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The Cheapest Medical Schools In The World (For Internationals)

The Cheapest Medical Schools In The World (For Internationals)

Updated on: December 3, 2023
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Written By Dr Ollie

Every article is fact-checked by a medical professional. However, inaccuracies may still persist.

Some of the cheapest medical schools in the world offer a high-quality medical education at a fraction of the cost of many Western institutions.

If youโ€™re an aspiring doctor, itโ€™s totally understandable that the cost of medical education may be a significant concern.

However, fortunately, there are affordable options available around the world that offer excellent medical training without the hefty price tag.

Hainan Medical University

LocationChina
Course taught inEnglish
Approximate cost (USD)$2,600

Hainan Medical University (HMU) is a well-established institution with a rich history of medical education.

Founded in 1993, it has grown to become a respected name in medical training and research, both within China and internationally.

HMU is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), making it a viable option for students seeking a globally recognised medical degree.

Itโ€™s located in the capital city of Hainan Province, Haikou. What sets this university apart is its breathtaking natural surroundings.

Hainan Island, often referred to as the “Hawaii of China,” is renowned for its lush tropical landscapes, pristine beaches, and year-round pleasant climate.

This makes studying at HMU an attractive proposition for those who want to combine their educational pursuits with a bit of paradise.

Hainan University is one of the cheapest medical schools in the world

The city of Haikou itself offers a unique blend of modern amenities and a laid-back coastal atmosphere. 

It’s known for its welcoming local population and a strong focus on education, making it an ideal place for international students to call home during their medical school journey.

The cost of living in Haikou is also relatively low compared to many other major Chinese cities, further enhancing the affordability of studying at HMU.

The university offers a comprehensive medical program leading to a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.

The program is typically six years in duration and is conducted in English, ensuring that international students can comfortably follow the curriculum.

Asian Medical Institute

LocationKyrgyzstan
Course taught inEnglish
Approximate cost (USD)$3,000

The Asian Medical Institute (AMI) is located in the vibrant and culturally rich city of Kant, which is just a short drive from the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek.

Established in 2004, AMI has steadily built a reputation for providing affordable medical education to students from around the globe.

Kant, where AMI is situated, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and urban amenities. The city is nestled amidst the picturesque Tien Shan Mountains, providing students with stunning views and outdoor recreational opportunities.

At the same time, it offers the convenience of modern infrastructure, making it an ideal location for international students.

Kant is known for its welcoming atmosphere and diverse community, which makes it easier for international students to adapt to their new environment.

Furthermore, the cost of living in Kyrgyzstan is relatively low, allowing students to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without straining their finances.

AMI offers a six-year program leading to a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

What Makes A Medical School Cheap Pixel Infographic

The curriculum is designed to meet international standards and is taught in English, which is a significant advantage for international students who may not be fluent in the local language.

The course structure includes both preclinical and clinical years, providing students with a well-rounded medical education.

During the preclinical years, students focus on building a strong foundation in medical sciences through classroom lectures and laboratory work.

As they progress to the clinical years, they gain hands-on experience by working in affiliated hospitals and clinics, applying their knowledge to real patient cases.

Volgograd State Medical University

LocationRussia
Course taught inEnglish
Approximate cost (USD)$1,750

Founded in 1935, Volgograd State Medical University is one of Russia’s leading medical institutions. Over the years, it has earned a stellar reputation for providing world-class medical education.

Importantly, VSMU is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is listed in the Directory of Medical Schools.

This means that graduates of VSMU are eligible to practice medicine internationally.

The university itself is situated in the historic city of Volgograd, a place known for its rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty.

Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, holds historical significance due to the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. Visitors can explore the city’s historical sites, including the Mamayev Kurgan Memorial Complex, which offers panoramic views of the Volga River.

The cost of living in Volgograd is relatively low, making it an attractive destination for international students. Accommodation, food, and transportation expenses are all budget-friendly, allowing students to focus on their studies without financial stress.

VSMU offers a six-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, which is conducted entirely in English. 

This program is designed to meet international standards and ensure that students receive a well-rounded medical education.

VSMU places a strong emphasis on research and encourages students to participate in scientific projects and contribute to the field’s advancements.

VSMUโ€™s reasonable tuition fees make it an attractive option for students who want to pursue a medical degree without accumulating substantial debt.

Cagayan State University

LocationPhilippines
Course taught inEnglish
Approximate cost (USD)$3,000

The Philippines has become a popular destination for international students looking for high-quality yet cost-effective medical education, and Cagayan State University (CSU) is a shining example of this.

Cagayan State University, located in the scenic province of Cagayan in the northern Philippines, is a well-established institution with a strong focus on medical education.

Founded in 1978, CSU has emerged as a reputable choice for both local and international students seeking a medical degree.

The university is recognised by various medical bodies, including the Medical Council of India (NMC), making it a preferred destination for Indian students.

