Everything you need to know about studying at the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University

The Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin is getting more and more popular every year. There are students from all over the world studying course General medicine in English and the degree is automatically recognized in the European Union, the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom, and most countries worldwide. . As you probably know, there are 4 faculty of medicine in Slovakia: Faculty of Medicine in Bratislava, the Faculty of Medicine at Slovak Medical University, Faculty of medicine UPJS in Kosice, and Jessenius Faculty in Martin. Compared to Kosice and Bratislava, the Jessenius Faculty is not very well known (as the faculty is located in smaller city)- although the quality of education, as well as laboratories, is excellent.

You can find here a comprehensive overview of all aspects of studying and living in Slovakia.

1. Basic information about the city of Martin

The city of Martin has a very long history – the first recorded reference is from 1284 – the name of the city was Vila Sancti Martin. Martin played also an important role during the second world war – it was one of the centers of resistance against the German army (Slovak National Uprising).

Nowadays, Martin has a population of about 55,000 citizens and is situated in the well-known picturesque Turiec Garden wreathed by the Vel’ká and Malá Fatra mountains. There are seats of important Slovak institutions: Slovenska Matica – the cultural organization of Slovakia and the Slovak National Library, with one of the most extensive collections of books in Slovakia. This picturesque town lies in beautiful surroundings offering students and their parents excellent possibilities for walking and hiking in summer and skiing in winter. plenty of tourists are coming to the city for holiday and recreation.

2. History and presence of the Jessenius Faculty of Comenius University

The Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin is part of Comenius University, the oldest and largest university in the Slovak Republic. Comenius University builds on the tradition set up by Academia Istropolitana, which was established in Bratislava in 1465 by Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus. Comenius University is named after the father of education – John Amos Comenius and has more than 30 000 graduates. The University ranks among the best 651-700 in QS World University Rankings 2023, but among TOP 400 universities for clinical medicine according to Shanghai Rating.

The Jessenius Faculty was founded in 1969 and became part of Comenius University subsequently. It changed its name to the Jessenius faculty of medicine in 1991. The Faculty offers bachelor, master, and postgraduate programs in Slovak and English language. The number of students increased from 1650 daily students in 2018 (including 700 international students) to 1846 students in 2023. There are 247 academic employees active at the Faculty.

The faculty is popular thanks to the high level of education, modern equipment in educational and research facilities, and professional teaching staff. There are 3 centers of excellence: the Center of Excellence for Perinatology Research, the Center for Experimental and Clinical Respirology (CEKR), and the Center of Excellence for Research in Personalized Therapy. Centers of Excellence are focused primarily on basic research in the medical sciences.

The largest project of the Faculty, BioMed – Centre for Biomedical research was started in 2013, and more than 27 million euro were invested.

3. Living costs and monthly budget in Martin

The cost of living in Martin, Slovakia is moderate. The rent at the Faculty Hostel is around 120-150€ per month (depending on the number of beds in the room).

Many students also rent a flat in the city (starting at 150€ per month) or even invest in buying property for 6 years. Moreover, you should count on the price of food – as a student, you get an excellent discount in the University canteen.

The canteen provides students rates: the standard price for lunch is approximately 3-4€, the same as for dinner. Students recharge their ISIC cards and the given sum is deducted after each meal. Student ID card (ISIC card) is also securing plenty of various discounts.

Your monthly budget will start at 400-450€, which is really acceptable compared to the cost of living in western countries.

4. Accommodation for medical students 

Students of the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine may choose their accommodation either in a rented flat or at the Faculty’s student hostel. Accommodation at the Student Hostel is provided in rooms with a toilet, shower, kitchen, and refrigerator. There are also washing machines at the disposal of all residents of the hostel. The rooms have natural connection to the internet. There are 2 student hostels: Pavla Orsaga Hviezdoslava 35 and Laca Novomestkeho 7 (you can check pictures and equipment of the dorm). It is needed to reserve dorms in advance, as the capacity is limited.

5. Level of education and organization of study

The Jessenius Faculty of medicine in Martin educates international students with up-to-date knowledge within study program of General medicine. Education is compatible with education in European Union and in accordance with the criteria for regulated professions. According to recent comparisons of ARRA (Academic Ranking and Rating Agency) achieve this Faculty has the best results in Slovakia. 
The main priorities of the Faculty are therapeutic and preventive care and educational, scientific and research activities. The Faculty has theoretical, pre-clinical, and clinical workplaces but most of the clinical teaching workplaces are placed at Martin University Hospital (Martin University Hospital has been ruled as the best hospital in Slovakia in 2020). The faculty of Medicine in Martin is the second faculty of Comenius University – another is in Bratislava.

