10 Best countries to Study Medicine for International Students

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One of the biggest decisions for a premed who is ready to enter medical school is finding the best medical school to apply to, and this involves looking out for different places in the world with the best medical schools.

Being an honorable profession, medical students in most countries are treated with the utmost respect and special preference. They are provided with the best resources and study environment to help them get the most out of their stay in medical school. And it’s all worth it as medical students are being trained to handle human lives after medical school.

If you are a pre-med student looking for which countries have the medical schools in the world, then this post is for you.

The best countries to study medicine for international students were selected based on the following;

  • Easy to fulfill Admission requirements
  • The cost of studying medicine in the country
  • The quality of medical education
  • Course duration
  • Availability of scholarships for international medical students
  • The presence of top-notch infrastructures
  • Prospect and quality of healthcare practice and
  • The country’s overall quality of life.

Table of Contents

10 best countries to study medicine for international students

After detailed research, and having reviewed other top sources on the web, we have come to the conclusion that some countries are much more favorable for international medical students when compared to others.

And also, some countries successfully checked all contents of the list above and have proven to be among the best countries for medical school journey as long as foreign students are concerned.

List of the best countries for medical education:

  1. United States of America (The USA)
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Australia
  4. India
  5. Canada
  6. Germany
  7. Netherlands
  8. Sweden
  9. France
  10. China

1. United States of America (The USA)

best countries for studying medicine
USA – best countries for studying medicine

It should come as no surprise to you that the medical schools in the United States of America are well equipped to offer quality medical education, and being a multi-cultured nation, will be very favorable for international medical students to easily adapt.

Also, medical schools in the US have much more top-notch infrastructures and resources for medical students when compared with many other medical schools in other countries of the world.

Also, according to Finance Yahoo, the US performs very well in terms of standard of living when compared to other countries; ranking 1st in housing and above the world average in income, health status, education and skills, jobs, earning, and environmental quality and security.

However, before applying for a medical school in the US as an international student, you must have completed a 4-year bachelor’s degree in a science or health-related course.

You must also make sure to have done courses like biology, chemistry and physics, and genetics as your majors during your undergraduate program.

General Admission requirements in US Medical Schools

  • A High school diploma or Senior Secondary School Certificate
  • 3-4 years Premed undergraduate degree in relevant majors
  • An undergraduate GPA > 3.0
  • Excellent TOEFL language score
  • Reach the minimum MCAT score as stipulated by the University
  • 3 letters of recommendation from senior lecturers in your previous faculty
  • Participated in active volunteerism, research, and other extra-curricular activities

Cost of studying medicine in the US

Studying medicine in the US is quite expensive. The average cost of 4 years of a medical degree in the US based on a 2020 study conducted by the American Association of Medical Colleges was USD$250,222 for public schools and USD$330,180 for private schools.

However, medical school aspirants in the US are not expected by schools to pay this money upfront, they are accumulated as student loans which could be paid off gradually after your medical school journey.

Many international students are also beneficiaries of scholarships which help lessen the burden of tuition.

The quality of medical education in the US

The United States is number 1 in terms of the quality of medical education with globally recognized professors, medical consultants, and lecturers.

Remember that the idol of many medical school aspirants; Dr. Benjamin Carson is an alumnus of a prestigious University in the US.

Course duration

It takes approximately 4 years to complete your medical degree in the US; 2 years of preclinical and 2 years of clinical including your rotations and electives.

Available Scholarships for international medical students in the US

There are also many scholarships available for international medical students in the US. But these scholarships come year by year, so you need to keep yourself updated if you are looking for one.

You can find a list of available medicine scholarships for international students in the US here.

Prospect and quality of healthcare practice in the US

As a medical graduate in the US, you have matched automatically to a residency program based on your performance in the USMLE exams.

The US is also among the top 5 of countries that pay doctors the most. This is almost 3 times what doctors are paid in the UK, and double what they are paid in Canada and Australia.

So if you are looking for which country is best for mbbs studies as a bachelor’s degree holder in any of the science majors, the US is the first place you should think of.

Also, Read; Medical Student Malpractice Insurance: What you need to know

2. The United Kingdom

UK - Best countries for medical education
UK – Best countries for medical education

Want to be honored as a member of the Royal College of Physicians? Then you should think of doing your medical education in the UK.

The UK is made up of 4 countries; Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. All these countries share a very old history with Medicine. And many of the modern clinical methods and practices in medicine originated from there.

There is no doubt that medical schools in the UK will be a great fit for anyone looking for quality medical education.

And the good thing about studying medicine in the UK is that you must not have an undergraduate degree to enroll as long as you have good credentials from your high school, excellent scores in your UKCAT, and quality recommendations.

General Admission Requirements in UK Medical Schools

  • A level certificate with the core science subjects; Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Math.
  • Proof of Language proficiency usually IELTS with an average score of 7.5 and at least 6.5 in all of the test components; Writing, Listening, Speaking and Reading.
  • UKCAT score above the cut-off set by the medical school in question
  • Some medical schools in UK may require an International Baccalaureate with at least 36 points overall including 3 higher level subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).
  • Recommendation letters (at least 3) from your teacher and academic supervisors
  • Evidence of active volunteerism and experience in fields related to medicine and healthcare
  • Passing the admission interview

Cost of Studying Medicine in the UK

Studying medicine in the UK is usually more expensive for other international students compared to their counterparts from the UK or the European Union.

The average cost of studying medicine in the UK per session for students from a non-EU country is between 20,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds or more. This is much less for EU medical students.

Quality of Medical Education in the UK

The UK is among the leading countries in terms of quality of medical education. According to QS World University Rankings, greater than 70 universities in the UK made it to the list of the world best universities.

Course Duration

It takes a minimum of 5 years to complete your medical education in the UK. This is unlike in US where you have to do 4 years of undergraduate studies to get accepted into medical school.

So in terms of time-saving for medical students, UK is easily ranked as number 1 globally.

Scholarships for Medical Students in UK

There are many options for medical students to meet up with the tuition fees in the UK and they include; student loans (both government, public and private funded), scholarships and goodwill donations.

Here is a list of available scholarships for international medical students in the UK.

Prospect of Healthcare Practice in the UK

As a medical graduate in the UK, you are enrolled in the GMC and can easily fill into any residency position you want as long as you meet the minimum requirements.

Also, UK is among the top 20 countries with the highest quality of health service with a global ranking of 10 and overall Healthcare Index of 61.73 and health infrastructure of 88.63 both measured over 100.

Also, doctors are pretty well remunerated when compared to many countries of the world although they are behind places like US, Canada, Netherlands, Australia and Sweden in terms of the salaries of medical practitioners.

Also, Read: Kaplan MCAT Prep Course Reviews

3. Australia

Study medicine in Australia

Next on our list of the best countries for medicine is Australia. Just like the US, Australia has a very high standard of living, excellent quality of living and amazing prospects for medical practitioners.

Like the UK, one can enter Australian medical schools without need for a 4 year undergraduate program as long as you have good credentials.

Requirements to enter Australian Medical School

  • A level certificate, International Baccalaureate or equivalent with good performance in the core science subjects; Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics
  • A proof of English language proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)
  • International Student Admission Test (ISAT)
  • Pass your Interviews
  • Recommendation letters from your teachers and academic advisors

Cost of Studying Medicine in Australia for International Students

Just like the US, studying medicine in Australia is quite expensive.

The cost of studying medicine in Australia for international students per year is around AUD63, 000 to AUD 95,754.

Quality of Medical Education in Australia

Medical schools in Australia have good infrastructures, world class lecturers and professors making it among the best countries for medicine.

Course Duration

Completing and undergraduate program in medicine and surgery in Australia takes a minimum of 5 to 6 years in approved medical schools. This also makes Australia among the fastest for medical education globally.

Scholarships for International Medical Students in Australia

It is nearly impossible for medical students in Australia to pay for the cost of medical education in the country. So many international medical students rely on scholarships from the government, non-profit organizations and other public bodies.

Also, some students take loans from the government which could be repaid after medical school.

Prospects for Medical Graduates in Australia

Australia has excellent prospect for medical graduates. Apart from being among the top 10 countries with the highest paid countries, Australia is the 6th country with the best health healthcare globally with a Health Care Index of 67.77 and health infrastructure of 92.58 all over 100.

Also, Read; How long is medical school in the US, the UK and Australia?

4. India

medical school in India

The tales of India’s great expertise in healthcare has not come to an end yet.

India is well known for their excellence in medical research, innovation in health, perfectionism and a high tendency for advancement in future technologies.

This country is also home to the popular gurus of medicine; the famous authors of your medical textbooks.

If you are looking for a place to learn the fundamentals of medicine and where you will be trained to be good at medical research, then you should consider studying medicine in India. But you should be very aware of the high competition for admission into Indian medical schools.

The only setback India may be having in terms of medical education lack of funds and poor infrastructure to support their medical know-how.

