The Budapest Semmelweis University takes on medical students from Ukrainian universities and offers jobs to medical staff who were forced to flee the war-hit country. 

The biggest medical university in Hungary offers help in many ways to the Ukrainian refugees arriving in Budapest.

Semmelweis University will provide health care for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine in all cases, and will increase respective human resources capacity if necessary. In case Ukrainian patients have language difficulties at a clinic, the university’s Department of Languages for Specific Purposes provides 24-hour on-call interpretation in Ukrainian and Russian.

Professor Dr. Béla Merkely, rector of the Budapest Semmelweis University said: 

In the current crisis we are ready to provide additional human resources when necessary to cope with the increased demand for our clinics’ healthcare services. Emergency situations can arise anytime – for example we have already treated a 40 weeks-pregnant woman who fled Ukraine on her own leaving her military-aged husband behind.

As of June 5, 2022, 628 outpatients and 152 inpatients from Ukraine were treated at the clinics of Semmelweis University. As we reported in a separate article, on March 1, a Ukrainian refugee gave birth to a baby boy at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and since then another seven births have taken place there. 

Between February 26 and June 6, the university’s dormitories provided accommodation for 382 refugees from Ukraine. Currently, 58 people are receiving housing.

Around 2,000 students who had to flee Ukraine have so far expressed interest via email to temporarily continue their studies at Semmelweis University as guest students, and approximately 685 have applied. They are mainly from Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Ethiopia), a significant number are also from Asia (India, Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand) and a few are from America and Europe.   

By 20th April 2022, 94 medical students had already begun their studies at the university – after completing all the necessary checks and submitting the required certificates and documents. These students have been granted so-called guest-student status which means that they can continue their studies at the Budapest Semmelweis University temporarily and for free – until the end of the summer term this year. In the meantime, the Hungarian Government has launched the Students at Risk sub-programme of the Stipendium Hungaricum programme. Current and prospective guest-students will need to apply for a scholarship via this scheme if they want to continue and complete their studies in Hungary beyond the summer term.

The Budapest Semmelweis University will also give students, researchers, lecturers working in the field of medicine and health sciences, and those working in patient care, the opportunity to continue their work and studies in Hungarian, English or German.

“So far we have had 35 students arriving to our colleges in the last few days and after meeting them today I can confirm that some of them will start their studies with us as soon as Monday. Some of them decided to reach their families in other countries first and possibly come back afterwards – and we are waiting for another 40-50 students to arrive tomorrow. Of course, the situation is constantly evolving so it is hard to tell what will be the final numbers of students who will continue their medical studies with us” – added the rector.

Semmelweis University dormitories continue to welcome international medical students who previously studied in Ukraine, with students from Bangladesh, Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, India and Iran having been accommodated so far.

The students concerned can apply by sending an e-mail to

Under the Students at Risk sub-programme of the Stipendium Hungaricum programme, the government provides support for Ukrainian students and also third-country nationals fleeing from Ukraine to continue and complete their studies in Hungary. Semmelweis University has the capacity to host 250 students under the scholarship programme, for which applications are open until 30 April. Further information is available on the Stipendium Hungaricum website.

The university has arranged a collection of medicines, painkillers, masks, vitamins, first aid equipment and other items, as well – which will be added to the nationwide donations and delivered to Ukraine. 

Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University

Featured image (illustration): Envato Elements