Benefits and Risks of doing an MBBS abroad

2707-shutterstock_64637848(1)An MBBS degree continues to be one of the most sought-after degrees in India, but with the increasing competition for medical seats in the country, more students are now looking to study MBBS abroad. We take a look at the various options available for undertaking an MBBS degree overseas.

As per data from the National Board of Examinations (NBE), since 2011, China has been the most-preferred destination for Indian students who wish to obtain a primary medical qualification outside India. Russia, Ukraine and Nepal are other favourite options.

For most students, economics is the driving factor as a medical education in India comes with a hefty price tag which they are unable to afford. Students who undertake an MBBS degree in China, for example, have to pay only around 30-35 lakhs for the course which takes 4.5 years plus a year of internship. However, the quality of education in some countries often leaves a lot to be desired, and students who have completed the course of studies in inferior colleges abroad are often unable to pass the FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduates Examination) that is mandatory to get the Medical Council of India (MCI) registration needed to practice in India.

China

While an MBBS in China is relatively inexpensive, the quality of education in some universities is not on par with other countries. Make sure that you pick an A- category medical college to ensure that the standard of education is good. Students also face other problems such as the language barrier (knowing Mandarin is a must to survive!) Some foreign students are also unable to adjust to the local cuisine, especially those who are vegetarian or insist on halal food.

The estimated budget is around INR 30 lakh upwards for A Grade universities and around INR 20 lakh for B Grade universities. Do check out the cost of living, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses as well. Scholarships may be available for economically weaker students, although few are available for foreign students.

Bangladesh

An MBBS degree from Bangladesh is offered with a similar syllabus, books and duration of degree as a degree from India. As the culture is also similar to India, Indian students feel at home here and are able to easily adjust to the local lifestyle.

While Bangladesh has made a lot of progress in the medical education sector, there are some colleges that offer very poor education and try to lure foreign students through false claims. Keep your eyes open and check out such claims thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. There was a recent instance of many Indian students at a university in Chittagong who staged a protest as their degree was not registered by the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC).

The estimated cost of undertaking an MBBS in Bangladesh comes to around INR 25-30 lakhs.

Philippines

Students in the Philippines must first undertake an 18 month pre-medical course, after which they must clear a National Medical Test (NMAT) with a minimal score of 50 percentile. If you do not pass this exam within two years you will be refused admission and sent back. The cost of education is very cheap and comes to approximately INR 12-15 lakhs for the MBBS degree. However, beware of colleges which are not affiliated to hospitals and do not offer practical learning opportunities.

Germany

An MBBS degree from Germany is on par with the best global education. Public universities in Germany offer free education even for international students, but the cost of living can be rather high so do make a careful study of student expenses. Clinical skills and theoretical knowledge are given equal importance, and the infrastructure available to students can count among the best in the world.

Students must pay for living expenses, language learning fee, accommodation and so on which will all come within a budget of INR 15 lakh. Additionally, from second year onwards students can work for 20 hours a week with an average wage of EUR 8 per hour, which will help them with their expenses.

USA

USA is the number one education destination for top students, and an MBBS degree from a US University is the most sought after in the world. Many students, however, cannot afford the cost of a US education, which can range from INR 25-50 lakhs per year for a medical degree, making the overall cost between INR 2.5 to 4 crores. Funding and scholarships are limited for international students, who must strive hard to keep up with the academics and prove themselves worthy of getting such scholarships. The education here is second to none, and those who can afford the cost are all set for an excellent future.

UK

Medicine is one of the first choices for Indian students who wish to study in the UK, as the course of studies here is very well reputed. Applicants should have achieved very high grades in Science at school, and should also be able to pay the substantial fees as scholarships are available only to very few students. The cost of living is also quite high, and students will have to pay around INR 10-15 lakhs a year in addition to the tuition cost of around INR 25 lakhs a year upwards.

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