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Why do so many Asians go to eastern Europe to study medicine?

I was looking at medicine agencies that get you into Eastern European medical schools such as medlink and vistamed, and also seeing things on the news about the foreign medical students fleeing Ukraine facing racism at the border. I looked into this a little more, and I realised literally every single British medical student studying in Eastern European medical schools seems to be Black or Asian? I'm genuinely curious as to why this is, as a white student who has been looking into studying in Eastern Europe myself, I found this pattern to be intriguing and I would like to find out why it is so. Absolutely nothing wrong with this btw, I just find social trends fascinating and would like to discover the underlying reasons why there are so many British ethnic minority students studying medicine in Eastern Europe, especially given the poor reputation that region has for diversity and racism
Heyy

I personally think it's because black and asian parents are more willing to fund their children's education than white parents. Also in ethnic minorities, the only real careers are lawyers, doctors and engineers lmao. So that's probably why you see these potential medics going to Eastern Europe to study. These Eastern European countries also have very low entry requirements, often people with Bs and Cs don't have trouble getting in as these agencies help you prepare for entrance exams.

Also, depending on what you classify as Eastern Europe, there are tons of white British students studying in Poland.In fact I know a white guy who literally went to Poland last year because he couldn't get into medicine in UK
(edited 1 year ago)
Probably because eastern european living expenses and tuition fees are less expensive than medical schools in the usa, switzerland or uk.
Many asian traditionalists are very ambitious, extremely competitive and insist upon their relatives selecting their career choices from options that tend to include: doctor-lawyer-accountant-economist-military.
Original post by londonmyst
Probably because eastern european living expenses and tuition fees are less expensive than medical schools in the usa, switzerland or uk.
Many asian traditionalists are very ambitious, extremely competitive and insist upon their relatives selecting their career choices from options that tend to include: doctor-lawyer-accountant-economist-military.


Not you mention, in the USA you need a degree in the live sciences and you need to sit the MCAT. In Switzerland you need to be able to speak German/French or even Italian with excellent grades in high school.
Original post by Goldengirl2002
Heyy

I personally think it's because black and asian parents are more willing to fund their children's education than white parents. Also in ethnic minorities, the only real careers are lawyers, doctors and engineers lmao. So that's probably why you see these potential medics going to Eastern Europe to study. These Eastern European countries also have very low entry requirements, often people with Bs and Cs don't have trouble getting in as these agencies help you prepare for entrance exams.

Also, depending on what you classify as Eastern Europe, there are tons of white British students studying in Poland.In fact I know a white guy who literally went to Poland last year because he couldn't get into medicine in UK

I fully agree with all the points you have made, however I thought they are factors that apply to medicine in general, not Eastern Europe in particular. I'm still wondering why so many Asians go to Eastern Europe specifically. The thing about lower entry criteria doesn't explain why Eastern Europe is so popular with British ethnic minority students, because statistically Asians are outperforming white students in education, so surely Eastern Europe with its lower entry requirements would be more popular with white students than their higher attaining Asian counterparts?

Obviously I take into account what you say about Poland, however I'm yet to personally see an example of a white student who went to Eastern Europe to study medicine. My sources include testimonials from agency websites, youtube, and TikTok. Not an academic source I concede XD

My theory is perhaps institutional racism in British Medical Schools disproportionately rejecting ethnic minority students. This would explain why there is a huge amount of British Asians studying medicine in Eastern Europe where the entry criteria is easier, despite the fact that Asians are doing better in education than whites. I'd be interested to see if there is any data showing a disparity between ethnicities in rejection rates at British Medical Schools.

As I said, I just find this really fascinating... Eastern Europe doesn't have a great reputation for being welcoming to ethnic minorities, in particular Muslims, so I am intrigued to find out why so many of them are flocking there.
Original post by Anonymous
I fully agree with all the points you have made, however I thought they are factors that apply to medicine in general, not Eastern Europe in particular. I'm still wondering why so many Asians go to Eastern Europe specifically. The thing about lower entry criteria doesn't explain why Eastern Europe is so popular with British ethnic minority students, because statistically Asians are outperforming white students in education, so surely Eastern Europe with its lower entry requirements would be more popular with white students than their higher attaining Asian counterparts?

Obviously I take into account what you say about Poland, however I'm yet to personally see an example of a white student who went to Eastern Europe to study medicine. My sources include testimonials from agency websites, youtube, and TikTok. Not an academic source I concede XD

My theory is perhaps institutional racism in British Medical Schools disproportionately rejecting ethnic minority students. This would explain why there is a huge amount of British Asians studying medicine in Eastern Europe where the entry criteria is easier, despite the fact that Asians are doing better in education than whites. I'd be interested to see if there is any data showing a disparity between ethnicities in rejection rates at British Medical Schools.

As I said, I just find this really fascinating... Eastern Europe doesn't have a great reputation for being welcoming to ethnic minorities, in particular Muslims, so I am intrigued to find out why so many of them are flocking there.


I feel that it's not as deep as you're likely making it out to be. Medicine In the UK is extremely competitive, and often requires an entrance exam like the UCAT/BMAT. Despite having amazing grades, a lot of people can't overcome the hurdle of doing well in the UCAT/BMAT and if they do... they still have interviews to attend, and even after that there is a large chance they'll get rejected simply because there were better candidates and not enough places. Contrary to Eastern Europe lol.

Also I would like to add, most students especially ethnic students don't like taking a gap year and reapplying to medicine in the UK because 1. they feel that they'll get left behind when comparing themselves to their peers 2. pressure from parents to get into uni ASAP so they can get married when they are young and 3. don't want to face the disappointment of getting rejected for the second time ! Also going back home may not be an option because they'll be competing with the best potential medics from their home country (I know that this is especially the case in Pakistan and India) where the students preform even better than the British Asian students in the UK.

