How to get into EU Med School?
Are you an aspiring medical student hoping to study in Europe? Here’s a must read for you!
Three former and current European medical school students share their experiences in Millie’s Guide to EU Medical School panel.
Our panelists were:
- Ece Acar: Medicine (MBBS) at Università degli Studi di Milano (‘25)
- Lukas Panayotopoulos: Medicine (MMed) at Maastricht University (‘23), Junior Triagist at Auxilio Zorgprofessionals & Academie
- Leonard Nijman: Medicine (MSc) at Maastricht University (‘20), ANIOS Urologie at Maxima MC
What are the benefits of attending a medical school in Europe?
Attending a medical school in Europe is an attractive option for both local and international students.
Firstly, European medical schools are generally more affordable. They are sometimes five times cheaper than medical schools in the US. For Ece, this was an important consideration as medical schools in the US were too expensive.
Most European medical schools offer the option to study in English. The lack of language barriers makes them more approachable to international students. Some universities might require students to attain a certain level of language in that country, but this can be done by taking the courses that the school provides. Ece is from Turkey but could still choose to study in Italy, as the course was offered in English. She did have to achieve at least B2 level in Italian before the 3rd year, which was possible as the school gave her Italian courses in the first and the second years. Lukas and Leonard also mentioned that the course being taught in English was a major reason for their decisions to study at Maastricht University.
“Many European medical schools offer the option to study in English and provide courses to help the students to learn the language in that country.”
They also provide a memorable and unique academic environment. As students from many different countries attend them, there is much diversity in the class. The ease of traveling between European countries means that overseas internships are much more accessible for students.
“Medical schools in Europe provide a unique academic environment.”
How do I prepare to become a doctor?
Aspiring medical students can acquire experience through medical volunteering or shadowing. During the shadowing experience, you can find out what exactly life as a doctor entails and observe the practical skills required of a doctor. Ece shadowed a general surgeon in high school, which she thinks was the best preparation she could have gotten before entering medical school as it allowed her to consolidate her passion for medicine. Lukas also had shadowing experiences and volunteered at nursing homes before entering medical school.
In medical school, students get trained professionally through clerkships and other practical work, as well as research programs. Through these, they experience different areas in the medical field and plan out their own specialization and medical career. Medical students also have a chance to pursue medical research professionally by assisting professors, which Lukas did. Leonard emphasized that the academic aspect of medicine - research - should not be neglected.
“Through practical work and academic research, medical students experience different specializations.”
What’s after medical school in Europe?
Graduating from European medical schools provides flexibility in your career decisions. If you are an international student, you might decide to return to your home country or stay in Europe. You may choose to become a practitioner right away or engage in research. You can also choose to pursue higher degrees. Lukas, for instance, is considering attaining a PhD in oncology.
Tell me where to start!
If today’s topic interests you, make sure you check out the full panel.
If you’d like some guidance on your journey to medical schools in Europe, you’ve come to the right place! Book a free consultation session now to talk to our experienced team of counselors.
Find more about medical schools in other destinations in our guides below: