A guide to Hungarian Medical Schools
Hungary is a land-locked country in Eastern Europe. It is home to around 10 million people, and has four universities that offer a medicine course in English; Debrecen, Pécs, Szeged and Semmelweis, which between them admit over 850 applicants onto English-language medical courses each year. The local currency is the Hungarian forint, which is worth approximately 0.0032 Euros and 0.0036USD, making the cost of living in Hungary very low relative to other European countries.
All the Medicine courses offered in Hungary are 6-year programmes, each of which features three pre-clinical years and three clinical/internship years. Fees range from just under 16,000 Euros to just over 18,000 Euros per year, with the competitiveness ranging from around 2 applicants per place (Debrecen) to around 10 (Szeged). Graduate and undergraduate applicants apply to the same course
Degrees completed in this country are accepted in all EU countries, as well as Israel and India, and permit graduates to take the USMLE in the USA, the MCCEE in Canada
All four Hungarian medical schools that offer an English language course have 6-year programmes, consisting of three pre-clinical years, two clinical years, and one internship/placement year. Teaching modalities include lectures, dissections, seminars, tutorials, small group learning and clinical skills sessions, with a traditional approach to medical education being favoured. The subjects covered in the first three years include anatomy, physiology, embryology, histology, pathology and biochemistry, among many others. The clinical years feature placements in major hospitals, where students experience integrated modules in specialty areas such as Cardiology, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Psychiatry. The internship year takes place solely within hospitals and clinics, and ensures all graduates have experienced life as a doctor and are able to understand their roles within the medical team.
All four of the universities provide teaching in the Hungarian language in the early years, which is vital for the students as the progress towards the clinical years where patient interactions become more frequent.
• Academic Requirements
There are no minimum grade requirements at any of the four Hungarian medical schools. However, having studied Biology and Chemistry may be required (Semmelweis) or preferred (Szeged). It should also be noted that applicants will have to sit an Entrance Exam prior as part of the application process, and success at this exam will require a high level of knowledge in Biology and Chemistry.
• Admissions Exam
Applicants to Semmelweis, Pécs and Szeged medical schools will all sit the same exam. This involves both written and oral assessment, and is designed to determine the applicants’ command of the English language, as well as their scientific knowledge. The written section is multiple choice, and the oral section consists of a 1-on-1 interview with a professor from one of the medical schools. The exam at Debrecen is very similar, but contains a mixture of multiple choice, short answer, and calculation-style questions.
• Medical Student’s Opinions
Students point to the diversity of the student body as one of the best features of studying in Hungary. Students from over 70 countries have studied in Hungary, meaning applicants can be sure they will have the opportunity to meet a range of new people from all over the world should they enter onto one of the medical courses in Hungary. Further, the low cost of living and vivid nightlife in the larger cities creates a fantastic student experience, accompanying the high standard of education provided at the university. However, courses at these schools are difficult and have a high drop-out rate, with many students struggling to meet the high academic demands of the medical programmes. Overall though, for those students who are able to balance a good work ethic with an active social life, Hungary is an exciting and enriching place to study medicine, and allows you to practice as a doctor in countries across the globe.