IVSA runs two types of exchange programmes, individual exchange and group exchange.
Each year, vet students all over the world join on a journey to explore veterinary medicine in different cultural and social backgrounds.
This is achieved by providing a network of locally and internationally active IVSA members that globally facilitate access to clinic and field exchange programmes, which usually last a couple of weeks. Through our programme and opportunities, we aim to develop both culturally rounded and skilled veterinary students aspiring to shape the future of vets. IVSA believes exchange programmes are key to promote intercultural understanding and cooperation among vet students and vet professionals, which are very much needed in a currently globalised world.
IVSA Individual Exchanges
What Is an Individual Exchange?
Although the name might be misleading an Individual exchange is simply a placement seeing practice in a country abroad. This can be either in a university or local practice in your chosen country. Although these exchanges are usually seeing clinic practice they are not limited to only clinical practice. Individual exchanges usually range from 1 to 2 weeks although it varies as to which placement you attend and their local rules.
Why do an Individual Exchange?
Individual exchanges are not only a great way to develop your veterinary skills and learn new skills but are also a great way of meeting other students through IVSA and visiting a new country.
When can I do an Individual Exchange?
Different countries and different placements will have different availabilities. Some placements may also have requirements for you to be in a certain year or study or have a certain level of a language. Please see the database for further details.
How much does an Individual Exchange cost?
To plan and organise an Individual Exchange is completely free through your exchange officer, just another benefit of being an IVSA member! However some placements may require a donation and accommodation may not be included, please see the database for further details. The cost of flights is something you must also fund yourself.
How do I plan an Individual Exchange?
First you must have an idea as to what you would like to do and which dates you are free ( although it is always best to be flexible) for example Equine practice for 2 weeks in July in the UK. Alternatively you can view the range of opportunities available on the Member organization information google drive under ‘ Individual Exchange Database’. You then fill in Individual Exchange application form available from your Local Exchange Officer (EO), along with a cover letter and recommendation letter/CV ( if required). Your Exchange officer will the contact your chosen countries Exchange officer to organize your placement.
IVSA UK & Ireland Exchange Officer:
Tavishi Pandya (RVC, BVetMed 5) - firstname.lastname@example.org
1. View Individual Exchange database to see what opportunities there are available to you or choose the country you would like to see practice in and the type of practice you would like to see. along with the rules of individual exchanges.
2. Fill in Individual Exchange application form available from your Local Exchange Officer (EO), along with a cover letter and recommendation letter/CV (if required).
3. Contact your local Exchange Officer (either directly or via your university’s IVSA exchange representatives) with your exchange request (preferably 6 months before your requested dates).
4. Your Local Exchange Officer will process and accept your application if all is filled in correctly and sign it. Once signed, your Local Exchange officer will contact the Exchange Officer of your chosen country to see if they can accommodate your request. You will be CC’d (included) in this email.
5. If the chosen country’s Exchange Officer is able to help, you will be put in direct contact with them in order make arrangements whilst they find a placement for you.
- Make sure you leave plenty of time before contacting the Exchange Officer – remember that placements can book up months (or years) in advance – over 6 months is preferable! See above for your current Exchange Officers' contact email.
- Work out a budget for accommodation, as not all placements will be able to provide you with somewhere free to stay. Don't forget travel, medical and perhaps 'veterinary' insurance.
- Don’t forget to check visa requirements.
- Update your CV and be prepared to write a cover letter, as many practices will require both of these.
IVSA Group Exchanges
A group exchange is an amazing opportunity to experience a different country and its culture, see another vet school and learn what it's like to study veterinary medicine in that country, meet new people and get many new friends.
It's also a great way to promote your local MO, as well as IVSA Global. A group exchange is an agreement between two IVSA member organizations (MO's) to host and visit a group of vet students (must all be IVSA members with up to date membership fees paid) for an agreed number of days - traditionally lasts 1 week.
Each exchangee hosts one group exchange student in their home (ideally a student from the country they have chosen to visit in the group exchange programme) and helps prepare a breakfast each morning.
Who pays for the exchange?
Each participating RVC member taking part in the exchange will pay a group exchange fee. This is to cover all costs incurred during the hosting week so that when you visit your exchange country you won’t have to pay for anything (minus extras, e.g. alcohol).
What does the group exchange fee cover?
All meals, airport transfers - AKA the RVC SU minibus, local transport (trains, buses and suchlike), accommodation and the cost of activities - basically 2 weeks of fun!
What does the group exchange fee NOT cover?
Return flights to your group exchange country, travel/medical insurance, vaccinations, visas, check-in luggage, drinks, souvenirs and/or any extras of your choosing. Be aware that often there is one or two afternoons prepared for free-time, this is when you can go on your own accord to explore or relax in the city/country and as such you may need to budget for one or two lunches on the go.