CSU is situated in Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan Province. The region is known for its natural beauty, with picturesque landscapes ranging from lush mountains to serene river valleys. 

The pleasant climate, warm hospitality of the locals, and the relatively low cost of living make Tuguegarao an attractive place for international students to pursue their medical studies.

While the region offers a tranquil environment for focused learning, it also provides opportunities for outdoor activities and cultural experiences.

Students can explore local traditions, festivals, and even visit natural attractions like the Callao Caves and Pinacanauan River.

CSU offers a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program, which typically spans five to six years. The course is conducted in English, which is great for international students who may not be fluent in Filipino.

In terms of affordability, CSU stands out as one of the most cost-effective options for medical education, especially when compared to the expenses associated with studying medicine in many Western countries.

The reasonable tuition fees and low cost of living in the Philippines make it an accessible choice for students looking to pursue a medical degree without incurring massive student debt.

North Kazakhstan State University

LocationKazakhstan
Course taught inRussian
Approximate cost (USD)$3,700

For aspiring medical students seeking an affordable path to a medical degree, North Kazakhstan State University (NKSU) stands as a compelling option.

Founded in 1937, North Kazakhstan State University is a well-established institution renowned for its commitment to higher education and medical training.

NKSU offers a comprehensive medical program that attracts both local and international students. The university’s dedication to providing affordable education without compromising on quality has made it an appealing choice for those pursuing a medical career.

Almaty Region, Kazakhstan

NKSU is located in the city of Petropavl, nestled in the northern part of Kazakhstan. The region is characterised by its scenic beauty, with vast expanses of countryside, rolling hills, and proximity to the mighty Irtysh River.

Petropavl, with its rich history and cultural heritage, provides a welcoming atmosphere for international students.

The cost of living in the city is relatively low, including expenses for accommodation, food, and transportation, making it an ideal place for cost-conscious students to pursue their medical studies.

NKSU offers a comprehensive six-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, which is conducted in Russian.

While this may require international students to have a basic understanding of Russian or undertake preparatory language courses, the curriculum is well-structured to ensure that students receive a thorough medical education.

University Of Messina

LocationSicily
Course taught inItalian
Approximate cost (USD)$2,250

Italy, known for its rich history, culture, and cuisine, is also home to some world-class universities offering affordable medical education.

The University of Messina, situated in the picturesque region of Sicily, is a prime example of a prestigious institution that provides a cost-effective path to a medical degree.

Founded in 1548, the University of Messina is one of Italy’s oldest and most esteemed universities. Its Faculty of Medicine and Surgery has a long-standing tradition of excellence in medical education and research.

The university is located in the charming coastal city of Messina, situated on the northeastern tip of Sicily.

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is known for its breathtaking landscapes, historic sites, and a laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle. The region boasts a pleasant climate, making it a comfortable place for international students to study.

Messina itself is a city steeped in history, offering a unique blend of ancient architecture, vibrant street life, and a welcoming local community.

Students at the University of Messina have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Italian culture while enjoying the scenic beauty of the surrounding area.

Living costs in Messina and Sicily, in general, are relatively moderate compared to other major Italian cities, making it a budget-friendly option for students.

The university offers a six-year program leading to a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (MD) degree.

The curriculum is taught in Italian, so international students may be required to attain a certain level of proficiency in the language or take preparatory language courses.

While Italy is generally considered a more expensive destination for education, the University of Messina offers affordable tuition fees compared to medical schools in some other European countries.

Additionally, scholarships and financial aid options may be available for eligible students, further enhancing affordability.

Akaki Tsereteli State University

LocationGeorgia
Course taught inEnglish
Approximate cost (USD)$6,500

Akaki Tsereteli State University, named after the renowned Georgian poet, is a respected institution with a strong focus on medical education.

Established in 1930, ATSU has grown to become one of Georgia’s leading universities, offering a comprehensive medical program that attracts both local and international students.

The university is located in Kutaisi, the third-largest city in Georgia, known for its historical significance and stunning natural landscapes.

The city is nestled in the heart of the Colchis Plain, surrounded by lush greenery and picturesque views of the Rioni River.

Kutaisi offers a blend of modern amenities and a rich cultural heritage. Students can explore historical sites, such as the Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, while also enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of local markets and cafes.

Akaki Tsereteli State University offers a six-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, which is conducted in English.

This program is designed to meet international medical standards and ensure that students receive a well-rounded medical education.

The reasonable tuition fees, coupled with the low cost of living in Kutaisi, make ATSU a great choice for the more budget-oriented student.

Saint Theresa Medical University

LocationArmenia
Course taught inEnglish
Approximate cost (USD)$3,500

Saint Theresa Medical University is a well-established institution in the heart of Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city.

Founded in 1992, STMU has earned a strong reputation for providing quality medical education at a reasonable cost.

