mamsik
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Hi everyone!

I'm looking for an advice - where to apply to medical school. And I came up with this dilemma..

I recently finished high school and about to leave to Germany for a short visit to my uncle. He knows I'm very interested in medicine and recommended me to find out info about German medical schools. I've searched the internet and found out that German public universities are funded by the government so everyone, including foreign student pay only around 500 Euros deposit and registration fee.. which is great. It's considered very very cheap, but... there's a big but..

Medical studies in Germany are ONLY in German language. There is NO M.D program in Germany that is taught in English, unfortunately.

I truly can not imagine my self starting to study a new language from zero, up to a very high academic level, so not only I could talk fluent German, but also read and understand all medical terminology..

Sooo.... what should I do? Is it truly that hard, or everyone can eventually overcome the language barrier? :confused:

Thanks very much in advance!
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mobot
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(Original post by mamsik)
Hi everyone!

I'm looking for an advice - where to apply to medical school. And I came up with this dilemma..

I recently finished high school and about to leave to Germany for a short visit to my uncle. He knows I'm very interested in medicine and recommended me to find out info about German medical schools. I've searched the internet and found out that German public universities are funded by the government so everyone, including foreign student pay only around 500 Euros deposit and registration fee.. which is great. It's considered very very cheap, but... there's a big but..

Medical studies in Germany are ONLY in German language. There is NO M.D program in Germany that is taught in English, unfortunately.

I truly can not imagine my self starting to study a new language from zero, up to a very high academic level, so not only I could talk fluent German, but also read and understand all medical terminology..

Sooo.... what should I do? Is it truly that hard, or everyone can eventually overcome the language barrier? :confused:

Thanks very much in advance!
I would say it is too difficult to learn a new language from scratch and then be ready to be 100% taught and assessed in it on a course as intense as medicine.

I would suggest studying your chosen programme in English in one Europe's medical universities. It might be a more costly option but in the long term it may be worth it for you. Certainly better than studying for another degree in the UK first
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mamsik
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(Original post by mobot)
I would say it is too difficult to learn a new language from scratch and then be ready to be 100% taught and assessed in it on a course as intense as medicine.

I would suggest studying your chosen programme in English in one Europe's medical universities. It might be a more costly option but in the long term it may be worth it for you. Certainly better than studying for another degree in the UK first

Hi. Thanks for the quick reply.

I do agree that at some point it's better for me to study Medicine in English so that I can understand what I read and what I do...
But, today the money plays quit an important role.

For example, the place I was thinking about not so long ago, Riga, Latvia (University of Latvia or Riga Stradins University) which offer a-6 years MD program in English (from the 4th year English + Latvian) and all of that for around 10,000 EUR per year NOT including living expenses such as apartment, food, transportation, etc'.

Both of my parents are working and they can somehow deal with this.. but still, I guess there are student who do that. Students from various different countries who although the language barrier decide to study this incredible subject. In general - is it possible? Can it be done?

By the way, I've been in Germany a few times before, and the country it self is very very warm and welcoming.
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mobot
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(Original post by mamsik)
Hi. Thanks for the quick reply.

I do agree that at some point it's better for me to study Medicine in English so that I can understand what I read and what I do...
But, today the money plays quit an important role.

For example, the place I was thinking about not so long ago, Riga, Latvia (University of Latvia or Riga Stradins University) which offer a-6 years MD program in English (from the 4th year English + Latvian) and all of that for around 10,000 EUR per year NOT including living expenses such as apartment, food, transportation, etc'.

Both of my parents are working and they can somehow deal with this.. but still, I guess there are student who do that. Students from various different countries who although the language barrier decide to study this incredible subject. In general - is it possible? Can it be done?

By the way, I've been in Germany a few times before, and the country it self is very very warm and welcoming.
Hey. Yes, I have been to Germany three times and really like the country, especially Berlin. There are a variety of options though. I am actually going to Bulgaria and it is not as expensive and there is a student loan facility in case you ever need it (it pays the tuition fees if I ever get short). Try and get in touch with outreach education as I did. The uni i am going to actually advised me to speak with them as they are a free consultancy. They do work with a number of universities http://www.outreacheducation.co.uk/s...in-europe.html
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Gridiron-Gangster
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(Original post by mamsik)
Hi. Thanks for the quick reply.

I do agree that at some point it's better for me to study Medicine in English so that I can understand what I read and what I do...
But, today the money plays quit an important role.

For example, the place I was thinking about not so long ago, Riga, Latvia (University of Latvia or Riga Stradins University) which offer a-6 years MD program in English (from the 4th year English + Latvian) and all of that for around 10,000 EUR per year NOT including living expenses such as apartment, food, transportation, etc'.

