Medical Student Travel Program & Extracurricular Activities in Cuba | Premed Study Abroad - MedSchoolCoach

Travel to Cuba on the Ultimate Med Immersion

Join us in Havana for a unique medical and cultural experience. Shadow doctors, observe live surgeries, and participate in community health services with like-minded students seeking a career as a physician.

Travel to Cuba on the Ultimate Med Immersion

Join us in Havana for a unique medical and cultural experience. Shadow doctors, observe live surgeries, and participate in community health services with like-minded students seeking a career as a physician.

Enrollment for our January 2022 trip to Cuba will open soon!

Check out our last Ultimate Med Immersion trip from the Philippines.

Experience culture with a curriculum

Enrollment for our Cuba 2022 trip will open soon.


  • Space is extremely limited and seats will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up to get notified as soon as registration is open.

What you will experience

Clinical explorations across Cuba

Ever considered a med student travel program? You should! In this thrilling once-in-a-lifetime experience, you will explore and learn alongside some of the best doctors in Cuba. Enjoy the Cuban countryside, cuisine, culture, and learn from top physicians in this premed travel program. You will also be joined by MedSchoolCoach physicians for five days of concentrated medical curriculum within clinics and hospitals alongside real patients as you give yourself a leg-up on many of the medical school application requirements needed for acceptance.

What's Included:

Ultimate Med Immersion – Students Examining a Patient
Ultimate Med Immersion – In the Operating Room

Participate in Patient Care

Beyond just observation, depending on the specialty and attending physician, you may participate in patient care, including surgeries, procedures, physical examinations, and history taking.

Observe & Scrub into Live Surgeries

Watch surgery being performed while standing in operating rooms or observation rooms. You could see surgeons and their team do their work first-hand.

Learn Clinical Medicine

Part of the Ultimate Med Immersion experience is having a physician alongside you so you can learn the medicine being delivered. 

Explore Health Systems

Cuba has one of the world’s most comprehensive health care systems. Learn how the system differs from the U.S. and how patient care is delivered.

Trip Details

Edit

Welcome!

• 2:00PM-6:00PM – Students arrive in Miami, Florida

• 6:00PM – Dinner

• 7:00PM-9:00PM – Orientation: Visa distribution, health and safety review, emergency planning, roles and responsibilities

• 9:00PM-11:00PM – Social gathering, meet and greet

• Lodging: TBD

Havana, Cuba

• 8:00AM – Morning departure to Havana, Cuba

• 9:00AM – Havana airport arrival, including greeting and procedures

• 10:00AM-12:00PM – Transfer to hotel, get an introduction to Havana history and take a walking tour of Old Havana

