• Catharina

Vet School in Denmark


Hello, I’m Catharina, I'm 21 years old, from Denmark and one of the newest members of the blooming blogging team at worldwide vets.

I'm a second-year veterinary student at university of Copenhagen, trying to fit in a tough degree along with a social life, work, travels and some food every now and then.

I'm always busy, that's just life as a veterinary medicine student. At least there's few other places in the world I would rather be right now, than at KVL.

KVL stands for the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, and is where every Danish vet. Student has made their footprints for 250 years.

The veterinary school of Copenhagen was founded in 1773 and moved to its current buildings - today in the heart of Copenhagen on Frederiksberg - in 1856.

In 2007, it merged with university of Copenhagen - an even grander and older lady from 1479 - today the largest university in Denmark. Currently 1% of the Danish population is either a student or an employee at the university, so it’s a vast institute.

Around 1000 veterinary students have their daily walks within the school walls. And when you first arrive here, you can feel and see the history, though today we rarely feel it inside. It takes 5.5 years to become a qualified veterinarian here, and throughout that time we're supported by some of the best in their fields.

As I'm only in my second year, I still have 4 years to go, but that doesn't mean we spend the first years laying around being bored. A lay-about student lifestyle isn't applied here.

An academic year is split into 4 blocks, each being 10 weeks: 8 weeks study, 1 week with exams and 1 week to recover. Some subjects, like ethics and histology, is examined after 1 block. Others, like anatomy and physiology takes 3 blocks. Anatomy so far being my favourite subject, along with the practical dissections.

Most learning is lecture based, but during dissections, you're put into teams of 10 students who will all share a dog and will, if you're lucky, be your support team throughout. You don't make it through anatomy without laughing a bit; especially when you've been looking at a horse-leg for 3 hours, and still forget the Latin name for hoof.

For second year, we are, amongst others, doing pathology, immunology and microbiology. Exams are mostly written, with a few practical ones, and in November we're now starting to prepare ourselves for another round of exams. Here a study group is fantastic, particularly when you for the 100th time can't find anything in the microscope, and you're certain you might go blind and start getting a bit hysterical.

However, life at the veterinary school isn't always about academics. This summer I was part of the fresher-teams; welcoming new freshers to the university and ensure they received a proper welcome to university life.

That meant months of preparation and a week at ‘Camp Vet’, in the middle of the forest. However, when you leave our famous camp you have made friends for life and are better prepared for a life as a vet student. I know I did last year!

In the end, for me, a veterinary medicine degree so far, is a lot of things, but rarely easy. Nevertheless, it’s exciting, unpredictable and a lot of laughs.

I’m fortunate to spend my student years doing a degree I love, and still find time to see my friends, family and travel. At the moment, the next big project is 3 weeks at the Zanzibar Clinic in the summer of 2018 with some of my fellow students, but more about that another time.

Back to the studying – the first exam is only 4 weeks away now.

Catharina


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