Studying medicine in Bulgaria – The struggles of a medical students abroad part 1
They say if you want something really bad, you’d go miles for it. You’d give it all you can and you won’t miss a chance to achieve your goal.
Many want to study medicine. Young and old. Everyone has their own reason behind this drive to go to Med school no matter where. If we consider only the numbers in Germany: there are more than 50.000 students who want to enter medical university every year and only 10% have the right to enter due to many reasons, for example, there are not enough seats at universities and that’s why there is a very strict ranking.
The rules have become harder year by year and those who have spent many years now earning diplomas at academies in subjects related to medicine like nursing, physiotherapy and operation assistants might have worked hard all these years and waited and won’t get the seat they were promissed by the old rules of #wartezeit anymore. Now every country has their own rules for entering medical schools. But there are the medical universities in Eastern Europe which have been inviting students from all over the world to study at them for university fees but with easier entrance conditions. Easy doesn’t mean everyone enters of course, because even for these universities you need to have finished high school with acceptable grades and you need to have studied biology and chemistry during high school. Now there was a sentence from a first year student that came to Bulgaria for medicine that made me think and write this text. She said in my country I payed 5% of he fees that I pay for med school here for my biology university course and I had much better conditions. But well, it’s medicine that you’re allowed to study in Bulgaria. It’s for the next 6 years, not forever and it’s a good educational system. You will graduate as a doctor of medicine and you will be allowed to work in the field that you chose to study those hard 6 years for. Let’s add here also that not only studying medicine but generally university means you will study very much on your own. No matter how excellent the teachers and professors are they will not cover all the subjects during their lectures and seminars. Simply because time doesn’t allow it. It’s medicine and medicine is a sea of knowledge. Most of the graduates, actually the majority go back to their countries to work as medical doctors there. Which is totally understandable. Same goes for going back to their countries to see home, family and friends during vacations. Only a very small number stays in Eastern Europe for reasons like master/ specialization or because they’ve found their partner for life there or some business they might’ve started. Or simply because they like the simplicity of life in Bulgaria for example when compared to Germany and the fact that many things are much cheaper in Bulgaria. Now let’s face those difficulties you’ll most probably face when you’re living and studying abroad. Missing family. Specially those who have finished high school recently and have not been away from home for a long time will face this problem. But thanks to modern technologies and the really excellent internet network in Bulgaria you will always be able to call, video call and write to your beloved ones at home. Flights to Europe when booked early are very cheap so you’ll see your loved ones during the vacations at least. Now let’s look at the conditions of the Medical universities in Bulgaria. Talking only about the medical universities of Pleven, Plovdiv, Varna and Sofia I can tell that you won’t find a big difference in the buildings for teaching the subjects in the pre clinical part of medicine if you compare it to most of the universities in Western Europe, as those universities have built many new buildings for the education of the international medical students. Problems like a projector not working, teachers coming late and missing lectures due to illness are problems you might face everywhere not only in Eastern EU and most of us know these problems from high school already. It’s ones own responsibility to ask for the best solution then and to make it happen the right way. Hospitals, specially the none privat hospitals are not comparable to western EU hospitals but I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise. How can this still be a pro for a medical student ? You will be able to observe and maybe also help in cases you would never or maybe rarely even see in your own country. To be continued ….