Age: 22

Previous University (s): Comenius University in Bratislava

“A saying about the Faculty of Medicine in the UNIBA goes: “Mortals won’t pass [the entrance test] there”, – implying that… well, let’s ask the first immortal participant of our program – Natalia Koshova, – what exactly. We’ll be talking about her impressions and experience of studying medicine in Slovakia, her outlook and ambitions” 

Hello, Natalia, thanks for agreeing to answer a couple of questions. May I ask you to introduce yourself to the readers?

Hello, my name is Natalia Koshova. I’m a medical student in Comenius University in Bratislava. Now it’s my second year of receiving Penta’s Scholarship.

When did you move to Slovakia? Was it tough to adapt here?

I moved to Slovakia 5 years ago. I can’t say that it was easy, but it wasn’t hard neither. It’s a great experience for me. I’ve met a lot of new people, been to many places and that helped me a lot to adapt here. Of course, I miss my family and Ukrainian friends, but I got used to live here – I find it interesting and challenging.

So you’ve chosen a noble profession. Was it your decision? What motivated you?

I always wanted to be a doctor, so for me it was an obvious choice. I want to help people and make something good for the humanity. And I think that medicine is the right way to do this. I like that I will have the ability to help people directly and make them happier.

Let’s talk about your medical school now. How hard is it? Do you like it?

It’s hard but everything is possible. Subjects are interesting. Surely, I need to study a lot. I try to take everything positively and just keep studying. I like it very much, because it’s really fascinating to learn about human body and health. I like that I can improve my lifestyle using my knowledge from school.

How different is the medical education program from the regular university programs?

My program differs somehow but I can’t say that the difference is too big. It is rather hard: there are subjects where we must have 80% points to pass. And we have a lot of practice. Medical students (from the 4th grade) have almost every class in hospital. There they can improve some practice skills and communicate with patients.

How would you compare the healthcare system in Slovakia and Ukraine overall? What are the particular problems that doctors in Slovakia face?

Medical insurance is the main difference. In Ukraine it’s still working just in theory. It’s the main difference, I think. I don’t know much about the doctor’s problems yet, but I’ve heard that they have more paper work nowadays.