9.5 Studying medicine abroad

A few who don’t get into medicine in the UK choose to study abroad and then once qualified sit entrance exams to be able to practice in the UK. This is more unusual option but may be a feasible choice for some especially those who have language skills or an open mind about living and training elsewhere.

Studying medicine in Eastern Europe (countries such as Romania and Bulgaria) is becoming increasing popular as the cost of higher education there is lower, alongside more affordable living costs. The prospect of being immersed in a completely different culture has an adventurous allure to it as well, so if you’re an adaptable person who enjoys novel surroundings, this may be a suitable option for you. Studying abroad also encourages independence, with the experience likely to be an enriching one in which you become more self-aware.

Language is an important factor to consider when applying to study medicine abroad. Checking whether the course will be taught in English or ensuring that your proficiency in the necessary language is at a suitable level so you will be able to follow the course is essential. Some universities offer language classes to allow you to improve your proficiency. This will be important especially as you move into the clinical years and will be interacting regularly with patients whose first language may not be English.

There are several online consultancy companies which allow you to research your options there, organise admission exams and to submit your applications to universities abroad. It is always worth researching these companies carefully to compare the quality of their services and the price at which they are offered.

If you’re planning to return to work in the UK, it is essential to check whether the course you plan on pursuing fulfils the criteria set out by the GMC. This is to determine whether you will be eligible to gain GMC certification and practise legally in the UK as a doctor upon graduation. Find out more here.

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