In India, MBBS and engineering are the two top career choices presented to aspiring students. Every year, lakhs of Indian students compete in NEET exams to secure an MBBS admission in an Indian medical college. However, the cut-off percentage to get into a government school is way too high. It was 98.3% in 2013, and the standards have been increasing ever since. Moreover, there are only 70,978 MBBS seats in one academic year. 

Students who do not get admission in a government college are left with two options. Either study in a private college in India or pursue MBBS abroad. While many still think that studying abroad is expensive, they must realise that this statement is just a myth. To study MBBS in a private college in India, the cost exceeds INR 80 to 90 lakhs. Because MBBS in private Indian colleges is not affordable, many foreign countries have seen a significant rise in the number of Indian students applying for MBBS. This number is rising steeply every year. 

If you are an MBBS aspirant, step back and carefully analyse the benefits of MBBS in India vs MBBS abroad before you make a decision.

MBBS in India vs MBBS Abroad – The basics you must know

Before getting into the details and calling out the benefits, here is a list of the basic differences between MBBS in India vs MBBS abroad. 

What to compare? MBBS in India MBBS abroad
Seat availability Insufficient seats to accommodate all medical students Many universities have MBBS seats available and invite international students to apply
Entrance exam  NEET NEET is required, but depending on the country, MCAT, UKCAT, and MBAT will be required.
Duration of the course Five to six years (4.5 years of academic training followed by one year of internship) Five to seven years (including internship)
Approximate fees  Government college – up to INR 8 lakhs for the complete course

Private college – upto INR 90 lakhs for the complete course, excluding donations and other fees

INR 15 to 60 lakh per year depending on the university and the country
Scholarships Not many Many scholarships for foreign students

Other general eligibility criteria for Indian students to study MBBS abroad

  • Applicants must have completed 10th and 12th grade in science specializations such as Biology, Physics, Chemistry, etc., with an aggregate of at least 50%.
  • A good MCAT, IELTS, TOEFL, UKCAT, BMAT, AMCAT, etc., score.
  • The student should have cleared the Indian NEET exams. (However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian government has given a conditional exemption for NEET exams for 2021. The government allows Indian students to apply for any foreign universities for MBBS even if they did not qualify in the 2020 NEET exams. Students can apply for MBBS abroad immediately without waiting another year to attempt NEET exams in 2021. This allowed students to apply for MBBS abroad without waiting till normalcy returns.)

MBBS in India vs MBBS Abroad – The benefits

You are now aware of why Indian students opt to study MBBS abroad and how it’s different from applying to an MBBS programme in India. Here are the benefits of studying MBBS abroad, which you will have to forgo if you study in India.

Why study abroad? What are the benefits?

There are various countries and countless MBBS seats waiting across the globe for Indian aspirants. The benefits of applying to one are –

  1. Choice – You can choose a country and university that suits your budget.
  2. Job opportunities – Most international medical colleges have strong connections with top countries like Canada, the USA, and Germany, which will provide better job prospects in the future. Therefore, becoming a doctor overseas is comparatively easy.
  3. Cost – As mentioned above, the cost of studying MBBS abroad is affordable. Most colleges offer lower fees than India, if not equal. In addition, you can always apply for scholarships.

Admission procedure to apply for MBBS abroad

Forget the long queues and the tedious process of securing an MBBS admission in India. The admission process abroad is fairly easy. Though the admission process might differ from one country to another, the standard process is to apply for admission through the university directly. Once selected, the student will receive an invitation letter via email stating that the student is eligible for admission. Upon procuring all the required documentation, the student will be allowed to enter the country.

Best countries to study MBBS abroad – Which country to choose?

There are a few countries where the cost to study MBBS is very high. Some of them are New Zealand, the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada. The cost to study MBBS in these countries can go over a crore in Indian rupees. However, many other reputable yet affordable countries are popular for their education standards and the high number of Indian students on campus. 

Top affordable countries to study MBBS abroad

The average cost of MBBS in the countries listed below ranges from INR 9 lakhs to 25 lakhs per annum. 

  • The Caribbean Islands
  • China
  • Philippines
  • Caribbean
  • Nepal
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Poland
  • Kyrgyzstan

Some of the top universities in these countries

  • American University of Antigua College of Medicine, Antigua
  • Lincoln American University, Guyana
  • Windsor University of Medical Sciences
  • The American University of Barbados
  • Victoria University of Barbados
  • Uzhhorod National University, Ukraine
  • Ternopil State Medical University, Ukraine
  • AMA School of Medicine, Philippines
  • Kyrgyzstan State Medical University, Kyrgyzstan
  • Ulyanovsk State University, Russia
  • M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
  • Jagiellonian University, Poland
  • Wroclaw Medical University, Poland
  • Peking University, China
  • Fudan University, China

What next?

Now that you’re aware of the pros and cons of studying MBBS in India vs MBBS abroad, the ball is in your court. Apart from all the benefits mentioned, studying abroad in a foreign country gives you better lessons to learn and cultures to embrace while allowing you to practice unity in diversities. And let’s not forget the beautiful landscape! 

If you have chosen to study MBBS abroad, it is going to be an exciting journey. Sit down, research thoroughly, make your own list of pros and cons, apply to the best colleges that fall within your budget, and choose the medical college you like the best. Remember, you will be spending over 5 years on the campus you select, so make it worth it! Don’t let the pandemic or the lockdown stop you from applying to MBBS programmes abroad. You can always study online and migrate after the restrictions are relaxed.