students from outside of Cuba and mainly from Latin America, Africa , Asia and Caribbean. The university also accepts students from United States.
Non-Spanish-speaking students are required to enroll in the Preparatory course in Spanish that is taught at the school itself. If you are Spanish-speaking, you can start medical studies through a Pre-Med course.
In today’s article, we shall be looking at the cost of study, living and admission procedure to study in ELAM.
First, let’s look at the cost of living associated with studying in ELAM.
Cost of living in ELAM medical school
Cost of living refers to the amount of money a student needs to take care of his feeding, accommodation, transportation etc in a period of time. Since ELAM medical school is located in Cuba, it’s important that we consider the cost of living in Cuba as a whole. In Cuba students can expect to spend between $800 to $1000 on living expenses for one semester. Here’s the breakdown below:
|Meals||$5 for an inexpensive meal|
$25 for two at a mid-range restaurant
$40 for an average weekly grocery bill
|Monthly rent||$600 for a for a one-bedroom apartment in Havana city center|
|Utilities||$200 per month|
|Cell phone||$0.38 for one minute of a Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local|
|Local transportation||$7 for a monthly pass|
|Personal expenses||Pair of jeans: $31|
0.5L of domestic beer: $1.14
Movie ticket: $0.40
Tuition fees in ELAM medical university
It might interest you to know that ELAM medical university is tuition free for all the students admitted. It also provides accommodation and small stipend to all admitted students. Funding is provided by the government of Cuba as part of an effort to increase the number of medical professionals.
Admission requirements for study in ELAM medical university
The Cuban government offers new students annual entry to the Latin American Medical School. The application for ELAM is submitted through the accredited Cuban diplomatic missions in the student’s home country. The Cuban Embassy can provide additional information about medical programs in Cuba.
The IFCO Medical School Advisory Committee selects applicatnts based on applications, transcripts, interviews, letters of reference, etc. Administrators of the Latin American School of Medicine and the Cuban Ministry of Public Health will make the final selection.
How long does it take to get a Medical Degree from ELAM?
The required course of medical studies at ELAM is 7 years long. Students may spend an additional semester doing pre-med work. In addition, the intensive Spanish courses required for non-Spanish speaking students will add another semester bringing the total course length to 8 years.
Scholarships for ELAM Medical School
ELAM medical school provides scholarships to qualified students. The scholarship covers full tuition fees, three square meals at the students cafeteria, textbooks in Spanish for all courses, school uniform, basic toiletries, bedding and little monthly stipend of 100 Cuban pesos. Please note that this scholarship doesn’t cover travel expenses to and from school. The scholarship does not include travel expenses to and from Cuba.
How to Apply
There are two ways to enroll in the ELAM Medical School. The first is through a scholarship offered by the government of Cuba. You an obtain an application for this scholarship from the Cuban Diplomatic Mission or Consular Office in your country.
Please contact the Cuban embassy in your home country for more information on how to apply for admission.
Learn more about applying for ELAM. (website in Spanish)
For self-financed students, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying that you want to pursue the degree at the Latin American School of Medicine.
Application cycle begins September 30th. Applications are due March 15th of the following year.
The application process is structured in such a way that it gives opportunities to people from economically disadvantaged families. The process will require submitting the following documents:
- High school diploma
- High school transcripts
- One of these two documents should come with the stamp of the Ministry of Education from your country, or International Relations Department from your country, or Cuban in embassy in your country.
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of Health including HIV test and pregnancy test.
- Age should not exceed 25 years at the time of enrollment.
- Be physically and mentally fit to pursue medical studies.
- Criminal Records.
- Scholarship application form
- Five photos 3cmx3cm (International Relations); six photos 2cmx2cm (Registrar’s Office)
- Documents for registration required for filing at the Registrar’s Office
I hope this article about how to study medicine in Cuba with free tuition and fees was informative. If you are wondering how to pay for your medical education, ELAM may be the solution to achieving your dreams.
If you need more information about the university, kindly contact them or the Cuban embassy in your home country.