Both of my parents are working and they can somehow deal with this.. but still, I guess there are student who do that. Students from various different countries who although the language barrier decide to study this incredible subject. In general - is it possible? Can it be done?

By the way, I've been in Germany a few times before, and the country it self is very very warm and welcoming.
What you must remember is that whilst there are some medical schools in Europe which teach the course in English, you are expected to be fluent in the native language by the time you reach the clinical years otherwise how on Earth do you expect to communicate with patients?

Medical schools in Eastern Europe are also not an easy option and I have heard stories of some schools accepting far too many students than they have places for and hence having to set incredibly high pass marks in order to whittle down number I.e. It is a tough programme to pass.

Your first aim should be to try and get into a medical school here in the uk I assume you are a Uk student. If you were to not get in then consider reapplying the next year or if your grades were incredibly high then consider applying to Ireland at the same time. Studying Ireland has the benefit of being taught entirely in English, the natives speak the language, and not too far from the UK and the standard of medical education is absolutely on par with the UK with some schools being better than in the UK in my option e.g. I would certainly say that places like Cork, TCD and UCD and RCSI have a higher worldwide reputation that say Keele, HYMS, BSMS, Lancaster, Plymouth.

But it doesn't matter at all where you study in the UK or Ireland you would still be eligible for training posts in the UK and also if you studied in the EU. Where you graduate doesn't really have any bearing on your career prospects in the medical field unless you want to join the Oxbridge Club in London.
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mamsik
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(Original post by Gridiron-Gangster)
What you must remember is that whilst there are some medical schools in Europe which teach the course in English, you are expected to be fluent in the native language by the time you reach the clinical years otherwise how on Earth do you expect to communicate with patients?

Medical schools in Eastern Europe are also not an easy option and I have heard stories of some schools accepting far too many students than they have places for and hence having to set incredibly high pass marks in order to whittle down number I.e. It is a tough programme to pass.

Your first aim should be to try and get into a medical school here in the uk I assume you are a Uk student. If you were to not get in then consider reapplying the next year or if your grades were incredibly high then consider applying to Ireland at the same time. Studying Ireland has the benefit of being taught entirely in English, the natives speak the language, and not too far from the UK and the standard of medical education is absolutely on par with the UK with some schools being better than in the UK in my option e.g. I would certainly say that places like Cork, TCD and UCD and RCSI have a higher worldwide reputation that say Keele, HYMS, BSMS, Lancaster, Plymouth.

But it doesn't matter at all where you study in the UK or Ireland you would still be eligible for training posts in the UK and also if you studied in the EU. Where you graduate doesn't really have any bearing on your career prospects in the medical field unless you want to join the Oxbridge Club in London.
Hi, thanks for the reply.

Actually, no - I'm not a UK student.
Like I mentioned above, I have family in Germany and it's always great to have family near you that can support and give advice.
During those past few days, I've done a lot of research about studying Medicine in Germany. The main conclusion I got was that it's hard. But when you think deeply about this: nothing is really that easy in life, is it? I've seen videos on YouTube and read blogs online of various student who come from India, China, Vietnam, Turkey and other places and succeed in overcoming the language barrier and start to study and live in Germany.

In two weeks I'm going to Germany and I will start a short language course (approx. 3 months) at IIK (International Institute of Communication , Dusseldorf). If I'll get the feeling the language goes well - I'll extend the course. If not - I'll move to a different country that offers English M.D program (Although truly I'd rather prefer staying in Germany)
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Gridiron-Gangster
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(Original post by mamsik)
Hi, thanks for the reply.

Actually, no - I'm not a UK student.
Like I mentioned above, I have family in Germany and it's always great to have family near you that can support and give advice.
During those past few days, I've done a lot of research about studying Medicine in Germany. The main conclusion I got was that it's hard. But when you think deeply about this: nothing is really that easy in life, is it? I've seen videos on YouTube and read blogs online of various student who come from India, China, Vietnam, Turkey and other places and succeed in overcoming the language barrier and start to study and live in Germany.

In two weeks I'm going to Germany and I will start a short language course (approx. 3 months) at IIK (International Institute of Communication , Dusseldorf). If I'll get the feeling the language goes well - I'll extend the course. If not - I'll move to a different country that offers English M.D program (Although truly I'd rather prefer staying in Germany)
That's all well and good but do not underestimate how difficult it can be to master a language to a sufficient level in order to communicate in a clinical environment. If you already have a strong grasp of english sufficient to undertake medical study then yes your first priority should be to apply to the UK and Ireland. The worst thing you would want to happen is to end up enrolling on a course and then failing because of the language component. At the end of the day a medical degree from an education system in most of Europe would be held in high regard wherever you go in the world.

Obviously if you feel you can hack the German language component sufficiently to communicate with patients and clinicians then by all means try the German option.