• 12:00PM-1:00PM – Lunch at Plaza Vieja

• 1:00PM – Transfer to hotel

• 2:00PM-4:00PM – Settle in and explore, go swimming

• 4:00PM-6:00PM – Island orientation

• 6:00PM – Welcome dinner

• 7:00PM-10:00PM – Evening social activity

• Lodging: La Pradera

MedSchoolCoach Curriculum Day 1 – Havana, Cuba
• 7:00AM – Breakfast
• 8:00AM – The Cuban Health Care System
• 9:00AM – Hospital and physician visits and observations
• 12:00PM – Lunch
• 1:00PM – Continued hospital and physician visits and observations
• 3:30PM – Return to hotel
• 4:00PM-6:00PM – Break time, enjoy the pool
• 6:00PM – Dinner
• 7:00PM-10:00PM – Evening activity
• Lodging: La Pradera
MedSchoolCoach Curriculum Day 2 – Havana, Cuba
• 8:00AM – Breakfast
• 9:00AM-1:00PM – Group 1 at Hospital/Group 2 at local health care provider
• 1:20PM – Lunch
• 2:30PM-5:00PM – Group 2 at Hospital/Group 1 at local health care provider
• 5:00PM-6:30PM – Free time
• 7:00PM – Dinner
• 8:00PM – Group meeting followed by small group discussion reviewing first two curriculum days
• 9:00PM-11:00PM – Optional Havana walk
• Lodging: La Pradera
MedSchoolCoach Curriculum Day 3 – Havana, Cuba
• 8:00AM – Breakfast
• 9:00AM-1:00PM – Group 1 at Community/Clinics and Group 2 at Primary Care/Family Clinic
• 1:30PM – Lunch
• 2:30PM-4:00PM – Group 2 at Community/Clinics and Group 1 at Primary Care/Family Clinic
• 4:00PM-6:00PM – Free time
• 6:00PM – Dinner
• 8:00PM-11:00PM – Evening tour of Havana
• Lodging: La Pradera
MedSchoolCoach Curriculum Day 4 – Vinales, Cuba
• 8:00AM – Breakfast
• 9:00AM-3:00PM – Local clinic visits, med/public health outreach project
• 3:30PM – Depart for Vinales
• 6:00PM – Dinner and check-in to Vinales hotel
• 8:00PM-11:00PM – Free time at hotel and local area
• Lodging: Hotel Jazmines or Hotel La Ermita
Pinar Del Rio, Cuba
• 9:00AM – Breakfast
• 10AM-1:00PM – Morning personal time and local exploration
• 1:00PM – Depart for cultural experiences in Cuban countryside of the Vinales Valley & Pinar del Rio Town and arrive at Las Terrazas lodging
• 6:00PM – Dinner on arrival at Las Terrazas or during excursion
• 8:00PM – Free time
• Lodging: Moka Hotel
MedSchoolCoach Curriculum Day 5 – Cienfuegos, Cuba
• 8:00AM – Breakfast
• 9:00AM-3:00PM – Cuban Health Care experiences in Pinar del Rio Town. Disperse among various local clinics, community health centers, and hospital. Lunch will be on location.
• 4:00PM-6:00PM – Depart to Cienfuegos and hotel
• 6:00PM – Dinner
• 8:00PM – Welcome to Cienfuegos social time
• Lodging: Hotel Jagua by Melia
Cienfuegos, Cuba
• 8:00AM – Breakfast
• 9:00AM-1:00PM – Optional visits to local clinics for observation/interactions or cultural visits in Cienfuegos.
• 1:00PM – Lunch on location
• 2:00PM-9:00PM – Cultural visits, including Bay of Pigs, Pre-historic Taino Village, snorkeling options. Dinner on location.
• 9:00PM – Arrive at hotel
• Lodging: Hotel Jagua by Melia

Havana, Cuba


• Return to Havana


• Shopping and art galleries


• Farewell evening activity


• Lodging: La Pradera

Morning Departures back to Miami.

Note: Students should allow a 3 hour window for customs between arrival in Miami and departure to home destination.

We hope you had a wonderful journey!

Edit

Located just west of Havana, Cuba, the La Pradera Health Centre is a lush green, natural environment with resort like amenities and hotel comforts.

La Pradera combines fully specialized assistance in clinical areas such as oncology, neuroscience and phoniatry. With a focus on promoting health tourism, the facility also complimentary cosmetology, massage, and medical check-ups.

La Pradera in Havana, Cuba
La Pradera in Havana, Cuba

For all of Cuba’s scenic spots, few outstun the mogote-studded Viñales Valley. From its vantage point two miles outside of town, enjoy the best of both worlds — quick access to attractions inside Valle de Viñales National Park, and a quiet respite after sundown.

Hotel Jazmines in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba
Hotel Jazmines in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba

Hotel La Ermita is famous for its views of Viñales Valley and its premier location close to area attractions. The hotel’s facilities, including an open-air bar, and a stone path that slopes towards the valley. The effect is natural splendor, laid at your feet.

Hotel La Ermita in Vinales, Cuba
Hotel La Ermita in Vinales, Cuba

With a giant tree growing straight through the lobby and a clever design which brings the outdoors in, Hotel Moka is one of Cuba’s most charming and unique properties.

Hotel Moka in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba
Hotel Moka in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba

Hotel Jagua was the first hotel in post-revolutionary Cuba. It shows a typical architecture of the 50s with with wide, open and illuminated spaces. It is located on the Cienfuegos’s bay in Punta Gorda. This residential area bordering the bay used to be a hideaway for the wealthy. Today it remains perfect for seeing the sunset while relaxing after visiting the beautiful Cienfuegos.

Hotel Jagua in Cienfuegos, Cuba
Hotel Jagua in Cienfuegos, Cuba
Edit

During your stay in Cuba, you will experience a variety of food options ranging from traditional Cuban cuisine at our venues and served by host families, as well as the standard fare as you would have back in the USA.

