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FAQ
1. In which European cities can I attend medical school?

The Direct Entry and 6 Years Programs are currently offered through Source America in 2 cities in Bulgaria located in Central Europe: Sofia and Pleven.  Each of these cities contains a university, regional medical center and university hospitals with over 1000 beds.  They are the 2 largest medical centers in Bulgaria, a beautiful country on the Black Sea in Europe, adjacent to Greece, Macedonia and Turkey.

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2. After finishing the program, can I work in the United States?

All of the affiliate universities are recognized by the World Health Organization. You can find a list of the recognized universities in the updated 7th edition of the World Directory of Medical Schools.

Official 7th edition WHO listing

World Health Organization
Division of Development or Human Resources for Health
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland
 
Telephone: (+ 41 22) 791 21 11
Fax: (+ 41 22) 791 3111
Email: inf@who.int
Website: http://www.who.int/

The universities are recognized by the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).  All of the universities are listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED)


Licensure in the
United States

Graduates of these universities may practice medicine in the United States if they fulfill the following requirements:

• Are U.S. residents or citizens.
• Are eligible for ECFMG certification.
• Have fulfilled all other residency and licensing requirements.
• Receive a passing score on the USMLE.
• Fulfill a one residency requirement


Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685 USA

Telephone: (215) 386-5900
Fax: (215) 386-9196
Email: info@ecfmg.org
Website: http://www.ecfmg.org/

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3. Is the medical degree recognized in my country?

All of our universities are recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are associated with leading health institutions in the world, such as Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) and Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE).  The universities are fully accredited and recognized throughout the world, including in the United States, Canada, Japan and India.  All of the universities are listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED), which means that graduates are able to sit for the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).

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4. What about safety and security in Europe?

Student safety and security comes before everything in the operation of the program.  European cities are as safe as American cities, if not safer.  There is a zero-tolerance for drugs and violent crime in Europe.  Not only are the students registered with the American Embassies in Europe, but they are protected by the university and by local, national and European authorities.  Above and beyond standard security, students have access to Source America representatives who live in each university town.  Whether the a student would like to get internet in their apartment, or they would like to make plans for their parents to visit, Source America representatives provide a ‘concierge’ service to assist all students enrolled from the United States.

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5. How much does it cost to go to school in Europe?

The monthly living cost will vary according to the lifestyle of the student:
  • University housing is available for approximately $200 per month.
  • Apartment rent: $300-$400 per month – to be paid prior to leaving for Bulgaria
  • Living expenses: $300-$600 per month – daily/weekly/monthly expenses
So, the total cost can vary from $450-$1000 per month.  Living costs do not include books and study material costs (pens, pencils and computers) and and are dependant on the lifestyle of the student. These costs are approximate and may increase yearly. 

Tuition in each university is approximately $9000 per year, payable per semester.   For providing service and monitoring the program, Source America has a consultation fee of $12,000, payable in 3 installments before the student leaves for Europe.  For details and summary of costs, go HERE.

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6. What services does Source America provide?

Source America guides and helps the student through the complicated process of university application, international immigration and relocation to Europe.  Through our contacts in Europe and at the university, your transition process is professionally facilitated.
  • Processing center for university application materials, interviews and examinations.
  • Securing paperwork from the university when needed for immigration.
  • Lending our personal experience/strategy as European medical students and doctors.
  • Sharing our experience with foreign consulates in the United States.
  • Providing and monitoring timelines for application & immigration processes.
  • Pre-arranging of student apartments, dorms or other accommodations.
  • Facilitating of bank-accounts, health insurance, telephones, utilities & various other services.
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7. How can I apply to the Program?

Students from the United States, Canada, Japan and India can apply through the university’s registered representative: Source America.  Direct application to the universities is tedious, cumbersome and expensive.  It should be handled by an experienced representative.  Source America provides the support and resources necessary for successful enrollment.

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8. When can I apply?

Students may begin the application process for the "Direct Entry Program" or the "6 Years Medical Program" during their senior year in high school. Applications will be considered for the upcoming academic year only. Students who choose not to enroll will be required to re-apply for subsequent consideration. Students currently enrolled in US colleges or universities may also apply.  As the science curriculum in medical school is not the same as in US undergraduate institutions, transfer of credits from these institutions will be handled at the discretion of the medical schools and is not guaranteed.

Admission interviews will be held in one or more cities in the United States.  For detailed information about dates and locations of the interviews, please contact our Chicago office Monday through Friday during regular business hours; please call at (773) 588-7933.

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9. What documents do I need to start the application process?
 
(+) NOTE: Please download the complete instructions HERE. The following is simply an overview of what is required.

The completed application must be returned to Source America. The following documents will be required for completing the application (photocopies of some documents may be accepted).
  • Proof of graduation from high School or college (photocopy of diploma) and “official” certified copy of the relevant transcripts with course descriptions (if requesting credit transfer). Students about to complete their studies are required to send in a current transcript and present their graduation diplomas and final transcripts at the time of interviews or as soon as possible.
  • Photocopy of valid passport (valid for at least 6 months) + 8 passport-style photos
  • Doctor’s note stating that applicant is in good mental and physical condition, and has no communicable diseases.
  • Application Process Fee: $300 (Payable to Source America) - Non-refundable.

(+) NOTE: Please download the complete instructions HERE. The above is simply an overview of what is required.
 
