Every year many students approach medical studies abroad, a lot of them choose destinations in various European countries. Most of these institutions have programs for 6 years and after graduating you can specialize and work throughout Europe and the US. However, it is important to know that there is a fundamental difference between choosing an academic institution in Eastern Europe or Western Europe. The differences are seen in the cost of studies and cost of living, the nature of the studies and the language in which you study.
The language of instruction at the various institutions
One essential difference between a medical degree in west Europe or east Europe lies in the language of the studies. Eastern European countries that offer medical education programs for foreign students in English include the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, Moldova and Lithuania. Programs are open and attract foreign students from all over the world, including Japan, the US, Scandinavia and Israel. In contrast, most Western European countries such as France, Italy or Spain, courses are held in the local language. However, even in Western Europe a number of institutions can be found that teach in English, for example in Italy, Cyprus and of course England.
Admission requirements for different programs
The main reason why many students choose to study medicine in Europe lies in the difficult admission requirements in their home country. In general, in order to be accepted to medical school in Western and Eastern Europe you need a full matriculation certificate and an examination for admission to the institution of study that examine the candidate’s knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, physiology and anatomy. In addition, many institutions also require a personal interview with the candidate and, if necessary, test the language that will be held in the school. However, it is important to note that each learning institution has their own admission requirements and it is important to do a research in order to understand what is expected.
Costs of medical studies in Western and Eastern Europe
One of the main considerations when choosing a country and a university in West or East Europe, is costs of tuition and living expenses. For example, most countries of Western Europe have subsidized tuition and the cost is relatively low – about a thousand euros a year- however, the expenses for rent and living are very high. You can more easily gain scholarships in Western Europe, and in addition you are allowed to work during studies. In doing so, keep in mind that medical education is very intensive and demanding, and to combine it with work can be challenging. On the other hand, tuition costs are relatively higher in Eastern Europe and range from four thousand to 15 thousand dollars a year, but the rent and living expenses are very low, standing at an average of 400 dollars a month. The chance of winning scholarships is lower than in the West, and in addition you can usually not combine work during studies. It should be noted that the costs vary depending on the demands of the academic institution and according to the cost of living in the country and region. For example, living expenses are often much more expensive than the university in large cities located in border areas. As a result, a research of this issue and the East-West comparison involves weighing the total costs for the conditions in terms of region, country and institution.
Examples of medical education in Eastern Europe
To explain the balance, there are some examples that illustrate the differences in school characteristics, conditions and costs between different countries in the East of the continent:
• Hungary – Medical programs are offered in four universities across the country. Admission requirements are quite difficult and studies are held in English, but also include learning Hungarian to be able to work with local physicians and patients. The cost of tuition is about $ 12 thousand a year.
• Romania – The tuition in Romania is about five thousand dollars a year, the admission requirements are relatively easy and the academic level is high and getting better every year.
• Czech Republic – The tuition in the Czech Republic range from 10 thousand to 15 thousand dollars a year, the cost varies depending on the requirements of each of the three institutions that offer medical education. Classes are held at a high level and there is an international, young and lively atmosphere.
Examples of medical education in Western Europe
Western European medical studies are offered by many institutions that differ in tuition, professional level, the language of instruction and conditions. Here are some examples:
• Italy – Classes are held in Italian and at a very high professional level, and therefore there is a relatively large number of dropouts. A large number of institutions across the country offer medical routes, such as the Universities of Florence, Bologna, Padova and Sapienza university in Rome. However, you must know that a single number of institutions such as the University of Padova, medicine programs are also offered in English for foreign students. Tuition cost at public universities in Italy is about a thousand euros a year, to this must be added the costs of living, ranging from 600 thousand euros per month.
• England – Studies are offered by a number of academic institutions, held in English and at a very high level. Tuition is about two thousand euros a year, while living expenses are a thousand to two thousand Euro per month depending on where you live.
Summary – Criteria for choosing country and university
Both East and West Europe can offer excellent medical education institutions. Therefore, in order to correctly choose you must examine whether the particular institution is accredited by the Ministry of Health. Then, decide on the language in which you are interested to learn and understand, the costs of tuition and living. Also, examine the level of the academic institution, the teaching method, choice of specialization in Europe and the US and the ratio of students by lecturers and the institution. Moreover, the social atmosphere is important no less and you should check the options of society, culture and recreation in the area. As a result, you may want to apply to more than one university and also consult with the students enrolled in these institutions.