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How to gain experience

As a vet student, experience is often key - long before you get onto the job market. I know many of my fellow students who worries about that, greatly. So how to get this mythical experience, when it seems like everyone around you knows more than you do? You can do it at home, which I would like to talk more about another time, or you can travel to the other side of the world.

Myself and 3 fellow veterinary-students started asking ourselves those very same questions. And that’s how we encountered the veterinary clinic in Zanzibar, through worldwide vets. Within a very short time, we decided that the best way to get more valuable experience, was to help and do volunteer work, putting to good use, hopefully, the skills we are gathering and improving every day.

From left to right, the girls going to Zanzibar: Pernille, Nina, myself and Josefine.

Therefrom started the planning, and countless emails, phone calls, texts and even smoke signals later – and with a lot of help, we had our volunteer trip booked for July 2018. Much of your experience as a vet, especially as a student, will come from volunteering, whether it’s the clinic around the corner or on a different continent. We have just been fortunate enough to be able to give our time to such a great cause as the Zanzibar veterinary clinic.

However, the really important message in this post isn’t necessarily about the planning, there’s still so much to do – there amongst booking an appointment for the 7 vaccinations we need – and so much to talk about another time. No, the important bit is what we can already do from here, as we spend a cold Scandinavian winter preparing for the trip of a lifetime.

We have been so fortunate that donations from Kruuse and the University of Copenhagen has been made to us, to support our trip. One thing is the support we get in terms of help in sorting out visas and such, from Kruuse we have received something really wonderful: A big box full of veterinary equipment, which we will be able to bring with us to Zanzibar – if we can fit it all in our luggage.

Amongst other things that are in the box; surgery equipment, like masks, covers and incubating tubes.

There’s also general care items for dogs, with leashes, combs and tick-removers – in all shapes and sizes, for any dog we might encounter.

We’ve also been fortunate enough to receive more than a 100 sutures, of different thickness, and for different uses. Along with gloves enough to last us a lifetime and even catheters.

We want to support the great cause we believe the veterinary clinic in Zanzibar is, and we are very greatful to Kruuse and others who have supported us with these donations, making it a little easier for us to help.

More than anything we’re very incredibly excited that we get to travel to Zanzibar and experience not only the beautiful country, but also gain invaluable work experience within our chosen subject, and getting the opportunity to help animals that rely heavily on the clinic and its wonderful staff.

Looking to help us abroad?

Veterinary students volunteering with wildlife zebra in Africa
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