The truth about the agency SME (Study Medicine Europe):

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pranaav
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I’ve seen a lot of people recommend SME and no doubt these are fake profiles created by them in order to deceive people into applying through them like they deceived me. I would like to share my story so that other people do not fall into the same trap I did last year. I have had to use a new account because if I use my original account they will sue me (They make everyone sign a contract with them that basically allows them to sue you if you ever come out to say anything negative about them but I am honestly fed up of their treatment and I hope other students can also open up about how they’ve been treated by the agency because after speaking to several people from my uni, I realised some others have had it worse than me). Anyways here it goes.

So I wanted to apply to study medicine but my school refused to give me the predicted grades I needed to submit my ucas application and I started searching for other options together with my family and I came across SME. At the time, they were the first result that came up and they had a lot of positive student room reviews (something I have now discovered is fake according to other students I spoke to who have worked for them in the past). They quoted a fee of £2500 to help me apply to Plovdiv medical university and my family was alright with paying that because they spoke highly of the support they offer and how they are official partners with the university (which I also came to realise that it was false). I paid their initial fee of £1000 to start the application.

At the time, everything was okay until results day when due to the cancelled exams, I got a C and a D from the ridiculous A level grade calculation. After I sent my grades, I got a call from them saying that in order to get a place I needed to pay an extra £500 for each grade I got below a B to apply so a total of £1500 extra for the application. Something which was weird to me because they said that there were no other fees associated with the application. I was very confused about this and spoke to some students on tsr about this and they said their agencies were not charging this. I also contacted the university and they also confirmed that nothing of such exists. I confronted SME with this and their head Aris rudely told me that I should not have contacted the university and if I do so again or do not pay, they will cancel my application and I won’t be able to apply to the university anymore. After much talks, my parents decided to pay the fee so I don’t risk my application to the university.

Thankfully I got the place and it was now time to relocate to Plovdiv, Bulgaria. I was promised several things in their package like help with settling in, etc. However when I got to Bulgaria, I was just left on my own. I was taken to enrol the day after I arrived and that was it. I had to contact estate agents myself to find apartments with no help from the agency whatsoever. They also promised textbooks and resources for the university, none of which I received. After I contacted their representative, he just told me that he was not given anything and I should contact the agency directly. At this point, Also found out that only 4 other students came through them to Plovdiv not 120 like they falsely claimed to me. I called them to ask for help with getting a phone contract and wifi but they simply said I should go and get it myself and all they were there for was to get me a place at the university. When I told them that their package stated they will help, give me resources, etc the lady I spoke to said I should be happy I got a place at the university and that they will send me the resources. I’m now almost 6 months into my course and I’ve emailed them severally but no reply. I spoke to some other students from the year above who even had worse stories to tell. Someone even said that when they applied, their friend who they applied with was issued a fake acceptance letter by the university and when he got to the university he found out he didn’t have a place and had to return to the uk and SME didn’t even refund his money.

I don’t know why a company as big as this benefits off ripping students off. So many students like myself have paid ridiculous prices only to get nothing in return and some other students pay way less to other companies. I wish I knew then, what I know now because I would never have applied through them. The sad thing is that they make us sign contracts with them so that anyone that comes out to say the truth will get sued, so a lot of people just don’t bother saying anything and move on.

I just think if people should be really careful before they apply through them and if you do decide to go through them, make sure you get everything in writing and make sure you read their contract carefully and not make the same mistake I did.
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Georges Martinez
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(Original post by pranaav)
I’ve seen a lot of people recommend SME and no doubt these are fake profiles created by them in order to deceive people into applying through them like they deceived me. I would like to share my story so that other people do not fall into the same trap I did last year. I have had to use a new account because if I use my original account they will sue me (They make everyone sign a contract with them that basically allows them to sue you if you ever come out to say anything negative about them but I am honestly fed up of their treatment and I hope other students can also open up about how they’ve been treated by the agency because after speaking to several people from my uni, I realised some others have had it worse than me). Anyways here it goes.

So I wanted to apply to study medicine but my school refused to give me the predicted grades I needed to submit my ucas application and I started searching for other options together with my family and I came across SME. At the time, they were the first result that came up and they had a lot of positive student room reviews (something I have now discovered is fake according to other students I spoke to who have worked for them in the past). They quoted a fee of £2500 to help me apply to Plovdiv medical university and my family was alright with paying that because they spoke highly of the support they offer and how they are official partners with the university (which I also came to realise that it was false). I paid their initial fee of £1000 to start the application.

