Applying to study medicine abroad can be hectic and stressful because of the additional requirements. Though the process of applying to study medicine abroad may be similar to local students, you will have to take note of the other documents required.
As an international student, you should thoroughly research the med schools you wish to apply to and check the requirements. You can also compare the criteria for different schools and find the ones that match your qualifications.
Having said that, here's how you can study medicine as an international student:
Apply to medical schools
You can start by creating a list of med schools you wish to apply to abroad. Ensure you've researched the med schools sufficiently and are sure they accept international students. For instance, you can check some resources that have reported top 10 pre-med schools for aspiring doctors. You can use this list to find pre-med and med schools that you can apply to.
Some of these med schools might require you to have extra qualifications, such as some completed coursework in a local university and proficiency in English. While this might seem like a lot to handle, it's easily attainable if you have enough time.
International med schools will require you to provide transcripts for verification. In cases where the application process is handled by American Medical School Application Services (AMCAS), you must submit transcripts from post-secondary institutions.
If you took courses in a university abroad, you could check the AMCAS website for details on uploading your coursework and requesting transcripts. This can occur when you take a course through a study-abroad program that a foreign institution sponsors.
For example, if you pursued a pre-med course through a study-abroad program sponsored by an American institution but done in a foreign country, your transcripts would be recognized by AMCAS. In such situations, it's presumed that your coursework is from the sponsor country.
Nonetheless, you can still get your foreign transcripts verified by the med school you're applying to. You'll be informed if there are additional coursework requirements, which can take some time to complete.
Apply for a visa
When applying to study medicine as an international student, you'll have to apply for a visa to undertake clinical training and provide medical care. You should check on the visa requirements and how to apply for one.
For example, if you're planning to study medicine in an American institution, you'll have to apply for a J-1 visa. There are instances where you can get sponsorship for this visa. Nonetheless, ensure that you understand all the requirements to apply for this visa. You can also check the information provided by the university on the assistance they can give you in acquiring the J-1 visa.
Fulfill the necessary requirements
You must fulfill many requirements when applying to study medicine at an international university. Some of these requirements include the following:
- Research in your area of interest: You must show the admission board that you've participated in some research. The study can be in the form of articles or thesis papers that you've written.
- Extracurricular activities: Having extracurricular activities such as leadership roles and sports on your résumé can boost your application to med school as an international student. Co-curricular activities show that you're a well-rounded student with other interests.
- Job shadowing: It's essential to demonstrate your interest in providing people care. You can demonstrate experience in the medical field by having experience shadowing a physician in a clinic, hospital, or other care facilities.
- Perform well in Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT): You must outdo yourself in the MCAT. This test is meant to show your knowledge and understanding of concepts in the medical field. Therefore, you must prepare adequately and dedicate enough time to ensure that you pass the MCAT to guarantee admission into med school.
- Attain the necessary grade point average (GPA): During verification of transcripts, your grades would be converted into a GPA score between 0.0 to 4.0, where 4.0 is a perfect score of A+. Therefore, you need a high GPA score to secure one of the limited slots in an international med school.
You can consider these requirements to start preparing early for applications to an international med school. Additionally, you should have strong letters of recommendation to support your application.
It'd help if you focused on applying to med schools that accept international students. While you do so, it's crucial to take up healthy habits such as sports as you go through the arduous application process. Lastly, you must thoroughly research the requirements to avoid getting stuck during the application process or miss deadlines.