There is one thing in everyone’s mind these recent days – What is the reality of the Nepali girl studying MBBS/ BDS in Bangladesh? There are split opinions about the truth. Some claim their opinions to be the true but many are completely in the confusion and on doubt about the actual reality of student life of a Nepali girl in Bangladesh.
According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nepal, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh has been in bilateral relation with Nepal after the establishment of diplomatic relations on 08 April 1972. Hundreds of Nepali students have been pursuing higher studies on scholarships that are offered to them in the field of medicine and engineering.
19 seats for MBBS and 3 seats in BDS are in the scholarship scheme that is open for Nepali students to apply each year. Also, an additional number of students on the self- finance basis gets in different institutions in Bangladesh like medical, dental science and engineering, annually. The visa processes and the allocation of students to different colleges are done by the Embassy of Bangladesh, Basundhara, Nepal.
The preparation needed
For the documentation, the list of requirements published by the embassy needs to be followed. The marks scored in the biology subject in +2 level is the most basic requirement for applications. Additional to that the applicant must pass the examination of IOM. And then, they submit the form for the visa application. Less number of seats and scoring marks in the +2 level creates a tough competition.
After a process of documental preparations, the mental preparation is needed. When a visa is granted, a tough decision to study abroad is taken by a new student. He/she is excited and nervous both at a time. A complete 6 and a half years of study cum internship in an unknown land carries a dream of being a doctor and to serve in Nepal. The thing that hits the mind most about the concept of a Muslim country is that the country is not so secure especially for a girl. Carrying expectations of an excellent study, secure and happy life and lots of memories and blessing from parents, a student bid goodbye to Nepal. The parents at the other end just wish them to have the patience to get a tag of “Dr.” in front of their name. And the Nepali daughters are ready to face the reality as soon as they land Bangladesh.
The reality check
Mamta Bhatta is a third-year student who studies in Shahid Ziaur Rahman College which is government college and was established in 1992 under the affiliation of Rajshahi University. She said that she chose Bangladesh over Nepal was because of the policy of payment in Nepali colleges. She was looking for options when she just could not pay the huge amount in wholesome in advanced.
She got selected in the scholarship scheme and got the visa. Along with her 4 others were also selected and allocated in the same college. She said, “The initial days at college were tough. As, Bengali is their proficient language, and English is the second language, anything spoken in Bengali was not understood. Even the senior’s asked us to wear Kurtas with specific length every time. The jet lags and homesickness made those days even worse.” This was nothing but a cultural shock. When she could not understand anything and went to the teachers for the revision sessions of the class in English, most of them showed an effort to revise the whole chapter in English. Everything was overcome by the friendliness of the native students and easiness of learning to understand the Bengali Language. Living in a foreign land comes up with the challenge of how people will treat you. But after introducing herself as Nepali, everyone looked at her in a very respectful, hardworking, and well-mannered girl from Nepal.
According to Ashmita Karki, a student from Sher-e-Bangla Medical College affiliated by University of Dhaka, Bengali students treated her like family members, took her and other two Nepali girls to their house celebration in national festivals, helped her when she was adapting and when she feels low they cheer her up with lots of love filled cards and quality times. She said,” The professors respect a Nepali student as we remind them of their Nepali friends. We perform our best despite few difficulties but we Nepali are the ones in major colleges to rank within the top three from entire colleges.”
Whereas Bineeta Adhikari from Kumudini Woman’s Medical College, who will be starting her internship within few months said that the suggestions and restrictions on how we dress-up and how we should go out with a Bangladeshi gives a proof of how preventive environment it is for girls for upcoming risk if it ever exists. She really liked the facts that after her completion of the MBBS along with the internship, she will be giving license examination of NMC – Nepal Medical Council. The license then will make her illegible for a job anywhere in Nepal. She is secure about her future and has plans to serve Nepal as soon as possible. According to her, many doctors who studied Bangladesh are working in numerous reputed hospitals in Nepal.
Opportunities and Challenges
According to Mamta, the best part of Bangladeshi education is that the students have to give exams frequently. There is the system of examinations like Items, Cards, Terms, and Prof-exams. Ashmita said that these frequent examinations in a very short period of time make the student study constantly. Nepali students have been performing well in every college they are allocated to. Bineeta concluded saying students are happy with this because like in Nepal they don’t have to study bulky portions of medical course at once and this makes their theory stronger than any other education system.
Mamta said that the challenge for students is that the pressure of examinations might be high and keeps hitting after a very short period of time. Bineeta mentioned there is not much financial pressure as the students that are on-paid can pay it according to their feasibility after some initial payments and before the internship starts. About the weather and food, Ashmita mentioned hot temperature is another challenge along with the most eaten food which is spicy and mostly chicken and rice. The Bengali language needs some effort from the students but that will worth many best friends from Bangladesh.
For Bineeta, the life at Bangladesh is all about opportunities but for Mamta and Ashmita, it has been more challenging to completely adapt to the initial phase. However, challenges which are a part of the journey. Despite, all the challenges and opportunities, Bangladesh also stands as an option to MBBS studies.
By: Sampada Dahal