Study In Cuba - Requirements,Tuition Fees,Cost of Living & Universities

This is a comprehensive guide on studying in Cuba as an international student. This detailed post will give you all the necessary information you will need about studying in Cuba as an international student. It will answer most frequently asked questions such as


How to study in Cuba

Why study in Cuba

Cost of studying in Cuba

Universities in dash for international students Cuba

Cost of living in dash for international students Cuba

How to get a visa to study in Cuba

How to apply and study in Cuba

Tuition fees to study in Cuba

Applying to study in Cuba


Many of those choosing to study in Cuba come from other Latin American and Caribbean countries, some of which have government agreements in place to facilitate student mobility.

Other countries have also recognized Cuba’s attractiveness as a higher education exchange partner; for example, South Africa’s Higher Education and Training Department recently signed an agreement to promote academic and student exchanges.

 Strained political relations with the US have meant that travel between the two countries hasn’t always been easy, but students and academics are among those exempt from restrictions. However, funding cuts meant that university enrolments have dropped dramatically over the past decade – so if you do want to study in Cuba, you may need to work a little harder to secure a place.

Teaching at universities in Cuba is in Spanish, so you’ll need to be proficient in the language. International students may be offered the chance to take preparatory or supplementary Spanish language classes.

Applying to universities in Cuba

The 6 basic steps for applying to study abroad in Cuba are:

Identifying universities and the course of your interest

Request universities for Application forms

Taking various required tests

Arranging and preparing Essays and recommendation letters

Completing and Sending Application forms along with required documents

Reporting various test scores to the universities

Selecting Universities:

Selecting universities is a very time consuming and important process not only from the admission point of view but also because applying to universities is very expensive. Hence it has to be restricted to around 6 or 8 universities which are best matched for your requirements.

The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offer you your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you.

Requesting Application Forms:

There are two ways to get application forms:

1. Requesting Application Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.

2. Downloading from the university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.

Application Requirements:

Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through the material in detail and check the application deadline, minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation letters needed and other such information.

Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives and group the universities under three categories :

1. Schools that seem to match your requirements

2. Schools that are not suited to your needs

3. Schools that do not completely fit in any of the above two categories

Recommendation letters:

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.

School records/Academic transcript:

The transcripts of your academic record are absolutely essential to the evaluation of your academic abilities. Your official transcript or academic record is the objective part of your application. Academic records greatly vary from one education system to the other. Systems of evaluation or grading and the formats used to present this information also differ widely.

Undergraduate : Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or any other undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts (report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relationship to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a statement of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Graduate : Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects, credits involved and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one transcripts but most require only one.

Tuition fees and cost of studying in Cuba for international students.


The cost of studying in Cuba actually depends on the specific school you attend. All the universities and colleges in Cuba have different tuition fees.

Studying in Cuba is not really expensive for international students. Tuition fees for Cuban universities are not paid per year like other countries,tuition fees are paid for the entire academic program and the tuition fees for an entire academic program in Cuba is about  US$20,000 and US$40,000. The fees vary depending on the university you want to enroll in .

Financial aids are available in Cuba for both local and international students. Scholarships are mainly awarded to students based on merit and academic performance. Scholarships always cover part or full tuition. Universities in Cuba also offer special scholarships to students so you will have to contact the university you want to enroll in to get more details.

Since Cuba is a Spanish country,its is not a major study abroad destination for international students because only South American countries speak Spanish. So to be able to study in Cuba you have to be able to speak Spanish.

Also it is not easy to get admission to Cuban universities as an international student because of the competitive nature of the universities and they only accept few candidates,so to study in Cuba as an international student be willing to work extra hard.


The cost of living in Cuba according to expatistan




            Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district      10 CUC

            Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar)         4.81 CUC

            500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast         8 CUC

            1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk           2.08 CUC

            12 eggs, large  1.48 CUC

            1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes           1.97 CUC

            500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese            3.74 CUC

            1 kg (2 lb.) of apples   8 CUC

            1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes            3.08 CUC

            0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket           1.76 CUC

            1 bottle of red table wine, good quality         10 CUC

            2 liters of Coca-Cola   1.25 CUC

            Bread for 2 people for 1 day  0.25 CUC


            Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area           1,990 CUC

            Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area    646 CUC

            Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat        50 CUC

            Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area            683 CUC

            Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area     509 CUC

            Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio         40 CUC

            Internet 8 Mbps (1 month)      100 CUC

            40” flat screen TV       914 CUC

            Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands)       269 CUC

            Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.)      17 CUC

            Hourly rate for cleaning help  -


            1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar)   47 CUC

            1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers)        35 CUC

            1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands)     90 CUC

            1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 55 CUC


            Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new        104,054 CUC

            1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas         0.97 CUC

            Monthly ticket public transport          30 CUC

Personal Care 

            Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands)          -

            1 box of antibiotics (12 doses)            -

            Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes)      -

            1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...)          2.97 CUC

            Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.)    2.31 CUC

            Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.)           4.76 CUC

            4 rolls of toilet paper   1.16 CUC

            Tube of toothpaste      1.65 CUC

            Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city         6 CUC


Applying for visa to study in Cuba


To enter Cuba as a visitor you need a visa, so below are the Cuba visa application requirements and process.


