Medical student feature: Sofia Medical University

This month’s medical student feature is Albin Jacob who is a second year medical student from Sofia Medical University in Bulgaria.

  1. What made you want to do medicine?

During secondary school, I was sure i wanted to pursue a career in science but often had doubts as to which field I should go into. Medicine drew my attention due to its wide variety of possibilities and challenges. The aspect of getting to work with people from different specialities to help those in need was also a factor.

  1. How was the process of applying? (Any tips)

The most important part of applying abroad is to choose an agency which you would like to go through – that’s if you wish to even go through an agency as you can also apply independently. There are a few agencies out there offering a wide range of packages that suit different people. The important thing is to consider all the options and not to just go for the first agency you see. The actual process of the application includes submitting your previous qualifications and your personal information, this all needs to be notarised and translated into the language of the country you wish to apply. For me this was Bulgarian. My agency assisted me to do this as the notarisation part of this is highly specific and has to be in a given order/package. 

The application process is open from April/May but most people tend to apply later, for example during the July/August period. From this point on, you will get the confirmation from your chosen university within a month and you will be required to sit their entrance exam. The material for this will be given by the respected university. 

  1. What is your medical school like?

Probably not as modern as a typical UK university but it is similar in structure with seminar rooms and lecture halls. The lecturers speak English fluently and will be able to answer all of your questions. They are experienced in their respected fields and are open to helping you. My course is  6 years with the first year being a pre-med year in which you go through biology, chemistry and physics but in more detail than A levels

  1. Do you have any plans for the future?

I plan to hopefully finish my 6 years in Sofia and go back to UK to do my foundation years. I am keeping an open mind about my speciality; but so far, I have considered Cardiology and Oncology.

  1. Why did you not want to study medicine in the UK?

I initially applied to a University in the UK but I didn’t get the offer. Then, a family friend suggested the idea of applying abroad

  1. Would you recommend studying abroad and why?

Yes! I think it was one of the better decisions I’ve made, I have settled in well and made some great friends. I really do believe I would have missed out if i hadn’t taken this opportunity

  1. Pros and cons of choosing to apply abroad

Pros

  • Easier to get into than Uk
  • A different environment to study
  • You get to meet new and different types of students and professors
  •  Learn a new language and get to know a new culture

Cons

  • Living away from family
  • Can be a culture shock
  • Leaving friends behind
  • Have to learn a new language
  • You have to quickly learn to be independent
  1. Any last comments/tips for future medical students?

I would definitely recommend students to consider studying abroad but also for them to really think it through; as it is a big change and it may not be for everyone. There are lots of us out there that can guide you into making the decision. After you get, in its all about managing your work load from the very start and maintaining it throughout.

If you would like more information/tips/advise about applying to Sofia Medical University, then please get in touch with Albin Jacob on Instagram

If you would like to be featured next then feel free to get in touch with me through the contact form or comment below

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