General Admission requirements for Indian Medical Schools

  • High School Certificate or Senior Secondary School Certificate with good grades in Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  • Applicants must pass the NEET
  • Applicants must appear for counselling
  • Some medical schools will require other exams like the AIIMS and JIPMER
  • You must pass the entrance examination

The cost of studying medicine in India

The average cost of studying medicine in India is between Rs. 4 Lakhs to Rs. 15 Lakhs per year.

The quality of medical education in India

India has been consistently ranking among the best countries for medical education for long.

Medical students learn from world class lecturers and professors in the medical field.

Medical universities in India have excellent maintenance culture for their classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and surgical theatres with advanced technologies.

Course duration

The average duration of medical school in India is 5.5 years (4.5 years of medical school and 1 year of Internship).

Scholarships for international medical students In India

It may surprise many, but there are many good scholarship opportunities for international medical students in India which you can find here.

Prospect and quality of healthcare practice

Although India is currently suffering from a severe brain drain from the good number of domestically trained doctors migrating to west yearly in search for greener pastures India still have an excellent health system.

They are ranked 19th among the top 20 countries with the best healthcare in the world with a Health Care Index of 52.1 and Health Infrastructure of 74.2.

The average starting salary of a doctor in India is around 1 Lakhs per year and the highest paid earns around 17.6 Lakhs per year.

However, the reason for the massive brain drain in India is due to overall poor quality of living in the country.

5. Canada

Canada - Best countries for mbbs

Canada easily fits into the 5th place of the best countries for medical education because of the high quality of living and great returns and prospects for doctors in the country.

Just like in US, Canadian medical schools require that you complete a 3 to 4 years of undergraduate program in any of the science majors.

Admission requirements for Medical Schools in Canada

  • A minimum GPA of 3.6 in your undergraduate program (Science and Humanities pre-requisites)
  • A proof of English language proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)
  • MCAT score with a minimum of 125 in each section
  • A good medical school personal statement
  • 3 letters of reference from your teachers and academic supervisors
  • Pass your interviews
  • Other requirements are school specific

The cost of studying medicine in Canada

Canada is among the most affordable places to study medicine when compared with the quality of medical education in the country.

The average cost of studying medicine in Canada for International medical students is around CAD$32,000 per year and around CAD$20,000 for permanent Canadian residents.

The quality of medical education in Canada

Canadian medical schools have good infrastructures and are populated by globally-recognized lecturers and professionals who teach medical students.

They also have good infrastructures, next generation surgical theatres and good laboratories.

Course duration

It takes a minimum of 4 years to complete your medical school education in Canada.

Scholarships for international medical students in Canada

Available scholarships in Canada make it possible for students to graduate from medical school almost for free.

Prospect and quality of healthcare practice

Canada has excellent prospect for health practitioners generally. No wonder it is the dream land of many internationally trained health workers who are seeking for greener pastures.

They are also rated among the places where doctors are paid the most in the world.

Looking for the best countries for medical practitioners? Welcome to Canada!

6. Germany

studying medicine in Germany
studying medicine in Germany

Germany is the first non-English speaking to make our list of the best countries for medical education.

And it is for no other reason other than their next-generation health technologies and adoption of high-tech infrastructures that make health practice look easy.

German Medical Schools’ Admission requirements for International Students

  • A proof of the German language proficiency (the TestDaF or the DSH)
  • Good grades in your A level, High School Certificate or Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations including the core science subjects; Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths.
  • A one year preparatory course (Studiekolleg and Feststellungsprungexam) for Non-EU students
  • Apply via the Foundation for University Admissions (Stiftung fur Hochschulzulassung)
  • For non-EU countries, check if your Chosen University is listed among the approved in Uni-assist list and apply through there or you can apply directly through your chosen university.

The cost of studying medicine in Germany

Germany offers one of the best and cheap countries to study medicine in the world.

The cost of studying medicine in Germany (tuition) for students from EU countries is generally no more than USD$ 290 per session. But for non-EU countries, it is usually around USD$3,500 per year.

The quality of medical education in Germany

Germany has also consistently been in the list of the countries with the best medical schools and highest standards of medical education.

They have cool infrastructures, great laboratories and surgical theatres. Their lecturers are also world class.

Course duration

Studying medicine in Germany generally lasts for duration of 5 to 6 years. Two years of pre-clinical studies, 3 years of clinical study and 1 year of practical or housemanship.

Scholarships for international medical students in Germany

There are also many scholarships available for international medical students in Germany.

Prospect and quality of healthcare practice

Doctors generally enjoy an above-average quality of life in Germany.

