Dental Tourism – Indonesia

Country Profile

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country located mainly in Southeast Asia with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands. Indonesia is the world's 14th-largest country in terms of land area and world's 7th-largest country in terms of combined sea and land area. Its capital and country's most populous city is Jakarta. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber.

Puncak Jaya in Papua is Indonesia's highest peak, and Lake Toba in Sumatra its largest lake. Indonesia's largest rivers are in Kalimantan, and include the Mahakam and Barito. Indonesia's location on the edges of the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates makes it the site of numerous volcanoes (at least 150 active volcanoes) and frequent earthquakes. However, volcanic ash is a major contributor to the high agricultural fertility that has historically sustained the high population densities of Java and Bali.

Lying along the equator, Indonesia's climate tends to be relatively even year-round. Indonesia has two seasons—a wet season and a dry season—with no extremes of summer or winter. For most of Indonesia, the dry season falls between April and October with the wet season between November and March. Indonesia's climate is almost entirely tropical, dominated by the Tropical rainforest climate found in every major island of Indonesia, followed by the Tropical monsoon climate and finally the tropical Savanna climate. Winds are moderate and generally predictable, with monsoons usually blowing in from the south and east in June through October and from the northwest in November through March. Typhoons and large scale storms pose little hazard to mariners in Indonesia waters; the major danger comes from swift currents in channels, such as the Lombok and Sape straits.

National Demographic

Indonesia is a very ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with around 300 distinct native ethnic groups, and 742 different languages and dialects. Most Indonesians are descended from Austronesian-speaking peoples whose languages can be traced to Proto-Austronesian. Another major grouping is the Melanesians, who inhabit eastern Indonesia. The largest ethnic groups are the Javanese, who comprise 42% of the population, and are politically and culturally dominant. The Sundanese, ethnic Malays, and Madurese are the largest non-Javanese groups. Chinese Indonesians are an influential ethnic minority comprising 3–4% of the population.

The official language is Indonesian (also known as Bahasa Indonesia) a variant of Malay, which was used in the archipelago. Indonesian is primarily used in commerce, administration, education and the media, but most Indonesians speak other languages, such as Javanese, as their first language. Indonesian is based on the prestige dialect of Malay, that of the Johor-Riau Sultanate, which for centuries had been the lingua franca of the archipelago. Indonesian is universally taught in schools and consequently is spoken by nearly every Indonesian.

While religious freedom is stipulated in the Indonesian constitution,  the government officially recognizes only six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim majority country with the majority being Sunni Muslims then the Shias and Ahmadis.


Despite sharp competition, slowing profit margins and a saturating voice and SMS services market, Indonesia’s telecommunications industry still has lucrative prospects as there is still room for growth in data services, value-added services and still relatively low smartphone penetration (as well as low Internet penetration).  At the end of 2013, only 28% of the Indonesian population had Internet access, while smartphone penetration stood at 23% in the urban areas of Indonesia. Therefore, Indonesian telecommunication providers have increasingly shifted their focus to data services, for example the development of 4G long term evolution.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government is also eager to develop the country’s broadband network in an effort to enhance Indonesia’s infrastructure. The government created the ‘Indonesia Broadband Plan’ (Rencana Pita Lebar Indonesia) through which it aims to provide broadband Internet to 30% of the total Indonesian population by 2019. Other targets set in this plan include raising the ratio of Indonesian households connected to broadband (20 Mbps) to 71% by 2019, and fixed broadband (1 Gbps) penetration in buildings to 100%. Meanwhile, mobile broadband penetration is targeted to be raised to 100% as well.

English Literacy

In relation to English fluency, based on the English Proficiency Index of an international English language institution, English First, Indonesia remains positioned below its neighboring countries; namely, Singapore, Malaysia, and even Vietnam. Even though, in this data, the English proficiency of Indonesians falls within the category of ‘moderate’ or intermediate. The lack and the uneven distribution of English proficiency in Indonesia, especially between major cities and rural or remote areas, have several vital implications for the country.

Indonesian sees English as a foreign language so none of them actually use English in daily conversation. However, due to the establishment of English schools and parents are realizing the importance of English, many Indonesian are capable to converse in Basic English and understand Basic English. While if you go to university, especially the good ones, most of the students speak English.

School System

Education in Indonesia falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan or Kemdikbud) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kementerian Agama or Kemenag). In Indonesia, all citizens must undertake twelve years of compulsory education which consists of six years at elementary level and three in secondary level. Islamic schools are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Schools in Indonesia are run either by the government (negeri) or private sectors (swasta). Some private schools refer to themselves as "national plus schools" which means that their curriculum to exceeds requirements set by the Ministry of Education, especially with the use of English as medium of instruction or having an international-based curriculum instead of the national one. In Indonesia there are approximately 170,000 primary schools, 40,000 junior-secondary schools and 26,000 high schools. 84 percent of these schools are under the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) and the remaining 16 percent under the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA). Private schools only comprise 7% of the total schools number.

Higher Education

The higher education institution is categorized into two types: public and private. Both are supervised by the Ministry of National Education. There are four types of higher education institution: universities, institutes, academies, and polytechnics.

Private universities are generally operated by foundations. Unlike state universities, private institutions have budgets that are almost entirely tuition-driven. A onetime registration fee (which can be quite high) is determined at the time of entry.  Universities with a religious affiliation may receive donations or grants from religious organizations.  The government provides only limited scholarship support for students wishing to attend private universities.

