The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Donna Tang

Year 1 BVM&S GEP from China Agricultural University

Donna Tang

What made you decide to study abroad after your Bachelor and Masters at CAU?

My courses in CAU equipped me with knowledge of veterinary science, but being a vet is not just about knowledge. I feel it is necessary to gain more firsthand experience on animals and build up my confidence of dealing with cases. In addition, having a degree that is widely recognised in the world will bring me more opportunities and help me develop a successful career as veterinary practitioner in the future.


What made you decide to apply to The University of Edinburgh and The R(D)SVS?

First of all, the University of Edinburgh has a good reputation in the UK, China and the whole world. The BVM&S degree is recognised worldwide with high world ranking of RDSVS in Veterinary Medicine.

In addition, the BVM&S GEP course has a desirable course length for graduates like me. With one intensive year of preclinical study and three years of clinical training, we can begin our career sooner, in comparison to other 5 or 6 years degrees provided by other schools.


What was the application process like?

I applied via UCAS. After submitting my personal statement and reference, I was invited to interview in Hong Kong. After that, I received my result very soon and got contacted by the school to guide me through the following steps and to answer all the questions I had. The whole process is quite enjoyable, I could always contact the admission team with questions about the University, the programme or my application. Furthermore, the interview for the BVM&S GEP is arranged, organized and designed in a professional, yet friendly manner. I felt respected and welcomed by the school, really enjoyed my time and learnt a lot during the interview. The interview experience made me feel that my performance and ability were assessed in a professional and responsible way.


What aspect of the BVM&S degree do you enjoy the most and why?

Handling and Clinical Skill Practicals with real animals. I am so excited that I have so many opportunities to gain firsthand experiences with animals, even in the preclinical year. I’ve already visited dairy farms, pig farms, tried handling real horses and dogs by the end of first month of my course. In clinical practicals, we work with dogs to practice clinical techniques and client volunteers to learn communication skills. I am sure that the training we are receiving through these practicals will really provide us with confidence and practical techniques for our first days as a veterinarian professional.

In addition, the faculty here is always supportive and willing to help. In RDSVS, there is no stupid question, and one will always get helped and supported in some way. The guidance and support from school makes it easier for us to get used to and make the most of the intense curriculum of GEP year.


Was it difficult to transition into life in Edinburgh and studying abroad?

No, not at all. Even though it took me some time to get used to using a foreign language in both my studies and daily life, things got better soon. One of the reasons is that I made many good friends in my class. We always accompany and support each other when life or study tasks become difficult. This helped me get settled in quickly.


Has Edinburgh become your home away from home?

Yes. Edinburgh is a gorgeous city. The university accommodation we are living in now is located in the city centre of Edinburgh, right beside the main campus of the University of Edinburgh. It’s quite easy to get access to supermarkets, restaurants, and other facilities in the city and the University, such as main library. As a mature student, I can live as I would at home, and enjoy the particular characteristics of Edinburgh at the same time.


What do you find is the most challenging aspect of your degree?

To be honest, the course content is very intense, especially in the GEP year, which is understandable since we need to finish two years of study in one. However, overcoming the challenging tasks improved my self-discipline and organisational skills. I also learnt how to deal with stress, how to work with others and look for help if necessary. This is important not only for dealing with studying, but also for becoming a successful professional in the future.


How is your programme equipping you for your future career?

The programme improves my ability to balance my studies and daily life, builds up my confidence and techniques of dealing with animals and different clients. I also learnt how to consider a case and make a proper diagnosis. All these are important for a veterinarian.


What aspect of student life do you enjoy the most?

Studying. I know it is hard to believe but it is true. This is my first time working with so many people who have such strong passion for being a vet. The common interests on animal and veterinary medicine my classmates and I share, makes discussion of study topics interesting and exciting. In addition, the whole GEP class stands together as a solid group to deal with the study challenges we meet, creating an atmosphere of no competition and friendship which makes each of us feel supported and encouraged. Furthermore, the University and the RDSVS are making every possible effort to develop an environment for students to concentrate on their studies. From the study landscape and the clinical lab in Ester Bush Campus with models and materials to practice on, to the 24 hour main library and countless online resources, students with all kinds of study styles have their needs met and enjoy their time here.


If you could give one piece of advice to any prospective students thinking of applying to the R(D)SVS, what would it be?

If you have the passion for being a vet or working with animals, if you are looking for top teaching quality, cooperation, team work, and building up friendship, RDSVS will be a desirable choice. Just apply, you will enjoy it and learn a lot.