The Faculty obtained a prestigious certificate of quality ISO 9001:2009 and ISO 9001:2009 that confirms the quality of education in the English language. The Jessenius Faculty in Martin is unique thanks to the ratio of students to full-time teaching staff. Apart from lectures, all educational activities, such as practical sessions, seminars, or tutorials, are carried out in small study groups – there are no more than 8 students per teacher. In addition to that, the Jessenius Faculty hires renowned international professors, who raise the credit for this institution.

6. English study program and perspective of graduates

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Jessenius Faculty was the first, which opened its gate to international students (it was the year 1991) – it was the program of General medicine. Currently, there are around 1850 students of General medicine, international students form around 50%. Most of the international students are from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Germany, Seychelles Islands, or Poland. International applicants may count on 150 places for international students that are offered every year in Martin in the academic year 2023/24.

The Jessenius Faculty of medicine obtained ECTS accreditation in 2001. The Degree from this faculty of medicine is recognized in the whole European Union. The average time for obtaining a job for both Slovak and English graduates is 35 days. The unemployment rate of graduates is 1%.

Graduates master basic principles of medicine and its application in their profession. Graduates are generally educated and specialized to understand the existence and importance of relations between medicine, natural sciences, and social sciences, and use this knowledge in their work. Graduates are prepared to work in primary health care; they master the basic principles and organization of the health system, and basic principles of the medical legislature required for their profession. Their practical and theoretical knowledge will help them to provide health care on an appropriate level under the supervision of an experienced doctors.

The course itself takes 6 years (12 semesters). Students must pass states exam in Gynecology and Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Surgery, and Internal Medicine in final year of studies and defend his/her diploma thesis.

You may find a list of recommended books for studying here: Study_literatura_medicine_Martin (source: The Jessenius Faculty of medicine, Martin jmed.uniba.sk)

7. Transfer of medical studies from different medical universities

You can request the subject transfer or recognition in one of the following instances:
1. You have successfully passed the admission exam
2. You are requesting a change of the study program within Comenius University
3. You are requesting a transfer from another university within the study program and study level.

The subject from your previous study can be recognized if:
– Your previous study has not been duly completed
– no more than five years have passed since completing the exams
– you achieved grades A to C or equivalent for the given subject(s)
– subjects are included in the study plan and specified in the study program as compulsory or semi-elective subjects

How to apply for recognition of subjects?
1. Every student of JFMED who successfully passed the admission exam can apply for recognition of completed subjects from the previous study within the same specialism. To apply, you will need to submit the request form to the JFMED study department and before the start of the winter semester teaching period. Your request must be attached to the Course Unit Information Forms that contains successfully completed subjects (not required for subjects completed at JFMED CU).

2. If you are applying to change your study program within the same specialism at Comenius University, must provide proof of meeting the control phase requirements of the study program you are transferring from.

The request must be submitted to the JFMED Study department by August 31 together with the following documentation:
–  Completed application form
–  Official documents confirming your previous study
– Your completed Course Information Units of the subjects
–  Admission fee payment receipt

Please note, it is not possible to request the subject recognition, if:
– You have not met and/or completed the required study obligations of the current study year
–  You have terminated your studies and are not currently actively studying
– You have been expelled from your studies

3. If you are requesting a transfer from another university within the study programme and study level.
The transfer request must be submitted to the JFMED study department by August 31
together with the following documentation:
– Completed application form
– Official documentation confirming your current student status and confirmation of satisfactory completion of the given academic year
– Official documents confirming your previous study results
– Your completed Course Information Units of the subjects
– Admission fee payment receipt
Please note, it is not possible to be admitted to JFMED, if:
– You have not met and/or completed the required study obligations of the current study year
– You have terminated your studies and are not currently actively studying
– You have been expelled from your studies
JFMED will only consider a transfer request from a student who currently studies the same study program within the same specialism elsewhere and at the same level. Based on the recommendations made by teachers of the respective subjects, the Dean will issue the final approval for recognition of completed subjects. (Not applicable for recognition of completed subjects at JFMED CU)
All documents must be original or verified copies and submitted by email and post in either English or Slovak languages.

8. Feedback from the graduates

The Faculty is continuously doing research among its graduates in order to check the quality of education. They asked the following question: Would you recommend your study program to your friends?