Medical Education

They begin medical school directly after high school. However, some schools are open for students who already have an undergraduate degree; this is usually the case for foreign graduates.

The first 3 – 3.5 years are pre-clinical years. Using the new block system, they learn basic anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and immunology for the first year, then system-based approach for the remaining pre-clinical years. The actual division of the organ systems (musculoskeletal, cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, genitourinary, endocrinology, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology and venereology, tropical medicine, hemato-oncology, and emergency medicine) depends on each school.

Students who have completed the first 3.5 years are considered graduates already, and are granted the title “Sarjana Kedokteran” (Bachelor of Medicine). They can quit (studying) at this time and start working non-clinical jobs.

The last 1 to 1.5 years are clinical/clerkship years. They do 9 minor rotations and 5 major ones. They differ by duration: minors last 4-5 weeks, majors last for 10-12 weeks. Minor Rotations: Neurology, radiology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, ENT, oral medicine, dermato-venereology, anesthesiology (including critical care), and forensic medicine. Major Rotations: Surgery (including emergency medicine), internal medicine, obs/gyn, pediatrics, and public health. Upon completing the clerkship, board exam and have taken our Hippocratic Oath, they then graduate as Medical Doctors.

The Dentistry Profession

Oftentimes, the most prominent names in the dental field that offer excellent services usually have centres or clinics operating in the country’s biggest and busiest cities. Unless you’re fine with traveling all the way just to see your dentist, you can opt to take advantage of a business trip or vacation to places like Surabaya, Bali and Jakarta.

The number of registered and active dentists in Indonesia is small compared with the workforce of other health fields. In 2003, there existed 301,215 health professionals working in the various regions; only 7,324 (2.4%) were dentists, 607 (0.2%) were specialist dentists and 5,796 (1.9%) were dental nurses. The dentist-population ratio (per 100,000 people) was 3.4, meaning that on average; every 100,000 people are served by only 3 to 4 dentists. The ratio of specialist dentists is 0.3 and the ratio of dental nurses is 2.7. The highest ratio of dentists is in Jakarta (8.9), the capital of Indonesia, and the lowest ratio of dentists is in Lampung (1.8).

Getting There for Dental Care

Indonesia is well connected to the rest of the world by numerous airlines. Many international flights, especially those to Bali, stop first in Singapore due to runway restrictions at Bali. The principal gateways for entry to Indonesia are Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (IATA: CGK, ICAO: WIII) and Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (IATA: DPS, ICAO: WADD) (which is sometimes shown as Denpasar International Airport or I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in schedules). Both are in the midst of expansion and projects. Other airports with international links – albeit limited – include Balikpapan, Medan, Surabaya, Lombok and Manado.

There are four possible land crossings into Indonesia. Regular buses between Pontianak (Kalimantan) and Kuching (Sarawak, eastern Malaysia) pass through the border post at Entikong. You can get a visa on arrival on this route. A crossing is possible between Lubok Antu, Sarawak and Badau, West Kalimantan provided you have a visa in advance. The border crossing between West and East Timor (Timor-Leste) is open. Get a Timor-Leste visa in Kupang; a visa is required when travelling from East to West Timor. The road from Jayapura or Sentani in Indonesia to Vanimo in Papua New Guinea can be crossed, depending on the current political situation. A visa is required if travelling into Indonesia.

There is currently no sea travel between the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. But Major cruise lines often run cruise ships between Bali and Australia. There are also regular ferry services between Dili in Timor-Leste and Oecussi (including a new fast ferry), which borders West Timor. If crossing into Indonesia from here you will need to have organized your visa already in Dili. Regular and comfortable high-speed ferries run the two-hour journey between Melaka (Malaysia) and Dumai (Sumatra). Similar ferries travel between Penang (Malaysia) and Belawan (Sumatra), taking about five hours. From Johor Bahru in southern Malaysia, daily ferries run to Pulau Bintan in Sumatra's Riau Islands. Ferries connect Tarakan and Nunukan in East Kalimantan with Tawau in Sabah. For these routes you'll need a visa in advance. From Batam speedboats travel to Tanjung Buton with minibus connections to Pekanbaru on the Sumatran mainland. Otherwise, Pelni ships pass through Batam to and from Belawan (the port for Medan) and Jakarta. Boats also travel between Pulau Bintan and Singapore. Service includes Bintan Resort Ferries.

Visitor Highlights

The Indonesian archipelago is a collection of islands that holds untold treasures in its diversity of cultures, landscapes, and cities. With nearly 13,500 islands under its jurisdiction, Indonesia offers an adventure for everyone, from exploring ancient temples and hiking active volcanoes to diving in largely untouched waters. You can wander the busy streets of Jakarta, or take a step back in time with a visit to the remote villages of Tana Toraja; indulge in the bliss of Bali, or come face to face with the volatile Anak Krakatau. Whatever you choose, the experience is sure to be one filled with awe and appreciation for a country as steeped in history and natural beauty as this one.

Indonesia’s tourist sites include attractions from historical to natural to cultural. For historical tourist attractions you will find ancient temples and grand mosque. For natural tourist attractions you will find from breathtaking volcanoes to serene crater lake to Komodo Dragons and Orangutans to amazing underwater diving experience. On cultural tourist attractions, there are ancient funeral rites and tribal villages.