 

Breakfast each morning will be provided at lodging sites, lunches will be enjoyed at site visit locations or from nearby vendors, and dinners will vary between host lodging venues and local restaurants.

Students enjoying traditional Cuban cuisine
Students enjoying traditional Cuban cuisine

 

Some typical Cuban dishes you may anticipate enjoying during your travels include: grilled chicken with many different sides from vegetables to yogurt and mint cream; Red Snapper fried whole or in tomato, garlic, pepper sauce.

What to eat in Cuba
What to eat in Cuba

 

Although we cannot provide exact daily menus, you will have a variety of delicious local entree options together with familiar foods like you have at home, ranging similarly in flavor, and from spicy to vegetarian and/or fish for more familiar meals.

 

Upon registration, you will be provided with a questionnaire to prepare our staff to make your stay a comfortable. There, you can list any special dietary restrictions that should be noted, such as food allergies. Due to the logistics of such a program, we cannot provide meals based on individual requests, but there will be healthy and delicious options at each sitting for your choosing.

Edit

A Real-Time Clinical Education


What separates the Ultimate Med Immersion experience from others is you will be traveling with a U.S. physician who will help guide you through the clinical experiences you are observing. Every night, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the patients you have seen, their pathology and treatment options with our lead physician educator on your trip. Imagine seeing a patient with diabetes who has a foot ulcer in clinic. As part of the medical curriculum, you would see the patient with the Cuban physicians and decide on a treatment plan. Then, as part of the daily medical curriculum, you would be taught the pathology of diabetes and the treatment options for vascular insufficiency of the foot by our lead physician educator. We believe no other experience outside actual medical school is as all encompassing and real time as this.

Hospitals You May Visit

Below is a sampling of hospitals & medical institutions that students will visit:


  • Eusebio Hernández Pérez” Maternity Hospital – Named after the Cuban hero, doctor, and scientist, this building is a milestone in Cuban modernism. It is among the most important reproductive health institutions in Cuba, and a leader in the National Mother-Child Health Program.

  • Hospital Hermanos Ameijeiras – The premier hospital in Cuba is a leader in diagnostic technology. Its tower is prominently visible from the Malecón between the historic center and the uptown Vedado neighborhood.

  • Pando Ferrer Ophthalmological Hospital – This leader in ophthalmological surgery in Latin America focuses on the and treatment of eye diseases and especially for the prevention of blindness and low vision.

  • Pediatric Hospital Juan Manuel Marquez – This flagship hospital in Cuba is known for its pediatric patient care and was named President Fidel Castro called for the creation of a new children’s hospital.

  • Finlay Institute of Vaccines – This is a critical Cuban vaccine development institute where four COVID vaccine candidates are being researched.

  • Centro de Neurociencias de Cuba (CNEURO) – Located in Playa, Havana City, this hospital is one of the first in the world to use informatics for the analysis of the brain’s electrical activity. It is now the center for research of products and applied sciences oriented to Neurologic pathologies.

Specialists You May Shadow

Students will have the opportunity shadow a variety of physicians, including: Unchanged:
• General & Speciality Surgeons
• Internal Medicine Physicians
• Pediatricians
• Radiologists
• Ophthalmologists

Procedures & Surgeries You May See

Because the program is real life, you will get to see whatever walks through the door. This can include:
• Cardiac surgeries
• Abdominal surgeries
• Vascular surgeries
• Orthopedic & Trauma surgeries
• Central line placements
• Cataract surgeries
• Paracentesis & thoracentesis Each trip is unique based on patient care during the time of your trip.
Edit

MedSchoolCoach Faculty

MedSchoolCoach faculty will be joining on your trip, providing you an opportunity to network and learn from physicians and admissions experts.

Sahil Mehta MD, MedSchoolCoach Founder
Dr. Mehta is the founder of MedSchoolCoach and has guided thousands of successful medical school applicants. He is also a practicing physician in Boston where he specializes in vascular and interventional radiology.
Renee Marinelli MD, MedSchoolCoach
Dr. Marinelli has practiced family medicine, served on the University of California Admissions Committee, and has helped hundreds of students get into medical school. She spearheads a team of physician advisors who guide MedSchoolCoach students.
Edit

Students are responsible for booking roundtrip domestic airfare from their home city to Miami, FL and then to Havana, Cuba. All of these flights can be purchased through our partners at Cuba Travel Adventures Group.

