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Teaching hospitals are mostly "University Hospital (= Ospedale / Policlinico)"

University Hospitals

Most of Italian “English/Italian” medical universities hold the major lectures and seminars at their teaching hospitals (*usually these are called “Ospedale” or “Policlinico,” depending on the cities they are located in. Since the Italian higher education system has traditionally emphasized “theory-based” education, not to mention its “the-famous-free-to-talk” atmosphere, quite many foreign students are not easily accustomed to “mostly the classroom” situations, without having too much of “laboratory experiments” in the first two years. Therefore, it is more interesting to see how these “medical students” get accesses to “teaching hospitals” simply skipping all those “lab-settings” prior to clinical education stage.

However, basically, all medical universities operate their own teaching hospitals, which quite many “English” medical students get “earlier and easier” access to since they complete their 1st year studies. This is partly due to that many of “teachers” welcome the “English-adopted” teaching environment as well as the “English group” has much smaller number than its generic Italian groups do. Therefore, under more “casual” permission from different instructors/professors, the English groups get “earlier and easier” accesses to “shadowing” sessions from their 1st year subjects. Still, since the majority of English group members are “Italian speakers,” the rest of “non-Italian-speaking” students tend to feel challenged if they get to talk with other hospital staffs such as nurses and orderlies that do NOT speak English, not to mention their “patients” from Italy.

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Clinical practices and daily life requires Local Languages

As a result, apart from the opportunities to have “additional/voluntary/casual” clinical sub-internship and practices at Italian teaching hospitals, quite many non-Italian-speaking students tend to make use of “student exchange programs” such as Erasmus and SISM, in order to have internship or exchange semesters in other countries, specifically in Germany. Simply, there are not too many German speakers either at Italian medical universities, but they still try to find more internship/residency opportunities through their studies in Italy. Of course, their “foreign language skills” seem to remain as a type of “barrier,” especially by the time they need to apply for Residency programs. However, thanks to Bologna Process, Erasmus Exchange Program, as well as Schengen Agreement, the students of Italian medical universities are “legally and lawfully” eligible for clerkship and clinical internship in any other EU countries and Norway, Switzerland, and some other accredited teaching hospitals around the world (*specifically in Japan, Korea, and US.)

Therefore, the students are NOT limited to complete their clinical practices within Italian system but are more recommended to participate in the accredited teaching hospitals “as long as their language skills are eligible.” Usually, the language skills are not required to be higher than B2 (*high-intermediate) level for “medical students.” Rather, it is their own active preparation to apply for any “open” programs around the world, not to mention EU member states.

In this respect, Germany and Switzerland are two most popular destinations for medical students at Italian universities since their language barrier is NOT TOO HIGH and they are offered a special “preparatory language classes (online and offline)” by EU Meducation. Any medical students are highly welcomed to enroll for Online Language classes with monthly subscriptions as well as Summer Language and Clerkship opportunities available in Germany and Switzerland, which are assisted by EU Meducation from consultation to prepare the language skills and transcript to the actual application process.

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