Medify’s Studying Medicine in Eastern Europe Q & A Session: Part 1

Admissions

2019-09-30

If unfortunately, you did not get any offers to study medicine in the UK, you did not achieve the grades you needed or are looking for something different other than the usual UK route into medicine, studying medicine in Eastern Europe may just be an option for you.

Within this A & Q session, we answer some of your questions about studying medicine abroad.

Is the length of time to acquire the first degree the same as the UK abroad?

“It’s a six-year course so a bit longer than a UK degree and it is divided into three sections. The first two years are pre-clinical, the next three years, year three to five, are the clinical years and then the final year is an internship, which is basically like FY1 in the UK. It's equivalent to it, and the GMC recognises it as well.” 

What sort of grades do you need to do medicine in Europe as opposed to the UK?

“The requirements are much lower than in the UK. Some universities have a minimum requirement, which is usually C-grades. Some universities don't have any grade requirements, but they do want you to do biology and chemistry A-levels. Each university has an entrance exam, which you need to study for and pass in order to actually make it to the university. And then the top students are ranked and given admission. It is more entrance exam based rather than on your A-levels, which gives you a second chance. So, if you didn't do so well in your A-levels, you can still make it up in the entrance exam.”

Is there a standardised entrance exam or does every university have their own one?

“Every university has its own entrance exam, but they provide a syllabus with practise papers and you can work around them.”

In terms of the timeline, is it similar to the UK, when you start in September and you finish in July?

“The majority of the universities have very similar timelines, starting in September and finishing in July. There's one university called Pleven Medical University that has a bit of a different schedule, starting in February and finishing the following December.” 

Is it better to study medicine in the UK or Europe?

“Gaining a place to study medicine in the UK is ideal it's more convenient, but in terms of your actual degree and the job prospects that come with it, there really isn’t much difference between studying in Europe and the UK, you're taught the same things, medicine is medicine; if you didn't get that offer in the UK, there's no point looking into other career prospects if you do have the option of studying medicine in Europe.”

What are the fees like?

“The fees are actually lower than in the UK. It's 8,000 euros per year, which is roughly around £6,000, the cost is split between two semesters, paying £3000 at the beginning of the first semester starting in September, and the other £3000 at the start of the second semester, usually in February.”

What about in terms of living costs and stuff? 

“Living costs are fairly cheap compared to the UK but it depends where you decide to study. Bulgaria’s living costs are extremely low equalling around £500 or less a month, including rent which could be a one-bedroom apartment or 70 euros per month in rent would get you one of the universities shared dorms.”

What countries are there to choose from?

“There's the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, and another option would be Poland.”

How do you get into FY1 or FY2 from Europe?

“From Europe, it's pretty straightforward and similar to the way you would apply yourself from the UK. Apply through the GMC and look for jobs the same way as a UK student would. You have already done your sixth year in Bulgaria/Romania/Hungary, which is an internship and is recognised by the GMC as FY1, it's not exactly the same, but they do recognise it and exempt you from going straight into FY1 so you can apply for just FY2 jobs instead.”

I've missed my offer and it's now August. Can I still apply for this year or will I have to wait for next year?

“You can apply for that year. There's an entrance exam for a few of the universities in early September, and then the course usually starts late September after all the entrance exams are done.” 

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