Health studies: what are the options abroad?
Studying medicine, dentistry, veterinary science or physiotherapy is a vocation – a passion. Students have often known for years that this is what they want to do. Unfortunately, the competition is fierce for places on these courses and for a number of reasons, many students find themselves unable to fulfil their dream of studying the health sciences.
Previously, the UK was a preferred choice for European students to study medicine or veterinary science. However, since Brexit, the cost of the courses for non-UK citizens has soared. This, together with the cap on international students for medicine and dentistry, leaves many EU students with nowhere to turn.
French students, in particular, find themselves with no pathway to study these subjects
Following the reforms of health studies in France, there are an ever-increasing number of disappointed students who are unable to pursue their desired studies. Indeed, many students who have the capacity and the will to study medicine, dentistry, or physiotherapy cannot continue in the second year in France due to the limit on the number of students. We can also add to this population, the high school students who do not wish to go through the first year of medical studies in France due to this extreme selection at the end of the first year.
For all these students, the Spanish route offers the possibility of realising their dream of becoming a doctor, dentist, physiotherapist, pharmacist or veterinary surgeon by offering quality courses in an international setting.
Health studies in Spain: courses of study
Medical studies in Spain begin with 6 years of university studies leading to the “Grado en Medicina” degree. If the student subsequently wishes to continue his or her studies in Spain, he or she continues with a specialisation course. They also have the option of returning to France to continue their training through the ECN exam (Examen Classant National, which will change in 2024 to become EDN – National Dematerialised Examination, and ECOS – Objective and Structured Clinical Examination).
The private university Cardenal Herrera, located near Valencia, offers a medicine programme with courses in the first years in English. Spanish courses are also provided to enable students to obtain the necessary level of Spanish to continue the training in Spanish from the third year onwards.
The application deadline for this course is in March. However, it is necessary to start the application process well in advance as there is a scientific exam to take. Applicants must take the BMAT (BioMedical Admission Test), an international medical entrance examination widely used by universities in the UK and elsewhere in the world. This exam, designed to test thinking skills, the ability to apply scientific knowledge and communication skills, is taken remotely in February and registration is by the end of January.
The private university of Navarra also offers a medicine course in English and Spanish. However, as some courses are taught in Spanish from the first year onwards, it is necessary to have a B2 level in Spanish at the time of application.
There are a number of reputable private Spanish universities that offer a 5-year course of dental studies in Spain. For some courses, only the first few years are taught in English, for others the whole course is in English. Even when the courses are taught in English, the student must still learn Spanish for the patient contact during the clinical years.
Whether you study in Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid or elsewhere, you will find high-quality courses with the latest equipment and techniques. For example, the Universidad Europea offers this course at its two campuses in Madrid and Valencia.
The selection of applicants is based on grade point average and grades in science subjects. Some universities also require applicants to take their own entrance exam in biology and chemistry. The applicant must also be able to prove a B2 level in English.
Many UK and EU citizens also go to Spain to study physiotherapy. The CEU Cardenal Herrera campus in Elche, for example, offers a 4-year course, the first year being in French and the following years in Spanish. The Universidad Europea in Madrid and Valencia offer four years of courses entirely in French. Please note, however, that a B2 level of Spanish is required at the end of the first year to be able to do the clinical placements in Spanish. CEU San Pablo in Madrid offers a 4 year physiotherapy course in English.
For pharmacy studies, there are also courses in Spain that start in English. The CEU Cardenal Herrera University near Valencia offers a 5-year pharmacy course, with 50% of the training in English.
And to finish our overview, let’s not forget the animals! It is also possible to go to Spain to study veterinary medicine, again starting the course in either English or French with intensive Spanish classes before switching to the Spanish version for the third year of the 5 year course.
What are the tuition fees for these health studies in Spain?
For medical studies the fee is around €22,000 per year for the first three years, dropping to €18,500 for subsequent years. For pharmacy studies the fee is around €13,000 per year for the first few years in English with a drop in fee when the course switches to Spanish.
Dentistry studies, which are entirely in English, cost €22,000 for each year of the 5-year course.
Veterinary studies cost €16,000 per year for the years in French or English, and €12,000 for the following years in Spanish.
All these fees are indicative and should be confirmed at the time of application.
When to contact Expat Student
Expat Student can help you apply for all these courses.
If you are in your final year of high school or in your first year of medical school or veterinary school in France, you are still in time to apply to some of the Spanish universities for the start of the academic year 2022. We will help you select the courses and prepare your application.
Expat Student supports you in all your international study projects by offering you individual and tailor-made assistance.
You can also read our article on the European level to learn more about health studies in Europe.
We help you apply stress-free to prestigious universities in the UK, Europe and Canada for courses as diverse as International Business Management, Engineering, English Literature, History, International Relations and Politics, International Law, Medicine and Veterinary Studies.
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