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. As you probably know, there are 3 faculty of medicine in Slovakia: Faculty of medicine in Bratislava, Faculty of medicine in Kosice and Jessenius Faculty in Martin. Compared to Kosice and Bratislava, the Jessenius Faculty is not very well known – although the quality of education as well as laboratories is excellent.
We have decided to answer the most frequent questions from applicants. We will cover everything from accommodation to admission process and cost of living – and many more.
1. Basic information about city of Martin
City of Martin has very long history – the first recorded reference is from 1284 – name of city was Vila Sancti Martin. Martin played also important role during second world war – it was one of the centre of resistance against German army.
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 – cultural organisation of Slovakia and Slovak National Library, with one of the most extensive collection 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 the education – John Amos Comenius and has more than 30 000 graduates. Ranking of the University is among best 500 universities in the world.
The Jessenius Faculty was founded in 1969 and became part of Comenius University in 1969. It changed the name to the Jessenius faculty of medicine in 1991. The Faculty offers bachelor, master and postgraduate programs in Slovak and English language. It has 1650 daily students in 2018. There are around 500 students from Norway and 100 from Iceland.
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 centres 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, more than 27 millions of euro were invested.
3. Living costs and monthly budget in Martin
Cost of living in Martin, Slovakia is moderate. The rent at the Hostel start at 49€ per month per bed in a triple room. Price per bed in double room is 52€. It is possible to rent also whole room, for that you would need to pay 84-111€ per month.
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 with the price of food – as a student, you get an excellent discount in University canteen.
Canteen provides students rates: the cheapest breakfast or lunch is for 0,75€, standard price of lunch is 1,80€, same as for dinner. Students recharge their ISIC cards and the given sum is deducted after each meal
Your monthly budget will start at 200€, which is really acceptable compared to 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 a refrigerator. There are also washing machines at the disposal for all residents of hostel. The rooms have naturally connection to the internet. There are 2 students hostels: Pavla Orsaga Hviezdoslava 35 and Laca Novomestkeho 7.
Some students decide to invest money in buying their own flat. Since studying takes at least 6 years (students may retake some examinations etc), one may save rent for 12 months and resell the flat after the studies are over. This option is very popular among Norwegian students. Be careful when appointing an estate agency – there are always bad apples in the barn.
5.Level of education and organisation 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 criteria for regulated professions. According to recent comparisons of ARRA (Academic Ranking and Rating Agency) achieve this Faculty the best results in Slovakia.
Main priorities of 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. Faculty of Medicine in Martin is the second faculty of Comenius University.
The Faculty obtained prestigious certificate of quality ISO 9001:2009 and ISO 9001:2009 that confirms the quality of education in English language. The certificate is valid up to 2019 as certification is continuous process.
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 credit of this institution.
6. English study program and perspective of graduates
After the fall of Iron Curtain, Jessenius Faculty was the first, which opened its gate to international students (it was year 1991) – it was the program of General medicine. Currently, there are around 1650 students of General medicine, out of which are 700 international. Most of international students are from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Germany and Poland. 140 places for international students are offered every year in Martin
The Jessenius Faculty of medicine obtained ECTS accreditation in 2004. The Degree from this faculty of medicine is recognized in the whole European Union. The average time for obtaining job for both Slovak and English graduates are 35 days. 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 an 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 basic principles and organization of health system, basic principles of medical legislature required for their profession. Their practical and theoretical knowledge will help them to provide health care on appropriate level under supervision of experienced doctor.
The course itself takes 6 years (12 semesters). Student must pass states exam from Gynecology and Obstretics, Pediatrics, Surgery and Internal Medicine in final year of studies and defend his/her diploma thesis.
You may find list of recommended books for studying here: Study_literatura_medicine_Martin (source: The Jessenius Faculty of medicine, Martin jmed.uniba.sk)
7. Feedback from the graduates
Faculty is continuously doing research among its graduates in order to check quality of education. They asked following question: Would you recommend your study program to your friends?
This is one of the most important criterium 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).
Faculty has also asked about graduates considered their education as first class. 92% of them answered with definitely yes or yes.
8. International cooperation of the Jessenius Faculty of medicine in Martin
The Jessenius Faculty is involved in international programmes such as TEMPUS, CEEPUS, Erasmus+ and 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”
8. Admission process at the Jessenius Faculty of medicine
Students may apply for studying of General medicine in English. 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 from biology and chemistry are not excellent you can prove your dedication in Martin, Slovakia.
The main requirement is passing an entrance examination. Results at the final exam at secondary school are not taken into consideration. An applicant must submit following documents for registration:
- Copy of secondary school degree
- Copy of birth certificate
- Health certificate confirming that student may pursue education in medicine
- Certicate about vaccination against hepatitis type B
- Copy of passport or ID
- 3 passport photos
- Confirmation of payment of 70€ (entrance examination fee)
After submitting these documents by post, applicant obtains invitation letter for the entrance examination which usually takes place in August in Martin.
After passing an entrance exam, final letter is issued and student may appear at the enrollment to university in September.
9. Entrance examination at the Faculty
Entrance examination will take the form of written test in Chemistry and Biology. Subjects of 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 level of from secondary school is sufficient. The Faculty publishes areas for entrance exam on its website.
A set of test questions for candidates consists of an equal number of questions in Biology and Chemistry. Time limit is 135 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 answer.
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.
Entrance exams are held usually in the middle of August in Martin – application deadline is in the middle of July. There are also some agents (e.g. in Iceland) that offer writing an entrance exam abroad.
Applicants will obtain results within several days.
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 documentation needed for enrollment. You will need original of secondary leaving certificate with apostille, birth certificate with apostille and confirmation of payment of tuition fees. Tuition fees in academic year 2018/2019 were 9900€ per one academic year and cannot be paid in installments.
Are you shopaholic?
There are many shops and a department store in Martin, which are open usually from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 12 am on Saturdays. Students also may attend shops in Poland, which is very near to Martin, but also use services of car shuttle, which bring them to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. They shop at IKEA and other international stores and bring everything back to Martin. In Martin, there is also Tesco or other stores.
Where to eat?
There is a student canteen at the Hostel and also 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 regurarly visits pizzerias, buffets, cafes since prices are really moderate, especially compared to western prices. (8-12€ per main dish at good restaurant)