More and more medical students are leaving France to train in Romania
The city of Cluj has become the Mecca of these students, who will graduate there, far from the numerus clausus and from the sometimes extreme competition in France.
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They were a hundred ten years ago, they are more than a thousand this year. In France, numerus clausus obliges, they could not get a medical degree. So they came to Romania. French students from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMF) in Cluj, which teaches in French, are today part of the background of this city located in north-west Romania. You just have to walk around the UMF to hear French spoken on every street corner.
But it's not just Molière's language. In Cluj, you also hear English, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Arabic and many other languages spoken. It's great to have access to another culture and another type of education, says Rafik Lechheb, a fifth-year general medicine student and head of the Cluj Medical Corporation (CMC), a structure created to facilitate the integration of French students in Romania. We are not expatriates in Cluj, we are not in a French faculty relocated in Romania. Given the shortage of general practitioners in France, French students who train in Romania are very beneficial for France. Our country does not have to pay to train them.
In 2013, Rafik tried to spend the Paces (first year common to health studies) at his home in Angers, but he was unlucky. Falling ill and hospitalized on the day of the exam, he had to give up his dream. In France, I suffered a trauma, he testifies. This competitive atmosphere leads to a paradox: you kill your health to become a health professional. I always ask myself a question: does this competition help to be a better doctor? I doubt.
In 2014, the young Rafik flew to Romania. One of her friends had already left to study medicine in this country on the eastern edge of the European Union (EU). Word of mouth works wonders, since the majority of French students who landed in Romania have a friend who has a friend who has a brother whose cousin is studying in the country of Dracula We are witnessing a phenomenon of mobility which persists because of the numerus clausus, explains Pierre-Yves Mingant, in charge of the scientific and university cooperation pole at the French Institute in Bucharest. There are 110 French-speaking sectors in Romania, including ten in general medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmacy. Romania is the country with the highest number of French-speaking streams, and the French are second on the list of foreign students in Romania. Neighboring Moldovans (mostly Romanian-speaking) are in first place, Israelis third.
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