This is one of the most important criteriums when you want to be sure, that you choose the correct faculty of medicine. Studying medicine abroad has plenty of alternatives so everyone needs to be absolutely sure when deciding. 92% of graduates recommend studying at the Jessenius Faculty (27% definitely yes, 65% yes, only 6% no, and 2% definitely no).

The faculty has also asked about graduates considering their education as first class. 92% of them answered with definitely yes or yes.

9. International cooperation of the Jessenius Faculty of medicine in Martin

The Jessenius Faculty is involved in international programs such as TEMPUS, CEEPUS, Erasmus+, and the Framework program of the European Union. Students may take part in 2-weeks summer internships in Budapest (Hungary), Pécs (Hungary), and Olomouc (Czech Republic) or in 1-month summer practices in Austrian hospitals within Lions Austria program “Medical students beyond frontiers”

10. Admission process at the Jessenius Faculty of medicine

Students may apply for studying General medicine in English. The minimum age for application is 17 years and there is no maximum age – so literally everyone may decide to apply and study medicine in Martin 🙂 Grades from secondary school are not taken into consideration – even if your result in biology and chemistry are not excellent you can prove your dedication in Martin, Slovakia.

The main requirement is passing an entrance examination. The results of the final exam at secondary school are not taken into consideration – the only relevant information is a number of points achieved at the entrance exam. An applicant must submit the following documents for registration:

  • Copy of secondary school degree – the faculty is requesting students to legalize documents by apostille or super legalization and deliver a notary copy of the international study office
  • Health certificate confirming that student may pursue education in medicine
  • Copy of passport or ID

After submitting these documents by post, the applicant obtains an invitation letter for the entrance examination. The exam will take place online in June, July and August in 2023/2024 academic year. After passing an entrance exam, a final letter is issued and the student may appear at the enrollment to university in September.

Do you wish to apply to study at the Jessenius Faculty of medicine? Make sure to send an email to peter.zavacky@medhead.eu or call me +421910173958

9. Entrance examination at the Faculty

The entrance examination will take the form of a written test in Chemistry and Biology. Subjects of the entrance examination, in terms of the content, do not exceed the content of a full secondary education. It means that the knowledge of biology and chemistry at the level of secondary school is sufficient. The Faculty publishes areas for entrance exams on its website.

There are the following entrance exam dates for international students in 2023/2024:

  • Saturday 3 June 2023       application deadline 25 May 2023
  • Friday 21 July 2023            application deadline 12 July 2023
  • Friday 18 August 2023      application deadline 9 August 2023

Note: the entrance exams are organized in online form since the academic year 2020/2021. Applicants are requested to make a stable internet connection and a 360-degree camera. The most important rule is that no one is allowed to enter the room – and students cannot leave the room as well. Applicants need to present their passports at the beginning of the exam in order to prove their identity and record the whole duration of the exam.

A set of test questions for candidates consists of an equal number of  40 questions from Biology and 40 questions from Chemistry. The time limit is 80 minutes. Formulation of questions and answers allows an applicant to select only one single unambiguously correct answer. Each correct answer gives the candidate one point. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers. The faculty is also organising online preparatory test from biology and chemistry in March, April and May. The cost of the preparatory course is 198€ for both subjects, respectively 99€ (including VAT) for one subject.

Note: Applicants with 32-33 points / 80 points got acceptance in the 2021/22 intake,m as well as in the 2022/23 Intake.

Unlike in Kosice and Bratislava, questions for the entrance examination are not known in advance, which means that you would need to prepare more generally.

10. I passed an entrance exam. What to do now? 

Did you pass the entrance exam? Congratulation! Now the fun begins!

First of all, think about the documentation needed for enrollment. You will need the original of secondary leaving certificate with apostille (if you didn’t submit it for registration for the entrance exam), birth certificate with apostille and translations to Slovak language, enrollment fee of 70€, hepatitis B vaccination, and confirmation of payment of tuition fees. Tuition fees in academic year 2023/2024 were 10.900€ per academic year.

11. Where to eat? 

There is a student canteen at the Hostel and also a small shop where one can buy simple meals. There are also small kitchens on each floor. Menus in restaurants offer a wide choice of European meals. International restaurants appear as well. Students regularly visit pizzerias, buffets, and cafes since prices are really moderate, especially compared to western prices. (10-12€ per the main dish at a good restaurant)

Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in press

Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, visited Jessenius Faculty of medicine in Martin

4 new professors at the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin

Professor from Jessenius Faculty of Medicine led a team, that discovered breast cancer before development