4 Best Countries to Study Medicine For International Students

Medicine is one of the most commonly pursued subjects of undergraduate/postgraduate study for students across the world. With each passing academic year, more and more students are leaning towards studying Medicine in a country different to their home country. Receiving a degree in Medicine requires students to go through approximately 5-6 years of Medical School where they receive broad training across clinical medicine as well as clinical training.

Currently, Europe is among the most popular destinations for students who wish to study Medicine. Nevertheless, there are numerous options of study, namely medical schools, across the world which offer reputed education and efficient training for its students. Given the time it takes to study Medicine, a key issue for students as well as their families is the matter of tuition and fees to study this course.

In this article, we will go over the best countries to study medicine

Things to Keep in Mind while Studying Medicine abroad
It is a big commitment and investment to study Medicine at university. Students are expected to keep numerous factors in mind when applying for courses at different universities. Below are some of the key points that students should be sure to consider in their application process.

1. Length of Program

Medicine is one of the longest courses of study for undergraduates (and postgraduates, depending on the university). On average, students who study for an MBBS degree in countries such as Malaysia and the UK can expect to study for around 5 years or 6 years with an additional intercalated program. In other cases, such as Russia, students can expect to study for up to 7 years.

2. Cost of Study

The cost of studying Medicine will depend on the country as well as the specific university. Most universities in the UK charge around £25-30,000 per year for international students, with minimal scholarships that are offered, which is understandable given the high standards of academic education and world-class reputation for medical registration as well.

On the other hand, there are numerous other countries which offer cheap programs and a large number of scholarships. For example, Russia will offer programs which can be as cheap as USD 2000-5000 per year. Similarly, Asian countries such as Malaysia and China offer equally cheap programs for Medicine as well.

3. Languages of Instruction

It is also important to consider the language of instruction in medical schools. Currently, the majority of medical schools across the world offer education in English. However, certain countries do require students to be fluent in the local language as well. For example, medical schools in China require students to be fluent or learn Mandarin or Cantonese in order to receive their degree.

Alternatively, in Russia, specific universities require students to take courses in Russian language during their studies. So it is necessary to check the language of instruction whenever students apply to medical schools in order to determine if separate language training is a mandatory requirement.

Top Countries to Study Medicine in

With its increasing popularity, there are countless options for medical schools that prospective students can consider, based on their preferences. Below, we list 4 of the many different countries that are some of the most popular destinations for studies and are further home to some of the best medical schools in the world.

The Caribbean

While not technically a country, the Caribbean is one of the best countries to study medicine in. They have affordable tuition, low requirements for MCAT and GPA, while having high placement rates in Canada and in the US. In addition, these medical schools are in a great location, with sunny beaches and warm climate. Here are the three medical schools that we suggest in the Caribbean.

1. Saba Medical School

Saba Medical School is an excellent medical school in the Caribbean. It has high placement rates in the United States and in Canada as well as a high USMLE Step 1 first-time pass rate of 99%. It is a great alternative for students with a lower MCAT and GPA score to be able to become doctors in the United States and Canada. If you are interested, check out their website!


2. St. Matthew’s Medical S

St. Matthew’s Medical School is another great medical school in the Caribbean. It has a first-time USML Step 1 pass rate of 95% and has excellent residency placements to places such as Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, and McGill University. In addition, it is 30% – 40% more affordable than medical schools in the States! Learn more about this school in their website.


United Kingdom

The UK is a prestigious and fantastic country to study Medicine – currently, international students have access to more than 30 different medical schools that offer undergraduate (as well as selected postgraduate) courses in Medicine. It is home to some of the best universities in the world such as the Oxbridge universities. Additionally, the UK’s National Health Service is considered to be among the largest public health services in the world which is closely tied with each of the medical schools in the country.

With its high academic prestige, students should be sure to consider the variety of academic requirements to study at medical schools in the UK. The universities can also administer aptitude tests including the UKCAT, BMAT and the GMAT in order to consider and streamline admissions into the medical schools. Applications for undergraduate and postgraduate medicine are typically considered through the UCAS application system.

The application process further tends to constitute an interview stage as well which will depend on the university’s admission system. An advantage of studying in a UK medical school is that graduates from UK medical schools (including international students) receive up to 2 years of work permit to work in UK hospitals.

Below, we have listed 3 of the universities in the UK that offer medicine for students.

1. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge offers one of the most highly ranked programs of Medicine in the world. The undergraduate course in Medicine is a 6 year course and offers a highly competitive admission process. Prospective students are required to take the BMAT exam and go through a rigorous interview process. Up to 21 international students are accepted into the course.

2. University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham located in the East Midlands of the UK is another prestigious university that offers an elite course of Medicine for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The medical school requires students to take the UKCAT examination (or the GMAT for postgraduates) and offers a 5 year long course. The medical school is also tied to the Queen’s Medical Center of Nottingham, which is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country.

3. Keele University

Keele University’s School of Medicine is another example of a medical institute of higher education that offers an undergraduate course in Medicine. While local students are required to take the UKCAT, international students need to take the BMAT exam instead. The course additionally offers a Problem-based learning platform as opposed to primarily relying on lectures – PBL is currently explored in a few medical schools and is said to be a novel and more effective training protocol for medical students.



Malaysia is one of the popular countries to study medicine for international students. Additionally, it is becoming an even more popular study destination for students who are interested in studying Medicine. The country is home to several universities as well as exclusive institutions that offer teaching only in medicine and healthcare studies. Furthermore, Malaysia offers incredibly cheap courses in terms of tuition which goes hand in hand with the very low cost of living in the country.

Students need to meet comparatively less academic requirements to gain acceptance into medical schools in Malaysia and typically only require an additional interview, as opposed to other universities in alternative countries. International students have access to multiple scholarship and funding opportunities as well. Furthermore, international graduates additionally receive elective years after their degree to work in hospitals in Malaysia if they prefer to.


1. Monash University, Malaysia

A branch of the Monash University of Australia, this truly international university is the perfect study destination for any international student. The bonus of studying Medicine at Monash University is the opportunity to practice medicine in Malaysia as well as Australia and New Zealand. The course is 5 years long and offers world-class training in clinical, biomedical and social sciences, enabling the university to create globally reputed doctors. Students are required to take the International Students Admission Test prior to applying in order to be considered for admission.


2. International Medical University

The International Medical University of Malaysia is one of the premier institutions of higher education that offers education in medicine and healthcare. This private university offers an elite course in Medicine which is run in partnership with numerous international universities across the world. The IMU programme focuses on Medical Sciences for the first 2.5 years, after which medical students then proceed to undertake their clinical training either at IMU’s Clinical Campuses in the southern part of Malaysia or at a Partner Medical School (PMS) overseas.


3. Newcastle University (NUMed Malaysia)

NUMed Malaysia is the international medical campus of Newcastle University in the UK. The MBBS programme offered by NUMed is an integrated course of 5 years and is recognised by the Medical Councils of Malaysia, the UK, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India. This programme is identical to that of Newcastle University’s UK provisional course. It will provide a general yet integrated medical education, suitable for all types of doctors and serve as the foundation for later career specialisation. Additionally, medical students may also have the opportunity of studying for an extra year in the UK for an intercalated research qualification at the Bachelors or Masters level


Russia is among the most affordable and popular destinations for international students across the world. Russia is one of the top countries to study medicine for international students. For example, the Indian Embassy confirms that up to 99% of Indian students in Russia study Medicine. The reason as to why Russia is a common destination is that the government’s policy of subsidising tuition fees for international students makes studying here extremely cheap and cost-effective. The majority of courses in medicine are also taught in English although Russian language training is also offered. Currently, more than 50 universities and institutions in Russia offer globally-recognised degrees in Medicine.

1. Lomonosov Moscow State University

The university’s School of Medicine was founded in 1992 and offers an undergraduate programme in Medicine (MBBS) which takes up to 6 years to complete. Applicants enrol to the undergraduate Medical program according to the results of the entrance examinations in (1) Russian language and (2) specialty. Students are required to take a preparatory course in Russian as well, alongside their studies.


2. Russian National Research Medical University

Officially known as Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, this elite institution is based in Moscow. The 6 year Medicine (MD) program is offered in both Russian and English and trains its students in fundamental and clinical medical disciplines as well as humanities and natural sciences.

3. Kursk State Medical University

Based in the city of Kursk in western Russia, the university offers a general medicine program. The curriculum offers six-year program and the graduates will receive a Degree in General Medicine (MD) and offers an integrated approach to medical education with a combination of clinical and research training.


I hope that this article on the best countries to study medicine for international students was helpful.

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