Russia has been gaining mass popularity across Indian medical aspirants. The students entering into the field of medicine are bound to wonder if it’s worthwhile leaving your home country for a far-away land like Russia. Above all, why choose Russia over countries like USA, the UK or Canada? To summarize it in the shortest way possible – finances. The cost of studying in Russia is relatively low, many-a-times even lower than studying MBBS in Indian private institutes. Another reason for such growth is promotion by agencies and students affiliated to these agencies driving young minds and promoting Russia as the ultimate destination. However, all countries and institutes come with its own pros and cons ultimately.

Russia welcomes over 200,000 foreign students from across 160 countries every year through its state-of-the-art infrastructure and in-depth research expertise. It is considered to yield maximum return on investments, global recognition and opportunities, and an all-encompassing curriculum. A list of mainstream reasons that make Russia the medical dream destination are as follows:

  1. Medium of Instruction: International students coming to Russia can opt out and take courses in English, instead of Russian, to avoid any language barriers. This does not imply that you will not have to come across dealing with Russian – it only means you can come to Russia and join a course immediately if you know English. It is best advised to start learning Russian once on board to help communicate effectively among natives and locals, connect better with your professors and have a convenient stay.
  2. Education Quality: Many deem Russia to have global excellence in teaching and research. Medical colleges in the country have a curriculum focussed on practical learning, and not rote learning. The degrees granted by such universities have world wide recognition and allow them to take licensing exams and practise anywhere on the globe.
  3. Costs: The tuition fee of Russian colleges is relatively very low, especially when compared to the US, UK, Australia and many others. The living costs in Russia are also comparatively lower. Russian universities also have special scholarships and funding for Indian students, granting them further ease.
  4. Safety and Security: One of the utmost priorities, medical universities of Russia offer safe and comfortable boarding options with secure hostel premises. These colleges also have a high percentage of international students and there is very low chance of grouping, discrimination or similar social issues.

Are you Eligible?

  • The student should be at least 17 years of age on or before 31st December of the respective academic year.
  • A minimum score of 50% marks in 10+2 schooling with Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
  • Eligibility certificate and NEET clearance by the Medical Council of India

Notes from Students

Although all of the above are generic benefits and of great value, it is essential to know the existing living and educational problems faced by students who have already enrolled in Russian universities and take into consideration their say into taking the correct decision.

  • Student advisors affiliated with counselling services and organisations can be a trap. Anyone paid for promoting Russian universities will not be providing genuine advice. It is best to do your own research and reach out to people on your own.
  • Not every college in Russia will provide top-notch education. While the internet may make seem so, the A-grade colleges worth your time are:
  1. M. Sechenov (Moscow)
  2. People Friendship University (Moscow)
  3. P. Pavlov (St. Petersburg)

Do not opt for random Russian Universities just being attracted by lower packages.

  • The environment in Russia is unlike that of India. Anyone travelling from India with a strict budget often struggles keeping up with their lifestyle. With parties, alcohol and entertainment every single day, international students must have a lot of self-control and determination to avoid these and study, to not give in to the social pressure for a sense of belongingness and to absolutely not spend on unnecessary commodities.
  • After studying in Russia, coming back and clearing the MCI screening test to practise and attain a license in India can be tough. With easy examination policies of Russia and India’s strict education system, drawing a line in between in difficult. An additional problem becomes the syllabus differences in both the countries. Unless the student is well-versed, hard working and determined, getting on-board as a doctor may get even more difficult with the independency and ease of life offered in a country like Russia.

These drawbacks and personal experiences are nothing to be afraid of but rather, lessons to be learnt. Your first aim should be to deeply study these countries, their environments and their curriculums before opting. Most countries will have similar or overlapping issues while they offer their own set of benefits. The key is to understand personal circumstances, do adequate research, and keep in mind the warnings given by alumni or students to ensure maximum output and make the best of your education.