Program and Location:
Summer, United Kingdom: Intro to Animal Behavior and Veterinary Physiotherapy; Shropshire, England
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I chose to study abroad to gain experiences I’ve never had before and to challenge myself. I chose my specific program to set myself apart from my class by learning skills and techniques in animal physiotherapy and behavior that will help me when I become a veterinarian.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I am a natural leader wherever I go. I’m an advocate for myself, and that advocacy radiates and is infectious. I took charge of my learning and embraced the cultures of the British and I enjoyed every moment.
What was one of your favorite parts of your program?
One of my favorite parts was the hands-on things we were able to do. Whether it was exploring new cities during our excursions or rehabilitating an animal, if I was able to physically experience it, I was ecstatic.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Go with an open mind, go with a clear heart, and let your body experience everything! This is your opportunity, so make every moment count.
How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
As a future veterinarian, my study abroad experience helped me to develop skills that I will need as a doctor. A lot of times in the medical world we focus on treatment and surgeries, but we don’t look into the benefits that physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and learning behavior have when it comes to animal health in the US. Learning more about these three subjects, and being able to implement what I’ve learned to gain experience, is going to set me apart from other vet students without these skills. I was also able to better understand what route I want to take when it comes to specializing and what type of work I want to do as a doctor by exploring things that didn’t interest me before.
In what ways did your identity have an impact on your experience abroad?
Being Black and queer has a heavier feeling of oppression when in the US, but when I was abroad, I felt liberated in a way. I was free to be myself and I exhibited my comfortability. Being able to fully be myself allowed my professors and other natives to enjoy my presence more as a student and as an individual.
Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
This is your time to live! Embrace who you are and take this time to understand how much you love yourself. The people you will meet will enjoy you for you. Don’t let this temporary experience go to waste. The same limitations you face at home won’t be the same once you leave these borders!
Where did you find support to navigate any challenges you faced abroad?
Would you do it again?
Let me check… YES!