Where to study medicine abroad?

There are thousands of students who finish secondary school in their home country and face the same problem. Medical universities in Europe have strict rules for admission as places at universities are limited: the usual success rate at home universities of medicine is around 10-25%. There could be other criteria, e.g. giving admission according to the best results on the final exam at secondary school or according to results from biology and chemistry.

If you are not admitted, but still desire to study medicine, you have still the option to study medicine abroad in the English language. We prepared a comprehensive list of medical schools in Europe, where you can study general medicine or dentistry in the English language: you can find more details about fees, the admission process, and tuition fees in dedicated articles. 

Medical studies in the English language abroad

Overview of medical studies in Europe

Medical studies in the English language are running in many European universities that offer study places for thousands of international students in the English language. Rules for admission are different in every country, but they all have one thing in common: you need to have successfully completed secondary school including an entrance exam and meet the admission criteria (usually an interview or written entrance exam). The admission process and entrance tests are organized in the English language so good command of the language is a must. Studies in the English language are paid: the lowest tuition fees are in Italy (around 1500€-2500€) and Bosnia (3000€), the highest in private universities (up to 28.000€ per year in Germany). Installments are possible in most universities.  

Where is the best place to study medicine or dentistry? 

Answering this question is subjective for every applicant – different universities provide different study curricula, a system of studies, cost of education, and cost of living. Important information is that studies completed in European Union are recognized in other EU countries. If you decide to study outside of European Union (the most popular are Ukraine, the USA, or the UK), make sure to check the prerequisites for recognition of your degree after coming back to your home country – it would be a pity to waste years of studies abroad.
Every country and university is different – while admission to some countries is solely based on an entrance exam, in other countries admission is based on a Skype interview. The administrative process is usually straightforward, although some universities may ask you to complete degree recognition before sitting the exam. If you need any assistance, make sure to send us an email for a free consultation. Let’s take a look at country specifics and their medical universities.  

Medical studies in Slovakia

Plenty of students from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria, and Portugal are coming to study medicine or dentistry in Slovakia. The main reasons are a reasonable balance between tuition fees, living costs, and excellent quality of education. International students form usually 35-50% of all medical students in each faculty of medicine. Studies in English in Slovakia are popular because admission is open up to August. 

You can study General medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Martin, the Faculty of Medicine, Slovak Medical University in Bratislava, and Faculty of Medicine, University of Pavel Jozef Safarik (tuition fees range from 9.000€ to 11.000€). One can study dental medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava (tuition fees are 11.900€), and the University of Pavel Jozef Safarik in Kosice (tuition fees of 11.000€). Admission is based purely on passing the results of an entrance exam and opens up in May. You can check more details about medical universities in Slovakia

Medical studies in the Czech Republic

Czech Universities are ranked high in international rankings and they attract plenty of international students from all over the world. There are the following medical schools where you can study general medicine in the English language – 1st Faculty of medicine (Charles University), 2nd Faculty of Medicine (Charles University), 3rd Faculty of Medicine (Charles University), Faculty of Medicine in Olomouc (Palacky University), Faculty of Medicine in Ostrava (Ostrava University – 2023 update: the faculty does not have accreditation yet to run the program in the English language), Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove (Charles University), Faculty of Medicine in Brno (Masaryk University) and Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen (Charles University). The tuition fees start from 10.500€ at the Faculty of Medicine in Olomouc, Palacky University to approximately 15.000€ at Charles University.

Dental medicine studies in the Czech Republic take only 5 years and you can study it at the following universities: Masaryk University, 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, and Faculty of Medicine in Olomouc at Palacky University. Tuition fees for dental medicine are approximately 13.000€ per year.

Admission both for General medicine and Dental medicine is based on written tests from biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Admission is open from the end of April – May, entrance exams start from February to July (and are organized in many countries around the world). Learn more about Czech medical schools.

Medical studies in Croatia

People associate Croatia mostly with beautiful beaches and comfortable summer holidays. If you wish to combine picturesque scenarios and studies of medicine or dentistry, it is definitely possible. There are 3 medical universities in Croatia that provide medical studies in the English language: in Rijeka, Split, and the School of medicine, University of Zagreb – degree is recognized as Croatia is part of the European Union. Dental medicine can be studied at the following universities: the University of Zagreb and the University of Rijeka. Applications are open by June, with exams up to July. Tuition fees are around 10.000-12.000€ per academic year.
The entrance exam is in form of a written test and consists of questions from biology, physics, and chemistry.  Learn more about medical schools in Croatia.

Medical studies in Hungary

Hungary is famous not only for its excellent cuisine but also for medical studies in the English language (also thanks to the scholarship scheme of Stipendium Hungaricum). As studies in Hungary are popular mostly among students from Germany, the tuition fees are significantly higher (usually 15.000-17000€ per academic year with extra fees e.g. for dental material, etc).

General medicine can be studied at the University of Debrecen, the University of Szeged, the University of Pecs, and Semmelweis University in Budapest. Dental medicine can be studied at the University of Debrecen, the University of Szeged, and the University of Pecs.
Medical school admission is up to the end of June with entrance exams. Due to Covid, for example, the University of Pecs will do entrance exams in 2021 online every week from March up to June. Learn more about studies of medicine or dentistry in Hungary.

Medical studies in Poland

Poland is welcoming international students from all over the world. The system of medical education in Poland is different from other countries: medical graduates need to complete 13 month internship at a hospital or clinic and pass the LEK exam (medical doctors) or LDEK exam (dentists) to get the right to practice as doctors. This could be problematic, especially for those, who would like to work as doctors right after their graduation. Medical studies take 6 years, dentistry studies take 5 years to complete. There are the following universities in Poland: Medical University in Gdansk, University in Wroclaw, University in Lodz, University in Bialystok, Pomorski Medical University in Szczecin, Medical University in Bydgoszcz – Collegium Medicum, Medical University of Lublin, or the Medical University of Warsaw. Learn more about medical studies in Poland.

Medical Studies in Germany

Although medical studies in Germany are solely in the German language, there are a few exceptions. Generally speaking, Germany needs doctors or dentists for their home hospitals, therefore they do not run traditional medical programs in the English language. One exemption is Universitätsmedizin Neumarkt a.M. Located in Hamburg which provides education also in the English language. The system is the following: students do study their first two years in Hamburg and later then study the last 4 years at the University of medicine, pharmacy, science, and technology of Targu Mures in Romania. The school is offering approximately 150 places for General medicine and opening 3rd year in 2021/22. The fees are higher during studies in Germany (12000€ per semester), but in Romania, students do pay 6000€ per academic year. The degree awarded to graduates is issued by a Romanian university.

Medical studies in Cyprus

Studying in Cyprus is getting popular as universities do offer medical programs in the English language. I will note at the beginning that one can refer to universities in Cyprus in two options: the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the EU, Schengen and Eurozone (1), or North Cyprus Turkish Republic (2), which is not recognized by many countries and not a member of EU or Eurozone.

This division has important implications for recognition of obtained degree – while EU education opens your door to work in any country in the European Union, studying in North Cyprus poses various problems. First of all, students cannot travel to the Schengen zone or ask for recognition of completed education in the EU. Secondly, even if they get a job in Europe, they will need to travel to Embassy in Istanbul for submitting requests for visas or RP in Europe. You can learn more about medical schools in Cyprus.

Medical studies in England

Many European students are applying to UK medical universities. There are 38 medical schools where all international students may apply. Admission to UK universities is very competitive, therefore only students with excellent academic results from secondary school and who are motivated to study medicine or dentistry can succeed. Some medical schools are performing also the UKCAT test which is designed to test cognitive abilities, attitudes, critical thinking, and logical reasoning, others does the BMAT test which is 2 hours test for testing a combination of aptitude and knowledge or UCAT(University Clinical Aptitude Test). Fees at medical universities may be really high (up to 38,000 pounds according to the Reddin Survey of University), on another hand there are various schemes for scholarships, loans, or student support. Learn more about studies of medicine in the UK.

Medical studies in Latvia

Latvia is a Baltic country with popular medical courses. There is one big advantage of the Latvian school system: it offers not only intake in September, but also in February. This means, that you can still decide to apply up to the end of November in case of admission in September did not work out. There are the following medical schools in Latvia: Riga Stradins University and the University of Latvia. They do offer general medicine and dental medicine in the English language – while general medicine takes 6 years, dental medicine takes only 5.

Medical studies in France

For those of you, who are speaking French, studying medicine in France might be also an alternative. There are no English courses, so the only alternative is to apply for a French course. Tuition fees are 6000-7000€ for the academic year. If you do not speak French properly, it would be better to focus on studies in different countries.

Medical studies in Italy

The Italian system of medical studies is unique as it is the cheapest system of education for international students in Europe. The fees for EU students are 2500-3500€, which is significantly below the level of other schools in Europe. On another hand, the living costs might be 800-1000€ monthly and the number of seats for studies in English is strictly regulated (only 543 places for EU citizens in all public Italian universities). Apart from the University of Sienna, all universities provide only programs in General medicine. Admission is done based on the results of the IMAT test which is 60 questions multiple choice test (10 logical reasoning, 12 culture, and general knowledge, 18 biologies, 12 chemistry, 8 physics, and math). The test needs to be done in person in a location approved by IMAT The entry test is usually in September, and the registration fee is 130€. Learn more about medical studies in Italy.

Medical studies in Holland

Medical studies in the Netherlands are generally provided in the Dutch language, but there are also 2 universities teaching in the English language: the University of Groningen and Maastricht University. The number of seats is very limited (e.g. In Groningen only 100 places are offered to international students and this number will tend to further decrease). The system of studies is specific: 3 years bachelor’s and 3 years Master’s (which makes a transfer to a different country during studies almost impossible. We suggest applying to different countries.

Medical studies outside of the European Union

The reason why medical studies in the European Union are preferred by students is the recognition of degrees. If you take medical studies outside of the EU (e.g. Ukraine, USA), you will need to do nostrification of degree after returning to your home country (if you are from the EU). Please note that recognition of your degree (e.g. From Ukraine) will be valid only in the country where you did it (e.g. In Poland). If you decide to work in Germany, the process needs to be completed again. As the United Kingdom stepped out of Europe, currently it is considered also as 3rd country, but very probably academic degrees will be still recognized in Europe.

The main benefit of studying in Ukraine is definitely the cost, as it’s cheaper than most of the universities in Europe. The quality aspect can inspect in public forums, but Ukrainian universities do not follow the ECTS credit system (which makes for example transfers to Slovak medical universities difficult). Make sure to think about all aspects of studying outside of the European Union to prevent problems later.