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  1. #1
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    Articles on Semmelweis University (Budapest, Hungary)

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    Two articles published in this week's (March 1-7, 2004) The Budapest Times (one of two English language weeklies in Hungary) on Medical Education for foreigners. Its website is inaccessible, so I thought I'd reproduce the articles here, as very few of you will have a chance to buy a copy at your local newsstand (unless, of course it is in Hungary ).

    Note: I'm not promoting Semmelweis, but I thought that I would be worthwhile to post this, as there are so few media accounts on medical education in the region in English, never mind the programs we discuss on this forum.

    N.B. I have not done any substantial editing, unless indicated in italics, except to change abbreviations and to remove non- English characters. The grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc. are the responsibility of the newspaper.

    The first article:

    Foreign tuition: Just what the doctor ordered
    Catering to worldly education
    By Robert W. Piterek

    Since the foundation of the faculty of medicine at Semmelweis University in the mid-18th century this famous institution has always attracted foreign students. Currently some 1,285 or 17% of the 7,524 students are from outside Hungary and the tuition fees they bring to the university are a crucial source of funding for the institution.

    "The 2 billion Hungarian forint (Euro 7.7 million) in contributions from foreign students to the total budget of this University is very important," says director of the secretariat for foreign students at Semmelweis, Professor Anna Kadar. In fact, foreign students' fees are the only income received apart from its

    {Miklos: a phrase is missing in the original}

    Tuition fees are however not obligatory for all the students at Semmelweis- only those enrolled in the English- and German-language classes have to pay. Despite fees being comparatively high at EUR 10,000 per year, their contribution to the University's 40 billion Hungarian forint (Euro 154 million) total annual budget amounts to only 5%. The clinical department of the state-owned Health Insurance Society (OEP) contributes the remainder to pay for the tuition of the Hungarian students.

    Despite their overall contribution being relatively small, Professor Kadar is mindful of the economic contribution made by foreign students. "This income is not crucial, but nevertheless very important for us. We can invest this money in infrastructure, technical equipment, the modern textbooks and by this we can increase the quality of teaching." A portion of this income also goes to teaching staff in the form of addition payments to reward the language skills of the lecturers running the University's international programmes, Kadar adds.

    Under a bilateral agreement with the former German Democratic Republic, German-speaking students have been studying medicine in German at Semmelweis since 1959.

    {Miklos: again, a phrase is missing in the original}

    is remembering that "Between 1959 and 1969, 200 students from the GDR took partial study programmes and another 100 a full programmes," Kadar says. "In those days the students did not have to pay, because Hungary, a socialist ally at the time, covered the costs."

    In 1983 the current German language programme began. From an initial 132 students the enrollment climbed to today's 352 participants in medicine and dentistry at its peak in 1990-91, no less than 420 German students came to study, Budapest having become an instantly more attractive studey locations following the collapse of the Iron Curtain.

    With Hungary's EU accession only a matter of weeks away, Semmelweis again faces the dawn of a new era, but the university's leaders are confident that the institution's illustrious history will maintain its attractiveness beyond Hungary in the more competitive age of EU membership. Several Semmelweis graduates received Nobel Prizes - radiologist Gyorgy Hevesy recieved the 1943 prize for chemistry, and former pharmacy student John C. Harsanyi in 1994 received with John Nash of the US (subject of the recent film A Beautiful Mind) and Germany's Reinhard Selten the Nobel Prize for Economic Science in recognition of their development of game theory. The University is particularly proud that an expert EU delegation which visited in 2000 concluded that only minor changes would be required for Semmelweis to again compete in the global competition for scientific excellence.

    Second article:

    Measuring up Hungarian medical education
    Foreign students attracted by availability and reputation
    By Bettina Knopp and Sophie Laufer

    More than 1,200 foreign students attend courses at Budapest's Semmelweis University. This medical university offers English- and German-language courses in general medicine and dentistry, and an English-language course in pharmacy.

