Hundreds of Indian students went to Ukraine to pursue their dream of becoming doctors after completing their MBBS. After a few years of hard work, he was supposed to have his own AC cabin in some hospital, with his MBBS degree hanging on the back wall. However, on that battlefield, only a few students are left with these dreams and hopes. The war between Ukraine and Russia is in its eighth month. The volatile situation in Ukraine not only forced Indian students to return home, but it also harmed their careers. The students had borrowed money to study medicine in another country. However, upon her return, she was forced to enrol in less prestigious courses such as Nursing.
Students from India who have returned from Ukraine are disheartened and helpless. According to the Indian Express, some students at the Bukovinian State Medical University in Chernivtsi, western Ukraine, expressed disappointment after losing their dream of becoming doctors. They must now settle for low-value programmes such as BSc, BBA, and Nursing. At the time of the war, Anand A from Kerala was a second-year student at Bukovinian State Medical University. He returned to India in the midst of a crisis. He had borrowed Rs 15 lakh from the bank for six years of education in Ukraine.
“When I took admission in the university, I was asked to take admission for the semester beginning in December 2020, but my flight was cancelled and I arrived three days late,” Anand explained. They denied my admission and asked me to return the following semester. Because returning to India was not an option, I paid an additional Rs 1.5 lakh for the foundation course. When I returned to India, I had spent Rs 3 lakh of my bank loan and Rs 5-6 lakh of my parents’ savings on flights, food, and lodging, among other things.
Significantly, thousands of Indian students studying medicine in Ukraine were forced to return home in the final week of February due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Senior students were allowed to continue with online classes while first and second year students were advised to reapply for NEET for new medical admission. Later, these senior students were informed that they could only take online theory classes and not practical classes. This meant he’d have to either return to war-torn Ukraine or be transferred to another country to finish his medical studies.
‘I was in a pickle because my family didn’t have enough money to send me to another country,’ Anand explained. Anand’s father is retired, and his mother, a cancer survivor, works as a nurse in Saudi Arabia to help pay for her son’s education.
“I had to mortgage my mother’s gold to pay off the bank loan,” he explained. I inquired about another loan to study abroad, but the bank seemed hesitant because the loan amount was significantly greater than the amount borrowed to study in Ukraine.’ Anand has now enrolled in a nursing college in Bengaluru, with the hope of finding work abroad.
‘It was not easy for me,’ Anand said. I am twenty-one years old. I have to repeat the second year, and finishing medical school takes a long time. We must also pass additional exams in order to practise in India. I don’t want my mother to be forced to work for so long. He survives solely on drugs. I had no choice but to see her as a doctor rather than a nurse.
Melvin Shaji Jose, another of Anand’s classmates, returned and enrolled in the Nursing degree programme. Jose, from Kerala’s Kottayam district, had passed NEET and was on his way to a BDS seat. ‘I wanted to be a doctor and help sick people,’ he explained. I don’t want to imagine myself brushing my teeth and performing a root canal.
Melvin had passed the NEET twice before moving to Ukraine, but with a score of 450, he was only eligible for admission to deemed private medical colleges, where the course fees are much higher than those charged by Ukrainian universities. He conducted extensive research before deciding to study medicine in Ukraine. “I was eligible for a deemed college in India, but the fee was Rs 14 lakh per year,” Melvin explained. My studies, tickets, food, and lodging in Ukraine totaled 30 lakh rupees.