Dental Tourism – Serbia


Country Profile

Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a sovereign state with a diverse country distinguished by a transitional character, situated along cultural, geographic, climatic and other boundaries. Serbia numbers around 7 million residents, and its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the largest cities in Southeast Europe.

The climate of Serbia is under the influences of the landmass of Eurasia and Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. With mean January temperatures around 0 °C (32 °F), and mean July temperatures of 22 °C (72 °F), it can be classified into warm-humid continental or humid subtropical climate. In the north, the climate is more continental, with cold winters, and hot, humid summers along with well distributed rainfall patterns. In the south, summers and autumns are drier, and winters are relatively cold, with heavy inland snowfall in the mountains.  The areas with an altitude of 300 to 500 m (984 to 1,640 ft) have an average annual temperature of around 10.0 °C (50.0 °F), and over 1,000 m (3,281 ft) of altitude around 6.0 °C (42.8 °F).

Serbia is a country of rich ecosystem and species diversity, its abundance of mountains and rivers make it an ideal environment for a variety of animals, many of which are protected including wolves, lynx, bears, foxes and stags.

National Demographic

Serbia (excluding Kosovo) has a total population of 7,186,862 and the overall population density is medium as it stands at 92.8 inhabitants per square kilometer. Serbs with 5,988,150 are the largest ethnic group in Serbia, representing 83% of the total population (excluding Kosovo). Hungarians are the largest ethnic minority in Serbia, then Romani, Bosniaks. Other minority groups include Croats, Slovaks, Albanians, Montenegrins, Vlachs, Romanians, Macedonians and Bulgarians. Chinese, are the only significant immigrant minority.

The Constitution of Serbia defines it as a secular state with guaranteed religious freedom. The Serbian Orthodox Church is the largest and traditional church of the country, adherents of which are overwhelmingly Serbs. Other Orthodox Christian communities in Serbia include Montenegrins, Romanians, Vlachs, Macedonians and Bulgarians.

The official language is Serbian, a standardized form of Serbo-Croatian, native to 88% of the population. Serbian is the only European language with active digraphia, using both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Serbian Cyrillic is designated in the Constitution as the "official script", compared to Latin's status of "script in official use". Recognized minority languages are: Hungarian, Slovak, Albanian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Rusyn, as well as other standard forms of Serbo-Croatian: Bosnian and Croatian. All these languages are in official use in municipalities or cities where the ethnic minority exceeds 15% of the total population.


Fixed telephone lines connect 89% of households in Serbia, and with about 9.1 million. The largest mobile operator is Telekom Srbija, followed by Telenor and Vip mobile. Some 64.7% of households have Internet connection, while practically the same percentages (64.2%) are provided with pay television services (i.e. 37% cable television, 16% IPTV, and 11% satellite). Digital television transition has been completed in 2015 with DVB-T2 standard for signal transmission.

ADSL is the main broadband Internet technology available on the retail market, catering for 47% of all subscribers. Cable modems are used by 25% of subscribers, mobile Internet by 19%, and wireless access by 5%. Regarding Internet access at fixed locations, Telekom Srbija, and SBB, holds by far the largest stakes as service providers, the former in the ADSL segment and the latter in the cable distribution segment. In the wholesale market, the liberalization of international interconnections in 2008 enabled direct global Internet access to a larger number of operators, thus dispensing with necessity for the intermediary wholesale services of incumbent operator Telekom Srbija. Regarding wholesale access to end users’ premises, both bit stream and local loop unbundling are available to ADSL providers on the ex-ante regulated markets.

English Literacy

Usually, Serbians speak one (official) language, Serbian language. But, Serbian language can be written in both Cyrillic and Latin script, which is kind of very unique. Good to know is that people from Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia also speak the same Serbian language, with different dialect. Just like English, Scottish and Irish people for example. How much foreign language beside native Serbian language average Serbian person speaks, well, that's tough question, because answer can be applied to any other individual from any other European country. However, beside native Serbian language, people in Serbia also speak English, Russian, German, French, etc.. It mostly depends on selected primary school. In some parts of Serbia, eastern for example, some variants of Romanian languages are also present, and in western part of Serbia, Hungarian is used as well, just because of the national borders and town/cities nearby, but those are small percent. To sum everything, again - the official is: "Српски. Српски језик." (Serbian. Serbian Language), and each and every person is worth the number of languages it can use in everyday life. That old sentence applies globally on all of us with - no exceptions.

School System

Education in Serbia is divided into preschool (predškolsko), primary school (osnovna škola), secondary school (srednja škola) and higher education (visoko obrazovanje) levels. It is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Serbia.

Education starts in either preschools or elementary schools. Children enroll in elementary schools at the age of seven. Compulsory education consists of eight grades of elementary school. Students have the opportunity to attend gymnasiums and vocational schools for another four years, or to enroll in vocational training for 2 to 3 years. Following the completion of gymnasiums or vocational schools, students have the opportunity to attend university. Elementary and secondary education are also available in languages of recognized minorities in Serbia, where classes are held in Hungarian, Slovak, Albanian, Romanian, Rusyn, Bulgarian as well as Bosnian and Croatian languages.

According to 2011 census, literacy in Serbia stands at 98% of population while computer literacy is at 49% (complete computer literacy is at 34.2%). Same census showed the following levels of education: 16.2% of inhabitants have higher education (10.6% have bachelors or master's degrees, 5.6% have an associate degree), 49% have a secondary education, 20.7% have an elementary education, and 13.7% have not completed elementary education.

