A glorious climate makes Spain particularly appealing

 

Spain has a lot to offer aspiring medical or dental students. Entry requirements tend to be slightly lower than they are in the UK, and it usually costs less to live there. Yet that doesn’t mean you’ll receive a poorer education. Spain offers advanced teaching facilities in modern universities, courses taught in English, and the chance to experience Spanish culture first-hand.

The latter is possibly one of the principal draws for students who choose to study in Spain. Throw in around 1,000 hours more sunshine on average each year than London manages, and it’s easy to understand the appeal of a European education.

Students can apply to study at a Spanish university at the same time as preparing their UK applications; many (but by no means all) choose a European institution as a back-up option should they miss out on their grades at home. It’s always helpful to attend an open day if possible before applying, says Samir Majithia, who will be taking a place at Cardenal Herrera in September. “Having met with current students at the university, some from the UK, I was convinced they were happy with the course and lifestyle in Valencia.”

Applications can be made directly to the universities in question: for dentistry at Cardenal Herrera, for example, students fill in an application form and attend an interview; medical students must also sit an entrance exam. Entry grades are currently set at three Bs at A-level for both courses; two of those must be in science subjects.

Although these grades are lower than straight A grades which most universities in the UK ask for, competition for places is high and preference is given at the university for graduates of the M&D Pre-Med offered by Medipathways. This one-year course in the UK gives students a degree-level foundation in medical science, allowing them to enter the second year of courses at accredited universities.

“It’s beneficial as it gives you a good grounding and helps to make the jump from A-levels to university level more progressive,” says Majithia, a Pre-Med graduate.

Dentists study for five years and doctors for six. Although the courses are taught in English, from the third-year onwards students will be engaged in clinical practice, interacting with real patients – so a fluent grasp of Spanish becomes essential. Some universities offer Spanish courses and it’s wise to start getting a feel for the language before you arrive if possible; it’s also much easier to enjoy Spanish culture and nightlife with a little local lingo to call upon.

Students should also be prepared for the cost of courses, which is significantly higher than it is in the UK – almost double in some cases. However, rising fees in England will close the gap a little, and some students believe the extra cost is offset by the benefits of studying in Spain. If nothing else, the success rate of students is encouraging: only 4 per cent fail to complete the dentistry course at Cardenal Herrera.

Once students leave university, their qualifications are generally recognised both by the General Medical Council (GMC) and by the General Dental Council (GDC). Candidates may have to pass a review to begin practising here; more information is available from the councils’ websites.

Whether they follow the path of dentistry or medicine, students are certain to find more than food and fiestas in Spain. The combination of high-tech institutions and high-level tuition, proficiency in the world’s second favourite language and rich cultural experiences could make them fully rounded professionals with career prospects as bright as the Spanish sunshine.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + + uncapped commission + benefits: SThree: Did you ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits + uncapped commission: SThree: Did you kn...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence