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Why I Travelled 2,000 Miles To Study Medicine In Bulgaria

Posted by absmalik on April 15th, 2020

The year was 2015 and I had just completed my A level exams which classify me as a high school graduate at the time. I had always wanted to study medicine and pursue a career as a doctor. However, I faced some problems in my home country. For starters, it is way too competitive to get a place at university for medicine in the UK. For every 1 place, there are 100 students ready to fight for it. So unless you are an exceptionally bright student and have a bit of luck, it is extremely difficult to get into your dream career. My failed attempt is what led to finding a creative solution, to study medicine in Bulgaria

I could have taken a few different routes. I could have taken a year out and applied again the following year. The problem with that was I would have to waste a whole year of my life and there was no guarantee I would get a place in the next year's cohort.

I could have studied a different degree that could act as a foundation to graduate entry medicine. However, this would again, mean no guarantee at the end and would potentially mean risking 3 years of my life. Seemed worse than the first option.

The final choice, to study something else entirely and forget about medicine. Fortunately for me, I wasn't ready to give up on my dream! 

Learning about studying medicine abroad was totally random. I saw an ad about a company that was recruiting students like myself who wanted to study medicine and couldn't make it in the UK. They promised to help me find a place in Bulgaria and eventually I settled for Plovdiv Medical University. Fast forward to 2020, I am now in my final year of university and I have to say, this has been the most bizarre and exhilarating experience of my life.

Let us go over some of the benefits:

  1. Lower grade requirements than the UK - So this probably doesn't come as a shocker but yes it is easier to apply to a university in Bulgaria as there aren't as many people ready to pack up their lives and move abroad to chase their dreams. Hence there are more spaces available and the university is able to lower the grade requirement. 
  2. Cheaper Tuition Fees - My course costs 8,000 EUR per year which is significantly cheaper than the £9,000 per year in the UK. On top of that, I get to benefit from the exchange rate and living costs become more affordable too. I get more for my money than I would if I studied in the UK.
  3. The course is entirely in English - One question on everybody's mind when I tell them that I study abroad is if I have to learn the language for my studies. Although I do need to learn the language to interact with locals and patients, my professors all speak in English.
  4. It builds character - This isn't so much about the course but more about the experience. You are left all alone in a country completely unknown to you and you have to not only learn to survive on your own (since you've lived with your parents your whole life), you have to do so whilst learning a whole new culture and language. The confidence, resilience and work ethic that you can develop will ultimately help you become the best doctor ever!

Now its, not all sunshine and roses! Having to move abroad requires a lot of motivation and sacrifice. It is not an easy task. The company that "helped" me apply to the university certainly did not make it any easier. So I decided to start my own company called MedConnect Europe, an agency that helps students like me study medicine in Europe in English. My ultimate goal is to help students like I would have wanted to be helped when I was 18 and looking to study abroad. Making sure that students aren't left alone and have a helping hand at all time! 

Well, I will be graduating soon and will start working as a doctor. I hope if there are others who also want to take the leap to study medicine, they should definitely look into options abroad as it can be very beneficial!

Also See: Study Medicine, My Life, Study Abroad, Move Abroad, Study, My, Medicine

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