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.

Sport
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Sport
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

First Class Graduate (Computer Science, Economics, Finance)

£23000 per annum: Harrington Starr: First Class Graduate (Computer Science, Ec...

Drama Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Liverpool: We are looking for someone who can t...

Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice