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Medical studies abroad

The places to study medicine in Germany are hotly contested. And it doesn't always work out at the first attempt to start studying medicine at the desired location. Because the number of applicants is regularly well above the number of study places available. In Germany come per semester an average of 8 applicants for a study place in medicine.

When allocating study places within the framework of admission, the study places for human, animal and dental medicine are assigned via a so-called Odds model forgive. 30% of the places are determined by the highest school leaving qualification, 10% by an additional aptitude quota and 60% by the selection process of Universities forgive.

In order to start studying medicine in Germany immediately after graduating from high school, it is usually necessary very good grades, a very good result in the so-called subject-specific aptitude test or a completed vocational training. If you are denied admission to medical studies in Germany, you still have the opportunity to start your medical studies at the time you want. The solution:A medical degree abroad!

It is our aim with this website to show new perspectives and ways for those who are denied access to medical studies in Germany due to the admission requirements. Therefore, when studying medicine abroad, we present the study systems of many countries for the subject of medicine and present the courses offered by selected universities in clear profiles that have specialized in the study of medicine for German and other international students. In addition, we feature the often very helpful advice offers from German or English speaking agencies. Depending on your personal taste, you can request information that goes beyond the profiles, including cost plans, either directly from the universities or the local representatives.

We wish you every success on your way to becoming a doctor!

Advice on studying medicine abroad

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What are the advantages of studying medicine abroad?

Studying in human medicine, veterinary medicine, or dentistry abroad is an excellent way to achieve that Study medicine as soon as possible right after graduation to begin, especially if admission to a German university is questionable. With an apprenticeship abroad you can gain theoretical and practical experience that will help you further in your later studies. In addition to improved language skills, you establish your international thinking, which accompanies you for a lifetime.

There are those Study conditions at many foreign universities often much better than in Germany. Especially universities with high tuition fees in Eastern Europe usually offer excellent framework conditionsso that the needs of each individual student can be addressed individually. The practical part of the course is also often better organized than in Germany. This creates an excellent starting position for a later one Lateral entryin order to successfully continue his studies in Germany after completing the Physikum. Thanks to a European agreement on the recognition of degrees, you can of course also complete your medical degree abroad and then practice in Germany with your degree.

Which countries are particularly suitable for studying medicine?

In almost all European countries there are more applicants than places in the field of medicine. The Selection process are different and include besides Entrance exams including language tests and interviews. In addition, many universities charge tuition fees, which often have to be paid in full before the start of the semester.

Particularly attractive for German students are here Universities in Eastern Europe such as Hungary, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland or Lithuania. These offer the theoretical part of the training mostly in English, whereby the range of supervision is particularly excellent at universities with tuition fees. The Costs per semester lie however between 3,000 and 12,000 euros in other European countries, whereby you also need money to make a living.

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Cost of studying medicine abroad

Many foreign universities charge tuition fees - and not just for the medical degree. The Of course, the costs of studying medicine differ from country to country and then whether it is a state or private university acts. In addition to the tuition fees, you also have to take into account the cost of living for a degree. Especially at universities in Eastern Europe (e.g. Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Lithuania) one gets by with lower living costs than in Germany.

The list below gives the approximate costs in the respective study countries for a degree in human medicine. The information relates to 1 year of study and can deviate upwards and downwards:

What should be considered when studying medicine abroad?

To study abroad, it is necessary to move the center of life abroad. In addition, regardless of the target country chosen, you usually need knowledge of Latin. At some universities, a language test must also be taken in the respective national language. Preparatory courses are usually offered for this purpose.

So that after a few years at the foreign university you are sure to get one of the coveted places at a German university, you should also find out in advance whether the study achievements that are achieved at the foreign university are even recognized in Germany: either the one obtained Degree in medicine or proof of performance when returning to Germany as part of a lateral entry into German medical studies. To finance your studies you have the option of applying for BAföG abroad. In addition, there are also some funding programs, such as Promos or Erasmus, although these are linked to different conditions.

Medical studies without NC and waiting time

Medical study places have always been very competitive. Unfortunately, most study places are reserved for young people who have achieved good school results and have a correspondingly good high school graduation average. The Numerurs Clausus (NC) has been around 1.2 for years. If you can't show this grade point average, at first glance it looks rather bad for you to be able to start studying medicine in Germany.

In this case, some hope to get a place at the university through the quota of waiting times. For a long time it was the case that if you had enough waiting semesters, you were automatically granted admission at some point. As a rule, around 15 waiting semesters had to accumulate during which one was not allowed to be enrolled at a university.

With a new regulation, which has been around since 2020, one would like the prevent long waiting times. And also those who do not meet the NC criteria are wanted better chances of getting a place to study medicine in Germany grant. A so-called aptitude quota (ZEQ) has been set up. From 2020 onwards, 10% of all medical study places are to be provided via this quota, whereby three criteria are essentially taken into account:

  • The results of a study ability test
  • Completed vocational training in a medically relevant profession
  • Services rendered such as a voluntary social year

Unfortunately, because of this consequence, not everyone can be guaranteed a place at a medical degree, the alternative of studying medicine abroad remains an attractive alternative.