Higher Education

In the Republic of Serbia, access to higher education is open to every person who finishes a four-year secondary school. Higher education is divided into three levels.

Higher education in Serbia is provided at universities/faculties and colleges of applied studies and either are public or private.

The higher education system in Serbia offers two types of studies: academic studies realized at universities, and applied studies realized primarily at colleges of applied studies, and occasionally at universities as well.

There are two options concerning students’ fees. “Budget-financed” students have their tuition fees paid by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, but they need to pay administrative and other costs (entrance and application fees when enrolling in a higher education institution, fees for issuing diploma and diploma supplement, obligatory payments for exams (in certain cases applicable only to self-financing students), issuing certificates - of student’s status, of passed exams etc.).

The academic calendars are determined each year at institutional level, meaning that higher education institutions may have different calendars during the same academic year. The teaching part of an academic year consists of two semesters.

Higher education institutions determine the dates and the number of examination periods during the academic year, usually 4 to 6 periods, at the end of each semester and prior to the end of the academic year, after summer holidays.

Medical Education

Faculties (fakultet) of universities (univerzitet) and art academies (akademija umetnosti) last for 4 years until baccalaureate, 5 years until magistracy and 8 years until doctorate. Only exception is the Medical schools, lasting for 6 years until Doctor of Medicine.

In the field of medical science (studies of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine), integrated courses are organized in the duration of 6 years and carrying a minimum of 360 ECTS. Pharmacy studies also offer integrated courses that carry 300 ECTS.

The Dentistry Profession

Regular visits to the dentist are a mandatory part of the oral health care, and when you do not notice the signs of oral diseases. Only a dentist has the knowledge and expertise to evaluate the state of your oral health. Your dentist and you are a team that takes care of your oral health. All questions you may have about oral health set your dentist. Talk to your dentist.

Which dentist you choose whom you will entrust the care of your oral health, is your personal decision. Your dentist will talk of it you will learn; the dentist will feel comfortable and safe.

You may find some of these tips to help you decide: Recommendation, Referral, List of dental offices, Dental Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

Each member of the dental team plays an important role in a well-functioning dental practice and expertise and knowledge to do their job.

Dentist - In specialized teachings and practices have your dentist make it the only one who can examine your teeth and mouth and diagnose problems that can threaten the health of your teeth and mouth and even the state of your general health.

Your dentist has the knowledge and expertise to Reviewing diagnose the state of your oral health; Propose and perform the necessary dental interventions with your consent and consultation with you in terms of the circumstances that allow for intervention; It helps you in understanding the importance of oral health and its preservation for life; Provides advice and recommendations about the behavior after any dental intervention.

Getting There for Dental Care

Serbia can be reached by land, air and the Danube River. Belgrade's Tesla Nikola Airport (IATA: BEG, ICAO: LYBE) handles most international flights. The airport website has a full list of airlines servicing Serbia. In the south, Niš Constantine The Great Airport (IATA: INI, ICAO: LYNI) links Niš with countries including Italy, Germany, Slovakia and the Netherlands. Serbia's national carrier is Air Serbia. It code-shares with airlines including Ethihad Airways, Aeroflot, Alitalia and KLM.

By Land, You can easily enter Serbia by land from Montenegro, Croatia, BiH, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary; coming in via Kosovo can present difficulties. Bus services to both Western Europe and Turkey are well developed. When crossing borders, officers will usually board the bus, take everyone's passports then return them after processing them; passengers wait in their seats. International rail connections leaving Serbia originate in Belgrade. Heading north and west, most call in at Novi Sad and Subotica. Heading east, they go via Niš. At border stops, officials will board the train and stamp your passport and check for relevant visas. Several trips from Serbia offer stunning slices of scenery, such as the route to bar on the Montenegrin coast. For more information, visit Serbian Railways.

If travelling to Serbia via Italy, several ferry companies make the crossing including Montenegro Lines which goes from Bari or Ancona to Bar, and Jadrolinija which runs services from Bari to Dubrovnik, Ancona to Split, and Ancona to Zadar.

Visitor Highlights

Serbia is home to a wide range of museums, national parks, nightlife destinations and architectural sights. Rich in history and beauty, Serbia is now becoming a popular tourist destination. In Belgrade, her capital and major city center, there is plenty of things to do to satisfy any age or taste, whether it is having a meal at an open air café before visiting a museum or checking out local artists working at the many exquisite galleries, both indoors and out, to be found throughout the country.

Novi Sad is another of Serbia's elegant cities, set away from Belgrade and offering visitors a little known 'pearl in the rough'. Picture perfect and set overlooking the famous Danube, this city also has plenty to offer including galleries, theatres and cultural centerpieces and landmarks. Known as the 'Serbian Athens', Novi Sad is the second largest city in the country of Serbia. 

With its old world history, those interested in relics from hundreds of years ago will enjoy visiting the Ottoman sights of Nis, the third largest city in Serbia. Roman ruins and the Skull Tower, an ancient Turkish fortress, is just some of the historical features to be found, and enjoyed in Serbia, as well as the city of Nis.






Dental Tourism – South Africa

Country Profile

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 56 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most white and coloured South Africans; English reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life.

