With application season in full swing, I thought I would share some of the things I took into consideration when I started applying to schools. The first things people tend to think about are the structure of the program and cost of education (which don’t get me wrong, these are two very important things to consider), but today I want to talk about two big things (to me anyway) that may be overlooked in the quest for the right school.
First things first, ask yourself where you want to go. Do you want to stay close to home or are you ok with being far from home? There are 46 AVMA accredited Colleges and Schools of Veterinary Medicine across the world, 28 of which are located in the United States. International schools include locations in Great Britain, the West Indes and Australia. There’s literally an option for wherever in the world you want to go! Keep in mind that you’ll not only be attending school, but you’ll effectively be uprooting your life and calling wherever you go “home” for four years. Consider what kind of goods and services you use in a typical day, and what you’ll have access to. This was especially important for me. I’m from a city, so I didn’t want to be too far removed from the fast pace of a city. If you enjoy the country this may not be too much of an issue for you, but it’s definitely something to think about.
Secondly, if your schedule allows, take some time out to explore the town when you interview. Try to get a general feel for the town, talk to a couple of people and ask questions The pursuit of a DVM is very stressful, so you want to make sure you end up someplace you’ll be happy living. Look for places and activities you like when it’s time to relax: nature, sports associations, movies, whatever you like to do. When you finally find time for yourself, you’ll want to be someplace you enjoy (or at least close to someplace you’ll enjoy).
There are so many things to consider when you make the decision to go to vet school. While you’re making the investment in your future, don’t forget to invest in the journey.