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  • Locations: Cienfuegos, Cuba
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Graduate Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Community Health and Environment in Cuba

Drexel in Cuba

Program Overview

This is a 3-credit, fall term Intensive Course Abroad (ICA) that seeks to explore global health concepts through the lens of Cuba. We will explore the impact of culture, community health, art, and environmental justice on Cuba's public health system. The travel to Cuba will take place just prior to the official start date of the fall term and is designed for most course instruction (75%) to take place during our time abroad, with supplementary pre- and post-travel instruction and assessment (25%).
The ICA will provide opportunities to engage with Cuban culture broadly, enabling students to refine their skills and competencies for effective global health cooperation, such as respect for other cultures, leadership, systems thinking, transdisciplinary problem-solving, communication, professional integrity, ethics and diplomacy, advocacy for change, intellectual curiosity, and cultural humility.

The course will also cover various region-specific health topics, including:

  • Arts for Social Justice
  • Nutrition and Foodways
  • Afro-Cuban Music & Culture
  • Maternal and Infant Health
  • Environment Health and Infectious Diseases
  • Traditional Medicine
  • Technology and Social Good
  • Food Security
  • LGBT+ and Social Acceptance 

These topics demonstrate the diversity of issues that can impact global health and emphasize the importance of understanding broader Cuba’s social and ecological determinants of health.


Graduate students will be registered for course CHP T580. Undergraduate students will be registered for PBHL T380. All students will be registered for 3 credits as part of their fall term course load. Undergraduate students must leave space for the 3 credits in their fall term credit load or will have to pay for exceeding the 20-credit maximum. The 3 credits for this program are not optional. 

Once you have opened an application, please contact Idris Robinson to schedule your faculty interview, which is part of the application process.

Joseph Amon, PhD, MSPH
Idris Robinson, MPH

Program Calendar

Arrival Date: September 10, 2024
Departure Date: September 21, 2024

Tentative Itinerary 2024

Day 1: Arrivals
  • Arrive in Havana, Cuba
  • Exchange currency
  • Arrival dinner
Day 2: Havana History and the African Diaspora via Museo de la Casa de Africa
  • Understanding the historial, political, architectural, and geographical significance of Havana and the surrounding region. 
  • Describing the culture, art, music, resources, infrastructure, and experience of life in Havana. 
Day 3: Welcome and Orientation
  • Meet team at Universidad de Cienfuegos, Conrado Benitez Campus
  • Understanding the history of Cuba, Cienfuegos, and Cuban figures
  • Discussion and walking tour
 Day 4: Community Project “Macabi” and its impact on the Environment
  • Local and Architectural History Discussion of Punta Gorda
  • Express a familiarity with the community projects, and its relationship to environmental conservation and community development
  • Identify a pharmacy in Cuba that specializes in “green” medicine
Day 5: Afro-Cuban and Popular Rhythms
  • Recognize the local flora and fauna of the region
  • Familiarization with the role of the System of Protected Areas of Cuba
  • Recognize the wide range of dance forms and music encompassed in Cuban culture  
Day 6: Understand the local Polyclinic
  • Visit to a Community Doctor
  • Express a familiarity with the delivery of community and academic programming for people with varying abilities  
Day 7: Overview of the Cuban Healthcare System
  • Presentation on Experience of Health Promotion Projects
  • Visit and Exchange with Director of Community Project “Las Minas”  
Day 8: The Historic Center of the city of Trinidad
  • Visit to the lookout point of the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) site of the uprising of the Cuban Revolutionaries, Los Mabises, and the torching of the sugar cane fields of the 19th century. 
  • Visit to the Sugar Mill and plantation of the Iznaga family, Manaca Iznaga. Demonstration on the milling of the sugar cane juise technique as performed by enslaved  Africans.
Day 9: Community Efforts and Special Topics
  • Discuss behavioral predictors of successful weight maintenance based on outcomes
  • Describe similarities and differences in community initiatives to reduce obesity between Cuba and the United States.
  • Recognize the contributions of grandparent circles to community health  
Day 10: Health and the Natural Environment
  • Demonstrate knowledge about environmental issues in Cuba
  • Understand the efforts to revitalize endemic species to support urban agriculture  
Day 11: Closing and Conclusions
  • Presentation of Drexel Student Final Projects
  • Final Cultural Activity with University of Cienfuegos
 Day 12: Departures

Program Fee - $3,260 

Due May 1st - $500 Advance Payment + $25 Application Fee
Due July 1st - $2,760 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission.

Included in Program Fee:

  • Round trip international airfare from Philadelphia to Havana 
  • Cuban Visa
  • Health insurance while in Cuba
  • Accommodation in private homestays
  • Overnight stay in Havana
  • Daytrips to cities of Trinidad and Giron
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily
  • Entry fees to all cultural, historic, and health site visits that are part of the program
  • Local translator for program activities 
  • Airport pick up/drop off
  • Local transportation for all group events during program
  • On Call Emergency Assistance 

Not Included in Program Fee:

  • Tuition (per credit tuition will apply for graduate students)
  • Gratuities 
  • Additional meals and site seeing
  • Non-program related excursions
  • Luggage fees
  • Laundry
ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students’ eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships.

More Information

The Drexel University Community Health and Environment (CHE) Immersion Program in Cuba from Drexel University Global Health on Vimeo.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2024 05/01/2024
05/15/2024 09/10/2024 09/21/2024

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.