So many people ask me if I have a life outside of vet school. If I just have to study all day, or if I have time for me. The truth is, yes. The other truth is, I should probably study more than I do. I enjoy getting involved and trying new things, so sometimes I get carried away. There are a lot of things outside of vet school to get involved in, but what about clubs and organization within the vet school? Things that you can be a part of that will help with networking after vet school as well? Here are a few things you can do (with so many others as well) and get involved in.
IVSA (International Veterinary Student Association)
This is a large association that is all over the world. Each school will have a chapter that is headed by their own President and other leaders. Each chapter will do fundraising and receive funds from each year so they can have activities and go on an exchange with another university. This is the main purpose is to bring vet schools around the world together and meet new people. This year with my university we did an exchange with Warsaw, Poland. We do activities within the vet school that are given by tier professors, as well as tour the city. We stay with the other students and they stay with us when they come. This is the first year I have gotten involved in this and it has been amazing. I am so glad that I got involved. Meeting and gaining the friends I have in Poland was wonderful and really fun. It is nice to have tour guides as well as you go around the city.
SAVMA (Student American Veterinary Medical Association)
Not all international students have a chapter of this at their university. But all of the American ones should have it and it is becoming more and more popular in international schools. We just started our chapter here in Edinburgh and it has become really popular and we do a lot of activities together. We have "Free Food Fridays" as well as talks organized by our chapter leaders. We have had some great people come to speak to us about different issues and topics associated with veterinary medicine.
AVS (Association of Veterinary Students)
I will be honest, I'm not as involved with this one as I should/could be. But they do a lot of fun activities throughout the year. Each university again has their own chapter, and withing a certain area you have a president and other roles. They do talks, practicals, and a big sports weekend once during the year. Students come from all over to have fun together and make new friends.
There are so many other clubs and organizations associated with each school to get involved in. These are just some of them that are around each university. I'm sure I have missed some, but these are the three that I am most involved in. I highly recommend getting involved in clubs and societies. Do some associated with the vet school, as well as others that have nothing to do with Vet medicine. It will help you to be more well rounded, as well as stay sane when you have those days full of lectures.