Yerevan, Armenia’s vibrant and culturally rich capital, serves as an ideal backdrop for medical studies. The city is known for its historical landmarks, such as the Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts and the Republic Square, as well as its welcoming atmosphere and bustling city life.

Armenia itself boasts a picturesque natural landscape, with the stunning Mount Ararat dominating the skyline.

Yerevan offers a blend of traditional and modern elements, allowing students to immerse themselves in Armenian culture while enjoying the convenience of modern amenities, including restaurants, cafes, and public transportation.

Saint Theresa Medical University offers a comprehensive six-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, which is conducted in English.

As a prospective student, there may also be scholarships you can apply for to reduce costs further.

Bangladesh Medical College

LocationBangladesh
Course taught inEnglish
Approximate cost (USD)$5,000

Bangladesh Medical College (BMC) is a renowned institution in Dhaka, Bangladesh, recognised for its commitment to providing accessible and affordable medical education.

Established in 1986, BMC has earned a solid reputation for producing skilled healthcare professionals, making it a preferred choice for both local and international students.

Dhaka, the vibrant and bustling capital of Bangladesh, serves as an excellent backdrop for medical studies. The city is a melting pot of cultures, offering a rich tapestry of traditions, history, and modernity.

Dhaka, Bangladesh also has incredibly cheap living costs

Dhaka boasts a mix of historical landmarks, such as Lalbagh Fort and Ahsan Manzil, alongside contemporary shopping centres, restaurants, and cultural venues.

The cost of living in Dhaka is relatively low compared to many other capital cities, allowing students to manage their expenses efficiently.

The city’s public transportation system, including rickshaws and buses, makes it easy for students to navigate and explore their surroundings.

Bangladesh Medical College offers a comprehensive five-year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. The curriculum is designed to meet international medical standards and is conducted in English, making it accessible to internationals.

The combination of reasonable tuition fees and a low cost of living in Dhaka makes BMC a great choice if youโ€™re open to the idea of living in such a vibrant destination.

Ghent University

LocationBelgium
Course taught inDutch
Approximate cost (USD)From $1,030

Ghent University (UGent) is one of Belgium’s leading and most prestigious institutions for higher education. Established in 1817, it has a rich history and a strong commitment to academic excellence.

UGent’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is renowned for its research and medical programs, attracting students from around the world.

Ghent, the city where the university is located, is a charming and historic city in the heart of Flanders, Belgium.

Known for its medieval architecture, picturesque canals, and vibrant cultural scene, Ghent offers a unique blend of history and modernity.

The city’s compact size makes it easy for students to navigate by foot or bicycle, and it has a welcoming atmosphere for international students.

Ghent is also known for its affordability compared to other European cities, with reasonable living costs that include accommodation, food, and public transportation.

UGent’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences offers a six-year program leading to a Master of Medicine (MD) degree.

The program is conducted in Dutch, so international students are generally required to demonstrate proficiency in the language through standardised language tests prior to starting their studies.

While Belgium is considered a more expensive destination for education compared to some other countries on this list, Ghent University stands out for its relatively affordable tuition fees, especially when compared to medical schools in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Belarusian State Medical University

LocationBelarus
Course taught inRussian
Approximate cost (USD)$4,500

Belarusian State Medical University, founded in 1930, is one of Belarus’s leading medical institutions.

Located in the capital city of Minsk, this institution offers an affordable yet top-tier medical education.

It is recognised for its commitment to providing accessible and high-quality medical education. BSMU’s programs attract both local and international students who seek a cost-effective route to becoming healthcare professionals.

Minsk as a city is a blend of history and modernity. It offers a unique mix of Soviet-era architecture, green parks, and contemporary amenities.

Minsk’s tranquil streets, clean environment, and affordable cost of living make it an ideal place for international medical students.

The city’s public transportation system is efficient and budget-friendly, making it easy for students to navigate and explore their surroundings. Minsk’s cultural scene is vibrant, with theatres, museums, and cafes where students can relax and immerse themselves in Belarusian culture.

Belarusian State Medical University offers a comprehensive six-year program leading to a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

The curriculum is taught in Russian, so international students may be required to attain a certain level of proficiency in the language, in a similar vein to other universities on this list.

Final Thoughts

While medical education is often associated with high costs, this list offers a series of exceptions that offer quality education but wonโ€™t put you into a huge amount of debt.

Although tuition fees will always be a substantial portion of the cost of any university education, they arenโ€™t the only thing that you need to take into consideration.

If youโ€™re planning on studying at one of the cheapest medical schools in the world, just be sure to take into account any registration fees or tuition costs not included in the labelled price tag, as well as what it will cost you to move and live abroad while you study.

About the author
After studying medicine at the University of Leicester, Dr Ollie now works as a junior doctor in London. His interests include medical education and expedition medicine, as well as having a strong belief in the importance of widening access to medicine.