international medical students, English as a medium of instruction, adaptation, course in microbiology, virology and immunology.


The increase in the number of international students at medical universities in Ukraine has made great demands for the quality of instruction in the first three years of study when adaptation of these students takes place. The aim of the paper is to analyse international students’ perceptions of teaching Microbiology, Virology and Immunology (MBVI) at Bogomolets National Medical University and outline the recommendations. A mixed research method was applied; the questionnaire with close-ended and open-ended questions grouped in nine sets was developed. Anonymous survey was conducted with the students (N=104) after completing the MBVI course with English as a medium of instruction. The survey has indicated general satisfaction of the respondents with the course. Insufficient proficiency in English often affects the quality of learning, and a low level of the Ukrainian or Russian language skills create difficulties in their communication and effective integration to the Ukrainian cultural environment. The survey results have shown the positive attitude of the respondents to the lectures with the requirement to have more interactive communication between the lecturer and students as well as have identified the difficulties concerning practical classes and self-study. The recommendations on how to improve academic performance of international medical students have been given. The focus is on increasing and maintaining language skills, consideration of ethnic and psychological features of students from different countries and implementing interactive teaching methods so that effective interaction in the learning environment could be achieved.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Valentyna Melnyk, Bogomolets National Medical University

Department of Microbiology, Virology and Immunology

associate professor

Galyna Mikhnenko, National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute"

