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by Emma Hourda

screenshot-2016-10-03-at-8-12-54-pmBecoming a doctor is not a random career choice. It takes a lot of effort and determination to be able to save a life! Making that decision and preparing for the admission test is definitely stressful on its own and on top of that, you have to pick a university! I sat the IMAT exam this year, and my first choice is La Sapienza. For all of you who may be wondering how I made that decision, let me tell you all about it! 

The University

First of all, La Sapienza is one of the leading (and oldest) universities in Italy. It has both an Italian-taught medical programme as well as an English-taught one, giving students the opportunity to study abroad without having to learn the language beforehand. Also, unlike many universities in Europe and the US, the tuition fees are affordable for most people. I chose the English-taught programme as my Italian is far from perfect! Apart from the language, studying in an English medical programme gives you many career opportunities when you graduate, especially if you want to work abroad like me! Knowing all the medical terminology in an internationally spoken language will make you much more comfortable when applying for residencies in other countries. Another thing to consider is class sizes: not many people are admitted to the English Medical Programme every year. This means that you can develop a more personal relationship with the professor and even get a better understanding of the subject since answering questions is much easier when you’re dealing with a smaller class. Furthermore – and this, to me, is the most exciting part- you get to study and become friends with people from all over the world, as classes are quite diverse. This way you are able to exchange ideas and opinions with people who have backgrounds very different than your own!

The City of Rome

When choosing a university, apart from the university itself, you must also choose a city to live in for the next several years! So who wouldn’t want to study in Rome, one of the most celebrated cities in the whole world? I am thrilled to be able to live and study in such a wonderful place! The “Eternal City” is incredibly beautiful, and at times it feels like you’re walking around in a museum. Still, it’s the capital of Italy which means that life goes on as it would in any other European city, and you will find everything you might need for your everyday life. It is also home to many students so naturally, it offers an active nightlife. That’s why Rome is such a great city to live in: it combines history, art, architecture and a fun time! 


Now that the hard part of passing the IMAT exam and deciding where you want to study is over, it’s time to start enjoying life! Finding an apartment, getting to know the city, meeting new people, living somewhere you’ve never lived before and learning all about this new culture! Without a shadow of a doubt, these are going to be some of the best years of our lives!

Emma Hourda took the IMAT in 2016, with Rome-La Sapienza as her first-choice school.

Erik Campano (Milan)

Erik Campano (Milan)

Blog Editor
Erik Campano is a consultant to the English medical school of the University of Turin and doing a Master's degree studying artificial intelligence applications in global health at the University of Umeå, Sweden. He completed his Bachelor’s of science in Symbolic Systems at Stanford University, and then he worked for about eight years as a radio news anchor, before moving to biomedical scientific study and research at the University of Paris and Columbia University. His goal is to develop AI technologies for international emergency humanitarian aid organizations like Doctors without Borders, and to combine medicine and journalism. Erik grew up in Connecticut, and is a citizen of the United States and Germany.
Erik Campano (Milan)