South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides, by its location in the climatically milder Southern Hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north (towards the equator) and further inland. Due to this varied topography and oceanic influence, a great variety of climatic zones exist. The climatic zones range from the extreme desert of the southern Namib in the farthest northwest to the lush subtropical climate in the east along the Mozambique border and the Indian Ocean. Winters in South Africa occur between June and August.

National Demographic

South Africa is a nation of about 55 million (2016) people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions.  South Africa hosts a sizeable refugee and asylum seeker population. Groups of refugees and asylum seekers included people from Zimbabwe, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia.

South Africa has eleven official languages: AfrikaansEnglishNdebeleNorthern SothoSothoSwaziTswanaTsongaVendaXhosa, and Zulu.  While all the languages are formally equal, some languages are spoken more than others. The three most spoken first languages are Zulu (22.7%), Xhosa (16.0%), and Afrikaans (13.5%). Despite the fact that English is recognized as the language of commerce and science, it ranked fourth, and was listed as the first language of only 9.6% of South Africans but remains the de facto lingua franca of the nation.

The country also recognizes several unofficial languages, including FanagaloKhoeLobeduNamaNorthern NdebelePhuthi, and South African Sign Language. These unofficial languages may be used in certain official uses in limited areas where it has been determined that these languages are prevalent.

Many white South Africans also speak European languages, including PortugueseGerman, and Greek, while some Asians in South Africa speak Asian languages, such as GujaratiHindiTamilTelugu, and UrduFrench is spoken in South Africa by migrants from Francophone Africa.


It should come as no surprise that the country that invented touchstone dialing offers world-class telecommunications.  Telecommunications is one of the fastest growing sectors of South Africa’s economy, driven by explosive growth in mobile telephony and broadband connectivity. With a network that is 99.9% digital and includes the latest in fixed-line, wireless and satellite communication, the country has the most developed telecoms network in Africa. Mobile phone use in South Africa has increased, today, more South Africans use mobile phones than radio, TV or personal computers even landline phones. With the increase usage, it has also lead to increasing numbers of South Africans using the Internet.

Although expensive compared to more developed nations, broadband is easily obtainable in South Africa. Fixed line options such as ADSLISDN, Diginet and Leased Lines are available from the national operator Telkom. Wireless options are available from Sentech, iBurst, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom and a number of other ISP's. They typically provide speeds of up to 7.6 Mbit/s with HSDPA. HSUPA is also available. MTN South Africa was among the very first mobile networks in the world to offer HSDPA services to its customers. Satellite options are available from both Sentech and Telkom.

English Literacy

English has been both a highly influential language in South Africa, and a language influenced, in turn, by adaptation in the country’s different communities. Around half of the country’s people have a speaking knowledge of English.

English was declared the official language of the Cape Colony (replacing Dutch), and the stated language policy of the government of the time was one of Anglicisation. On the formation of the Union of South Africa, which united the former Boer republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State with the Cape and Natal colonies, English was made the official language together with Dutch, which was replaced by Afrikaans in 1925.

Today, English is South Africa’s lingua franca, and the primary language of government, business, and commerce. The new education curriculum makes two languages compulsory at school, with English the language of learning and teaching at most schools and tertiary educations.

English is spoken as a home language by almost 5- million people (or 8.2% of the population). As a home language, English is most common in Gauteng, where more than a third (32.8%) of all English-speaking South Africans are found, making up 13% of the provincial population. Just less than a third (27.3%) of English speakers live in KwaZulu Natal, where it is the language of 13% of the people in the province, and 23.5% in the Western Cape, where it is spoken by 19.7% of the provincial population.

School System

Education in South Africa is governed by two national departments, namely the Department of Basic Education (DBE), which is responsible for primary and secondary schools, and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), which is responsible for tertiary education and vocational training. Prior to 2009, these two departments were represented in a single Department of Education.

The DBE department deals with public schools, private schools (also referred to by the department as independent schools), early childhood development (ECD) centres, and special needs schools. The public schools and private schools are collectively known as ordinary schools, and comprise roughly 97% of schools in South Africa.

The DHET department deals with further education and training (FET) colleges, adult basic education and training (ABET) centres, and higher education (HE) institutions.

South Africa has a 3 tier system of education starting with primary school, followed by high school and tertiary education in the form of (academic) universities and universities of technology. Learners have twelve years of formal schooling, from grade 1 to 12. Grade R is a pre-primary foundation year.  Primary schools span the first seven years of schooling. High School education spans a further five years. The Senior Certificate examination takes place at the end of grade 12 and is necessary for tertiary studies at a South African university.

Public universities in South Africa are divided into three types: traditional universities, which offer theoretically oriented university degrees; universities of technology ("Technikons"), which offer vocational oriented diplomas and degrees; and comprehensive universities, which offer both types of qualification. There are 23 public universities in South Africa: 11 traditional universities, 6 universities of technology and 6 comprehensive universities.

Higher Education

For university entrance, a "Matriculation Endorsement" is required, although some universities do set their own additional academic requirements. South Africa has a vibrant higher sector, with more than a million students enrolled in the country’s universities, colleges and universities of technology. All the universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than government. The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) system of administering higher education broadly in the country is run by the South African Qualifications Authority.

