Vet students abroad: what they didn’t tell you
(University of Liverpool, UK)
We’ve all been bored to death by stories of other peoples “gap yah’s”, their soul-finding journeys and spiritual awakenings… and the full-moon party where they lost their passport (amongst other things). This talk won’t be like that, I promise. Instead, I hope to impart some useful bits of anecdotal advice, some utterly redundant trivia and hopefully a lot of wanderlust to my fellow budding veterinarians! I will discuss the pros and cons of travelling: the expectations, both those exceeded and those which fall diabolically short, the stress and excitement, the moments that cannot be forgotten and those you wish could be. To travel is said to broaden the mind, but this is far more than simply ‘appreciating foreign culture’, learning a few basic words and seeing some cool places. It’s the challenges; the adaptation to uncertainty, different environments and expectations that increases ones self-confidence, empathy and understanding. In our line of work, to begin to understand the position animals maintain in different societies is invaluable and will often provide an incredible learning opportunity, both practically and ethically. I don’t know about you but.. that all sounds like the ‘transferable skills’ employers like to us adorn our CV’s with? So why not get out there and take a leap of faith? You don’t have to be a millionaires offspring to travel (trust me!), there are so many opportunities at university or local to you that there really is no excuse. The words ‘I’m just too busy’ are the ‘Achilles heel’ of most vet students, so I hope that by the end of this talk you will have an increased resolution to reject the feeling of overwhelming stress vet school can sometimes freely provide at least long enough to fill in the application form!
* Please skip to minute 16:00 for Beth Dixon's talk. For fullscreen streaming please click on the Vimeo logo in the bottom right hand corner of the video.