Department of English for Engineering #1,

associate professor


  1. Alaagib, N. A., Musa, O. A., & Saeed, A. M. (2019). Comparison of the effectiveness of lectures based on problems and traditional lectures in physiology teaching in Sudan. BMC Med Educ., 19, 365.
  2. Astfalk, T. & Müller-Hilke, B. (2018). Same same but different – A qualitative study on the development and maintenance of personal networks among German and international medical students. GMS journal for medical education, 35(5), Doc58.
  3. Blair, E. (2015). A reflexive exploration of two qualitative data coding techniques. Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences, 6 (1), 14-29. 10.2458/v6i1.18772
  4. Brockman, R. M., Taylor, J. M., Segars, L. W., Selke, V., & Taylor, T. (2020). Student perceptions of online and in-person microbiology laboratory experiences in undergraduate medical education. Medical education online, 25 (1), 1710324.
  5. Cleland J., Cilliers F., & van Schalkwyk, S. (2018). The learning environment in remediation: a review. Clin. Teach.,15 (1), 13-18.
  6. Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education. (7th ed). London: Routledge.
  7. Demiral Yilmaz, N., Sahin, H., & Nazli, A. (2020). International medical students' adaptation to university life in Turkey. Int J Med Educ., 28(11), 62-72.
  8. Eyisi, D. (2016). The Usefulness of Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches and Methods in Researching Problem-Solving Ability in Science Education Curriculum. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(15), 91-100. Retrieved March 25, 2020 from
  9. Gresham, J. & Ambasz, D. (2019). Ukraine – Resume Flagship Report: Overview (English). Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. Retrieved April 1, 2020, from
  10. Gupta, M., Deshmukh, M, & Chari S. (2017). Is English language as a medium of instruction a hurdle for first year MBBS teaching learning? Perceptions of students and teachers. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 5, 4195.
  11. Hamorak, H. P. (2015). Osoblyvosti navchannya studentiv-inozemtsiv na kafedri mikrobiolohiyi [Features of teaching foreign students at the Department of Microbiology]. Halytsʹkyy likarsʹkyy visnyk, 22, 2, 131-132. Retrieved April4, 2020 from
  12. Huhn, D., Huber, J., Ippen, F. M., Eckart, W., Junne, F., Zipfel, S., Herzog, W., & Nikendei, C. (2016). International medical students' expectations and worries at the beginning of their medical education: a qualitative focus group study. BMC medical education, 16, 33.
  13. Huhn, D., Junne, F., Zipfel, S., Duelli, R., Resch, F., Herzog, W., & Nikendei, C. (2015). International medical students – a survey of perceived challenges and established support services at medical faculties. GMS Zeitschrift fur medizinische Ausbildung, 32(1), Doc9.
  14. Inamorato dos Santos, A., Gaušas, S., Mackevičiūtė, R., Jotautytė, A., & Martinaitis, Ž. (2019). Innovating Professional Development in Higher Education: Case Studies. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
  15. International students in Ukraine: Ukrainian State Centre for International Education (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2020, from
  16. Kostiuk, O. V. (2015). Trilingualism situation of co-operation in the educational space as a factor of personality neurotization. Aktualʹni problemy psykholohiyi, 10 (27), 750-760. Retrieved March 10, 2020 from
  17. Krajnov S. & Popova A. (2019). Optimization of teaching specialty disciplines for medical students training in intermediary language. The Scientific Heritage, 40-3 (40), 24-30. Retrieved April 2, 2020 from
  18. Kryzhanovska, A. V., Stukan, O. K., & Honchar, O. O. (2018). Metodychni pidkhody do chytannia lektsii iz medychnoi mikrobiolohii inozemnym studentam [Methodical approaches to lecturing on medical microbiology to foreign students]. Visnyk Vinnytskoho natsionalnoho medychnoho universytetu, 22 (2), 361-364.
  19. Mikhnenko, G. E., & Absaliamova, Ya. V. (2018). The formation of intellectual mobility of engineering students through integration of foreign language education and professional training. Advanced Educatio, 9, 33-38.
  20. Mirzazadeh, A., Alizadeh, M., & Shariati, M., Sadighpour, L. (2018). The Effect of Interactive and Effective Lecturing Workshop for Developing Faculty Members in Teaching: An Experiment of Utilizing Peer Observation of Teaching and Feedback, Strides Dev Med Educ., 15(1), e86954.
  21. Nahornyy, V. V., Nahorna, N. O., & Sinchenko, D. M. (2016). Interaktyvna lektsiya yak suchasna forma vykladannya dystsypliny u vyshchiy shkoli [An interactive lecture as a modern form of teaching a discipline in higher education]. Proceeding of All-Ukrainian scientific conference “Aktualʹni pytannya pidhotovky maybutnikh farmatsevtychnykh ta medychnykh fakhivtsiv v umovakh suchasnoyi osvity” (pp.187-189). Zhytomyr, Ukraine: Zhytomyr College of Pharmacy. Retrieved March 10, 2020 from
  22. Ngamskulrungroj, P., Kiratisin, P., Dangprapai, Y., Thaipisuttikul, I., Leelaporn, A., Luisirirojanakul, S., Kantakamalakul, W., & Horthongkam, N. (2017). The efficacy of peer teaching for medical microbiology lectures. MedEdPublish, 6, (3), 18.
  23. Przyłęcki, P. (2018). International Students at the Medical University of Łódź: Adaptation Challenges and Culture Shock Experienced in a Foreign Country. Central and Eastern European Migration Review, 7 (2), 209-232.
  24. Schulze, H., Zhang, D., Pérez Anderson, R. P., Alhalabi, O., Huhn, D., & Astfalk, T. (2018). Symposium “International Medical Students – Support Programs in Practical Application”: Networking, best-practice examples and local representation. GMS journal for medical education, 35(5), Doc53.
  25. Shaw, G. P., Molnar D. (2011). Non-native English language speakers benefit most from the use of lecture capture in medical school. Biochem Mol Biol Educ, 39(6), 416-420.
    | |
  26. Tilley, S. (2019). The role of critical qualitative research in educational contexts: A Canadian perspective. Educar em Revista, 35 (75), 155-180. Retrieved April 4, 2020 from
  27. Traianou, A. (2014). Centrality of Ethics to Qualitative Research. In P. Leavy (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research. Oxford University Press.
  28. Yang, M., O’Sullivan, P.S., Irby, D.M., Zexin, Ch., Chun, L., & Changmin, L. (2019).Challenges and adaptations in implementing an English-medium medical program: a case study in China. BMC Med Educ 19, 15.
  29. Yang, Y., Zhang, Y. & Sheldon, K.M. (2018). Self-determined motivation for studying abroad predicts lower culture shock and greater well-being among international students: The mediating role of basic psychological needs satisfaction. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 63, 95-104.




How to Cite