cheapest countries to study medicine
Want to study medicine at a low cost and learn from the best in the field? Consider these Asian countries. Source: Noel Celis/AFP

Are you aspiring to become a doctor? Chances are, you know how expensive it is to study medicine. The good news is that some of the cheapest countries to study medicine are located in Asia.

Take China Medical University, for example. It ranked #1,113 globally and was classified as among the top 500 in Asia, according to the US News and World Report’s Best Global Universities in 2022

Whichever you choose, studying medicine in Asia is set to be cheaper than in the US or UK — and with no compromise on quality too. The best part? Low living cost. In Malaysia, expect to pay US$300 for your average monthly living cost. While you’re not busy studying, savour food from different countries, such as Chinese, Malay and Indian, for cheap. 

Though finding an affordable medical school is rare, it is not impossible. Here are the cheapest countries to study medicine in Asia:

study medicine

Wonder what drives the medical staff as they combat the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan? Learn more from these experts in China for cheap. Source: Noel Celis/AFP

Cheapest countries to study medicine in Asia

1. China

When the COVID-19 outbreak occurred in Wuhan, a hospital was built in 10 days, reported CNN. A little over a week after the land-levelling work commenced, the two-storey, 366,000-square-foot Huoshenshan Hospital started to accept its first patient. 

Studying medicine in China is a chance to learn from the industry’s best. Apart from being one of the fastest-growing global economies, China’s educational institutes have been gaining recognition and climbing up the rankings. Look at the Times Higher Education Asia Rankings, and you’ll find institutions from China that have successfully made it to the list. 

Tuition fees to study medicine in China can go as low as US$2,600 per year. Guangzhou Medical University, Shantou UniversityCapital Medical University are some medical schools that offer medical degrees with low tuition fees, according to Shivaan Bahl, a second-year medical student at King’s College London. 

2. Malaysia

Malaysia stands out as one of the most diverse countries in Asia, with a living cost as low as US$300 per month. Scroll through Reddit to hear from a Nigerian student who recalls how international students in Malaysia will have the luxury of observing how people from different races, religions, and cultures interact. 

Those who want to study medicine here can consider Universiti Malaya and Newcastle University. While tuition fees at these universities can peak at US$31,872 per year, you can apply for external scholarships to ease your financial burden. 

3. Philippines

Another equally diverse country is the Philippines. Here, find students from Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries

The country has also been a top destination for international students wanting to take English language courses and study medicine, says immigration commissioner Jaime Morente to CNN Philippines. Some of the top medical schools include Cagayan State University, the AMA School of Medicine (AMA) and the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHS) 

Tuition fees at ANA start at US$4,830 for the first and second years, US$2,900 for the third year and US$1,930 for the final year. 

4. Taiwan

Studying for a medical degree here is affordable. For example, it costs US$5,000 a year to pursue your bachelor’s degree at Taipei Medical University. 

Do look out for government scholarships administered by a number of government bodies, including the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Education (MOE), and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). Most provide subsidies for tuition fees and living expenses to the awardees and are open for eligible applicants to apply directly from their home country.

Taiwan is also ranked 13th in the 2021 World Index of Healthcare Innovation. Upon graduation, you can expect to work in some of the leading hospitals around the globe and learn from the best medical practitioners in the country.