Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

To go to vet school or not to go?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by lev324890, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. lev324890

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    Hey guys, I need some advice on making a life-changing decision.

    I just got accepted to Murdoch Vet School, in Perth, Western Australia.
    I tried 2x to get into a Canadian school (I'm Canadian) but didn't get it, so I tried my luck overseas.

    I've wanted to be a vet for as long as I remember, and now that I have this opportunity, I'm surprisingly hesitant to accept it. The main reason for this is the crazy tuition fees! It's about $35K CAD per year. So that will put me in a financial hole of well over $100K in 4 years of school. And that money would have to come from bank loans :(

    Is it worth it? Since we all know that vets don't get paid nearly as much as doctors do.
    Should I spare myself the years of loan repayment, and just get a horse and 3 dogs? ;)

    Oh, and the other major point is that I have less than 2 months to pack up and leave! That's 1 month to figure out financial issues (over Christmas time) and another month to fly across the globe! Start date is Feb 6, 2009
     
  2. Pomona2006

    Pomona2006 UC Davis SVM c/o 2013
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinarian
    Well...if owning a horse and 3 dogs will do it for you, then maybe vet med isn't for you (but that's a whole other issue in itself)...but first...

    As for the money - it's not news to most of us on the forum - we recognize that vet school can cost us upwards of 200k US at some schools. Some of us are fortunate to get a break going instate (or have money saved, parents helping, etc) but most of us recognize that debt is not only possible, but probable. I think that 35k CA isn't that bad all things considered - but if I were you, I'd ask yourself whether the horse and 3 dogs really would make you happy long-term - or whether you want to care for animals in a professional health setting long-term. Once you decide whether your passion lies in your pets or in veterinary medicine, your decision will be easy (at least I think so).

    Good luck...and congrats on your acceptance!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Veterinarian
    i think it's safe to say that the majority of vet students will be at least 100k in debt. at least.

    of course it's worth it! if you're lazy bum and don't work hard, you won't make any money, you'll fall behind on your loan repayments, and the bank will take your house. but hey, isn't the majority of hte world in debt somehow?

    if you absolutely don't ever want to be in any kind of debt, then yes, step down now. if you're actually serious about being a veterinarian, a measly hundred grand shouldnt stop you.

    plus... traveling is fun! i love my school, but sometimes i wish i had even looked at schools abroad. it'll be one hell of an experience for you :)
     
  4. hopefulvet21

    hopefulvet21 Edinburgh c/o 2013
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    hey, I ask myself this question a lot too seeing as I will be in a lot of debt. It's hard to know sometimes if just having pets will do it for you or not and whether you could just be happy at some other job. I try to imagine myself at other jobs, and while I think I might like them just as much as vet med, I remember that those other jobs all have drawbacks too. I think that the challenges of vet med, its rewarding nature, and the variety and opportunity to always improve and change make the job pretty close to perfect despite having to pay back loans. When I think of myself as a teacher (something else I'm interested in) I know I won't have much in loans to pay, but I also think it would be kind of boring teaching the same subjects year after year doing the same stuff every day. So while you might be hesitant to get your feet wet in vet med, and possibly even down the line regret choosing it because of all your loans, just keep in mind you might have similar regrets about other jobs later on too. I think you should go for it, Australia will be amazing.
     
  5. aretoo

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    Canadian students studying in Canada are EXTREMELY fortunate in that the government subsidizes SO much of our education - tuition for OVC (at University of Guelph) is ~ $3k CAD per semester!! So many Canadians are naturally tentative to pass that up and go overseas, lol!!

    To the OP - there are TONS of people who applied a 3rd or even 4th time and finally got into OVC (assuming that's where you're applying, if not, sorry). If you can reapply to Murdoch this year (or defer?) I'd personally do that and try again in Canada.