A Bachelor's degree is a three-year program and the curriculum tends to be a little more structured with less flexibility than at U.S. universities.  Students graduating with high enough scores can apply to stay on for a fourth (honors) year.  During this fourth year, students take honors classes and write a thesis.  This is a transition year into graduate school.  Students graduating with honors from one of the top South African Universities are likely to have done course work on the level of a master's degree in the U.S. and have completed an original thesis that might be slightly more advanced than a typical undergraduate thesis in the U.S.

Medical Education

There are eight medical schools in South Africa, each under the auspices of a public university. As the country is a former British colony, most of the institutions follow the British-based undergraduate method of instruction, admitting students directly from high school into a 6 or occasionally five-year program. Some universities such as the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the University of Cape Town have started offering post-graduate medical degrees that run concurrently with their undergraduate programs. In this instance, a student having completed an appropriate undergraduate degree with basic sciences can enter into a four-year postgraduate program.

South African medical schools award the MBChB degree, except the University of the Witwatersrand, which styles its degree MBBCh. Some universities allow students to earn an intercalated degree, completing a BSc (Medical) with an additional year of study after the second or third year of the MBChB. The University of Cape Town, in particular, has spearheaded a recent effort to increase the level of medical research training and exposure of medical students through an Intercalated Honours Programme, with the option to extend this to a PhD.

Following successful completion of study, all South African medical graduates must complete a two-year internship as well as a further year of community service in order to register with the Health Professions Council and practice as a doctor in the country.

Specialization is usually a five- to seven-year training process (depending on the specialty) requiring registering as a medical registrar attached to an academic clinical department in a large teaching hospital with appropriate examinations. The specialist qualification may be conferred as a Fellowship by the independent Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA), following British tradition, or as a Magisterial degree by the university (usually the M Med, Master of Medicine, degree). The Medical schools and the CMSA also offer Higher Diplomas in many fields. Research degrees are the M.Med and Ph.D. or M.D., depending on university.

Medical students from all over the world come to South Africa to gain practical experience in the country's many teaching hospitals and rural clinics. The language of instruction is English but a few indigenous languages are studied briefly. The University of the Free State has a parallel medium policy, meaning all English classes are also presented in Afrikaans, therefore students who choose to study in Afrikaans, do so separately from the English class.

The Dentistry Profession

South Africa is a little different in that there is a distinct lack of dentists currently practicing, especially given the size of the population in this country. South Africa is desperate for good dentists to add to the ones they already have. South Africa employs relatively few of its doctors and dentists in the public sector, and loses many to emigration. Despite major skills shortages in the medical sector, many are unable to practice here. But it is true that South African doctors and dentists are well trained.

The degree course lasts for a full five years, during which time you will learn everything a dentist has to know in order to practice. It is wise to remember the course is split into different elements. There will be a lot of classroom theory learning, but there is also a significant element of practical teaching that takes place in your chosen dental school. The five year course will include a year spent in medical service, which is compulsory. The dental schools have a dental hospital associated with them where much of the practical experience is gained. There are a number of schools in South Africa that focus on providing dental degree opportunities and there are different degree options available in each place.

Once they have passed their training they will need to register as a dentist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. They can then consider taking further training if they wish to specialize in one particular area of dentistry. Moreover, if they are successful and pass their dental training, they can look forward to a rewarding career as a dentist. 

Getting There for Dental Care

O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) (IATA: JNB, ICAO: FAOR) in Johannesburg is the air transport hub of Southern Africa and is linked to the rest of the world by many major airlines. This competition makes flights to South Africa relatively cheap and it is always worth looking for specials. Onwards travel is mostly by car. Because of excellent roads and facilities in South Africa, some people choose the self-drive option. In most other cases your local tour operator will arrange pick-up from the airport and further transportation as part of your tour package.

Other international airports are located in Cape Town and Durban, but these are less relevant for further travel to your safari destination. In any case, few flights from Europe or America fly directly to either destination.

Airfares depend on the season, with the highest prices and greatest demand in June, July, August, December and the first week of January.  You get the best prices during the low season in October and November and from the last three weeks of January until March.

Visitor Highlights

South Africa is a unique place; a land of oceans, jungles and plains. Most of us think of safaris when we think of Africa, but South Africa has so much more to offer world travelers that her beautiful wildlife. South Africa also offers high-tech and modern cities, culture, arts, fine dining and the best in world-class hotel accommodations. South Africa offers experiences and sights that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

South Africa, officially known as the Republic of South Africa, offers a great introduction to the many jewels of the Dark Continent. Tourists here will find classic African scenery: golden savannah, great gaping gorges, and hauntingly beautiful deserts, as well as their favorite African creatures - and, as a bonus- the creature comforts. Apart from the big-name game parks of Kruger and the Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park, South Africa is home to some of the world's most luxurious private game reserves and lodges. Wildlife lovers come here from all corners of the globe in search of the "Big Five": lion, buffalo, leopard, rhino, and elephant, and often they find it, and so much more.

Coral reefs, shark dives, dragon-backed mountain ranges, white-water rafting, and golden beaches lapped by legendary surf breaks are some of South Africa's many other attractions. Traveling around this vast land and touring the vibrant cities, visitors can learn about the nation's turbulent history: in Cape Town, one of the world's most beautiful cities; in Durban, a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, at the poignant museums and galleries in Johannesburg, and in Soweto, birthplace of Nelson Mandela, who helped birth democracy in this astoundingly diverse nation.





