Study Medicine in Belgium
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Medicine Studies in BelgiumStudents who decide to pursue a degree in medicine have many options available to them, including the option to study abroad. Whether they are pursuing an undergraduate course of study to help prepare them for their further medical studies, or already immersed in an advanced medical education program, the study abroad opportunities are limitless, including the many programs offered in Belgium that allow students to earn the equivalent amount of credits while studying and living for a semester or year in one of Europe’s most exciting destinations.
Officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium, Belgium is a federal monarchy in Western Europe and a founding member of the European Union. The country plays host to many international organizations, most notably NATO, and serves as the headquarters for the European Union. Belgium encompasses an area of roughly 30,500 square kilometers (11,787 sq. miles)—an area that is shared by the country’s multicultural population, numbering roughly 11 million as of the last census.
Straddling the cultural boundary between Latin and Germanic Europe, Belgium is home to two primary linguistic groups, the Dutch-speaking people (about 59 percent of the population), mostly Flemish; and the French-speaking people (about 41 percent), mostly Walloons; in addition to a small group of German speakers. Belgium’s two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders, located in the northern part of the country; and the French-speaking region of Wallonia in the south. The Brussels-Capital Region, which is officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish region. A German-speaking community also exists in the eastern part of Wallonia. The vast linguistic and cultural diversity in Belgium, coupled with the abundance of international organizations that call this country home, are just a couple of the reasons why many study-abroad participants are now opting to pursue their studies here.
Medical Education in Belgium
There are many stages involved for those pursuing a degree in medicine, the first of which is the pre-medical school (pre-med) or undergraduate stage—the stage that helps students prepare for the rigors of medical school education and training. In Belgium, most undergraduates who plan to one day enter medical school tend to focus their studies on science and technology, while others take a more liberal-arts approach to their education. Below is a description of just some of the degree options that can help prepare students for admission into medical school.
Biology, or a subfield of biology such as microbiology or pathology, is a common undergraduate major for those interested in pursuing a medical degree. The required courses for a biology degree serve as solid preparation for the courses students will encounter in medical school, such as the various courses on human anatomy and physiology. These can complement the courses that will be taken in medical school, thus helping the student to excel when they reach that stage. High marks in these courses could also be appealing to medical school admission representatives.
A chemistry or biochemistry undergraduate degree can be helpful for a student looking to go on to medical school. Courses in this major can serve as helpful prerequisites for gaining admission into a medical program following graduation. Proving you can master and excel in complex laboratory-based courses such as biochemistry and organic chemistry can help showcase you as a prime candidate for a medical school program.
Because the medical profession is a highly technical and complex field, an engineering degree will be attractive on your medical school application. Like medical school courses, the courses that lead to an Engineering degree require students to develop solutions to complex problems. Therefore, successfully undertaking the challenge of achieving an engineering degree can help you prove to medical school admissions departments that you will likewise succeed in the medical field.
Degrees in liberal arts or in fields completely separate from the medical field can showcase you as a candidate with a diverse educational background that could complement a variety of medical fields and specialties. A degree in criminal justice, for example, would be a beneficial foundation for someone pursuing a career in the forensic sciences; while a degree in marketing or business could come in very handy when dealing with hospital and medical boards. Very high marks in a liberal arts program are definitely a must for someone who wishes to use their knowledge and skills to obtain admission to medical school.
Why Study Abroad in Belgium
Studying in Belgium not only gives students access to one of the finest education systems in Europe, it provides them with an opportunity to soak up the culture and the sites of the country, combining a great educational experience with a world-class Belgian vacation. Below are some of the things to do and see while visiting this beautiful country.
Chocolate, Chocolate and More Chocolate
Belgium is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of delicious chocolate and a paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth. Famed for its freshness and taste, students visiting Belgium can pick up affordable boxes of chocolate that would otherwise sell for ten times the normal amount in their home country. Chocolate manufacturers and suppliers, with names such as Leonidas, Neuhaus, and Pierre Marcolini, have shops located throughout Belgium, and the towns of Brussels and Bruges even have Chocolate Museums where guests can learn about the history of this delectable treat in Belgium.
Located in the city of Ardenne, La Roche is one of Belgium’s most idyllic locales for outdoor fun and adventure. Visitors to this mountain park have countless opportunities for fun and relaxation, including kayak trips on the river, a gentle cycling trip amid the hills and beautiful landscapes of Adrenne, and even spelunking, as tour guides take you through some of the most impressive caves in the country.
Once a playground for some of Europe’s most prominent citizens and royalty, the city of Ostend continues to possess the faded elegance of its past. Here guests can explore some of Belgium’s most trendy shops, sample both Belgian and international fare, or just stroll the beachfront promenade while enjoying the cool ocean breezes. While in Ostend, you should definitely visit the beautifully-restored Mercator Navy ship and sample some of the delectable and freshly-caught shellfish and shrimp at the outdoor markets.