The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary

Jenifer Baker

Year 1 BVM&S GEP from the University of Alberta, Canada.

jen baker

What made you decide to study abroad after your BSc at the University of Alberta?

Knowing how competitive veterinary schools are to get in to, I chose to apply abroad mainly to increase the chances I would get accepted somewhere. I applied to The University of Edinburgh because the degree I obtain here can qualify me to work as a veterinarian back in Canada.


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

The reputation of the University of Edinburgh as a vet school, and a little previous travel to Edinburgh both played a role in my decision to apply to the R(D)SVS. Though the reputation of the school played a larger role in the decision to apply.


What was the application process like?

The application process was fairly simple, as it was one application for various international veterinary schools. I can’t say that I remember the specifics of it, which means that I didn’t have too many difficulties with it as I tend to remember those applications that I had more difficulties with over those I didn’t. The only thing I would say I had a little trouble with was the student VISA application as there was a section of it where it was unclear whether Canadians needed to provide the information requested.


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

I would say the most enjoyable aspect of the BVM&S degree is currently the few animal handling and clinical skills practical classes we have had. I only wish there were more of those classes for us, but with the massively condensed Graduated Entry course load I can see how it would be difficult to fit more into our day.


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

I don’t think it is any more difficult to adjust to life here than in other cities. No matter what veterinary school I went to I would have had to move from my home town. The main adjustment was the lack of light in winter, but if you can plan for that and be aware that it might affect you it is manageable.


Has Edinburgh become your home away from home?

I am not much of a city, girl so I can’t say that Edinburgh is my home away from home, however, I have adjusted reasonably well. I think I will become more adjusted next year when I have more time to really get to explore the city as I have found this year I tend to be busy with school work quite often.


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

The most challenging aspect of this degree is the schedule for the first year. Because it is two years combined into one you really have to be organized and accept that you may have to spend a significantly larger amount of time on school work than you have in the past. It is an exhausting year, but it helps knowing that everyone feels the same about the workload.


How is your programme equipping you for your future career?

One of the perks about completing a veterinary degree at the R(D)SVS is that the degree can be used in so many places around the world. I can practice back in Canada, stay in the UK, or go to Australia.


What aspect of student life do you enjoy the most?

I most enjoy the diverse range of places students come from to be in this veterinary program. It is an interesting international mix of people.


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 them that they need to be sure this is definitely what they want to do, the first year of the graduate program is intense and exhausting, but also an amazing experience if you can buckle down and make it through.