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Studying Medicine in Europe

With medicine being a long and intensive learning process, a lot is taken into consideration during the application process. But what if you are looking at studying abroad? What else do you need to consider? What other information might you need to know?

The study of medicine is varied across the globe. For example in the UK, students can usually enrol for clinical undergraduate medicine degrees after completing their A-Levels (typically from the age of 18). However, in the US, medicine can only be studied in graduate school, only after students have completed an undergraduate degree which is not directly related to medicine.

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How much does medical school cost in Europe?

Studying medicine in Europe can hold several advantages for students from the US or Canada. Europe is home to some of the best medical schools in the world, offers access to some highly sought-after education and has produced some of the best doctors that exist in the world today. 

When compared to the US, medical schools in Europe are a considerable amount cheaper. Prices for medical schools in the US ranges between $32,495 - $52,515 (£25,000 - £40,400) over a single year, whereas medical schools in Europe can cost anywhere between £6,000 - £12,000 ($7,700 - $15,500) per year. 

Which country is best to study Medicine?

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, is a great place to begin research into which could be the best institution for you to study medicine at. Their ratings are based on; the quality of teaching, the amount of research conducted, the university’s research influence, the university’s international outlook, and their industry income. 

According to their ranking tables, the best countries and universities to study medicine at are as follows:

  1. United Kingdom, University of Oxford
  2. USA, Harvard University
  3. United Kingdom, University of Cambridge
  4. United Kingdom, Imperial College London
  5. USA, Stanford University

However, you should of course research each course individually to see what teaching methodologies, modules and university could be right for you. 

For example, with the University of Oxford medicine course, in the first few years, students are taught theoretically with little patient contact, and later move onto the clinical phase where they spend a lot more time in local hospitals. Whereas Imperial College, London offers a much more innovative and hands-on experience. From the very first term, students have direct contact with patients, unlike at other more traditional universities in the UK.

Can you study Medicine overseas?

Yes - each year, hundreds of students choose to study Medicine abroad and there are many reasons as to why. 

For some, the affordability of studying abroad is a huge motivator, while for others the quality of education dominates. The quality of a country’s healthcare is typically a primary consideration, while competitiveness for a university place often sees students studying internationally in order to gain a place onto a course.  

However, if you are thinking of studying abroad, you should take a long think about whether it’s the right option for you. You need to remember that you will be studying a very intense and challenging degree for at least five years of your life. 

If you’re looking for an authentic experience of what studying medicine at university level could be like, why not take a look at joining a medicine summer school? They offer you the chance to study - as a university student would - for just a couple of weeks, so you can get a taste of what medical school would be like before even applying!

Also, if you are considering moving to a country that doesn’t speak your native language, you will need to learn that language, especially for when you begin your practical work and have to communicate with patients. 

However, don’t let the above put you off. The rewards for studying Medicine overseas can be great, both for your personal and professional development. You’ll certainly grow in independence and in worldly experience, and you may even be achieving a better education or simply be able to afford to go to medical school. It’s just imperative that you weigh up all these reasons before you apply anywhere. 

Where can I study medicine in English in Europe?

With English being the international language of education, we are seeing a rise in the number of international universities that teach Medicine in English, allowing students to gain greater access to the benefits of studying abroad. 

There are many European universities that teach Medicine in English, including: 

  • Plovdiv Medical University, Bulgaria
  • Charles University, Czech Republic
  • Humanitas University, Italy
  • Palacky University, Czech Republic
  • Masaryk University, Czech Republic
  • University of Nicosia Medical School, Cyprus
  • Riga Stradins University, Latvia
  • Debrecen University, Hungary
  • Lithuania University of Health Sciences, Lithuania
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Milano, Italy

The list is of course not exhaustive, and you can find more universities on university rankings guides, UCAS, by speaking to a careers adviser at school, or by doing a bit of searching online. 

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Considering studying medicine abroad? This blog provides key information. European medical schools offer advantages, lower costs compared to the US. Top-ranked institutions include Oxford, Harvard, and Cambridge. Many countries teach medicine in English.

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