    The establishment's long-standing scientific fame is also one of the main reasons why the university is so popular with students from abroad. Magdolna Fonyo, the administrative head of the secretariat for foreign students, explains that wide recognition of the university and its above average reputation are also the result of a close collaboration with other universities.

    "My father worked together with a very competent young assistant doctor who was educated in Budapest - that's why he advised me to study medicine at the Semmelweis."

    Martin *****, a fifth-year student from Germany, praises the good education he has received at Hungarian universities.

    ***** explains that Hungary's university system is somewhat different from Germany's. "Lessons are held in small groups, making it easier to study," he says. He is convinced that learning in small groups is much better than attending lectures in big lecture rooms. Which is another reason why there are so many foreign students at the Semmelweis; currently foreign students account for 30% of all sudents at the university.

    {Miklos: I'm just reproducing this as it was written. In the first article, 17% is qouted, though this may refer to all faculties including dentistry and pharmacy. The 30% may apply to only medicine.}

    Lessons are based on the Hungarian course structure with the help of English or German course material, and successful study is completed with a diploma and a doctorate. Graduates have the option to obtain licenses to work as doctors in Hungary, buy many foreign students do not complete their courses at Budapest - after a couple of years at Semmelweis they usually return to their home country.

    The university was founded as a medical faculty by the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa in 1769 and named after the famous Hungarian Professor Ignaz Semmelweis, who discovered the cause of child bed fever. The university has been offering courses in German since 1983 and the English programme has been running since 1989.

    Nevertheless, a many young people can only dream about moving to Budapest because of high tuition fees. "My parents pay around Euro 10,000 per year," says 21-year old Michael Bange, a first year student. According to the university's official statistics, many students are forced to return home because of funding problems. They use Hungary as a stepping stone toward completeing their further education which is why the University says its number of foreign students declines drastically after the second year despite high reputation of its clinical training.

    {Miklos: Note that the above paragraph applies mostly to the German language students and to a lesser degree the Scandinavians. The German students are essentially all privately financed. US citizens/permanent residents are eligible for FFEL loans. Also, unless things have very recently changed, the tution is charged in US dollars for the English language program, not Euros.}

    {Miklos: the article continues about the Erasmus program at ELTE, which is the law and humanities university. I have edited that part out.}

    A table accompanies the article:

    Foreign students' nationalities
    Nationalities of foreign students registered at Semmelweis University in 2002/03:


    Country

    Israel: 309
    Germany: 231
    Norway: 133
    Greece: 47
    Cyprus: 39
    Sweden: 34
    Iran: 26
    USA: 20
    Nigeria: 14
    Mauritius: 11
    Great Britain: 7
    Canada: 6
    India: 6
    Other countries: 26

    Total 909


    {Miklos: This does not include an additional 149 students of various nationalities attending dentistry or pharmacy. Also, the overwhelming majority of the German students attend the German language program.}

    Also, see the thread http://www.valuemd.com/viewtopic.php?t=12855 for more info.

  2. #2
    carbon is offline Member
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    hungary

    Good article. I almost went to Hungary but opted for the 4 year polish program instead. How is it so many Israelis are there?

  3. #3
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    ...

    From my conversations with the Israeli students, I gleaned the following.

    -Med school admission in Israel is highly competitive.
    -Doctors are well respected.
    -Many have family connections to Hungary (usually grandparents or cousins).
    -In addition, some of them speak Hungarian.
    -Excellent English skills.
    -Semmelweis is well regarded.
    -Many wish to practice in North America, but do not want to do both undergrad and med school, especially as many have completed their required military duty before entering Semmelweis.

  4. #4
    isa
    isa is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    I am doing some rotations at Semelweiss, even though I am a carib student.
    The teaching is high quality.
    Many foreign students.
    The foreign students often do the majority of their rotations in their home country though.
    It is only about 10,000 dollars a year.
    I read that it is CA approved.
    It has a good reputation.
    Pretty good deal!

