A guide to Croatian Medical Schools

Introduction

Croatia is a country in Central Europe. It has a rich history, having changed hands several times in the last thousand years. Today, it is widely considered to be one of the best countries in the world to visit, with tourism making up 20% of the countries income. Much of this tourism is focused on the coastal area, where the warm Adriatic sea has attracted people for centuries. Its capital city, Zagreb, hosts one of the two medical schools in the country that offers an English language programme to prospective applicants – The University of Zagreb. Split, the largest coastal city in the country, hosts the other.

Courses

Both the University of Split and the University of Zagreb offer 6-year programmes that are open to both graduate and undergraduate applicants. They take a traditional approach to medical education, with three years of preclinical training, followed by three years of clinical training. Lectures are provided in the Croatian language to ensure all students are able to communicate effectively with patients.

Academic Requirements

Neither Zagreb nor Split have any minimum grade requirements for entry onto their medical courses. Zagreb states that all applicants must have studied Biology, Chemistry, and Physics to high school level, while this is more of a recommendation at Split. Split medical school places a lot of emphasis on the candidate’s personal statement when assessing the quality of an application, while Zagreb utilises an admissions exam to rank its applicants.

Admissions Exam

The University of Zagreb requires all applicants to sit an internal admissions exam prior to enrolment on the course. This is then used to rank candidates for application. Split, while not requiring any exams be sat, advises that having a good score in the SAT, MCAT, or ACT could help an applicant gain an advantage over their competitors.

Medical Student’s Opinions

Medical students at Croatian universities told us that the best parts about studying on the course are the small class sizes, and the broad level of science knowledge they are able to gain on the course. Having fewer than 50 people in the cohort means the lecturers are able to build strong relationships with their students, ensuring a pleasant and productive working environment. Some students however felt that there was too high a level of competition between students on the course, which was in part driven by the way the assessment process is carried out. Others feel their course can feel a little disorganised. But all the students we spoke to advised that their medical school was a great place to learn, and recommended it to all prospective applicants.