MBBS Abroad: Best Career Options After 12TH PCB

Medicine is one of the most popular career paths across the world, and the route to becoming a doctor typically starts with gaining an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree.

Unfortunately, there is a drastic difference between the number of MBBS seats available in India and the number of applicants. This year, nearly 15 lakh students attempted NEET for admission to approximately 75,000 seats. That amounts to nearly 22 students competing for a single seat! But your doors for becoming a doctor are not closed with just failing in NEET.

In recent years, students have realized that despite not getting a preferred seat in one of the medical colleges in India, they can still fulfill their dream of completing MBBS from universities abroad. The foremost reason for the same is that the fees of medical colleges abroad are incomparable to that of Indian medical colleges. The MBBS fees of many abroad medical colleges are less than that of private medical colleges in India. There are no hidden fees at the time of admission. Also, the foreign medical colleges are MCI-approved. 

Advantages of Pursuing an MBBS from Abroad

There are multiple advantages of pursuing an MBBS degree from abroad. Here are the most important ones. 

  • Less Dependency on NEET Rank

Although from 2018 onwards the highly competitive NEET entrance exam has become compulsory for applying to MBBS courses internationally, the competition will still be considerably less contrasted to Indian institutes. Nearly 3 times as many students are applying for the MBBS course in India as the number of available seats, and the competition is merciless as admission takes place based on the rank secured. In comparison, students pursuing MBBS abroad have minimal requirements in terms of NEET ranking. 

  • Lower Costs Compared to Private Indian Institutes

Government medical colleges in India are undoubtedly affordable, however, private medical colleges are extremely expensive, with costs around Rs. 45 lakh or more to get an MBBS degree. In comparison, an MBBS degree in a foreign destination like Russia, Caribbean Countries, Mauritius, Poland, Ukraine, or the Philippines would cost less than Rs. 30 lakh, based on the specific country. A medical degree in the US meanwhile would cost up to Rs. 70 lakh. Also, there are many hidden costs involved in studying at a private medical college in India, which can be eliminated by studying abroad where the costs are largely upfront. 

  • High Quality of Education

Institutes that are recognized by the MCI and also meet the local standard of education regulations generally offer top-quality education to MBBS students. As compared to domestic institutes, medical colleges abroad face huge censure to maintain quality standards. However, it’s best to verify the ranking and/or reviews of any institution you are considering applying to. 

  • International Exposure

Studying abroad is a learning experience in itself, regardless of the course, as you learn about a new culture and how to adapt to a new environment. Specifically for an MBBS course, studying abroad gives exposure to a variety of medical conditions, along with advanced technology, state-of-the-art apparatus, and amenities. Apart from teachers, you will learn from interacting with students from different nationalities as well. 

Challenges in Pursuing an MBBS from Abroad

Apart from the benefits of completing an MBBS degree internationally, there are a few hurdles too: 

  • College Recognition

Medical colleges are mushrooming everywhere, inside India and internationally, and not all of them are recognized. It is essential to completely research any medical college you are considering applying to so that you can verify its recognition in its own country and India. Visit the Medical Council of India website to confirm if the college you’re interested in is recognized by the MCI. Also, check that your prospective medical school is sanctioned by WHO (World Health Organisation). A degree from an unrecognized institute will most likely not be of any use in your career. 

  • License to Practice

If you complete your MBBS degree outside of India, you will be needed to pass the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) screening test to register with the MCI or any state medical council and practice medicine in India. The test is conducted twice a year by the National Board of Examinations for Indian nationals and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). FMGE is based on the MBBS curriculum and you need to score particular cut-off marks to qualify. 

  • Practical Training

Learning practical clinical skills is an important part of studying MBBS. However, some international medical colleges have gained notoriety for offering very little practical training to medical students. When you research medical colleges, make sure to check the rate of practical training as well as reviews from current and previous students so that you do not lose out on learning important practical skills. 

  • Local Adjustment

The medium of instruction for MBBS generally remains English for the majority of nations, however, local languages also play an important role. You may also be required to study the local language, for example, Russian in Russia. Staying away from family in a new country for 5+ years is also not easy and you will most likely take time to adapt.

Which Countries Are the Best to Study MBBS for Indian Students?

As medicine is a crucial field in every nation, virtually all countries offer MBBS courses. However, for Indian students, the countries offering MBBS can be classified as those requiring an entrance test and those that do not.

Nations such as the US, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, France, Canada, and Malaysia will all require you to take a compulsory local entrance exam for admission to MBBS courses. Eligibility criteria also varies based on the destination country, for example, if you are interested in studying medicine in the US, you need to have completed your graduation (either 4 years course or an honors course) before you can apply for the MBBS entrance exam.

In comparison, countries without entrance exams are more popular with Indian students seeking an MBBS abroad. Common destinations include Germany, the Philippines, Nepal, Russia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, and Kyrgyzstan. These countries offer affordable MBBS courses with an easier admissions process.

Here are some of the popular MCI-recognized universities abroad offering MBBS courses:


  • Angeles University Foundation
  • AMA School of Medicine
  • Bicol Christian College of Medicine


  • Ryazan State Medical University
  • Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Russian National Research Medical University


  • Odessa National Medical University
  • Sumy State University, Sumy
  • Kharkiv National Medical University

Eligibility Criteria for MBBS Abroad

The exact eligibility for admission to an MBBS course internationally would largely depend on the specific medical college in consideration. However, there are a few common eligibility requirements to pursue an MBBS degree abroad.

  1. Your age should be above 17 years as of the 31st December of the year you are seeking admission.
  2. You should have completed Class 12th with the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English.
  3. The minimum aggregate percentage of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology must be at least 50 percent.
  4. From 2018 onwards, you should have cleared NEET with the minimum cut-off set by countries.

Costs of Studying an MBBS Abroad

The costs to study abroad depend upon the tuition fees, cost of living, and duration of course. An MBBS course generally ends in 5-6 years, including compulsory internships.

Here is a look at an estimated total of the expenses for pursuing MBBS in various countries:

  • Germany: Rs. 24 lakhs
  • Philippines: Rs. 25 lakhs
  • Russia: Rs. 23 lakhs
  • Ukraine: Rs. 25 lakhs
  • Bangladesh: Rs. 25 lakhs
  • Kyrgyzstan: Rs. 17 lakhs
  • US: Rs. 60-65 lakhs

In India, the cost for an MBBS degree from government institutes is typically less than Rs. 4 lakh. However, the cost of an MBBS degree from a private institute in India can range from Rs 45 lakhs to Rs 90 lakhs.

 Does Studying MBBS Abroad Worth It?

Investing in a degree that will shape your career is a good idea, but you should also consider all of the available options. Securing admission to the MBBS course in a government medical college in India is not easy, and if you miss out, you still have many other options.

You can consider studying abroad which would likely cost less than an MBBS degree from a private medical college in India, and have your pick of a wide variety of nations and institutes that offer a recognized MBBS degree. 

Please note that research is the key, to ensure that you join an institute that is reputed and will provide you with the required knowledge and training. If you are unclear about your path, consider taking career counseling from renowned organizations to help you decide on your career goals and know how to achieve them.

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