At the time, everything was okay until results day when due to the cancelled exams, I got a C and a D from the ridiculous A level grade calculation. After I sent my grades, I got a call from them saying that in order to get a place I needed to pay an extra £500 for each grade I got below a B to apply so a total of £1500 extra for the application. Something which was weird to me because they said that there were no other fees associated with the application. I was very confused about this and spoke to some students on tsr about this and they said their agencies were not charging this. I also contacted the university and they also confirmed that nothing of such exists. I confronted SME with this and their head Aris rudely told me that I should not have contacted the university and if I do so again or do not pay, they will cancel my application and I won’t be able to apply to the university anymore. After much talks, my parents decided to pay the fee so I don’t risk my application to the university.

Thankfully I got the place and it was now time to relocate to Plovdiv, Bulgaria. I was promised several things in their package like help with settling in, etc. However when I got to Bulgaria, I was just left on my own. I was taken to enrol the day after I arrived and that was it. I had to contact estate agents myself to find apartments with no help from the agency whatsoever. They also promised textbooks and resources for the university, none of which I received. After I contacted their representative, he just told me that he was not given anything and I should contact the agency directly. At this point, Also found out that only 4 other students came through them to Plovdiv not 120 like they falsely claimed to me. I called them to ask for help with getting a phone contract and wifi but they simply said I should go and get it myself and all they were there for was to get me a place at the university. When I told them that their package stated they will help, give me resources, etc the lady I spoke to said I should be happy I got a place at the university and that they will send me the resources. I’m now almost 6 months into my course and I’ve emailed them severally but no reply. I spoke to some other students from the year above who even had worse stories to tell. Someone even said that when they applied, their friend who they applied with was issued a fake acceptance letter by the university and when he got to the university he found out he didn’t have a place and had to return to the uk and SME didn’t even refund his money.

I don’t know why a company as big as this benefits off ripping students off. So many students like myself have paid ridiculous prices only to get nothing in return and some other students pay way less to other companies. I wish I knew then, what I know now because I would never have applied through them. The sad thing is that they make us sign contracts with them so that anyone that comes out to say the truth will get sued, so a lot of people just don’t bother saying anything and move on.

I just think if people should be really careful before they apply through them and if you do decide to go through them, make sure you get everything in writing and make sure you read their contract carefully and not make the same mistake I did.
Thank you for sharing this message! You’re not the first Victim of SME.
Last edited by Georges Martinez; 4 weeks ago
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Anonymous #1
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OMG do you know how many people at my uni had the exact same experience😭 I even paid more than you and I had ABB at A level. Maybe its cos I applied to Sofia. Anyways I’m just glad I got a place even though I regret paying so much for so little.
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hf1402
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Is SME really this bad? Thousands have used it before because of the reviews (real or fake who knows?) so I would expect there to be many stories online similar to yours and yet I can't find a single other story. However, I believe you are telling the truth and am wondering, what other agency would you recommend then? Is there one that is known to provide lots of support to students throughout both the application process and the degree.
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Anonymous #2
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i am using interhecs for plovdiv

(Original post by hf1402)
Is SME really this bad? Thousands have used it before because of the reviews (real or fake who knows?) so I would expect there to be many stories online similar to yours and yet I can't find a single other story. However, I believe you are telling the truth and am wondering, what other agency would you recommend then? Is there one that is known to provide lots of support to students throughout both the application process and the degree.
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pranaav
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(Original post by hf1402)
Is SME really this bad? Thousands have used it before because of the reviews (real or fake who knows?) so I would expect there to be many stories online similar to yours and yet I can't find a single other story. However, I believe you are telling the truth and am wondering, what other agency would you recommend then? Is there one that is known to provide lots of support to students throughout both the application process and the degree.
Sadly its actually worse. There are a lot of good reviews because they usually give people financial incentives to write really nice things about them. What’s worse is that you sign a contract basically saying they can sue you if you ever say anything negative about them, thats why so many students are scared about talking about it. I just got a letter now from Marco Delapina from Fidlaw LOL, they are the lawfirm SME uses to threaten people! Just because I decided to share my truth they’re threatening me. I really don’t care tbh, go with whoever you want but I just want people to know in advance what they’re signing up to
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Avin Jose
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(Original post by pranaav)
Sadly its actually worse. There are a lot of good reviews because they usually give people financial incentives to write really nice things about them. What’s worse is that you sign a contract basically saying they can sue you if you ever say anything negative about them, thats why so many students are scared about talking about it. I just got a letter now from Marco Delapina from Fidlaw LOL, they are the lawfirm SME uses to threaten people! Just because I decided to share my truth they’re threatening me. I really don’t care tbh, go with whoever you want but I just want people to know in advance what they’re signing up to
Wow man
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