A career in the medical sciences is one of the most prestigious professions of them all. This guide offers you helpful pointers on picking the right university overseas to pursue your dream profession.
With increasing competition for the available medical seats in India, more and more students are opting for medical universities overseas. Apart from the stiff competition in the country, medical schools abroad offer a wide range of opportunities for students to work at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies, which aren’t yet available in India
As a result, Indian students are choosing medical schools in several countries like the USA, UK, Russia, China, Italy, Poland, Bangladesh, the Philippines, West Indies and others. On the flip side, this has led to the growth of cheap medical universities that fail to provide students with quality education.
So, it pays to be cautious while choosing an overseas medical university. Check out the top factors to consider while deciding on the right medical school for you.
Generally, all higher education universities including medical schools can be divided into two major categories – public and private.Public universities receive funding from their respective governments, while private universities are not aided by the government. Generally, securing a seat in a public university is more challenging as they have several qualification criteria such as majority seat allocation to students of their own countries or states.On the other hand, private universities don’t have such restrictions and accept students from all over. Therefore, to maximize your chances of getting selected, make sure to check the eligibility criteria as well as the type of university.
If you would like to know the general ranking of a particular university, you can check out university rankings published by trusted third-parties like the QS World University Rankings, the U.S. News & World Report, and others.This data gives you a general idea of how a particular university fares in comparison with others. With that said, while the university ranking plays a deciding factor, it shouldn’t be the sole criterion for your decision.
This is one of the most significant deciding factors, as medical education programs are generally expensive. Typically, public medical schools have lower tuition fees compared to private ones. However, the downside is that public universities have more stringent selection criteria.On the other hand, private schools generally offer a larger number of scholarships to candidates. So, while evaluating the costs of medical schools, make sure to consider the percentage of students who receive financial aid in an institution.Remember that tuition fees are just one among the various expenses you will have to pay. The other everyday expenditures include housing, food, transportation, books, and other living expenses.Most medical universities publish the average cost for a student to attend their school every year. This figure includes both tuition and other standard living expenses. Ensure that you use this number while comparing the costs of medical universities overseas.Additionally, remember to factor in the foreign currency exchange rates while calculating the overall costs of living and tuition fees.
While all medical schools have similar subjects broadly, what differentiates one school from another is the way the information is imparted. Over the last few years, several top medical universities have altered their teaching styles to suit students with different learning capabilities.Primarily, the three major styles of teaching in medical universities are:
There’s no single answer. It all depends on your individual learning style. For instance, some students prefer learning the basic sciences in depth before attempting clinical work. On the other hand, other students find it easier to grasp subjects when presented in a problem-based or case-based approach.
So, make sure to consider these factors and choose a medical school with a curriculum that suits your individual aptitude and learning styles.
Apart from the curriculum style, there are several other related factors to consider, such as the organization of the curriculum, subjects handled in a single year, electives (whether students can pursue an in-depth study of their specific area of interest), and so on.
The class size in a medical school can vary from 50 to 300 students. Normally, most medical universities have around 150 students in every batch. One of the clearest benefits of a smaller class is that students enjoy better support and rapport.
However, if you are someone who values your privacy, then the intimate atmosphere provided by smaller classes may not be the best fit for you. A larger group offers opportunities for more diversity and friendships.
Apart from the country, the actual location of the university matters a great deal. As a medical student, you are likely to spend 4+ years in the area where your university is situated. So, make sure that you pick a school located in a place where you would be happy living for some time.
Here are a few factors to consider while evaluating the location of the medical school:
As you will be staying in a new country, it’s essential that you inquire about accommodations and other facilities provided for students while evaluating medical schools. Check whether your preferred school offers on-campus accommodation for students, and, if yes, make sure to inquire about the cost. Some medical schools provide mixed housing, while others are gender segregated.
If there are no accommodations available on campus, then find out whether there are any student-preferred localities nearby. And, don’t forget to know about the transport facilities from the hostel to the university.
Check the food facilities too. Does the university provide a pocket-friendly mess for students, or should students cook on their own? And, what about other amenities for students like gymnasiums, fitness clubs, and recreation clubs?
Will you be able to find Indian food on campus or near the campus? And, does the university have a healthy Indian student community?
Make sure to research all these factors to get a clear idea of student life beyond the classrooms
This is another important criterion to consider. Does the medical school have state-of-the-art labs? Is it attached to an outpatient hospital? Does it receive sufficient patients for students to get extensive exposure to a variety of clinical work?
Check the qualification of the faculty on campus; after all, they are the people who will be guiding you for the entire duration of the course.
Choosing the right medical university is a major task. Apart from shaping your future career, this is the place where you will be spending the next four (or more) years of your life and gaining priceless knowledge. So, take your time. Evaluate all these factors and choose the right university that suits you perfectly.
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