Being home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there are many things to see and do in Cuba. Being in Cuba will make you feel like you’re experiencing a journey back in time, with its antique cars and unique architecture. Its educational system is excellent, and its healthcare is one of the best globally, which means innovation and development are just two of the things that define Cuba. Cuba is one of the most popular destinations in Latin America, recognized for its unique lifestyle, excellent healthcare, and Cuban music.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting a master’s degree in Cuba:
Why Study Masters in Cuba?
Cuba shows a great commitment to education, which is evident in the academic quality of its 60 public universities. One of the most prominent (and oldest) universities in Cuba is the University of Havana, which offers exchange programs and courses in English for non-Spanish speakers. Cuba has an incredibly excellent reputation for training doctors, which is also evident in its outstanding healthcare system. Apart from getting a quality education, masters degrees in Cuba will also give you a chance to practice your Spanish. Cuba’s education system is divided into three stages, which correspond to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Generally, there are numerous masters programs in Cuba you can choose from.
Requirements to Study Master’s in Cuba
Some of the main requirements to study master’s in Cuba include the following:
In most cases, you will need a student visa to pursue your master’s degree in Cuba. Specific nations can travel to Cuba for a short period of time (usually 30 to 90 days). However, a master’s program will take longer than 90 days to complete, which means those who plan to stay in Cuba for study, research, or language learning must obtain a visa before traveling to Cuba. Generally, higher education institutions must provide an invitation letter or letter of admission in order for the visa to be approved.
To apply for a student visa, you will generally need to provide the following documents:
- Completed application form.
- Photocopies of your passport (valid for at least six months).
- Passport-sized photographs.
- Letter of admission from Cuba university.
- Proof of financial resources.
- Cuba Travel Medical Insurance.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of required documents. Cuban authorities may ask for additional documents if they see fit. Find more information regarding visa requirements to Cuba here.
Health insurance is mandatory for any foreign citizen entering Cuba. The government of Cuba requires all international visitors (as well as Cuban citizens living abroad) to purchase travel health insurance prior to their travel to Cuba. The same applies to international students wishing to pursue a university degree in Cuba. You must make sure you have sufficient health insurance coverage since the immigration officers at entry points will check it before giving you entrance permission. In case you do not have sufficient health insurance at this point, you will be required to purchase it at the entry point, airport, or seaport.
Granted, health insurance is a crucial prerequisite to study in Cuba. If you need a Cuban visa to enter the country, sufficient health insurance coverage is required for the application process.
You’re not sure where to purchase your Cuba travel health insurance? Check out the following providers:
- Asistur S.A.
- Visitors Coverage – Travel Insurance Solutions
- Arch RoamRight
If you need a visa to study in Cuba, you will also need to provide proof of sufficient funds to the authorities at the visa application center. Usually, you must provide a bank statement obtained from your savings bank account in order to show you have sufficient funds to cover your stay in Cuba. Generally, the bank statements must show you have a healthy balance amount in your account, and it must be provided with an authentic seal and signature from the bank. If the bank statement does not show sufficient funds, your visa application may be rejected.
Student accommodation is among the most important requirements to study for your master’s degree in Cuba. If this is your first time traveling to Cuba, you may likely be confused about accommodation. Those staying in Cuba for a short period of time may choose to live in a hotel (which is the less affordable option). If you are traveling to Cuba to obtain your master’s degree, then you will likely need to find accommodation in what is known as Casas Particulares in Cuba.
Casas particulares are a system of Cuban guesthouses in which locals rent out their rooms to guests. These are a budget-friendly option but also a great way to get a glimpse of the Cuban culture and their everyday life. The cost of this type of accommodation ranges from $15 to $35 per night. You can expect the cost of casas particulares to be higher during the high season, and the cost may vary depending on how long you intend to stay. For longer stays, the cost will be lower.
An official casa in Cuba should have a small sticker (symbol: blue capital “H,” rotated 90 degrees) that suggests the casa is government-sanctioned. The sign should also read “Arrendador Divisa.” On the other hand, the houses that have red symbols can only rent to Cubans.
You may search for these types of guesthouses on a wide range of sites, including:
Top Universities to Get a Master’s Degree in Cuba
- Universidad de La Habana
The University of Havana is a public university located in the Vedado district of Havana. This university was founded in 1728, which makes it the oldest university in Cuba. Moreover, it is also one of the first universities to be founded in the Americas. There are more than 60 Master’s programs at the University of Havana, distributed across its 16 faculties, ranging from master’s degree programs in Arts, Biology, Communication, Philosophy, Physics, Geography all the way to Mathematics and Chemistry.
Some master’s programs you can choose from include:
- Master Degree in Librarianship and Information Sciences
- Master Degree in Communication Sciences
- Master Degree in Contemporary History and International Relations
- Master Degree in Bioethics
- Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology
- Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology
- Universidad de Oriente Santiago de Cuba
Founded in 1947, the University of Santiago de Cuba offers degree programs (including master’s) across its 12 faculties. Study areas range anywhere from economics, law, mathematics, computer science, and agriculture, to name a few. This university is located in the city of Santiago de Cuba, a little over 500 miles away from the capital, Havana. It is one of the oldest universities in Cuba, with a high level of academic excellence and a wide range of degree programs to choose from.
- Ciudad Universitaria Jose Antonio Echeverria
This university is the highest-ranked technical university in Cuba. Ciudad Universitaria Jose Antonio Echeverria provides degrees at all levels of study across its seven faculties. Located in the capital Havana, this university is known for its quality of education (as well as its brutalist architecture). Students can pursue their master’s degrees in several areas, including engineering and architecture.
- Universidad Central Marta Abreu de Las Villas
The University “Marta Abreu” of Las Villas is a public university located in Santa Clara, Cuba. Founded in 1952, this university offers programs in both undergraduate and postgraduate levels of education. Students can find postgraduate studies in a diversity of disciplines across its 12 faculties. Whether you are interested in the field of law, psychology, sciences, or humanities, you are likely to find a suitable program at this university.
- Universidad de Cienfuegos Carlos Rafael Rodríguez
Founded in 1979, the University of Cienfuegos is located in Cienfuegos, Cuba, and offers a wide array of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Some of the master’s degree programs offered by this university include areas like Energy Efficiency, Business Administration, Sustainable Agriculture, Industrial Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Sociocultural Studies, and Historical Studies and Cuban Sociocultural Anthropology, to name a few.
How Much Does It Cost to Study Masters in Cuba?
Studying master’s at Cuban public universities is free for nationals. However, international students will have to pay tuition fees. Depending on the university and area of study, international students might have to pay roughly around $5,000 to $8,000 per year for a master’s program. Apart from university costs, students should take into consideration the living expenses as well. The estimated living cost for a single person in Cuba is around $600 per month (excluding rent).