Year 1 BVM&S GEP from University of California, Davis
What made you decide to study abroad after your BS at University of California, Davis?
One day at the UC Davis Vet Aid Cub meeting, I found out about a two-week Veterinary Service program in Thailand put on by a company called Loop Abroad. I decided to go and assisted treating dogs and cats and spent a week with elephants. It was an amazing experience and I was able to see another part of the world. That sparked my interest in going abroad more.
What made you decide to apply to The University of Edinburgh and The R(D)SVS?
My advising professor, Dr. Murray, convinced me to apply to at least 1 school out of the United States to keep my options open just in case I decided to go abroad. He had a list of Universities he thought were nice and as he described them I started to fall in love with Edinburgh. As it turned out I cannot have thanked him enough for recommending the University of Edinburgh.
What was the application process like?
The application was very easy because the school accepts the VMCAS. It is very similar to applying to a school in the states.
What aspect of the BVM&S degree do you enjoy the most and why?
So far in my course, I enjoy our handling practicals the most because they give you real life experience with all animals (horses, sheep, cats, dogs, exotics). We get to start handling animals from the beginning and not only focus on the theoretical. In addition, the professors in Edinburgh are absolutely wonderful and very personable.
Was it difficult to transition into life in Edinburgh and studying abroad?
The most difficult part was arranging housing but that was because I decided to arrange a flat myself instead of using the accommodation the school offers. It was only difficult because the time difference, so finding a good time to call landlords and chat was a bit harder. The visa part was not difficult because you just have to follow all the instructions but it was worrisome so I recommend to do it as early as you can.
Has Edinburgh become your home away from home?
Yes! I have made a lot of friends who are all in a similar situation and from all over the world. It is a very social place and has an activity for everyone, it will feel like your home in no time.
What do you find is the most challenging aspect of your degree?
Being examined at the end of a course is difficult because you have to be very diligent about studying.
How is your programme equipping you for your future career?
Not only are we learning the medical side of the career but we also do professional and clinical skills as well as husbandry. This prepares us for client communication, working in different environments, hostile animals, and other situations that come up in.
What aspect of student life do you enjoy the most?
Meeting and making friends with people from all over the world is something that would be much harder to do without studying abroad. Also, after exams it is very easy to travel to other countries nearby for mini vacations.
If you could give one piece of advice to any prospective students thinking of applying to the R(D)SVS, what would it be?
Like Nike says, “Just Do It”. You might not be sure about traveling but you want to keep your options open. The interview is great because they give you a lot of information and alumni are there to answer any questions. In the end it just comes down to makes that decision and I have to say I am glad I took the plunge!