FAQs about studying medicine abroad

Where is it possible to study medicine abroad?

In principle, you can of course start studying medicine anywhere in the world. However, studying medicine only makes sense in certain countries if the following aspects are to be taken into account:
1) Admission requirements: In Germany, studies are tied to the Numerus Clausus, in other countries this is not the case, but admission is tied to criteria such as grade point average, admission test, language test, etc.
2) Amount of costs: in the form of tuition fees and costs for board and lodging (note the cost of living in the country)
3) Language of instruction: In principle, German or English-speaking countries are recommended for the course, or at least the course which is held in German or English.
4) Recognition: The license to practice medicine should be recognized in Germany, which is basically possible and easier from an EU country or Switzerland than from abroad.
5) Study places: the respective universities must be able to offer study places for foreigners.

Conclusion: In Eastern European countries, many criteria come together: the language of instruction is often English (sometimes even German), the cost of living is low and the license to practice medicine can be recognized relatively easily. That is why more and more students are drawn to Poland, Romania, Latvia, Croatia, Lithuania, Turkey, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Russia, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, because there are places available there.

How does studying medicine abroad differ from studying medicine in Germany?

The biggest differences between studying medicine in Germany vs. abroad are the following:

1. Higher chances of getting a university place
If you want to get a place to study medicine in Germany, you have to fulfill the Numerus Clausus or accept a very long waiting period. There is no numerus clausus abroad and it is usually easier to get a place at university.

2. Higher costs abroad
The costs of studying medicine abroad are associated with quite high tuition fees, which in Germany are only charged at private universities.

3. Lessons in the national language or English
As a rule, lessons take place in the national language, but some universities abroad also offer English as the language of instruction. There are even a few German courses in medicine on offer.

What are the costs for studying medicine abroad?

1. Tuition fees
The cost of studying medicine varies per country and university. At universities in Eastern Europe you normally pay between 3,000 and 12,000 euros per semester. The payment modalities also differ depending on the university. Some universities ask for the full amount for one year at the beginning of the year. Others bill the fee per semester.

2. Cost of Living
The cost of living, eating, etc. naturally depends heavily on one's own habits. In general, however, significantly lower costs of living can be expected in Eastern Europe than in Germany. The cost of living in a small to medium-sized town in Eastern Europe is between 400 and 700 euros per month. It gets more expensive if you go to the capital cities, e.g. B. to Riga or Warsaw.

3. Agency fees
If you need help applying for a medical course abroad, there is an additional placement fee for the supporting agency. For most agencies, this costs as much as two semester fees.

Which law regulates the recognition of medical studies in Germany?

The EU Recognition Directive basically regulates the recognition of medical studies and the entry requirements for the free labor market. The fees for the procedure for the recognition of a medical degree can range between 100 and 600 euros, although the costs may vary depending on the effort involved (e.g. for translations).

What are the requirements for recognition of a medical degree from abroad in Germany?

The license to practice medicine is only granted if the equivalence of the medical studies abroad and in Germany is established. The application for recognition of a medical degree can only be made if you have a corresponding qualification and a residence and work permit for Germany. In addition, the applicant must not have been guilty of any behavior from which the inadmissibility of a medical profession can be derived. For health reasons, they must not be unsuitable for the job.

Is it possible to study medicine by distance learning?

No, you cannot study medicine by distance learning. There are good reasons for this, however: There is a great focus on the practical part of medical studies - there you learn to dissect, can explain human anatomy using models and are shown important techniques that you then have to apply yourself. This is very difficult or even impossible to reproduce if you are not on site and perhaps also tied to a part-time job. Distance learning is often taken in order to be able to study alongside a full or part-time job. However, a medical degree requires the student's full attention because it is extremely time consuming. In the end, the graduates should leave the university as competent doctors.

Who checks the quality of a medical degree abroad?

Studying human, veterinary or dental medicine abroad is particularly popular with students whose numerus clausus in Germany is not sufficient for studying medicine.

Anyone studying medicine abroad and having successfully completed their studies there and who would like to work as a doctor in Germany must apply for a license to practice medicine in Germany.

The responsible body (usually the state examination office and the responsible medical association) first checks whether the quality of the study abroad is equivalent to that of a German university and whether the degree from abroad is equivalent.

There are then two options for the competent authority to decide: either the fee-based procedure determines that the qualification can be recognized as equivalent. Then the German license to practice medicine can be granted. If the qualification is not equivalent, the responsible body can schedule an examination according to German standards. If this test is passed, the German license to practice medicine can also be granted.

A similar rule applies to individual notes. In that case, however, the German university at which the student is continuing his or her studies and where the exam is to be taken must check the quality of this certificate-required study content from abroad and then decide whether the certificate from abroad can be recognized or whether the certificate can be accepted the German university has to be made up for.

Usually degrees from Eastern European universities in particular are recognized. However, students should always check in advance with the responsible body whether the quality of the study abroad is sufficient to obtain the German license to practice medicine. This way, surprises and misunderstandings can be avoided.

Background to studying medicine at home and abroad