When I graduate from a Romanian or Bulgarian medical school with a doctorate or an equivalent medical diploma, is there a restriction on the countries in which I can practice?
With international recognition awarded to both Bulgarian and Romanian Medical School graduates, you can practice in any country you wish. When you graduate you should register with the respective association granting accreditation such as the ACGME in the USA and the GMC in the UK. In addition, an assessment may be required for legal reasons for non EU graduates, before you can practice. If you are an EU student you will be able to register in any European country in your Foundation Year 2 and be entered into an internship. If you want to practice in a non-EU country, as a graduate of a Bulgarian or Romanian medical university, local bodies can give you a place to sit for the necessary entrance exams and assessments. By way of example: US nationals need to register with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) in order to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Canadian nationals need to register with the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) in order to pass the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE).
When you graduate from a Bulgarian or Romanian medical school, will the qualification be recognised at an international level, across the world?
International recognition is in place for all degrees obtained from Bulgarian and Romanian university medical schools. The institutions are named in the World Health Organisation (WHO) directory of international medical schools. Global status is also recognised in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED). The latter is a database of medical schools of international repute to which the public has access.
The criteria for a student visa not being compulsory in Bulgaria is that: you are an EU citizen you live in one of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen area you are a citizen of the Commonwealth you are a citizen of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Republic of Korea, San Marino, the USA, Israel, Uruguay, Venezuela, Hong Kong or Makao. The criteria for a student visa not being compulsory in Romania is that: you are an EU citizen you are a native of Canada, Croatia, Japan, Moldova, South Korea, Switzerland, USA and Serbia. In the aforementioned countries, bi-lateral agreements in place.
In all other cases, not listed above, it will be necessary to apply for a student visa prior to arrival in either Bulgaria or Romania. It is not advisable to rely on a visa being issued at the airport on arrival in either country.
The majority of students study abroad for at least 8 months; they return home for Christmas, Easter and during summer vacations. Some students remain abroad and take up an internship; others may work in conjunction with a co-op programme and we can help in finding these if required.
Is the Bulgarian European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) valid in Bulgaria and Romania? If so, in order to finish my studies, what is the required number of credits I need?
The ECTS is a standard recognised system used by all reputable Bulgarian and Romanian medical universities. In any given year of study, in order to gain degree status, each student is required to gain 60 credits. This equates to 360 credits for the entire duration of the 6 year study period.
Whilst lectures and tutorials are given in English, it is expected that students acquire a good working knowledge of the native language. The main reason for this is in order to be able to communicate and engage with patients when training on the hospital wards begins in the 4th year.
In Bulgarian and Romanian universities, between thirty and hundred students are allocated places on each course. Class numbers vary according to the programme and tutorials tend to be in much smaller groups according to the subject matter and course content.
The length of the programmes is identical for both countries. The content of the courses is also of a similar nature. Pre-clinical training, together with required clinical training are part of the course. In the final years of study, an internship is obligatory. Before being awarded a degree status, students need to sit for their final exam and to obtain a licence to practice.
The beginning of October to the end of June is the full academic year and this is split into two semesters. At the end of the year, students sit for a final examination.