Application requirements:

Tourist Visa Card:

(a) One completed application form.

(b) Photocopy of valid passport.

(c) Photocopy of return ticket or travel agent voucher for pre-paid package tour.

(d) Fee (payable in cash, by postal order or cheque).

Business visa:

(a) Valid passport.

(b) Two completed application forms.

(c) Two passport-size photos.

(d) Details of business contact in Cuba.

(e) Letter of invitation from Cuban company, organisation or institution.

(f) Fee (payable in cash, by postal order or cheque).

Journalist visa:

(a) Valid passport.

(b) Two completed application forms.

(c) Two passport-size photos.

(d) A sponsor letter from employer and a written version of your journalistic project.

(e) Fee (payable in cash, by postal order or cheque).

Note: Once a Journalist visa has been issued, the individual must report to the Centro de Prensa Internacional for accreditation. They should take two photos and US$60

What is the cost of a visa?

Tourist Visa Card: $30. Journalist: $78. Business: $78.


(a) With the exception of Tourist Visa Cards, all visas have an additional charge of $23 for expenses in connection with visa authorisation.

(b) Journalist visas must be authorised by the Centro de Prensa Internacional del Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba.

How long is the visa valid for?

Tourist Visa Cards must be used within six months of issue. Tourist Visa Cards and Tourist and Business visas are valid for 30 days from date of entry; extensions of a further 30 days are possible.

Who requires a visa?

Virtually all visitors need a Cuban visa or tourist card, which allows a stay of 30 days. Usually, visas for all nationalities cost around $30 and can be obtained over the counter at the Cuban Embassy, or direct from your travel agent. Postal visa applications take 1-2 weeks to process. Visitors need a return ticket, and proof that they have booked a hotel room for at least three nights. The US prohibits its citizens from travelling to Cuba unless they obtain a licence, usually reserved for journalists or government officials.

Visas are not required for:

a) those nationals whose countries have signed visa exemption agreements with Cuba (contact the Consulate for further information);

b) holders of a Tourist Visa Card. Certain tour operators, travel agencies and airlines can issue a Tourist Visa Card valid for one single trip of 30 days, although the stay can be extended in Cuba. Stipulations are that the traveller pre-books and pre-pays hotel accommodation in Cuba through an officially recognised tour operator. The card must be bought in the country where the trip has been arranged. All passengers must hold tickets and other documentation required for their onward or return journey unless holding special annotation issued by a Cuban Consulate;

c) transit passengers continuing their journey to a third country within 72 hours, provided they hold confirmed onward tickets and US$50 per day.


(a) All business travellers (except journalists, those attending a conference or those wishing to study) do need a visa regardless of nationality.

(b) Neither visa exemptions nor Tourist Visa Card facilities are applicable to foreign passport holders born in Cuba, unless holding a document proving withdrawal of Cuban citizenship.

Exit permits: Required by those whose stay in Cuba exceeds 90 days.

What documents will be required?

PASSPORTS: Passports valid for at least 6 months after the departure date from Cuba required by all nationals without diplomatic representation in Cuba.

Note: Persons of Cuban origin who are nationals of other countries must travel with a Cuban passport if they left Cuba after 1970.

Time required to issue visa:

Tourist Visa Card: 1 day (7 days for postal applications). Tourist visa: 7 to 10 days. Business visa: 10 days (2 weeks for postal applications). Journalist visa: 6 weeks minimum.


List and ranking of all universities in Cuba


This is the list and ranking of all the universities in Cuba. The ranking is based on the quality of education each of the university provides and also the available academic and social facilities in the university. So below is the list of the of all the universities in Cuba and their ranking



Rank    University       Location

1          Universidad de La Habana

La Habana

2          Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas

La Habana

3          Instituto Superior Politécnico José Antonio Echeverría

La Habana

4          Universidad Central Marta Abreu de Las Villas

Santa Clara

5          Universidad de Granma


6          ISA, Universidad de las Artes

La Habana

7          Universidad de Oriente

Santiago de Cuba

8          Universidad de Guantánamo


9          Universidad de Pinar del Río

Pinar del Río ...

10        Instituto Superior Minero-Metalúrgico de Moa


11        Universidad de Ciego de Ávila


12        Universidad de Matanzas


13        Universidad de Camagüey


14        Universidad de Holguín


15        Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas de Pinar del Río

Pinar del Río

16        Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas José de la Luz y Caballero


17        Universidad de Sancti Spíritus

Sancti Spíritus

18        Instituto Superior de Relaciones Internacionales Raúl Roa García

La Habana

19        Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas Pepito Tey

Las Tunas

20        Universidad Agraria de La Habana

San José de las Lajas

21        Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas Héctor Alfredo Pineda Zaldívar