In addition, the agencies promoting these Eastern European countries have people who have "been there ,done that" in terms of getting through medical school and practicing medicine in the UK. So the idea of going to Eastern Europe becomes very appealing for potential medics to follow their footsteps.

"however I'm yet to personally see an example of a white student who went to Eastern Europe to study medicine"
Regarding this statement, have you heard of Amy Anna ? She is a white student that was studying in Ukraine. Here is the link to her Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/AmyAnna. Just because you don't see white students in Tik Tok and other social media planforms studying in Eastern Europe, it doesn't mean that they don't exist :smile:. There may not be many British white students but you still have people from Norway, Germany etc going to these countries to study medicine.

And regarding racism in Eastern European countries, a lot of ethnic minorities are often unfortunately used to it because its not like racism doesn't exists in this country lol
(edited 1 year ago)
'Also I would like to add, most students especially ethic students don't like taking a gap year and reapplying to medicine school in the UK because 1. they feel that they'll get left behind when comparing themselves to their peers 2. pressure from parents to get into uni ASAP so they can get married when they are young and 3. don't want to face the disappointment of getting rejected for the second time !'

I think you may have hit the nail on the head there. This makes sense to me, as social status and becoming a Doctor is a much bigger deal to ethnic minorities for the reasons you have outlined above. As a result, ethnic minority students are much more likely to take drastic measures such as moving to Eastern Europe for 6 years to study medicine if they were rejected by UK med schools, whereas a typical white student would often be less bothered about a gap year, and perhaps more likely to accept not becoming a doctor and doing something else. Pressure from family to become a doctor and a fiercely competitive nature is less common in the white community based upon my observations. White parents are often very liberal, allowing their child to pursue whatever makes them happy, while Asian parents are much more likely to push their kids into medicine / engineering / law. I have also noticed Asian parents have much more sway and authority in their child's life and decisions, even when they are 18 or above. I have heard many Asians describe their parents 'forcing' them to study a certain degree, whereas it is almost unheard of for a white parent to 'force' their kids to study a certain subject. I was effectively left to my own devices once I became an adult.

The whole pressure from parents / marrying young thing isn't nearly as important in white families as it is in Asian families who seem to be much more prestige and status orientated. Indeed, I would argue that in modern western culture, marrying young is frowned upon, as is marrying for money / status. It seems to me that a lot of Asians have a 'become a doctor at any cost' mentality, which would explain why so many British Asians have a plan A, B and C for becoming a doctor, whereas most white students only have a plan A.

Also I just realised that Eastern European Medical degrees do not qualify for student finance, therefore the cost of the course must be paid by the student. Most 18 / 19 year olds do not have the money to pay for 6 years of tuition fees and living expenses, therefore their parents would have to pay. As someone mentioned in a previous comment, Asians parents are much more likely to pay for their kids education, especially a medical degree, whereas this would be much less likely for a white person. I know as a white person, if I asked my parents for the money, they would tell me to f**k off and it would be much the same for most of my white friends. For that reason alone, studying abroad is off limits to most white people unless they come from a very wealthy family.

This is likely the explanation why there are so many more British Asians who study Medicine in Eastern European countries compared to white British people. Very intriguing. As I mentioned above, the huge amount of British Asian students in Eastern European med schools caught my attention, I thought there must be a reason for this. I think I now understand the reason. I respect anyone who is determined enough to reach their goals that they would move to a foreign country for 6 years in pursuit of achieving it.
Original post by Anonymous
I fully agree with all the points you have made, however I thought they are factors that apply to medicine in general, not Eastern Europe in particular. I'm still wondering why so many Asians go to Eastern Europe specifically. The thing about lower entry criteria doesn't explain why Eastern Europe is so popular with British ethnic minority students, because statistically Asians are outperforming white students in education, so surely Eastern Europe with its lower entry requirements would be more popular with white students than their higher attaining Asian counterparts?

Obviously I take into account what you say about Poland, however I'm yet to personally see an example of a white student who went to Eastern Europe to study medicine. My sources include testimonials from agency websites, youtube, and TikTok. Not an academic source I concede XD

My theory is perhaps institutional racism in British Medical Schools disproportionately rejecting ethnic minority students. This would explain why there is a huge amount of British Asians studying medicine in Eastern Europe where the entry criteria is easier, despite the fact that Asians are doing better in education than whites. I'd be interested to see if there is any data showing a disparity between ethnicities in rejection rates at British Medical Schools.

As I said, I just find this really fascinating... Eastern Europe doesn't have a great reputation for being welcoming to ethnic minorities, in particular Muslims, so I am intrigued to find out why so many of them are flocking there.

Institutional racism, really? You do know out of the whole population of the U.K. there are way way more white people than ethnic minority groups which I’m from? So obviously more white people will be accepted into med school and a proportionate amount of other ethnic groups HOWEVER this isn’t how med school works. They don’t do discrimination as that goes against their rules.

There’s simply lots and lots of students applying for med school and quite a lot of them get low alevel grades, don’t have the right subjects, low ucat, low gcse grades, weak ps, not competitive in interviews. Hence they reapply to Eastern Europe.
It’s not about racism at all.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 8
Education system in Asia is about competition. Students get over selected by hard tests. They come to Eastern Europe because they have difficulty to get into medicine in their own countries. Also, the environment is harsh; doing other kind of jobs means high-risk career path. That is why Asians like to study medicine. It is the most stable way to have an ok material life or even better without risks.

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