Over the last week, my roommates and I have had a prospective therio student from another vet school crash on our couch. He had taken a year off before his clincal year in vet school and was interning at various veterinary schools. While this happens quite often in veterinary medicine, our situation was rather unique because our guest goes to veterinary school in Taiwan.
One fascinating thing about him was that he started his veterinary school experience straight out of high school. Instead of doing 4 years in an undergraduate institution and 4 years at a veterinary school, his program is a 6-year program. The first 5 of those years are in the classroom, and the last year is his clinical year. At the same time, he said that most veterinary students where he is from can afford to pay upfront for their education and don’t end up drowning in debt like most students in the USA and other countries.
Another major difference between us was that he lived in Beijing for his entire life before heading to Taiwan for veterinary school. During his year off before his clinical year, he has also worked in Florida, interned in Arizona, and is heading to Cornell and Ohio in the coming weeks. As someone who never drove outside of Vermont or went on a plane until I was 21 years old, our lifestyles so far have been polar opposites. But this obviously made the conversation very interesting for both of us. I’ve always wanted to see the world like he has, and now after talking to me he is very interested in going on a hunting trip.
Since he is a food animal student, he had a great time working with our production medicine faculty and students. He worked on llamas, a few cows, and got to know many of our teachers. He plans to do a theriogenology residency in a United States school, and since he likes our school so much he might end up working with me in clinics when I reach my clinical year.
The most unfortunate part of his whole trip was the timing. For me, it was during the last couple of days of finals, and it was during my roommate’s first week of fourth-year rotations, so we didn’t have much time to get to know him better. Regardless, it was still a great experience, and I’m glad he was able to stay with us for the week.