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Find out what our undergraduate veterinary medicine students have to say about living and studying in Edinburgh.
Calling All Vet Students

Calling All Vet Students

Do you have experiences you can share? Do you have an interest in helping others? Do you like giving tours or talking to new students? Do you like sharing your experiences? If so, read on.

I came into vet school as an international Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) student. I had never visited Edinburgh before because I was working two jobs and taking my prerequisite courses at home before I came. I did not have the money nor the time to travel. But I had decided that I was coming here and that was that. I struggled in those first few months to get a bank account, rent a flat, make some friends, and learn how to get around a new city.

I am also the type of person to ask loads of questions to prepare myself. However, my situation was a bit different than many others. My husband moved here with me and was still looking for a job when we started out. We also wanted to bring our two cats from home. This made our situation complicated, so no matter how many questions I asked, I did not have the right information. Once we were settled and found out how much information I had missed starting out, I decided that I wanted to help other students coming into the program, so I became a student ambassador to pass on that knowledge.

As a student ambassador, I talk to prospective students, incoming students, primary and secondary school students, and sometimes even parents. I get the opportunity to give them all the information they need to make their own decisions about moving to Edinburgh and coming to our wonderful school. Helping others like this and trying to make their experiences better than my own gives me quite a lot of joy, which is much needed to combat the stressors of our intense degree program. I can also put in as much or as little time as I want, depending on the demands of school at the time. There is no minimum requirement, so I can work it around my schedule.

I am not much of a talker in person, but I do enjoy writing and teaching. I have been able to support Open Days and tours in the clinical skills lab by assisting the tour guides with showing prospective students the things we learn and taking a chance to teach them a bit about what life as a vet student is like. I started writing blogs this year and have had the opportunity to talk to people on zoom calls and in information sessions. I was even part of a pilot program called Unibuddy where people could send in chat messages to ask any questions about the school or the city or life in general. I have also been involved with school students and showing them around the vet school and to different activities that help them understand the importance of veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and science careers in general. I really enjoy having the opportunity to talk to the upcoming generation and guiding them with my own experiences.

I also had the opportunity to earn the Edinburgh Award – a program that occurs alongside the student ambassador program. It recognizes students for giving back to the community while also guiding them in self-development through online learning and reflection. The award shows that you are not just a student, but you are a reflective student and ready to move into the workforce, recognizing your contributions, which also shows that you can reflect on your skill-set and work towards improving it. This part of the program has helped me develop crucial skills that I will put to further use in my career. Even now, I have noticed a difference in how I communicate with clients and colleagues. These are essential skills in veterinary medicine.

Now that you know my story, I just want to point out what being a student ambassador can mean for you. You get to meet a bunch of new people – people in other years, new students, school students, and even develop relationships with faculty and staff. One benefit I found was getting a chance to talk to people who are in years ahead of you in the degree who are quite willing to share their experiences and give you advice about what to expect. You get the joy of giving back to help balance the stress of school. You get the opportunity to pass on your knowledge and passion for veterinary medicine to a new generation. You also get to brag about your school if that is something that you enjoy! Being a student ambassador gives you the opportunity to help people set the course of their lives and find what is best for them. To me, it is such a rewarding experience, I am thrilled to have had this opportunity.


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