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Becoming a Doctor in Romania
You may feel the urge to become a doctor, helping to heal the injuries and sicknesses inflicted by the world on other human beings, carrying on the age-old labor of Aesculapius in a more modern setting and aiding your fellow man. However noble this impulse, however – and however tempting the rewards of this line of work may be – you may find your ambitions coming up against the barrier of financial reality. Medical education is expensive – often overwhelmingly so – in the United States and Western Europe, and obtaining the needed funding for it can be extremely difficult as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Registered_nurse
However, medical training in Romania offers a much more affordable alternative, and is being pursued by some potential doctors from the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan. The Romanian government and universities have made strenuous efforts to reign in the corruption that plagued medical schools there a decade ago, and although it is not completely gone, Romanian medical training is now a viable, respectable alternative to the much more expensive training in the West.
Some facts about Romanian medical schools
Studying to become a doctor in Romania may be cheaper than it is in the U.S.A., but it is still a major commitment and you should be aware of the time and costs involved before you begin. Assuming that you are starting ‘from scratch,’ with no previous medical schooling to allow you to bypass the more basic parts of the education, the complete course for CNA Certification and First Aid Kits and the study to become a doctor will take 6 years. This is slightly shorter than the term required for some American medical schools, but you will need to remain in a foreign country for much of that time, and have some means of supporting yourself while you are there.
English-language medical study programs are available at six of the largest Romanian universities – those of Bucharest, Cluj, Timisoara, Constanta, Iasi, and Oradea. The teaching facilities at Bucharest, Cluj, and Timisoara are among the most modern in the nation, but the other three are only slightly behind them and are also among those recommended by people who have studied there.
When applying to a medical university in Romania, it is always best to communicate directly with the school rather than third parties who offer to ease the registration process for a fee. Generally speaking, your admission chances are precisely the same if you contact the university directly, and you will save money on whatever fees the “middleman” would have charged you for their services.
Admission requires a minimum of high school education, with a diploma to prove it, although an equivalency degree – such as a General Education Degree (GED) or High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) for American applicants – is also acceptable. The diploma must be accompanied by an official letter confirming its validity. Recommendations from doctors may also be required, as well as copies of any papers you have written on medical topics including emergency kits.
There is a laundry list of other requirements as well – including authenticated translations of your diploma, academic transcripts, a birth certificate, a recent medical certificate proving that you do not have HIV, a vaccination record, health insurance, four passport-style photographs, and various other paperwork depending on the university. All the documents should include both the original English versions and translations into Romanian.
Annual tuition – the place where you will be saving the most money – ranges from 3,600 Euros to 5,000 Euros, depending on the university and the exact course of study. The cost in U.S. dollars will depend on the fluctuations of the two currency’s value relative to each other, but as can be seen, this is a major saving over the cost of American medical schools.
Living in Romania during your education
Living in an Eastern European country can be quite affordable if you take a few common-sense steps, such as finding an apartment locally rather than renting the overpriced apartments listed on the Internet for tourists. Staying at a hotel for a few days when you first arrive can give you time to find a decent apartment at a rent of probably around 200 Euros per month.
Food is very cheap and generally of good quality in Eastern Europe, and transportation by public transport is inexpensive as well, with long-term passes available at metro (subway) stations. Public transport is crowded but usually safe to use other than the occasional pickpocket, and is generally quite reliable as well. You will need to renew your visa periodically during your term of study, but by and large living in an Eastern European country can be comfortable, interesting, and cheap – especially if you take care to make a few bilingual friends.