Hi everyone! My name is Sarah and I am a first year veterinary student from Indonesia. I’m really excited to be sharing my experiences with you as an international student and the lessons I’m learning on my path to becoming a veterinarian. I was actually one of the first students at my school to ever pursue veterinary medicine, so you can already imagine that there were not a lot of resources. My university guidance counsellor did their very best at helping me out but there were still a lot of gaps and holes that needed to be filled, which is why I’ve made this little blog post to compile all the things I wish I knew before, during, and after my application process.
Throughout the beginning of high school, I didn’t really have a set idea of what I wanted to major in. I knew I wanted to work in public service, whether that be in education or in the medical field. This state of uncertainty, however, was a very short one as soon I was absolutely sure that I wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. This was shortly after a career day presentation from a veterinarian (whom I then interned with). However, finding the passion for veterinary medicine is different for everyone. If you’re reading this blog post unsure of whether or not veterinary medicine is something you want to major in, that’s okay! I find that volunteering at animal shelters or taking an online course through Coursera allows you to explore the field in more depth. Other than that, once you’re set on veterinary medicine, know the requirements! I had quite an outdated guide that told me a couple of universities still require the BMAT when, in actuality, they removed that requirement.
September to October will be one of the most stressful times of your life. The application process is never an easy one, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Remember that so many other people are in the same boat as you are, join Facebook groups, pop into The Study Room once in a while. There may be some really helpful resources waiting there for you. I actually found one of my closest friends here in Edinburgh through these forums and we even practiced mock interviews together. On the topic of interviews, they could be daunting but don’t take it too hard on yourself. The interviewers want to know more about you so don’t sweat it out on the questions you can’t answer, simply say you don’t know and move on! Also, remember to refresh details on your work experience and your personal statement as it will be a while since you had and wrote these.
Scratch what I said in the previous paragraph about September/October being one of the stressful times of your life because the wait after the interviews can be worse for some. The wait can be hard but again, find a group of people to be your support, whether that be your family, friends, or people you’ve met online. Try not to dwell too much on what other applicants are experiencing. For example, the dates on which they get their interview results, because everyone will have a different experience. Nonetheless, whatever result you receive, or whether or not you’ve been offered an interview, you have done such an amazing job and congratulate yourself. Applying to veterinary school is not easy and you’ve taken that brave step in doing so.
Regardless of where you are in your application process, whether you’re still deciding whether or not to pursue veterinary medicine or waiting on the interview offers, I wish you luck on your journey and hope that you will learn a little something from mine.