Dental Tourism – Egypt

Country Profile

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country and has among the longest histories of any modern country, emerging as one of the world's first nation states in the tenth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilization, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanization, organized religion and central government. Egypt's rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, and at times assimilated various foreign influences and is one of the earliest centres of Christianity. Egypt was Islamized in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority.

Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural, political, and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, and is projected to become one of the largest in the 21st century.

Most of Egypt's rain falls in the winter months. Snow falls on Sinai's mountains and some of the north coastal cities such as Damietta, Baltim and Sidi Barrani, and rarely in Alexandria. Frost is also known in mid-Sinai and mid-Egypt. Egypt is the driest and the sunniest country in the world and most of its land surface is desert.

National Demographic

Egypt is the most populated country in the Middle East, and the third most populous on the African continent. Egypt's people are highly urbanized, being concentrated along the Nile (notably Cairo and Alexandria), in the Delta and near the Suez Canal. Egyptians are divided demographically into those who live in the major urban centres and the fellahin, or farmers that reside in rural villages. For most of their history, Egypt has been a state, but only in recent years has it been truly a nation-state, with a government claiming the allegiance of its subjects on the basis of a common identity.

Ethnic Egyptians are by far the largest ethnic group in the country. Ethnic minorities include the Abazas, Turks, Greeks, Bedouin Arab tribes, the Berber-speaking Siwis (Amazigh) of the Siwa Oasis, and the Nubian communities. There are also tribal Beja, and a number of Dom clans and Faiyum. Egypt also hosts an unknown number of refugees and asylum seekers (Palestinian refugees, Iraqi refugees, and the Sudanese).

The official language of the Republic is Modern Standard Arabic. Arabic was adopted by the Egyptians after the Arab invasion of Egypt. The spoken languages are: Egyptian Arabic, Sa'idi Arabic, Eastern Egyptian Bedawi Arabic, Sudanese Arabic, Domari, Nobiin, Beja, Siwi and others. Additionally, Greek, Armenian and Italian are the main languages of immigrants. The main foreign languages taught in schools, by order of popularity, are English, French, German and Italian.

Egypt is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country with Islam as its state religion followed by Coptic Christians, and other Christian denominations. Egypt hosts two major religious institutions, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, established in the middle of the 1st century CE by Saint Mark the Evangelist, and Al-Azhar University, founded in 970 CE by the Fatimids as the first Islamic School and University in the world. Egypt recognizes only three religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Other faiths and minority Muslim sects practiced by Egyptians, such as the small Bahá'í and Ahmadi community, are not recognized by the state.


Egypt has long been the cultural and informational centre of the Arab world, and Cairo is the region's largest publishing and broadcasting centre. Currently, there are three companies which offer cellular communication service: Orange, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Egypt. These companies are providing services surpassing voice communication such as 3G and 3.75G services.

There are 8 major Service Provider companies which sell their services to smaller ISPs. The Egyptian ISP market is fully liberalized and highly competitive, at least in Cairo and Alexandria, with over 220 ISPs offering a range of services, including dedicated, dial-up, pre-paid and premium services. With the introduction of ADSL for homes and businesses, more subscribers are introduced into the market. Egypt is following closely the efforts to standardize WiMax technologies as they permit simpler and faster access to Internet services, especially as WiMax receivers are integrated into PC processors. The government is still also holding discussions with relevant stakeholders to determine the best policy framework for introducing WiMax into the market through existing or new operators.

English Literacy

Well, like any other language, learning Arabic is not an easy job to do. Learning  some basic words and phrases would be helpful though. Everywhere you go you will meet someone who speaks a little English. English is obligatory at school, but they focus on exams and grades in written exams more than speaking. For basic communication there will be no problem. But if you want to have deeper conversations, a few will be able to handle it.

Most of the youth will speak English and try strike up a conversation to improve their language skills. About middle aged people speaking English, some do some don't. Egyptians are very hospitable people, their English maybe broken but it will get the job done. In any case, knowing basic Arabic will help. Egyptian Arabic is different that Modern Standard Arabic.

School System

Egypt has an extensive education system that outstrips all others in the Middle East and North Africa, and where even tertiary education is free. The compulsory primary education program follows kindergarten at age 4. Primary school that begins at age six takes 6 years and preparatory school another 3. During this introductory phase pupils may enrol at state, religious or private schools by choice.

Three years of preparatory schooling follow at the end of which a basic education completion certificate is awarded. During this time a student’s aptitude is examined in order to determine their best secondary education route.

There are three streams in secondary education, namely general (3 years), technical (as long as 5 years) and vocational. Technical secondary schools are organized around industrial, commercial or agricultural themes. Both technical and general schooling are conduits to tertiary education.

Egypt has a well-developed and extensive tertiary education system with 30% of Egyptians availing themselves of this opportunity. There are 17 public universities, 16 private universities, 89 private higher education institutions and 51 public non-university facilities.

Higher Education

The Ministry of Higher Education supervises the tertiary level of education. Out of the 51 non –university institutions, 47 are two-year middle technical institutes (MTIs) and four are 4–5 years higher technical institutes’.

The Egyptian tertiary education is steered by a centralized system with institutions having little control on the decisions of the curriculum, program development and deployment of staff and faculty. Improving system governance and efficiency is an imperative that takes on added urgency given that a significant population bulge has reached the higher education system.