 

Domestic airfare can be purchased independently, but students must arrive in Miami between 2 PM and 5 PM EST to connect with the group flight to Havana. The international flight must be purchased through CTAG to ensure proper logistics, and to ensure we are meeting government requirements for travel to Cuba.

 

Upon registration, you will be provided with a questionnaire to prepare our staff to make your stay a comfortable one. There, you can list any special dietary restrictions that should be noted, such as food allergies. Due to the logistics of such a program, we cannot provide meals based on individual requests, but there will be healthy and delicious options at each sitting for your choosing.

 

You can contact Cuba Travel Adventures Group at (415) 789-9398 or by going to cubatraveladventuresgroup.com.

Sahil Mehta MD, MedschoolCoach Founder

DR. Sahil Mehta

Founder & Trip Education Leader

"If a student is looking to get clinical experience that will help them learn medicine in a way that separates them on their application, our Ultimate Med Immersion is the way to go."
Alyson Jett, Penn State

"I would say, absolutely, go on this trip. Whether you’re the doctor, you’re the nurse, you get to see things you will never ever see."

Alyson Jett

Penn State

Takara Richard, Old Dominion University

"Going on this Ultimate Med Immersion is one of the best opportunities you can go on if you want to go into a medical career."

Takara Richard

Old Dominian University

Why Ultimate Medical Immersion?

Medicine, culture, friends.

Participating in an international medical program can help you gain medical experience and put your application on a whole new level.

Ultimate Med Immersion – Patients in Scrubs at the Hospital

Medical Experience

Are you looking to gain clinical experience?
With the daily medical curriculum based on real patients, high school students and premeds alike will walk away with an in-depth medical experience and strong extracurricular activity.

Unique Application

Need something to differentiate yourself?
An international experience is one of the best extracurricular activities for medical students and will help set you apart from other applicants.

Observation Hours

Will I be able to shadow physicians?
Gain more than 25+ observation hours with multiple specialties in less than a few weeks of one of the most exciting pre med study abroad programs.

Personal Growth

Would you like to grow as a person?
Experience Cuban culture, learn some Spanish and make friends for life.

Reserve your spot!

Included with your tuition:

  • • Lodging and dinner in Miami on departure day.
  • • Hotel to airport shuttles on arrivals and departures.
  • • All accommodations and meals while in Cuba.
  • • All ground transportation to and from activities within the scheduled curriculum.
  • • Curriculum costs.
  • • Scheduled excursion costs.
Cuba Flag in Window

Enrollment for our Cuba 2022 trip will open soon.


  • Space is extremely limited and seats will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up to get notified as soon as registration is open.

What else can we tell you?

Have more questions? Give us a call or chat with us. 

Edit

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. We anticipate that by January 2022, it will be safe to travel. In the event that we cancel the trip due to COVID-related travel advisories, participants will be eligible for a full refund. Please review the terms and conditions for further details.

Cuba has been a leader in COVID-19 prevention and care. Currently, masks are mandated in all facilities and public spaces and certainly in and around any health care facilities. Standard COVID-19 sanitary procedures are practiced in all dining areas, hotels, etc. As the trip dates near, we will provide real-time updates based on the situation of the pandemic at that time.

Edit

We require that students be at least 18 years of age and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Your GPA will be verified with your undergraduate institution as part of the enrollment process. If you are an international student, you are welcome to participate but you are responsible for researching and acquiring any travel documents you may need in order to travel to your program destination.

No. An initial non-refundable deposit of $250 is required to hold your spot (note, if the trip is canceled by MedSchoolCoach due to any reason, including COVID-related concerns, this deposit will be refunded). Full payment for the remainder of the tuition balance is due by September 6, 2021.
Edit

You need a valid passport to travel to Cuba.

The passport needs to be valid for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in Cuba. If it is not, be sure to renew it ASAP so that it returns to you prior to the trip.

Yes. All visa requirements will be processed through our partners at Cuba Travel Adventures Group (CTAG). Upon enrollment, MedSchoolCoach will introduce you to CTAG for processing of your Cuba visa and flight reservations. 

You can contact CTAG at (415) 789-9398 or by going to cubatraveladventuresgroup.com.

Yes, all trip participants are required to purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance can be obtained at a cost of ~$200-250 (prices may vary) from https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/.  

Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. The required vaccines include:

  • • COVID-19
  • • Influenza
  • • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
  • • Polio


The CDC recommends that you also receive the following vaccines:

  • • Typhoid
  • • Hepatitis A
  • • Hepatitis B

Airfare is not included in the tuition. Your roundtrip domestic airfare from your home city to Miami, FL and your international roundtrip flight to Havana, Cuba can all be purchased through our partners at Cuba Travel Adventures Group. You may also purchase your domestic airfare independently to coordinate it to arrive in Miami to connect with the group flight to Havana. The international flight must be purchased through CTAG to ensure proper logistics as well as meeting government requirements for travel to Cuba.

You can contact CTAG at (415) 789-9398 or by going to cubatraveladventuresgroup.com.

Edit

All rooms are rated for double occupancy. If you prefer a single room accommodation, an additional charge of $100 per night will apply.

Single occupancy rooms have limited availability and can be reserved at the time of registration on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have questions regarding single room accommodations you can contact us at info@medschoolcoach.com or call us at (888) 381-9509.

All double occupancy pairings will be introduced to their roommates about a month prior to departure so that they may get to know each other.

If you are traveling with someone on the trip, we would be glad to pair you with that person. To request a specific roommate email us at info@medschoolcoach.com or call us at (888) 381-9509.

Edit

There will be an average of 4-5 hours per day of observations on curriculum days. 

Areas of observation will vary and include cardiovascular, pediatrics, radiology, family medicine, various surgical procedures, etc. As the trip dates near, we will provide a detailed itinerary with specialties and departments that will be viewed. 

Letters of recommendation can be written by any of our US based physician staff members or by the Cuba based physicians. Letters of recommendation are not guaranteed, however, and their solicitation will be at the student’s discretion.

This will depend on the area of observation and the attending physician’s and/or health care professional’s decision. As participants are not trained or certified health care professionals, any actions that are allowed may range from taking vitals to assessment skills, or basic assists with bandaging, etc. Actual hands-on skill techniques are dependent upon the approval of the host institution and the professionals in charge.

Edit
While in Cuba you will have the opportunity to see and experience many sites and areas of leisure and historical interest. We also realize the desire to explore on your own, and as you are undergrads, we understand that you are not minors needing escorting. You will have time each day or evening that you can explore downtown Havana, go to the beach, or just relax by the pool at the hotels that provide it. We encourage you to take the time to explore, yet not miss out on any scheduled program or curriculum activities.

Throughout your time in the program you will be with our hosts from CTAG and they will provide any sick participants with access to the health care needed through existing partnerships. A benefit of attending the UMI is that you will be around all levels of health care in Cuba at all times. Your program managers and CTAG leaders will ensure that you always have access to staff during your times of feeling ill.

During orientation, you will be provided with a thorough overview of what procedures will be taken if you are to get sick. If illness becomes prohibitive of your continuing with the program and you require transport home, CTAG will assist you in managing the logistics needed for a safe and expedient return.

U.S. credit/debit cards and U.S. Dollars are not accepted for purchases in Cuba. To have Cuban pesos for daily tips and purchases available upon arrival in Cuba, CTAG has a pre-ordered currency exchange program at the official Cuban exchange rate that can be ordered pre-trip with U.S. credit cards, thereby avoiding the often long lines at government kiosks.

Students will be led through the entire experience by a team of program managers and program directors. There will be one program manager for every ten students to make sure that everyone on the trip gets specialized attention. Our management team is comprised of experienced educators, nonprofit leaders, and current graduate or medical school level students.

The best method to communicate with friends and family back home is by downloading WhatsApp.

WiFi is readily available in WiFi Zones throughout the major cities with a purchased WiFi access card.

Register for the Trip

Submit your information and pay your $250 non-refundable deposit to save your spot.
Enroll Now

Pay Remaining Balance

Pay off the remaining balance by September 6, 2021, to secure your participation.
Pay Balance

Disclosure Form

Review and sign this important document that includes the Liability Release, GPA Verification, Media Waiver, and Code of Conduct.
Review and Sign

Health Form

Submit important health information so we can ensure we have all the information we need to ensure the safety of our travelers!
Submit Now

Packing List

Be prepared for your trip! Download the packing list to make sure you have everything you need.
Get the List

Trip Guide

From packing lists, itineraries, guidelines, accommodations, and more. Download the trip guide for everything you need to know.
Coming Soon