One of the problems in the United States is the enormous debt that weighs on the shoulders of those who choose to study medicine and related disciplines. It is a wonderful and lucrative career, but one that starts with a very large sacrifice that is repaid with years of expenses while one is not yet at the top of the profession.
Our guest for this interview, Prof. Gianni Profita, is the Rector of UniCamillus ("Saint Camillus International University of Health and Medical Sciences"), a university in Rome exclusively dedicated to the Health and Medical Sciences. We the Italians has signed an agreement with UniCamillus to promote their very beneficial offerings to the Italian American community. We really recommend reading this interview and are happy to be able to propose these opportunities.
Rector, UniCamillus was born "international, correct?
By founding UniCamillus in 2017, we intended to recover that concept of "universitas" that was proper to universities in their origin. The fact that there are students from sixty-two different countries around the world is a source of pride for us: our courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Midwifery, Nursing, Medical Radiology Techniques, Biomedical Laboratory Techniques and Human Nutrition are attended by thousands of young people. New energies, ready intelligences, doctors of tomorrow.
Why focus only on medicine?
Medicine or, more properly, the medical sciences are an indispensable element of our being 21st century humans. If we think about it, when universities were born, there were "utrumque ius" courses of the two universal rights, canon law and civil law.
Then medicine was added, theology was hived off, and, gradually, over the decades, educational offerings were diversified, subjects were deepened, all the way to modern universities. But medicine remained. In fact from day one it has been a mainstay of university-level education.
Can you give us some numbers about your many foreign students?
There are 5,169 students enrolled at UniCamillus, including bachelor's, nutrition and master's degree programs. Of these, 4,581 are from the European Union and about six hundred from non-EU countries. In percentage terms, 73% of the enrolled students are from the European Union and 27% are from outside the EU.
If we look at the numbers of freshmen enrolled in the 2022/2023 academic year, we are talking about more than nine hundred students: nearly six hundred from EU countries and more than three hundred from the rest of the world, or 34%. The largest majority of enrollment from non-EU countries is in Nursing Science. This year there were 150 total freshmen, of which one 125 were non-EU, or 83%.
A considerable figure...
Very. Consider that the European Commission, in its report “The Erasmus Impact Study”, says that 64% of employers consider a candidate's international experience to be important for job placement. Those with an international education, in short, are more likely to get better, more professionally challenging and satisfying jobs, and better paid.
How many students come from the U.S., Canada or other countries on the American continent?
We have several students from the U.S., Canada, Peru, Brazil, as well as a large Haitian community, all perfectly integrated into the multicultural academic community of UniCamillus and the cosmopolitan Roman environment.
The international vocation of UniCamillus, however, also manifests itself in other ways, such as in international missions. These are study missions but also international assistance and volunteer work. We have dedicated an issue of our magazine, UniCamillus Magazine, to the last two international missions we have completed.
The first is a mission to Benin (Africa) earlier this year, in which our Prof. Massimo Gravante, dermatologist and professor of Parasitology and Dermatology, participated. At the La Croix hospital held by the Camillian friars in Zinvié, nearly three hundred dermatological examinations, more than one hundred and eighty surgeries, twenty biopsies, and more than two hundred and fifty examinations, dressings, and checkups were performed.
The second is a mission to Gambia (Africa) carried out in collaboration with the Medical Research Council, MRC, which is a research institute of direct dependence of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The mission was structured as an internship, including both research and training and field activities. The goal is to train our students in the future to work in resource-limited countries in a variety of fields, ranging from obstetrics and gynecology to infectious diseases.
Can those who graduate from UniCamillus practice medicine abroad?
The degrees awarded by UniCamillus, as per Directive 2005/36/EC and Directive 2013/55/EU, are valid throughout the European Union and much of the rest of the world. In fact, UniCamillus is included in the World Directory of Medical Schools: a joint venture between the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER).
Our University has met all the eligibility requirements and therefore, as soon as the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) has completed its review procedures, UniCamillus students and graduates will be able to apply at the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduate certification.
Ahead of the end of the first cycle of the medical degree program, we will complete the accreditation process for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), a licensing exam required to practice medicine in the United States.
What are the costs of coming to study at a private university, but one with such a broad international reach?
The costs are much less than one might think. To realize this, one only has to compare the annual costs of our undergraduate programs with the average of equivalent study tracks at U.S. colleges. Tuition for a year of study in Medicine and Surgery at UniCamillus is $21,000 compared to the average about $60,000 needed to study in the US. Almost a third, not counting the fact that there are universities such as Boston University School of Medicine that touch figures of about $70,000.
And the comparison is even more flattering for us if we look at the annual costs of a degree in Dentistry: at UniCamillus it costs $ 17.500, at Harvard over $ 66,000, while at the University of Washington it even comes to over $ 94,600. Just $3,000 is the cost of Obstetrics at UniCamillus, while in America the average is $32,000. Same order of scale for Physiotherapy ($5,500 versus an average of $37,000) and the other courses, which all are well under $10,000 a year, versus American averages of $16,000 and up.
Does your university provide scholarships for deserving students?
Absolutely. For the 2022/2023 academic year, we have made scholarships available to deserving students in economic need that cover part of the tuition fees for the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry and Prosthodontics. These are scholarships of $7,000 each. We also have some for students from non-EU countries. There are 18 scholarships for the Dentistry and Prosthodontics degree program and 50 for the Medicine and Surgery degree program in amounts ranging, depending on the student's income, from $6,000 up to a maximum of $10,500.
Then there are the scholarships for those enrolled in Health Professions. 10 scholarships in amounts ranging from $750 to $2,750. More specifically, for Physiotherapy from $1,650 to $2,750; Obstetrics, from $1,200 to $2,000; Nursing from $750 to $1,250; then for both Biomedical Laboratory Techniques and Medical Radiology Imaging and Radiotherapy Techniques the scholarships range from a minimum of $900 to a maximum of $1,500.
Grants can be renewed annually if the student meets minimum requirements, such as at least a 26-thirtieth grade point average on exams or specific number of credits and continued financial need.
What has Unicamillus done to overcome any language barriers?
Ours is a university with a very strong international focus, and courses are mainly delivered in English. However, having a large number of students from abroad, we have activated Italian language courses, which for We the Italians readers and prospective students from America we will be happy to offer free of charge.
Let's tell our Italian American readers what it means to study and live in Rome...
Choosing to study in Rome will give students the opportunity to live and be part of the capital, a cosmopolitan, dynamic city rich in cultural traditions, in a mix of art, history and entertainment. Besides being the epitome of beauty and classical culture, it is also home to numerous international institutions and multinational companies. Its magical atmosphere is also a continuous source of inspiration for the film industry (both American and not American), which has set many of its productions here.
The capital's central location will also allow students to be able to reach and visit many other regions and cities in the country, with just a few hours' travel by train or car to Florence, Bologna, Naples or even, Milan and Venice.
But even while staying in Rome, particularly on weekends the city offers an incomparable nightlife, with a large number of restaurants, bars and clubs of all kinds where one can have fun in the company of old and new friends, perhaps even fellow students. In this sense, Rome is the ideal place to enjoy many experiences and take advantage of great opportunities.
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