Why not study medicine abroad?

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The Independent Online

In the early 1990’s I was part of the first wave of students to study medicine abroad. At the time, entry into UK medical and dental school was highly competitive. Since then, demand for places at UK medical and dental school has continued to climb rapidly, year on year.

Every day I speak to highly capable students who have excellent academic track records but have been denied places at UK universities. Now, with the massive hike in UK tuition fees, foreign fees are no longer so costly next to the UK system. Studying on the Continent is, for perhaps the first time, a realistic and affordable alternative for students who don’t want to give up their dream of becoming a dentist or doctor.

The idea of taking a gap year between A-Levels and medical school to go backpacking in South East Asia, or interrailing around Europe is an alluring one. But many of our students realise they can get the same thrill of adventure by studying medicine and dentistry abroad. Students will experience a new culture, learn a new language and meet students from all around the world. The added benefit is you’re also working toward a career goal whilst showing employees you can stand on your own two feet in new surroundings.

I think this is why we’ve seen a big rise in applications to one of our affiliated universities in Valencia, Cardenal Herrera - one of the most prestigious medical and dental universities in Spain. We’re in regular contact with our students currently studying there and I’m delighted to say they’re all extremely happy and relishing the opportunity to live in such a cultural capital. Studying medicine and dentistry abroad shouldn’t be seen as second best to UK medical and dental schools.

In fact, many of our students take our one-year M&D Pre-Med programme in London to strengthen their applications to Cardenal Herrera. And some students have even turned down offers from UK medical and dental schools to study there. This is a new age for studying medicine and dentistry abroad, and here at M&D I’m really excited about this student movement abroad. Summer is always a busy time, as A-Level students await their exam results. In between the buzz I’m developing my links with universities in the West Indies - after all, who wouldn’t want to study in a tropical paradise?

For views, advice and feedback, Kal can be contacted at column@medipathways.com