European vet student scholarships - enhancing academic experiences
About the scholarship
The scholarship scheme is run by MSD Animal Health and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe. The International Veterinary Students’ Association, together with the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education, helps to select students to receive a scholarship through its representative on the review committee. Students from European vet schools can apply for $5000 scholarships, which aim to ‘enhance the academic experience of students’. Last year, the 16 students selected came from Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Among last year's recipients were Jordon Egan, from the Royal Veterinary College, and Daniella Takács, from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest. Here they discuss their experiences and the benefits of the scholarship.
I joined the Royal Veterinary College through its gateway programme and, although I'm studying veterinary medicine, I'm currently intercalating in bioveterinary sciences. I will begin my third-year veterinary studies in September.
I heard about the scholarship about a month before the application deadline, in October 2016.
I decided to apply as it would support my opportunities to undertake clinical EMS. Alongside the reference letter provided by my tutor, I chose to include a supporting letter from the RVC's money and welfare adviser, and my CV to highlight my previous experience, both in terms of voluntary and paid employment.
Winning the scholarship means I can focus more on my studies and my future as there is less pressure on me to earn money.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to attend the IVSA congress in Vienna; it was wonderful to learn more about the association and to get more involved. This year, my involvement has given me the opportunity to apply to attend more IVSA events. Looking ahead, I am interested in sharing knowledge and education around the topic of One Health, which is the theme of the IVSA congress in Malaysia in July. I hope to use the scholarship to support my attendance at the meeting.
"Winning the scholarship means I can focus more on my studies and my future as there is less pressure on me to earn money"
I have an interest in exotic species – wildlife in particular – and if my application to attend IVSA congress is successful, I hope to be able to do some voluntary work at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan, Malaysia or the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. In December 2017, the IVSA symposium will take place in South Africa. Again, if I am fortunate enough to be able to go, I would like to see practice in the region or spend time at Onderstepoort's Faculty of Veterinary Science. Working with Mission Rabies is another ambition of mine as I would like to help the charity vaccinate street dogs and get involved with its neutering programme at its international training centres in Goa and Ooty in India.
Part of my gaining ‘pre-vet’ experience was spent with two practices in Ireland and I would love to visit them again to thank the teams for their help and encouragement.
As for my career, I want to work in veterinary practice, research and academia. Initially, I hope to work in mixed practice, consolidating my skills and gaining confidence. Eventually, I aspire to work in a teaching hospital, helping future vet students learn the latest medicine and techniques as well as contributing to science and research by collaborating and publishing papers from the cases we see.
I'm a third-year veterinary student at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest in Hungary. I completed my first- and second-year studies on the English-speaking programme.
I heard about the scholarship when one of my fellow students posted details on social media, and a week later our university sent an e-mail to every student about this opportunity.
I decided to apply because my financial situation was risking my position as a student; I was having to spend more time doing paid work than I was focusing on my studies. I wanted to be able to go back to getting experience at the clinic where I help out in my free time and I was also missing my voluntary job at an animal shelter.
I filled out the application form and also had to provide a letter of recommendation from my professor. I wrote a supporting letter about myself explaining what motivated me, and describing the activities and the organisations I'm involved with. Additionally, I was asked for my thoughts on the future of the veterinary profession.
The scholarship will allow me to continue spending my free time gaining useful practical veterinary experience rather than working to support myself through vet school. Since hearing that I have been awarded a scholarship, I have finalised an application to Dublin for a summer internship, which would previously have been impossible. Receiving this support has given me a boost to study and work even harder; it is helping me to get one step closer to my dream.
"The scholarship will allow me to continue spending my free time gaining useful practical veterinary experience rather than working to support myself through vet school"
As for the future, I would like to inspire my fellow students, support them in thinking globally and help to maintain a strong international veterinary community. As a member of IVSA Hungary, we are working on building valuable relationships and organising student exchange programmes.
After qualifying, I would like to use my knowledge to be able to give something back to the veterinary community that is helping me to reach my dreams. As for clinical work, I am passionate about exotic birds and reptiles and would like to become expert in dealing with these species.
In order to learn more about them, I hope to travel to gain experience, achieving specialist qualifications to help improve education and veterinary services for exotic animals in Hungary.