La Habana

22        Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrícolas

San José de las Lajas

23        Instituto Superior de Tecnologías y Ciencias Aplicadas

La Habana

24        Universidad de Las Tunas

Las Tunas

25        Instituto de Ciencia Animal

San José de las Lajas

26        Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara

Santa Clara

Un       Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina

La Habana

Un       Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial

La Habana

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Camagüey


Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Ciego de Ávila

Ciego de Ávila

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Cienfuegos


Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Granma


Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Guantánamo


Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Holguín


Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de La Habana

La Habana

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Las Tunas

Las Tunas

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Matanzas


Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Pinar del Río

Pinar del Río

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Sancti Spíritus

Sancti Spíritus

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas Enrique José Varona

La Habana

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas Félix Varela Morales

Santa Clara

Un       Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas Frank País García

Santiago de Cuba

Un       Universidad de Cienfuegos


Un       Universidad de las Ciencias de la Cultura Física y el Deporte

La Habana

Un       Universidad Isla de la Juventud

Isla de la Juventud


Degree programs or courses you can study in Cuba


Accounting and Finance

Aeronautical engineering

Manufacturing engineering






Art and Design

Oral science


Biological sciences


Business management

Chemical engineering


Civil engineering

Ancient history

Mass communication

Computer science


Creative writing






Electrical engineering


Film making

Food science


General engineering






Material technology


Mechanical engineering

Medical technology












Veterinary medicine


What to pack with while going to study in Cuba


In your carry-on bag

Cell phone and charger

Boarding pass(es)

Cash (bring American dollars and the currency of your host location or money you can exchange for it—enough to use in case of an emergency, but not more money than you can afford to lose)

Copy of birth certificate

Copy of Social Security card

Credit card (notify your bank that you’ll be abroad before you leave to avoid your account being frozen)

Debit card


E-reader or book

Emergency contact list

Face wipes


Hand sanitizer


Health insurance card


Prescription medication(s) you usually take (make sure you bring enough refills to last your entire trip—but future prescriptions can go in your checked luggage)

School ID

Spare outfit (in case your luggage gets lost or delayed)

State ID

Student visa

Travel itinerary

Travel pillow

Travel tickets (if you’re taking a train or other transport after your plane lands)



Acne medication/cream

Face lotion/moisturizer


Mini shampoo & conditioner (until you get the chance to get full-sized bottles in your new country)

Mouthwash (small)

Soap (mini bottle if you're using body wash)





Bobby pins


Contacts, solution and case (again, make sure you have all the contacts you'll need for your time abroad)

Glasses and glasses case

Hair ties



Nail clipper




Tampons and pads



You will likely have the opportunity to do laundry on your trip, and you'll be able to purchase detergent in your host country.

Downy Wrinkle Release spray

Linens/towels (if your housing doesn’t have them)

Portable stain remover pen

Travel sheet (for hostels)


Athletic sneakers (1)

Bathing suits (1-2)

Boots (1-2)

Bras (2 sports bras, 2 regular bras, 1 strapless/convertible bras)

Casual dresses (2)

Everyday comfortable shoes (1-2)

Flats (1)

Flip-flops (1)

Formal outfit (1-2)

Gloves (1, if weather appropriate)

Going-out outfit (3-5)

Hat (1)

Heavier coat for colder climates (1)

Heels (1-2)

Jacket (2; a light one and one for colder weather, if applicable)

Jeans (2, one black & one blue)

Jewelry (remember that bringing jewelry to another country is always a risk; don’t bring anything too valuable!)

Leggings (1-3)

Long-sleeve shirts (3-5)

Pajamas (2-3)

Pants (1-2 nice pairs)

Purse (1-2)

Raincoat (1)

Scarf (1)

Short-sleeve shirts (5-7)

Shorts (2-4, if weather appropriate)

Skirts (1-2)

Socks (14)

Sweaters (3-5)

Sweatshirt (2)

T-shirts (3-5)

Tank tops (3-5)

Underwear (14)

Watch (1)

Workout clothes (2-5)


Remember that most of your electronic items will need an outlet converter in order to work!

Camera (remember your case and USB cords)

Cell phone (keep in mind that you’ll be able to buy an international phone when you arrive at your destination)

Chargers (laptop, phone, camera, e-reader, etc.)

Flash drive



Laptop case

Outlet adapters (2-3)

USB cable


Adhesive bandages

Allergy medicine

Birth control

Cold and flu medicine

Eye drops

Motion sickness medicine

Over-the-counter pain medicine



Backpack (small)

Gift for your host family (bring something that they couldn’t get in their own country, like memorabilia from your hometown)


Language dictionary


Playing cards

Travel guide

Umbrella (small)


Benefits of studying abroad in Cuba or any other study abroad destination as an international student


1. See the World

The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.

2. Education

Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.

3. Take in a New Culture

Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.

You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.

4. Hone Your Language Skills

Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience

5. Career Opportunities

When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.

Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country

6. Find New Interests

If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.

You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.

7. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.

After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.

8. Personal Development

There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.

A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.

9. Graduate School Admissions

Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.

10. Life Experience

Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.


Hope this post was helpful


Question tags


How to study in Cuba

Why study in Cuba

Cost of studying in Cuba

Universities in dash for international students Cuba

Cost of living in dash for international students Cuba

How to get a visa to study in Cuba

How to apply and study in Cuba

Tuition fees to study in Cuba

Applying to study in Cuba

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