Study Abroad - Health Systems in Cuba



Spend part of your winter break earning 3 credit hours in the fascinating island nation of Cuba.  Health Systems in Cuba brings together undergraduate public health and nursing students from the University of South Florida and medical students from the University of Exeter (England) to provide students with a broad overview of development of public health, nursing, and medicine in Cuba.

During part of winter break (December, 11 – 19, 2017), students will visit a variety of public health and medical organizations in Cuba. During the visits students will learn about health services for Cubans and agencies whose mission includes health promotion and disease prevention. Agencies will include those related to environmental health, social services, rural health, nutrition, safety, and medical care. Students will also tour the historical city of Old Havana and the famous Museum of the Revolution.  

Because of the interactive and collaborative nature of this course between two universities, students from each university will be able to compare health systems and practices in their home country and in Cuba.  It is not necessary to speak Spanish, for the Health Systems in Cuba course, all visits will be translated into English.


Faculty Contacts

University of SouthFlorida, College of Public Health

Ms. Orriola graduated from the University of South Florida with her master's degree in Public Health in 2006. Her faculty position at the College of Public Health began in 2010. Deidre has taught several study abroad courses in Panama, London, and Cuba. Her interests include maternal & child health, environmental health, HIV, and the use of social media as a learning tool. 


Associate Professor, University of South Florida,
College of Nursing

Dr. Visovsky received her Master’s degree from the University of Rochester, in Rochester, NY, and is an acute care nurse practitioner in oncology. She received her PhD from Case Western Reserve University. Her research is focused on helping patients with cancer manage neuromuscular symptoms associated with chemotherapy. She has been taking students to rural Panama for the last 5 years for global community/public health clinical experiences. She attended the Cuba experience last Spring with the COPH. 

Dr. Saulsbury is a member of College Strategic Development Board, and part of senior management team.  She has responsibility for BMBS students on Truro Campus and is lead on curriculum development across year 4-5 of BMBS programme, and Careers. In addition she is the Director of International Education across the College andSenior Medical Consultant at RCHT and an honorary Senior Lecturer.
University of Exeter,England

Program Information

Undergraduate: PHC 4942 Health Systems in Cuba
$3100 – $3400 USD per student

Program cost includes:
  • Airfare (group flight)
  • Pre-departure orientations
  • Processing of travel Visa
  • Housing
  • Transportation within Cuba
  • Site visits, excursions and cultural events
  • Most meals (daily breakfast and dinner are included)
  • Entrance fees
  • 24/7 International Assistance 

Program cost does not include:

  • Emergency Medical & Health Insurance (required by USF, see Medical Insurance section below)
  • Passport fees ($170.00 for a new passport if needed)
  • Some meals (lunches must be purchased by the student)
  • Other expenses (souvenirs, personal spending, personal travel, etc.)
  • Emergency Medical and Health Insurance
  • Tuition and fees
  • Undergraduate students in good academic standing
  • Valid passport (must be valid for 6 months AFTER travel is complete)
  • Application and if selected, an interview
  • Read over this webpage and if the program seems like a good fit, click “apply now” at the bottom of the page

This program is currently accepting applications. Eligible students will be invited for an interview.  The program will be capped at a maximum of 17 participants from USF. If you are accepted, the deadline for paying the deposit will be communicated in due time. The deposit is $500.00.  The deposit will be deducted from the total price and all program fees are non-refundable, unless the program is officially canceled by the university.

First Payment is Nov 8th for $500
Second Payment is Dec 1 for $2657

If you are paying by credit card, your first payment will include a 3% fee. Please pay only $500 and the additional fee will be added to you before you checkout    

If paying by check, please pay only $500 and the 3% does not apply. Please send a check to the address below. Please include the info below as well with the check:

Activity: Public Health Cuba 2018
Program #: SA2018293/1122
Date:   DATE
Person(s) Attending: YOUR NAME 
Total: $500.00  

Please mail check AND this form to: 
USF Health Professions Conferencing Corporation (USF HPCC)
P.O. Box 628263
Orlando, FL 32862-8263
Fax: 813-224-7864

The primary location of this study abroad course is in Havana, Cuba with day trips around and outside of the city.  Students will be paired up and stay in homestays, which will provide breakfast and dinner.  Student rooms will have a lockable/private room and bathroom.  Internet is not widely available in Cuba. 
USF requires that program participants purchase emergency medical and evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. The insurance is provided by UHCG . Please note that the USF insurance does not include travel insurance, which includes things like: trip cancellation coverage, theft of luggage, additional costs due to delays in travel time, pre-existing conditions, or on-going medical treatment. Those who plan to travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S. If not provided through your domestic health insurance carrier, this can be purchased separately through UHCG or through another agency.

Many sources of funding can be found in the on the USF Education Abroad page here. Students who are eligible for loans and grants to take classes at USF may be able to use their assistance to study abroad. Contact the USF Office of Financial Aid (813) 974-4700 for further information. Note that it is the student's responsibility to meet program payment deadlines regardless of financial aid disbursement timeframe.

Looking for ways to fund your study in Cuba? Find resources here:

Student safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Because of the added stresses associated with operating in a foreign culture and language, even the safest foreign locations are likely to carry more risk to your safety and health. For this reason it is vital that you learn as much about the places you will be traveling to; the more you are familiar with the host country's geography, culture and language, the safer you will be. All participants will be required to attend program-specific orientation and sessions. In addition to these sessions, the COPH Office of International Programs will provide other important safety information prior to and during the program via a mandatory pre-departure orientation on Canvas.  You are required to read and understand the country specific information found on the US Department of State, Cuba page here.   
The majority of USF's study abroad programs involve a great deal of walking (5-7 miles per day on average), and in some cases hiking and trekking. The Cuba program is a largely resident-based program.  Nevertheless, students will be required to climb stairs, and walk a great deal, even if using transportation. If you have any concerns regarding your health (mental or physical), please consult your doctor, and the faculty and staff of the COPH Office of International Programs prior to the Cuba program.  Generally, the climate in Cuba is similar to Florida during the year: hot, humid, sunny, rainy; this requires stamina and preparation.  Air-conditioning is rarely available and will require dressing for heat, sun, rain, and mosquitoes (sunscreen, mosquito spray, wide brimmed hat, safe drinking water, sneakers, etc).