The average starting salary for a doctor in a University hospital is around 5600 Euros per month and can increase to 7,000 Euros per month within a period of 12 years.

7. Netherlands

studying medicine in Netherlands

The 7th on our list of the best medical schools to study medicine is Netherlands. Being among the richest countries in the world, it should not be surprising that medical schools in Netherlands are well funded and have one of the best infrastructures.  

The only barrier for international medical students in Netherlands is language. Although there are some medical schools in Netherlands where you can study medicine in English language, you will still need some level of proficiency in the language to be able to practice medicine in the country.

Admission requirements for Medical Schools In Netherlands

  • A proof of your proficiency in English language (IELTS or TOEFL)
  • A high school certificate, A level or a Senior Secondary School Certificate (Including Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Math)
  • Learn Dutch language to be able to practice in the country
  • Letters of recommendation

The cost of studying medicine in Netherlands

The average cost of studying medicine in the Netherlands is between 10,000 Euros and 30,000 Euros per year for international students.

The quality of medical education in Netherlands

Netherlands is a very rich country and have a very good quality medical education.

Their main mode of instruction is Dutch, but you can also find other good medical schools for English-speaking medical students.

Netherlands has world class lecturers, top-notch laboratories and surgical theatres.

Course duration

It takes an average of 6 years to become a medical doctor in Netherlands; a 3 year Bachelor in medicine and a 3 year Masters in Medicine.

Scholarships for international medical students in Netherlands

There are also available scholarships for international medical students in Netherlands and this helps to reduce tuition load on students.

Prospect and quality of healthcare practice

Netherlands has the best prospect for medical doctors. They are among the top 3 countries that pay doctors the most.

Also, doctors enjoy low Physician to doctor ratio, holidays and breaks. And Netherlands is 11th on the global ranking of the top countries with the best healthcare with a Health Care Index of 60.16 and Infrastructure rating of 79.09 all over 100.

If you are looking to enjoy life as a medical practitioner, the Netherlands will never disappoint you.

8. Sweden

studying medicine in Sweden

Sweden is the first Scandinavian country on our list of the best countries for medical education.

Sweden is blessed with enormous wealth and a good health system. But you must be proficient in Swedish language to be able to practice medicine in the country.

Swedish Medical School Admission requirements for International Students

  • A high school diploma with good grades in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics
  • Proof of proficiency in the Swedish language and English language
  • Good letters of recommendation
  • Pass the medical school interview

The cost of studying medicine in Sweden

The average cost of studying medicine in Sweden for international students is around $9000 to $12,000 per year.

The quality of medical education in Sweden

Sweden has a high quality of medical education, good laboratories, surgical theatres and top-notch professionals who teach medical students.

Course duration

Medical school in Sweden takes an average minimum of 5 to 6 years for one to complete, making up a total of 11 semesters.

Scholarships for international medical students

There are good scholarship opportunities for international medical students in Sweden.

Prospect and quality of healthcare practice

The average monthly salary of doctors in Sweden according to salary scale is around 106,000 SEK (1,270,000 SEK yearly). This makes Sweden among the best countries for medicine with the highest pays for doctors.

9. France

Studying medicine in France

France is another European country on our list of the best countries for studying medicine in the world.

France has one of the best health systems and as such the French government pumps in a lot money into their medical schools to train doctors who are able to uphold the standards and quality of healthcare.

Medical School Admission requirements for International Students in France

  • Proof of proficiency in the French language (DELF or DALF language tests)
  • Good grades in your high school diploma including Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics
  • Letters of recommendation and motivation
  • Other requirements depending on the medical school

The cost of studying medicine in France

France is one of the best and cheap countries to study medicine with an average tuition cost of EUR 420 ($512) per year.

The quality of medical education in France

The quality of medical education in France is very high when compared to the cost of studying medicine in the country.

They also have world class professors and professionals, good laboratories and high-tech infrastructures.

Course duration

The average time it takes to study medicine in France is 6 years.

Scholarships for international medical students in France

Studying medicine in France with scholarships is almost like studying medicine for free. And there are very good fully or partially funded scholarships available for medical students in France.

Prospect and quality of healthcare practice

Doctors in France usually earn around EUR 42,800 to EUR 197,000 per year.

10. China

Studying medicine in China

Finally, the second Asian country to top the list of the best countries for medical school is China.

Medical practice in China is quite different from medical practice in most other countries in that it combines discipline in both modern medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.

However, for international medical students, you have a choice of studying just western medicine and getting your MBBS or to also study the Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Also, international students cannot practice medicine in China without doing another degree in the Traditional medicine and also without being proficient in Chinese language. But the overall prospect for fully licensed physicians in China is excellent.

Admission requirements into Chinese Medical Schools for International Students

  • A minimum of 60% in Physics, Chemistry, Biology in high school
  • Applicants must be 18 years and above
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Pass your medical school admission interview
  • Medical school personal statement (150 words)
  • Curriculum vitae

The cost of studying medicine in China

China is also one of the best and cheap countries to study medicine in the world with an annual tuition of USD$1,000 to $2000.

The quality of medical education in China

China is renowned for their overall quality of education and good work ethics.

Students are actively engaged in school for 6 days in a week unlike in many other countries where they only work for 5 days.

China is also well known for their excellence in research and technologies. Medical universities in China are generally equipped with next generation equipment in their laboratories and surgical theatres.

Course duration

Medical school in china usually lasts for a period of 5 to 6 years.

Scholarships for international medical students in China

There are both fully funded and partially funded scholarships available for international medical students in China. This reduces the burden of tuition by a lot for the beneficiaries.

Prospect and quality of healthcare practice

China is highly technological advancement oriented. So there is no doubt that the environment will create the freedom needed for medical practitioners to innovate.

Also, doctors in China are well-remunerated for their services.

Summary: Top 10 best Countries for Medicine

S/NCOUNTRYADMISSION REQUIREMENTSFEESQUALITYYEARSSCHOLARSHIPPROSPECT
1United StatesHigh school
Undergraduate degree
GPA > 3.0
TOEFL
MCAT
Recommendation Volunteer
$250k – $330k for 4 yearsVery High4 yearsYesVery high
2United KingdomA level
IELTS UKCAT
Recommendation
volunteerism
20k to 40k pounds/yrVery High5 yearsYesModerate
3AustraliaA level
IELTS or TOEFL
ISAT
Recommendation
AUD63k to AUD 96k/yrVery High5 yearsYesHigh
4IndiaHigh School
NEET
Counselling
AIIMS and JIPMER
Entrance exam
Rs. 4 to Rs. 15 Lakhs/yrHigh5-6 yearsYesMild
5CanadaGPA of >3.6
IELTS or TOEFL
MCAT
Personal statement
Reference
Interviews
CAD 20k to 32k/yrHigh4 yearsYesVery high
6GermanyTestDaF or the DSH
A level
Preparatory course
Application
$3.5k/yrHigh5-6 yearsYesHigh
7NetherlandsIELTS or TOEFL
A level
Recommendation  
EUR10k to EUR30k/yrHigh6 yearsYesVery High
8SwedenA level
Language tests
Recommendation
SEK9k to SEK 12k/yrHigh5-6 yearsYesModerate
9FranceDELF or DALF
High school
Letters of recommendation/motivation
$512/yrHigh6 yearsYesModerate
10ChinaHigh school
> 18 years
Letters of recommendation
Interview
Medical school personal statement
Curriculum vitae
$1k to $2k/yrHigh5 yearsYesModerate
list of the best countries to study medicine, requirements, tuition, quality of medical education, course duration, scholarsips and prospects.

Also, Read: Kaplan SAT Prep Course Reviews

List Best countries to study medicine in Europe

The Best European countries for medical school include:

  • The United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden and
  • France

Best countries to study medicine in Africa

Studying medicine in Africa

None of the African countries made it to the list of the top 10 countries for medical school in the world. However, Africa has some countries with world class medical education training both for local and international medical students.

The 5 Best countries to study medicine in Africa include;

  • Kenya
  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • Uganda and
  • Botswana

Also read; 10 best medical schools in Nigeria

Best countries to study medicine in Asia

Two countries in Asia made it to the list of the best countries for medical education. The best countries to study medicine in Asia include;

  • India
  • China
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong

Best countries to study medicine in South America

best countries for studying medicine in south america

No country in South America made it to the list of the best countries for medicine. But South America is home to some of the best medical schools in the world.

The 5 best countries to study medicine in South America include;

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia

Final Words!

Many countries in the world are home to one of the best medical schools. But putting together all the factors we considered above, we were able to come up with this very detailed and comprehensive list of the best countries for medicine in the world for international students.

If you have the funds and eye for the best quality education, you should consider choosing any of the above best countries to study medicine for international students, and also apply for the available scholarships to reduce the load of the tuition on your sponsors.

We wish you the best in your medical career journey!

By Paschal Madueke

Medical Doctor and ICT enthusiast

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