  5. #5
    Dr.Evil is offline Member
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    Miklos,

    Dont forget that the living cost and tution fee in Hungary is lower than Poland and Czech Rep. and that the Israelian gov. is not giving them any sponsorship, so they have to pay everthing from their own pockets.

  6. #6
    Light&Salt is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Milos ^^
    Thanks a lot for your posting. It's a very valuable information for me.
    Have a good day~

  7. #7
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    Semmelweis, some basic info

    Semmelweis University Part I
    Most of the useful information that I found is located in this
    PDF. This information is for the academic year 2005/2006.
    http://www.sote.hu/oktatas/adm_acad_bulletin.pdf
    http://www.sote.hu/english/

    English program is California approved
    http://www.medbd.ca.gov/Applicant_S..._Recognized.htm
    Joined EU on May 1st 2004

    Academic Calendar
    Fall Semester: Sep 5th, 2005 - Jan 27th, 2006
    Spring Semester: Jan 30th, 2006 - Jun 30th, 2006

    Cost of attendance
    Look at page 6 of the PDF document. Note that the
    first installment for the first years tuition of 6,785 USD is
    due within two weeks after receipt of the letter of
    acceptance. For subsequent years the first installment
    is due before September 1st of that academic year.

    Annual Tuition: 10,800 USD years 1-6
    paid in two installments per year
    Application fee: $135 USD
    Examination fee: $200 USD
    Registration fee: $135 USD
    if exam outside Hungary, add $200 USD
    Annual Health Insurance: $280 USD
    Textbooks: 400-650 USD
    Housing: PDF info outdated, see post #12 in this thread
    http://www.valuemd.com/post245522-12.html

    Contents of Entrance Exams for 2005/2006
    Look at page 5 of the PDF to get a few more details.
    1. Evolution
    2. Chemical background in Biology
    3. The cell and its organization
    4. From cells to tissues
    5. Cell division
    6. Anabolic and catabolic pathways
    7. Physiology of living organisms
    8. Reproduction and development of animals
    9. Genetics
    10. Basic ethology
    11. Basic ecology (cycles of C,N,P,H20 included)
    Last edited by gluconeogenesis; 08-25-2005 at 12:10 AM.

  8. #8
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    Semmelweis, some basic info, part II

    Semmelweis University Part II
    Most of the useful information that I found is located in this
    PDF.
    http://www.sote.hu/oktatas/adm_acad_bulletin.pdf
    http://www.sote.hu/english/

    Curriculum at Faculty of Medicine
    Look at page 10 of the PDF document. The document gives more
    details about the number of hours of lecture and practicum for
    each semester.
    First Year
    Medical Physics and Statistics
    Medical Chemistry
    Medical Biology
    Basic Immunology
    Anatomy, Histology, Embryology
    Hungarian Language
    Latin Language
    Introduction to Medical Informatics
    First Aid
    Physical Education
    Second Year
    Anatomy, Histology, Embryology
    Medical Physiology
    Medical Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
    Hungarian Language
    Physical Education
    Third Year
    Pathophysiology and Clinical Lab Diagnostics
    Medical Microbiology
    Pathology and Hispathology
    Internal Medicine
    Medical Psychology
    Pharmacology, Pharmacotherapy
    Hungarian Language

    Fourth through Sixth years info not given

    Fifth pathway through New York Medical college
    Page 16 of the pdf discusses possible clinical training in
    the US for US citizens that would take the place of the sixth
    year intership in Budapest. You must return to Budapest to
    take your exams and receive your medical diploma.
    A potential tactful question may be who and how much would
    you pay for the sixth year? Tuition at Semmelweis $10,800?
    New York Medical College out of state tuition $36,100 for 2004/2005?
    (Tuition source, US News 2006 graduate medical guide)

    Location of Semmelweis Medical University
    I am still not sure where the medical university is located. You
    may enter the following lattitude and longitude coordinates into
    google earth. This may be the location of the tall medical building.
    lat 47.486965, long 19.065606

    Here are some of the clues that I found.