True nothing is easy in life but certain things can be "easier" than others and why make like difficult for yourself when there is an easier and perhaps more convenient option right in front of you?
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mamsik
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(Original post by Gridiron-Gangster)
That's all well and good but do not underestimate how difficult it can be to master a language to a sufficient level in order to communicate in a clinical environment. If you already have a strong grasp of english sufficient to undertake medical study then yes your first priority should be to apply to the UK and Ireland. The worst thing you would want to happen is to end up enrolling on a course and then failing because of the language component. At the end of the day a medical degree from an education system in most of Europe would be held in high regard wherever you go in the world.

Obviously if you feel you can hack the German language component sufficiently to communicate with patients and clinicians then by all means try the German option.

True nothing is easy in life but certain things can be "easier" than others and why make like difficult for yourself when there is an easier and perhaps more convenient option right in front of you?
Hi, thanks for the reply!
You made an excellent point by saying that things can be easier.
Just a few days ago I've received an email from a university in Dusseldorf, Germany, stating that the tuition fee (not actually tuition but the amount a student has to pay) is currently set to 244 EUR per semester which means 488 EUR that's for university + all available services for student + semester train ticket. I would personally give up a year (maybe a bit less) of my life, to learn German but to get high education in a very very affordable price.

Have you heard about a public university that requires student to pay only 488 EUR per year?
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Gridiron-Gangster
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(Original post by mamsik)
Hi, thanks for the reply!
You made an excellent point by saying that things can be easier.
Just a few days ago I've received an email from a university in Dusseldorf, Germany, stating that the tuition fee (not actually tuition but the amount a student has to pay) is currently set to 244 EUR per semester which means 488 EUR that's for university + all available services for student + semester train ticket. I would personally give up a year (maybe a bit less) of my life, to learn German but to get high education in a very very affordable price.

Have you heard about a public university that requires student to pay only 488 EUR per year?
Well if you can master the language well enough to learn Medicine and communicate clinical information in German then at that price it's a steal. However I stand by my point in that you should always look for the option that will be most convenient for you. If that happens to be studying in Germany and spending a year or two extra just to learn the language then so be it.

I can't comment without knowing your background but I don't know how the German system works in terms of the assessment process etc I.e. How tough are the courses, what is the pass rate like etc.

At the end of the day Medicine is a tough course there's no doubting that wherever you go in the world and I can only imagine it would be tougher having to negotiate the academic and emotional demands of the programme in a language that isn't your native tongue. Much of your potential to succeed will depend on your current level of German but do not underestimate the skill required to communicate in a foreign language in the clinical setting.
I think you have indicated you want to learn the language from scratch in which case you will need more than a year or two maybe even more to be fluent enough.

In any case I'm sure you would be expected to undertake some foreign language test or something to prove you can study in German?

So yes even it was cheap or free etc. that means nothing if you aren't able to engage with the studies and ultimately qualify as a competent clinician but I am sure you will make the right choice for yourself.

A brief scan on the subject indicated you would have to do the admissions test too which of course is entirely in German.

I'm not trying to put you off not at all but it's just you seem hung up on the fact that the supposedly cheap fees would justify intensive language training and I think you are being totally unrealistic to think you can master not only a foreign language in year sufficiently to enter tertiary education but also clinical education at that.

The thing with foreign medical schools taught in English whilst you will have to master the native language to an extent prior to clinical years, any difficulties you may have can be addressed by staff who are qualified to teach in both English and the native language be it Czech etc. In Germany you may well not have that luxury/security net.

International students that come to study Medicine in the UK tend to be from English speaking or Commonwealth nations who have been exposed to the language for many many years hence the relatively less difficulties they may face compared to your situation.

Again I am not trying to put you off, if you can pull it off then fantastic. But trying to master clinical German in a year or 2 and then go onto 5 years or so of clinical study and everything that goes with it, without even being a native speaker or having had a sufficient level of fluency, I just think it's a non-starter. But I would assume there is a strict admissions criteria for German medical schools too and would be very surprised if this issue was not raised as a potential obstacle by selectors/admissions tutors.
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californicationn
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Hello guys

I need a bit of advice if possible. I have just finished my A levels and awaiting results in August. I am thinking of deferring my entry into UK schools for a science degree and pursuing medicine abroad and Riga is one of my options. I understand that Riga want their applicants to have completed their A levels before applying (so I am in the perfect position in this sense). However my A level subjects were Chemistry, Maths and Psychology; I have not studied Biology at A level. Does anyone know if Riga require Biology at A level as compulsory or would I still be able to apply? Also I am probably looking to get grades ABB at A level (in Psychology, chemistry, maths respectively). Does anyone know what grades Riga would require?

Any help would be widely appreciated. Thank you!
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