Which country is best for practicing medicine

Studying medicine abroad - the way out to the NC?

As a prospective medical student, you are confronted with many problems even before you start your studies. Often there is an ardent desire to study medicine and later practice as a doctor, first of all strict admission restrictions for medicine in the way. Some have achieved an average of 1.7 or even a better grade in their Abitur and they are granted access to the course.

But regardless of whether you were admitted to the course directly, or whether you are currently considering how to bridge or even avoid eight semesters of waiting time, Sooner or later every budding medical professional will think about gaining important international experience and to complete at least part of their studies outside the borders of their own country.

Benefits of studying medicine abroad

The advantages and also the necessity of a stay abroad are obvious. Spending a longer period of time abroad is definitely one personal enrichment. You learn to find your way in a foreign culture, meet a lot of people and in retrospect can look back with pride on the challenges that you have successfully faced. For those who are thinking of emigrating, or at least practicing as a doctor in a foreign country for a few years, studying abroad is the best opportunity to get a thorough insight into the country and its people.

But also the medical education benefits tremendously. Every health system has its strengths and weaknesses, which are specific to each country and which a future doctor should skillfully exploit. Language skills and international thinking are just as important a basis for medical professionals as knowledge of human anatomy. But personal goals, such as a quick start to your studies despite mediocre results in the Abitur, can be achieved with a medical degree abroad and even complete with an EU-wide recognized doctorate.

Selection process abroad

One thing is the same in all countries: there are more applicants for medical studies than there are actually places available. Only the selection procedures differ from country to countrywith which one tries to select the students. From tuition fees, through interviews, language tests (English) and entrance tests to screening exams, the range of procedures is broad. There is a tendency that universities, at which the applicant has realistic chances of a study place, are only accessible through high tuition fees.

Bypassing the admission restriction

Since Germany is one of the few countries in which admission to medical studies is exclusively regulated by the final grade, the different systems in other countries can offer opportunities to start studying without long waiting times. The main thing about starting your studies abroad is that after a few semesters you can apply directly to a German university and thus save yourself the detour via the central allocation of study places. According to the State Examination Office, the only condition is “that the study achievements made abroad are equivalent to German studies”.

But first of all: there is no perfect way to circumvent admission restrictions or waiting times by starting your studies abroad. Nevertheless, many students have quickly found a place to study this way.

The most interesting alternatives

Since every German high school graduate is able to speak English, come English-language courses are most likely to be an option for most interested parties. The medical language is Latin anyway and therefore the same in all countries.

Also in Eastern Europe is there several universities that offer medical studies in both English and German. As a rule, the training takes place in such a way that the theoretical lessons are held entirely in English. Local language skills are sometimes only required in the clinical part, from the 3rd year of study, to communicate with doctors and patients.

The English-language courses in Eastern Europe were often launched due to financial constraints at the universities, as international students are required to pay higher tuition fees. This does not mean, however, that the quality of the course does not justify the tuition fees, or that you can only buy a place for a mediocre course for a lot of money. The education at these universities is better than at the overcrowded universities in Germany, precisely because of the tuition fees. The students are individually supervised in small courses and also have better opportunities to develop in the practical part of the training. The Qualifications obtained there are no less recognized or prestigious than in other European countries.


In the very east of Hungary lies the University of Debrecenwho offers an English-language degree in human medicine. Hungarian language skills are only required in the clinical part to communicate with doctors and patients. The chances of getting a study place in Debrecen are extremely high despite the entrance test and interview. The only drawback is the tuition fees of around € 6,000 per semester.

Also in Hungary, there is the Semmelweiß University in Budapest even one German-language course. However, the number of applicants is sobering. 1200 applicants fight for 150 places. Selection criteria here are, among other things, professional experience in the healthcare sector, good grades in advanced scientific courses and an Abitur average of at least 2.5. The tuition fees are around € 8,000 per semester.

Czech Republic

A new one is currently causing a stir Cooperation between the Chemnitz Clinic and the Karl University in Prague. There one tries to bring a course of study into being, which deals with the theoretical units in Prague and the practical ones in Chemnitz. This is supposed to Studies completely in German be. Although the first guard of German students is already studying in Prague, there still seem to be some teething problems. So far, for example, lessons have been held in English as there are no German-speaking professors available.

However, there are other medical faculties in the Czech Republic that offer courses in English. Due to the tuition fees of around $ 10,000 a year and the low level of awareness, the The prospects for a university place are very good.


For example, anyone who can find their way around in other languages ​​has good chances of getting a university place in Italy. There are even those there Tuition fees relatively low. The only hurdle is In addition to the language, an entrance test including an interview, where you compete with the Italian applicants on an equal footing. Those who are not yet fluent in Italian can prepare for the test and study with a special language course. A change back to Germany is possible without any problems after the Physikum. A full course is only recommended to a limited extent, as the Italian course is very schooled and little value is placed on practical work experience.


The situation is similar in Spain. However that is Entrance exam, the “Selectividad”, much more difficult than in Italy. Whether you are admitted to a study place is calculated from the Abitur grade and the results in the Selectividad. In terms of training, the Spanish course is very school-based, clinical traineeships are mostly voluntary and hardly involve the students in medical activities. Also due to the difficult final exam “MIR”, which contains all the material from the six years of study, is a Full study in Spain is not necessarily recommended. However, if you are just starting your studies and complete the three “big certificates” in biology, chemistry and physics, these will be recognized and can switch back to a German university.


France has one of the best systems for training its medical professionals and the study there is not restricted admission. In the first semester, 700 students often argue about 100 seats in the lecture hall. But after the first semester already find Screening exams instead, which only consist of the best students (approx. 15-20%). If you want to be a serious competitor for the French students, you should bring excellent knowledge of French with you to your studies. If you feel up to the elitist French training, you can enjoy an excellent training after the first semester. In the clinic, theory is taught in the morning and practice in the afternoon. For the doctors, the thorough practical training of the students is usually not a clause, but an ideology.

Austria and Switzerland

Countries like Austria and Switzerland unfortunately do not offer any opportunities to start studying. In Switzerland you either have to be a citizen or have lived in Switzerland for at least five years. Austrian universities only accept medical students if they already have a place in Germany. Options are also limited in other neighboring countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands. Since local students are already overrunning the medical faculties, hardly any contingents are released for foreign students. With a lot of luck you can get a place at the university by lottery.

Conclusion on studying medicine abroad

The personal attitude that makes it possible to overcome the many hurdles is particularly important on the way abroad. A lot of commitment and a good dose of courage are required for those who pack their things and set off on their own or with the help of agencies.

Most countries either have no admission restrictions or procedures in which the applicant is fully illuminated and not reduced to their high school diploma.