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



Studying medicine in Eastern Europe may be an option for students who are looking for something other than the usual route, including those who did not get any offers from medical schools in the UK.

In this Q & A session, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about studying medicine in Eastern Europe.

An hourglass

Is the length of medical edcuation in Eastern Europe the same as in the the UK?

“They usually have a six-year course so it's a bit longer than most UK medical degrees. The first two years are pre-clinical, the next three years are the clinical years and then the final year is an internship. The internship is basically like FY1 in the UK and the GMC recognises it as such.” 

A piece of paper showing a grade of “C” drawn on it.

What sort of grades do you need to study medicine in Europe compared to the UK?

“The grade 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 a separate entrance exam. The final offer is based more on the entrance exam rather than on your A-levels. This gives you a second chance as if you didn't do so well in your A-levels, you can still make it up in the entrance exam.

A piece of paper showing the symbol for "not equal"

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 on them.”

A calendar showing an academic year starting in September and ending in July the following year

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 in December.” 

The UK flag and the EU flag

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

“Gaining a place to study medicine in the UK is ideal as it is more convenient. In terms of your actual degree and the job prospects that come with it, however, 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 an offer in the UK, studying medicine in Europe is a solid option.”

Cash notes floating on top of a hand.

What are the fees like?

“The fees are 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.”

A downward arrow floating on top of a hand.

What about the living costs? 

“Living costs are fairly inexpensive compared to the UK but it really depends where you decide to study. As an example, Bulgaria’s living costs are extremely low, at around £500 a month including rent.”

Flags of Eastern European countries

What countries are there to choose from?

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

A physician's bag with a stethoscope hung around it.

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 so you can apply for FY2 jobs instead.”

A calendar with September circled in red.

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

“You can still apply for this 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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