International education is a booming trend as of now, with Indian students from all academic streams making a beeline for the best overseas universities. According to a recent survey, the country has emerged as the second largest source of study-abroad aspirants. Medical students are joining the bandwagon, with a growing number planning to pursue MBBS abroad.

But studying overseas is a major financial and personal commitment because it includes more than the programme fees. The cost of living is a crucial factor, while the decision of being away from home might lead to isolation. Yet, medical students often have good reasons to seek admission overseas as the competition is tough in India.

However, knowing the upsides and downsides of the decision is one thing you shouldn’t miss out on before committing to studying MBBS abroad. Let us highlight the pros and cons in detail to help you choose wisely.


Studying MBBS abroad can set you up for several advantages. Here are a few that are worth considering.

  • Access to best universities- By choosing to study abroad, you may get an opportunity to enroll in one of the best-ranking universities in the world. These institutions have top-rated faculty members, state-of-the-art facilities, and modern amenities that ensure a wholesome education experience. But you must look for one that provides an internationally-recognised degree that opens you up to a global career.
  • Adequate medical seats– India has a limited number of MBBS colleges, which means there are few seats and students need to compete for them. Moreover, fees at private universities can be exorbitant. Many international universities and destinations offer quality education at optimal costs and have a larger number of seats.
  • Better ROI– While you may stress about the cost of studying MBBS abroad, it may actually offer a better ROI in the long run. For example, the cost of a degree in Russia, including tuition fees, visa, and accommodation is less than the degree fee in a private university in India. The best part is that students can practice in the host country.
  • Scholarships and financial aid– Another reason to pursue MBBS overseas is that you may get scholarships and financial grants to economize education. Many universities and institutions offer them to attract meritorious students, and you may even get grants from external agencies.
  • Use of English language– Many medical colleges and universities across the globe use English as the language of instruction and communication to bring in more international students. But learning the local language is always a plus.


On the flip side, you must also understand the cons of studying MBBS abroad so that you can weigh them as well. Let us list a few cons-

  • Language barrier- Although you may get admission to an English-speaking university and programme, a language barrier could still exist. You can imagine the struggle of co-existing with the locals because something as simple as buying groceries can be problematic. Moreover, students knowing the local language may have an academic advantage, specifically when the university indulges in bilingual lectures.
  • Difference in education standards– Different countries have diverse education standards, which means that the curriculums, methods of instruction, and practical approaches may differ. In fact, medical practices may not be the same, and the difference can be a career barrier down the line.
  • Other concerns– The culture, weather, and physical attributes can play a significant role in shaping the university and programme curriculum. For example, illnesses in a cold country are different from a warm country. The best piece of advice is to choose a destination where you will get the maximum clinical exposure, theoretical knowledge, and practical skills. Also, ensure that the university is recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI) if you plan to practice in India.

Making the right choice is about weighing these pros and cons thoroughly and assessing the potential destination, university, and programme. Additionally, it is important to understand that students looking to practice in India after completing their MBBS overseas have to mandatorily qualify for the MCI-approved FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduates Examination).

Choosing wisely is the key to career success, regardless of where you want to practice down the line.

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