Abby Tu: Veterinary Medicine

Third year Canadian student Abby Tu is having an adventure of a lifetime in Australia.

I often get asked why I chose to do vet school in Melbourne. There were lots of reasons that led to my decision, but really, it was because I wanted to have an adventure! For my whole life, I had grown up and attended grade school, high school, and university all within a 50km radius from my home. I wanted to go abroad and explore what the world has to offer!

I looked up all the AVMA accredited vet schools and narrowed down my choices. I chose Australia because it was all the way on the other side of the world with native wildlife that was so different from that of Canada. Not only do I get to experience the Australian lifestyle, but I’m so much closer to other countries on this side of the world that were previously too expensive or too far to travel to from Canada. I can’t believe I’m only 3 hours away from New Zealand now!

Here I am in New Zealand cuddling an orphaned deer

Of the four AVMA accredited schools in Australia, I chose the University of Melbourne for its reputation, people, and location. As most vet students will know, getting into vet school is the hardest part. When I applied to the university, the application process was pain-free and the staff members were very quick and helpful.

The city of Melbourne was also a great influence in my decision in choosing the University of Melbourne. Melbourne was voted the most liveable city in the world at the time I was applying for vet school. How could I say no to that? As soon as I received my acceptance letter from the University of Melbourne, there was no doubt in my mind that this was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life.

I am currently in my third year of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and I am thoroughly enjoying the many hands-on practical classes as well as conversing with some of the most friendly professors I have ever met. Although veterinary school can be very challenging at times, you make great friends with your fellow classmates and we get each other through the tough times (trust me, there are many). The first two years of the program can be challenging, learning all the background information with lots of memorisation, but once you reach third year, everything seems to fall together nicely and you start feeling like an actual veterinarian.

I can get through the toughest of times with friends like these!

I wanted to make the most of my time here in Australia and be involved with giving back to the student body, so I joined the Veterinary Students Society of Victoria (VSSV). VSSV is a vet student-run organisation that supports the students of the DVM program and I am proud to say that I am currently a fundraising representative for the VSSV.

Most of my duties include designing merchandise and contacting companies for sponsors to support the many veterinary events throughout the year. I think that if I wasn’t in vet school, I probably would have gone into graphic design or maybe even business school. Being a fundraiser for VSSV allowed me to have the best of both worlds. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a business degree after vet school! There are just so many things you can do with a veterinary degree and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

This story originally appeared on the Discover: stories from Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science.

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