Guide to Medical Schools in Hungary Taught in English

Applying to Medical School  · May 11, 2018 Mr Gerens Curnow

Mr. Gerens Curnow is a Medical Student from the University of Exeter. He is the winner of the Educator Development Committee Award from the Association for the Study of Medical Education.  He has given lectures to 70-100 A-level students on medical school applications. Additionally, he is the author of three of our Medical School Application Guidebooks.

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. Between the universities, they admit over 850 international students onto English-language medical courses each year. Hungary is a leader in education with a number of higher education institutions which are renowned worldwide for their excellence. The local currency is the Hungarian forint. It is certainly worth considering if you want to study medicine in Hungary. Hopefully, we can give you some background information from which you can begin your research.

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All the Medicine courses offered in Hungary are 6-year programmes, each of which features three pre-clinical years and three clinical/internship years. Tuition fees range from just under €16,000 to just over €18,000 per year.

Competitiveness ranges from around 2 applicants per place (Debrecen) to around 10 per place (Szeged). Graduate and undergraduate applicants apply to the same course. The living costs are much lower than the UK but bear in mind they may be more expensive if living in a famous city like Budapest.

Degrees completed at a Hungarian university are accepted in all European Union countries, as well as Israel and India, and permit graduates to take the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) in the USA, the MCCEE (Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination). 

Hungary Medical Schools

  • University of Debrecen: The University has a history dating back to the 16th century but the faculty of medicine itself was established in 1951. It has a large medical department composed of 25 clinical departments. The medical school is also home to the city's hospital. This means that students studying at the University of Debrecen gain extensive clinical experiences throughout their time. Find out more on the University website
  • University of Pécs Medical School: As the oldest University in Hungary, the Pécs programme is highly renowned worldwide. It is one of the largest institutions in the world and has been teaching the English medical programme since 1985. It is a beautiful city, and was the 2010 European Capital of Culture, initiating large renovations across the city. Find out more on the University website. 
  • University of Szeged: With a rich history dating back to 1581, the University has a rich history. Many famous medics have studied there, such as Albert Szent-Györgyi, who won a Noble prize for extracting vitamin C. It is him that the medical school is named after. Find out more on the University website
  • Semmelweis University: This is the only English speaking medical school of Budapest, Hungary's capital city. There is a University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest, one of the oldest vet schools in the world. Semmelweis University itself was founded in 1635, but the studies at the University of medicine date back 250 years. The medical school is actually named after Ignac Semmelweis, famous for discovering that washing hands significantly reduced the number of women dying in childbirth. Essentially, he was the pioneer of antiseptics. Find out more on the University website

These universities offer degree courses in medicine, dentistry and other healthcare-related professions.

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Courses

All four medical schools in Hungary 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 in hospitals and clinics. The internship 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. This is vital for the students as they progress towards the clinical years where patient interactions become more frequent. Graduating from one of the four medical schools qualifies you to work throughout the rest of the EU. 

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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 as part of the application process. To be successful in this exam it will require a high level of knowledge in Biology and Chemistry.

Admissions exam

Applicants to Semmelweis, Pécs and Szeged medical schools 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. Debrecen also offers a basic medicine course for applicants who achieve below 40% on the written examination but who's oral exam results would usually allow admission.

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. This means applicants will have the opportunity to meet a range of new people from all over the world should they enter into one of the medical courses in Hungary.

Furthermore, 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 universities. Courses are difficult and have a high drop-out rate, with many students struggling to meet the high academic demands of the medical programmes. For 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. Additionally, it allows you to practice as a doctor in countries across the globe.

We hope this has provided you insights into applying to English speaking medical schools in Hungary. If you have any questions or would like further information, email us at hello@theMSAG.com.

 

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