 
10. Once I have been accepted, what is the next step?

Some government agencies take many weeks to return immigration materials, therefore it is prudent to begin the immigration process while you wait for the interview. Source America will facilitate the transition by providing you with a timeline for the immigration process as well as arranging the necessary paperwork from Europe.  Source America will pre-arrange the appropriate accommodations after the student chooses housing (dorm vs. off-campus apartments). Program administrators will inform the students about the departure dates for school.  A professional from Source America will travel with the students to Europe.  Our resident assistants will welcome students when they arrive in Europe.

Upon arrival, students will be escorted to their accommodations and assisted with bank accounts and telephone set-up.  There will also be a tour of the town and the university campus. A few days after arrival, they will all meet to complete the immigration process:
  • complete a medical examination in the university hospital
  • report to the Foreign Police Office and submit a document certifying his/her health insurance
Finally, the students will register and begin classes.

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11. What if I still have questions?

If you have any questions or requests please contact Source America by email (prashant@sourceamerica.net) or by calling us at 773.588.7933.

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12. How will I get to the university?

The group discounted ticket will be offered to all students when they leave for the University. Students will be notified by our staff about the dates of travelling.

Our resident assistants will be waiting to welcome the students when they arrive for study in Sofia/Pleven.

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13. How can I find an apartment?

Students may live in the dorms or in apartments. Source America will notify the students of the associated costs/contingencies and will help all students find appropriate housing. Students who prefer to live in apartments must notify us in advance so that appropriate locations can be secured and costs can be estimated.

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14. What type of health insurance do I need to have?

  • The universities will manage the arrangements and cost of health insurance for our students.
  • This insurance will cover the students for health care in case of illness as well as for emergency care.
  • Once students secure the insurance policy, they have the same health care rights and benefits as local citizens. These advantages do not include cost reimbursements for medical aids (glasses etc.)
  • Dental care must be paid for separately by the student.
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15. What text books do I have to obtain?

Source America will provide the students with the list of required textbooks.  The students may purchase some of the books in the United States, however all of the books will be available for purchase at the university or in nearby bookstores or Or Source America can buy books for you at a discounted rate ($2,500).

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16. How can I pay the fees to the university?

The student should pay the tuition directly to the university.  Each university has an account in a local bank, and the tuition fees may be transferred electronically from the United States or from a student’s bank account in a local European bank.

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17. Can I use credit cards in Europe? Where will I have a bank account?

  • In Europe, most of the restaurants, supermarkets, and other shopping venues accept credit cards.
  • Commonly accepted credit cards are: EuroCard, MasterCard, VISA, VISA Electron
  • The student can open an account in many banks in Europe and around the university.
  • ATM’s (cash stations) are available throughout Europe.
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18. What language do they speak?

The official language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian, and most of the people also speak English, German or French. All the courses in the university are taught in English.  Nevertheless, students will learn the local language so that they will be able to better communicate as they proceed through the program.  Should a student have difficulty with the local language, an interpreter will be provided during patient encounters.

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19. Can I come home for vacation? When and how often?

There is an exam period at the end of each semester, before each vacation period.  Students may schedule their exams may be scheduled anytime during the exam period.  Those students who schedule their exams early may use the rest of the exam period as vacation time.  During the later years of school, this time can be used to return to the United States for clinical rotations.

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20. What about financial aid?

The universities are in the process of applying to qualify for the federal financial aid - Stafford Loans and private federally backed loans. In Bulgaria, the universities are status: Pending set for approval. Until that time, parents have to arrange finance by themselves. We can help them to get Differ Bank Loan on the basis of their home equity.

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21. What about phones, internet and email?

  • The student can have a telephone at his/her apartment, and can buy a cellular telephone. Any tri-band GSM phone will work.  The student simply needs to buy the ‘SIM’ card for service.
  • The Internet - the university has computer rooms with free access to the Internet from morning until night every day. The student can also request high-speed internet in his/her apartment for a cost of about $30/month.
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22. What is life like outside the University (in Bulgaria)?

The geographical location of Bulgaria provides excellent opportunities for sports activities.  In each season it is possible to go walking, hiking, cycling or other sporting activities. There are many well-known ski and tourist resorts in the region with full ski tows, food and lodging facilities.  In close proximity to each university there are down-hill slopes of all skill levels. 

Bulgaria has a beautiful coastline on the beautiful Black Sea, close to Greece.  There are many types of water sports and recreation typically associated with a Mediterranean costal region. Varna is on the coast of the Black Sea and is a favorite tourist spot for beach-lovers from around Europe.

In each university and the surrounding towns there are fitness centers, swimming pools and thermal spas.  Horseback riding is popular in the area, and large rivers and their tributaries are excellent for sport fishing.
There are night clubs, theatres and cinemas in each city. Sofia’s museums and galleries organize exhibits, concerts and other educational and artistic events on a regular basis.  Menus in restaurants offer a wide choice of European meals.  Mediterranean, Chinese and Arabic cuisine are common in the many restaurants.  You can also find many places offering fast food - pizzerias, buffets, cafes, etc).

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23. What about electrical appliances (radios, alarm clocks, CD-players...)?

Europe runs on 220-volt current.  All appliances and electronics are available in Bulgaria.  We suggest that students bring only what they need for the first semester, and purchase other electrical items when they arrive.  Students will find that they will adapt to life there very easily. Should they choose to apply, Source America will provide orientation material, including “What to Bring to School”.
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