10 Best Countries to Study Medicine Abroad

There are few careers more rewarding than those in medicine. Whether you want to become a family doctor, a pediatrician, a hospital consultant or a psychiatrist, you must start this amazing journey with a medical degree. After this degree (or equivalent) you are expected to attend medical school to study medicine at a postgraduate level. Depending on what type of doctor you want to become, you could be studying medicine for up to 10 years (for example, surgeons tend to spend the longest learning their profession)! But many people qualify before this point. 

Medical undergraduate degrees vary throughout the world in length, content, and specialisms. For example, if you study medicine in China, you will get to learn the same as any medical student in the United Kingdom but also can explore the field of Chinese medicine too. Every course is different, and studying medicine abroad can open you up to unique opportunities that you won’t find in your home country.

Here are the best countries to study medicine in.

Top 10 Countries


The USA is home to some of the most prestigious medical courses in the world. You can attend world leading institutions like Harvard Medicine, John Hopkins University, Stanford, Yale and more. 

study medicine abroad

An advantage of studying in the USA is that you will gain a good reputation from the outset (Harvard looks good on anyone’s resume) and gain exposure to world leading teachers and faculty. A disadvantage is the cost – Harvard and similar universities are not cheap, especially for international students.

United Kingdom

study medicine abroad

Oxford and Cambridge university offer leading medical courses for aspiring doctors, giving them access to the latest technology, resources and information. Furthermore, both institutions have an incredible history. Some of the greatest minds in history attended Cambridge including Stephen Hawking and Issac Newton. Much as with the United States, attending these universities isn’t cheap with international students paying upwards of £60,000 per year for an undergraduate course. But the opportunities are well worth it. After graduating, you can join the world famous NHS, or work as a private physician. 


study medicine abroad

Karolinska Institute is one of the most famous universities in the world for medicine. It’s also great for students who want to explore other areas of medicine such as pharmacology or public health. Unfortunately, some of the key medical programs are taught in Swedish, which is a slight barrier for international students. Sweden has a national healthcare system, a bit like in the UK, which is great for doctors who prefer this model. It also has a lovely way of life, especially for children. 


The University of Zurich and University of Basel offer world leading programmes in medicine. Plus, Switzerland is known for its efforts in the psychiatric medical field, having homed leading pioneers in psychiatry. 


study medicine abroad

Budding doctors who want to have a good work/life balance are advised to explore Australia as a great place to begin . Attend the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, and Monash University for the best medical courses, all of which are ranked the best in the world for medicine. Australia is also well known for offering competitive pay to family doctors / GPs. Given that Australia is also huge, you can find many opportunities in dozens of cities across the country.


study medicine abroad

There are currently 1,700 foreign nationals enrolled in Indian medical schools, and the cost of education there is one of the cheapest in the world. In fact, to attend medical school in India you only need to pay around $10,000 USD. India is leading the way in modern science. This is a major advantage to those wanting to keep costs down, and who want to explore a unique and diverse way of living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. 


study medicine abroad

There are 17 medical schools in all of Canada, including the prestigious University of Toronto. The only downside here is that Canada is very challenging for international students to get into. There is much paperwork and additional hoop jumping when attending a Canadian school. But, if you manage to do it, you won’t regret it. Canada offers an unparalleled quality of life and high pay for doctors. Go skiing on the weekends, spend time with friends and enjoy a low cost of living, while accessing innovative, leading medical technology and teachings. 

The Netherlands

If you want to attend a great medical school in an English speaking location, it’s well worth looking at The Netherlands. Each year, 100 out of 410 slots are dedicated to non-Dutch speakers, so you won’t need to learn the language initially. The Netherlands has a great healthcare system, especially in the area of reproductive health, as well as stunning landscapes and a friendly, welcoming culture. 


China is home to hundreds of universities, many offering cutting edge courses in medicine and related topics. Nearly all medical schools in China are registered in the Directory of International Medical Education (IMED). They also teach students about traditional chinese and ancient medicines, which is not generally the case elsewhere. Some of the best universities for medicine include Shantou Medical College, Peking University and Shanghai University. You can find the top ranking Chinese universities here. You can also learn more about how to adapt to life as an international student in China here. And check out the latest MBBS opportunities here


If you are looking for an English speaking medical course in a country leading the way in science, technology and medicine, Turkey could be the place to go. With a low cost of living, it is also the perfect place for those wanting to keep costs down, while enjoying easy access to the rest of Europe. 

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Wish to study medicine abroad? Gain access to some of the leading universities around the world using our quick and easy portal. We can help with every aspect of accessing education overseas, including finding the right medical course for you. Check out our courses here.

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