    1. http://www.lib.sote.hu/map.jpg

    2. http://www.sote.hu/page.php?id=30
    Central Building
    1085 Budapest
    VIII. Ulloi ut 26.
    Hungary, Europe

    3. MedioLatino photograph posted at Virtual tourist
    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/80e61/6aa67/
    Tallest building in Budapest constructed in 1978.
    Headquarters of Medical University. Additional hospital
    buildings as well.

    4. First Department of Pediatrics, Semmelweis University
    http://www.terkepcentrum.hu/index.as...765&hazszam=53

    Map resources
    http://www.map24.co.uk
    Get Google earth application at http://earth.google.com
    http://maps.google.com
    Note: There is not a google road overlay for Budapest as was
    recently added for Prague. So you will need to correlate/match
    the sattelite image with map24. The google earth application does
    have a built in browser in an adjustable window. So, you may have
    the satellite or ariel photography in one half of the window, and the
    browser with map24 in the other. I use a dual display which makes
    it much easier task.
    Last edited by gluconeogenesis; 08-23-2005 at 03:13 PM.

  9. #9
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    Hungarian language "Magyar"

    The Hungarian language "Magyar" is on the "Ugric" branch of the "Uralic" languages
    and is not an indoeuropean language. There are aproximately 13 million speakers of
    Hungarian.

    1. Some background on Uralic languages is here.
    http://www.geocities.com/ojoronen/LANGCLAS.HTM

    2. Some resources for learning Magyar which is Hungarian are here
    http://www.indiana.edu/~iuihsl/1language.html
    www.indiana.edu/~iuihsl/feedme.dcr
    www.indiana.edu/~iuihsl/readings2.dcr
    www.indiana.edu/~iuihsl/gabor.dcr

    3. A nice map of the indoEuropean languages with the slavic languages which
    are spoken in countries that surround Hungary is located here
    http://www.danshort.com/ie/iesatem_c.shtml

    Note: Changed Maygar to the correct "Magyar"

    Some Hungarian language texts and tapes
    Ponifex, Zsuzsa, Teach Yourself Hungarian Complete Course Audiopack
    McGraw-Hill, 1st edition Dec 30th, 2003
    ISBN 007141892X
    Weight: 1.2 lbs
    Cost: $18.45 USD (Amazon, 24Aug05)

    Torkenczy, Miklos, Hungarian Verbs And Essentials of Grammar
    McGraw-Hill, 1st edition, Sep 11th, 1997
    ISBN 0844283509
    Weight: 8.0 ounces
    Cost: $10.36 (Amazon, 24Aug05)
    Last edited by gluconeogenesis; 08-24-2005 at 07:50 PM.

  10. #10
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    ...

    Good information above by all.

    A couple of points;

    1) Budapest is (as per this year's survey, which I posted on this site; though I'm too busy to look it up, do a search if you care) a much more expensive city in US dollar terms than any in the new EU members and more expensive than some of the old EU (such as Athens). See for instance, this link on Pestiside.

    As a result, the figure quoted above for housing, is IMO, ridiculously low, unless you merely want the utter basics. Utilities alone can eat up $200 a month in winter (if you don't have individually metered heating and decent insulation).

    2) The location of the medical facilities is throughout the city. Though they made some effort of late at trying to keep students from commuting through the city (a top complaint in the past) to get from class to class, don't expect to have all your classes clustered together.

    3) The language is MAGYAR, not "Maygar".

    4) My understanding is that you'd need to pay Semmelweis AND NYMC tuition for Fifth Pathway in the sixth year.

    Miklos
    Last edited by Miklos; 08-23-2005 at 06:16 PM.

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