Medical Education

Students join the medical school or “The Faculty of Medicine” right after they are done with high school. The average age for a first year student is 17-18 years. The selection process totally depends on the scores of final exams in high school. Since joining the faculty of medicine is highly desired in Egyptian culture, those who get accepted are the top students around the state. Acceptance depends on final exams scores, SATs or International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) system. The exam subjects include physical sciences (like chemistry and physics), biology, mathematics and languages.

Three years of basic science and three years of clinical training. In the first 2 years they study Physiology, Histology, Anatomy and Biochemistry. The third year subjects are Pathology, Microbiology, Pharmacology and Parasitology. In the last 3 years they start the clinical section and do rounds in Ophthalmology, ENT, Forensic medicine, Public health, Pediatrics, Gynecology, General Surgery and Internal Medicine. In the first 3 years it’s all about lectures, practical classes and exams. In the last 3 years they do rounds in the hospital departments and have theoretical lectures and evaluation end round exams. Students pick their specialty and apply for residency following their intern year, which would be the 7th year of study. 

Medical Students have to pass the end year exams every year until the sixth year, then start an internship year in the college hospital doing clinical rotations in its departments for 2 months each and finally graduate at the end of that year with a bachelor degree in medicine. And they will be officially called doctors, GPs “general practitioners,” following this graduation.

The Dentistry Profession

Dentistry in Egypt has a long history, with the dentist occupation first appearing as early as 3000 BC. Dentistry is taught in governmental and private dental schools in Egypt.

The private schools have better facilities in education. However, graduates from governmental universities have better chances when it comes to internship, practice in general hospitals and job opportunities after graduation. There is a syndicate for all dentists which regulate the work in dental clinics in association with ministry of health. For dental clinicians to practice, they should be enrolled in the dental syndicate. Dentists complete a 5-year-study course plus 1 year of practice in their dental school or general hospitals in the country. Most governmental dental schools give degrees of Bachelor, Master's degree & PhD in all dental fields. However, obtaining a chance for postgraduate studies in the field of orthodontics is somehow difficult according to many of Egypt general dental practitioners.

Getting There for Dental Care

It is possible to get to Egypt by land, but most visitors fly in. The best airfares are available in low season, November through March, excluding Christmas and New Year, which counts as high season along with June, July and August. Flights on weekends can cost more than on weekdays; prices quoted below are for the cheapest round trip midweek including tax. Many have restrictions such as fixed dates, and may require advance booking.

Egypt is well served by international airlines that fly direct from around the world, including multiple routes operated by its national carrier, EgyptAir. British Airways offers direct flights from the UK. The main international airports are Cairo International Airport (IATA: CAI ICAO: HECA) is Egypt's the main entry point, served by most international carriers, Burg al-Arab Airport (IATA: HBE ICAO: HEBA) in Alexandria mostly receives flights from Middle Eastern and North African cities, Hurghada International Airport (IATA: HRG ICAO: HEGN) receives mainly charter international flights, Luxor International Airport (IATA: LXR ICAO: HELX), very few international direct flights; EgyptAir flies direct from London Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR ICAO: EGLL), Marsa Alam International Airport (IATA: RMF ICAO: HEMA) Served by a handful of charter flights from European destinations, Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (IATA: SSH ICAO: HESH), Although historically an excellent Egypt entry point for travelers looking for low-cost fares – served by a number of European budget airlines – since late 2015's Metrojet Flight 9268 disaster, most direct international services have been suspended.

EgyptAir is the national carrier and a member of Star Alliance. Ticket prices are usually exceptionally good value. No alcohol is served on flights. Its international fleet is in good shape and air marshals are present on every flight.

Egypt, which is bordered by Sudan in the south, Libya to the west, Israel and the Gaza strip to the east and the Mediterranean Sea to the north, is not easily accessed by road and bureaucracy at border points can prevent entry by both car drivers and coaches.

Visitor Highlights

Home of the ancient Pharaohs, Egypt is a dazzling destination of temples and tombs that wow all who visit. It's not all historic treasures though. With vast tracts of desert, superb scuba diving, and the famed Nile River there's something for everyone here. Beach lovers head to the Sinai to soak up the sun, while archaeology fans will have a field day in Luxor. Cairo is the megalopolis that can't be beaten for city slickers, while Siwa oasis and the southern town of Aswan offer a slice of the slow pace of the countryside. Egypt has so much for travelers to see and do; it's the perfect country for a mix of activities combining culture, adventure, and relaxation.

Egypt has plenty of swimming opportunities on the beaches along the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts. Diving and snorkeling are the most popular activities in Egypt, where the underwater life comes in a variety of colors and shapes. Cairo is a city of 19th century buildings, modern art and sculpture as well as Pharaonic sites and pyramids.





Dental Tourism in Africa


Another popular aspect of travel to Egypt is its growing medical tourism. Egypt has some of the highest standards of cosmetic surgery in the world, and some of the lowest prices. The advantages of medical tourism are savings on medical procedures accompanied by a great escape from everyday life.

South Africa

South African hospitals, clinics and high-tech facilities are attracting more medical tourists every year, especially those seeking high quality care and cost savings in procedures like cosmetic and plastic surgery, dental surgery and orthopedic and ophthalmic surgical procedures. Surgeons and facilities are registered and accredited by the South African Medical and Dental Councils. From accommodations to surgeries to taking advantage of exchange rates, medical travelers from the U.S. are generally able to save at least 50% of costs for similar surgeries back home. 

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