The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Hayley Lowe

Year 1 BVM&S GEP from St Francis Xavier University - Canada

Hayley Lowe

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

I have always considered completing my veterinary medicine degree abroad, so I decided to apply various places beyond Canada. The R(D)SVS caught my eye because of its tremendous reputation, great global ranking, and because my best friend lived in Edinburgh for 6 months and has always spoken very highly of the city.

What was the application process like?

I applied via the VMCAS portal system, which was very simple. The communication between the admissions staff and myself was excellent, which made the application process even easier and more enjoyable.

What stands out in your mind from your experience at Edinburgh and studying Veterinary Medicine so far?

I find it amazing that there are so many leaders in the veterinary field that take the time to impart their knowledge to us as professors. Having each unit, and each module, taught by a leading specialist in that area is remarkable.

Has Edinburgh become your home away from home?

Edinburgh is an amazing city. Coming from a large, modern city, this is a great change of pace. Although the weather may not be the best, the beauty of the city, and the surrounding greenery, definitely make up for it. Edinburgh has certainly become my home away from home.

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

I personally did not find it difficult to transition to living in Edinburgh. I have previously done a semester abroad in England, so I felt like I had ample experience of what living in the UK is like. Also, the lifestyle of Edinburgh is very similar to that of Canada, which made the transition that much easier. Everyone in this city is so kind and welcoming, and arriving during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was a fantastic introduction to the city. 

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

I love all the hands-on practical classes with both live animals and prosected specimens. There really is no better way to apply what you have learned in lectures than with hands-on experience. The farmers, laboratory technicians, and professors that run these practical classes are so knowledgeable, helpful and kind, that it makes for a really enjoyable learning environment.

Have your EMS placements helped to shape your studies so far?

EMS provides a great opportunity to apply what you have learned in lectures and practical classes. At these placements you are able to grow confidence working with different species, using different handling techniques and working in a professional setting. It also helps you solidify what area of the veterinary field you may want to specialize in by the end of your degree.

How is your programme equipping you for your future career?

From what I have experienced in my first year in the program, we are being exposed to a very in-depth overview of the entire veterinary medicine field. The hands-on experience with a variety of species, access to learning about non-clinical careers within the veterinary profession, and comprehensive lectures are enabling us to choose the perfect speciality and succeed in our chosen fields.

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

I would advise prospective students to reach out to current students and make use of all the communication channels provided by the university to have all of your questions answered and ensure that this school is the right fit for you. Also, for incoming students, I would suggest completing as much pre-clinical EMS as you are allowed before the beginning of your first year.