Frequently Asked Questions
Are the medical degrees recognised in the USA, Canada and other countries?
The degrees are fully recognized in the EU and most countries for at least limited registration. The student should ask the authorities or professional bodies in the respective country for information about the conditions for full registration and recognition of the degree required to practice medicine.
How hard are the entrance exams?
The entrance exams are hard. You are entering one of the hardest professions and the universities need to know that you have the ability and knowledge needed for such a course.
What is the situation regarding accommodation?
All universities offer halls of residence which compared to the UK are very cheap!(Between £140 and £250 per month dependant on the faculty). Usually they are twin rooms. Once you gain a place at a university, instructions will be given on how to book the halls. From our experience however most students opt to rent private accommodation with each other, as the costs are low.
Can my relatives and friends stay in my accommodation when they visit?
Yes, if staying in halls. Most of the Universities offer short term accommodation for visiting relatives.
Do I pay rent monthly in advance?
Yes, and usually a month notice is required when leaving halls.
Is my accommodation guaranteed for the first year? Are other years guaranteed?
Yes, the universities guarantee halls for the first year.
Is food available and at what cost?
There are packages with some halls where you can have food included, but most students tend to cook their own or participate in the University low cost canteen facilities schemes.
Are all first year students in the same hostel?
Not necessarily. Usually halls are for all students of the university.
What are the usual semester dates?
You can find the semester dates for each faculty on their website, and you will be given the dates with your admission pack.
Are there any student committees in operation?
Yes. There are various clubs and committees at each of the faculties. You are advised to get involved as much as you can.
How many faculties can I apply for?
As many as you want to. You should do research and have a good idea of which faculties you would want to study at, and arrange them in order of choice. We try to discourage students from taking an entrance exam if they will not accept the place as this could be a place that another student could have, and you only have a limited time before needing to commit financially. If you fail your preferred faculty it is good to have a 2nd and 3rd choice.
I am a graduate already; am I exempt from taking the entrance exams?
No. No one is exempt from the entrance exams (except those who are applying to Rīga Stradiņš University).
Do the universities offer graduate entry? Can I move straight into the second or third year?
All the universities work on a credit system. It could be that you get credits if you have completed modules in your degree covered in the medical programme. If successful in the entrance examination, applicants are required to submit an official transcript of records and a detailed syllabus of their degree courses. Based on these documents, some courses and some years of study (usually of up to a maximum of 2 years’ duration) might be recognised.
Do I have to pay the £275 EMUCAS registration fee for each exam I take?
No. It is payable once per year when you submit your application form. It is not based on how many entrance exams you sit.
I’ve heard that there is a large drop-out rate at some of the universities. Is this true?
We are advised by all faculties that the first two years are the hardest. This is the same if studying in the UK. Not all students will pass their exams, and if they cannot pass it is impossible for them to move onto the following year. In most universities students have 2 or 3 chances to pass each exam. Students who are offered a place should have the based knowledge to progress from the start of the course.
What happens if I fail a year?
In most cases you would not be able to continue to the next year. The rules of the various Universities differ slightly and it is good practice to know the University rules at the beginning of study. Usually if you fail you would need to apply again to be admitted, sometimes with the entrance exam. Once admitted again you can get credits for what you have already passed and continue where you left off.
Do I need a visa to study abroad?
All non-EU citizens need to apply for a visa. It is recommended to do so well in advance, as the visa process takes about three months. Non-EU students should apply for the earlier entrance exams in June or before.
I read on most of the university websites about recognition of qualifications. What is this?
If applying for a medical course in the UK you would simply show you’re A Level certificates for example as part of the admittance procedure. As you are applying for a course in a different country it will be necessary for most Universities for you to have your previous education translated into the language of that country and notarized. Each University is different and you will be given instructions on how to do this with your admittance documents.
Can I transfer back to a UK university once I start studying abroad?
It is very unusual for this to be allowed by the UK universities. We have seen only 2 students who have done this in over 25 years.
Are there student loans/scholarships available to study?
Unfortunately, none that we are aware of. Student must be self-financing. We do however research this yearly and if the situation changes we will let all potential candidates know.
Are the courses entirely in English?
Yes, they are taught entirely in English. You do however have to learn some of the local language, usually timetabled into the first few years of study at the universities. This is so you can have some skills for patient communication during your clinical years (normally from the 3rd year). This will of course also be useful for your day to day life in the country.