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The Best Countries to Study Medicine for International Students

Choosing to pursue a career in medicine is one thing; picking the best platform to do so is another critical decision you have to make.

There are several medical schools in various parts of the world, and even though the degrees may be the same, their standards may be somehow different.

Depending on the country where you choose to pursue your medical degree, you may be exposed to better learning conditions and most likely, greater opportunities.

I understand how tough it might be to choose the best place to study medicine, so I have gone through the trouble for you. In this article, I will show you the best countries to study medicine and why you should go for them.

Top 9 Countries to Study Medicine

Here are some of the best countries to study medicine around the world;

1. The United States


The United States of America is probably the most preferred destination for anyone who wishes to pursue a degree abroad.

It is known as home to some of the best and most prestigious medical schools in the world, with world-renowned faculty and state-of-the-art facilities. These institutions include Harvard Medicine, Stanford, John Hopkins University, and Yale, to mention a few.

Studying medicine in the United States comes with a lot of advantages, including a better resume and exposure to world-leading faculty and standards.

However, the United States remains one of the most expensive countries to study medicine, even for native students.

2. The United Kingdom


Just like the United States, the United Kingdom is also known for its prestigious medical schools including the likes of Oxford and Cambridge universities. However, unlike the United States, studying medicine in the UK is relatively affordable.

The UK has a long history of excellence in medical education, and its universities offer a variety of programs to suit different interests. Various medical schools in the United Kingdom offer leading medical courses for aspiring doctors, exposing them to the latest technology, resources, and information.

Renowned figures in different parts of the world like Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking attended schools in the United Kingdom. Although the cost of studying in the UK is not cheap, it is less costly than studying in the United States.

3. Canada


Generally, studying in Canada is seen as a great alternative to escape the high cost of education in many other European countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, but this fact doesn’t make the country fall short in standard.

Canada is known for its high quality of life and its commitment to healthcare. Its medical schools are also highly regarded, and the cost of living is relatively low.

There are only 17 medical schools in Canada, so you have a smaller range to pick from. Fortunately, immigration into Canada is quite easier than it is in other countries especially when you apply as a student.

After your education, you can choose to practice in the country and be a beneficiary of the high pay for doctors.

4. India


India has a long history of traditional medicine, and its medical schools are becoming increasingly popular with international students.

The country is known to house over 2,000 foreign nationals enrolled in various Indian medical schools. This figure is still on the rise due to the relatively low cost of pursuing a medical degree there.

If you are looking forward to exploring a unique and diverse way of living and learning at a relatively low cost, then India should be your preferred destination.

5. Australia

Major architecture landmarks of the city of Sydney

Although chosen by a few people, Australia remains one of the best countries to study medicine around the world.

Thanks to its beautiful scenery and laid-back lifestyle, it is a popular choice amongst many international students. The country is also known for its medical schools which offer high-quality education.

In essence, Australia would be a great choice for you if you crave a good work/life balance. You will find some of the best medical courses at the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, and Monash University, to mention a few.

6. Germany


Germany is known for offering various scholarship programs and free tuition in public universities, making it a popular choice amongst many students.

Aside from being an affordable option, the quality of education, especially for medical students in Germany is excellent. It is a great destination to pursue a medical degree.

7. Sweden


There are various medical schools in Sweden including the Karolinska Institute which is one of the most famous universities in the world for medicine.

If you are interested in other areas of medicine such as public health or pharmacology, Karolinska Institute is also an excellent choice. The only downside to studying in Sweden is that some of the key medical programs are taught in Swedish, and this may be a challenge for international students.

Sweden has a national healthcare system, a bit like the UK, which is great for doctors who prefer this model. It also has a lovely way of life, especially for children.

8. The Netherlands


The Netherlands is seen as a better alternative to studying in Sweden since it is an English-speaking country. It is also known as home to some of the best medical schools around the world.

Each year, 100 out of 410 slots are dedicated to non-Dutch speakers (international students), so you won’t need to learn the language initially.

In general, The Netherlands has a great healthcare system, especially in the area of reproductive health, as well as stunning landscapes and a friendly, welcoming culture.

9. China


Let me put this as me saving the best for the last. China is home to hundreds of universities committed to providing competitive learning standards and experiences to students across various fields.

Pursuing a medical degree in China comes with a lot of upsides. Aside from bagging a medical degree, students are also exposed to traditional Chinese and ancient medicines, which is seen as a bonus.

You will find some of the world’s best medical schools in China including Peking University, Shanghai University, and Shantou Medical College, amongst others.

Essential Factors to Consider

Ultimately, the best country to pursue your medical degree should depend on various factors including;

  • The quality of education
  • The cost of living & Study
  • Acceptance rate of the institution
  • Admission requirements
  • The Language of Instruction

When it comes to quality of education, I believe I have done that part for you. The list above consists of the best countries to study medicine ranked in terms of education quality.

Other factors such as the cost of living and study should also be considered before you make any move. If you will be able to fund your education in the said country, then you can go for it.

Some medical schools are known to offer scholarship programs to students. You can submit your application if you meet the laid-down requirements. Also, you should consider the language of instruction. Some countries teach students in their native languages and this may be a big challenge for international students.

If you are not fluent in the language of the country where you want to study, you will need to consider the availability of English-taught programs or even studying in another country.

Most importantly, you should consider the job market of the country that you wish to study in. Once you graduate, you will need to find a job as a doctor. Consider the job market in the country where you want to study to make sure that there will be opportunities for you after graduation.

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