    But Australia would be amazing, that's for sure!!! Good luck either way :)
     
  6. lcarter103

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    I've actually been in the exact same situation as you! I'm from Alberta and applied twice to WCVM in Saskatoon and didn't get in. I applied to Murdoch University and was accepted. After lots of thought, I decided that it was not worth getting myself (and my husband) $150,000 into debt if there was even a chance of getting into a Canadian school. I got some more experience in a few different areas and got into WCVM on my third application. If I hadn't got in that time, I probably would have either done a masters program (and applied again after that) or moved to Saskatchewan to gain residency. If I were you I definitely wouldn't rule out a Canadian school until I absolutely had to, even if it means doing a masters degree or moving to get residency in a different province. I know that most (all?) American students have no choice but to go into a lot of debt to go to vet school, but in Canada we can avoid that and I really think we should if we can! $150,000 is a lot of money to pay back (plus interest), and for me, as much as I wanted to be a vet, I could wait a few more years/jump through a few more hoops in order to have a better financial future. I will now graduate with NO debt instead of $150,000 which I would have had if I'd gone to Australia.

    That being said, I think you should realistically assess what you can do to improve your application at the Canadian school. Which province are you from? Have you recieved interviews in the past or do you have any idea where you ranked in the application pool (WCVM gives you a ranking in the applicant pool; I'm not sure if OVC/AVC does the same)? Have you spoken with the admissions office to see how you can improve your application?

    L
     
  7. lev324890

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    Thank you guys for all the feedback, I appreciate it.
    I'm from BC, and first time I applied I didn't even have all the pre-reqs, so there was no surprise they told me i was pretty much at the bottom of all the applicants. The second time around, they told me that although I have great experience (working for an emergency clinic), my marks were lacking, and that unless I go back to school, there was no point applying again. I just graduated with a Bsc and don't really want to go back and re-do all my first year classes (that's where I bommed the most), and I don't think it's fair that that's what they'd want from me,[ I still don't understand why 1st year marks matter so much]. Cause no matter how great I do in 3rd and 4th year classes, it won't offset those low Bs I got in 1st year.

    I do have a bit of an advantage. My whole family is behind me on this, and my mom told me she'd do anything to put me through school. My husband is Australian, and I'd have no problem getting residency after 2 years living in Australia, then perhaps I get the govenrment funding there, and the tuition for my 2 remaning years would only be 7K a year. But that's if I'm lucky.
    In any case, I'd still have a bit of a debt coming out of school.

    I don't know if I should work for a few years, go to school part-time, and try for school in Saskatchewan again, or take the opportunity and run with it.
    Cause I know if i don't do it, I most likely regret it every single day.

    But with the world-wide economy being ****ty, I'm really put off by huge debt that school would leave me with :(
     
  8. BodhiBird

    BodhiBird TCSVM c/o 2013
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    Actually, if you can get the loans now is the best time to be in vet school, or any other professional school for that matter. The job market is so poor right now that it'd be difficult for you to find a good job now if you are coming out of undergrad, whereas by the time you graduate vet school in 4 years (hopefully) the economy will be righting itself up and you'll have no problem finding a job. Loans are daunting... yes. But I don't think there are many homeless vets in the world because they couldn't pay a monthly loan payment. The way I see it is that debt means budgeting a monthly repayment into your financial activities, once you work in that repayment plan all is good, if it takes you 15 years to repay it, oh well, you'll still be living your life as a veterinarian while you pay it. Good-luck. Trust me I understand your feelings.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. lcarter103

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    B.C./Alberta are the most competitive provinces in terms of grades needed to get an interview/get accepted to WCVM. If you do decide not to go to Australia, you should think about moving to Saskatchewan for a year, working full-time, and gaining residency. Way less people apply to WCVM from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, so the competition is less keen. Many people in my class are "province hoppers" who were originally from B.C./Alberta but couldn't get into WCVM after several tries so moved to Saskatchewan. Most of them spent the year working at one of the farms associated with the school (swine or dairy) or at the vet school and then applied as a Saskatchewan resident. You wouldn't even have to miss an application cycle, since to be considered a resident of the province you just have to live there for 12 months prior to the first day of classes. Did you apply to WCVM this year?

    Also, I'm not sure what kind of experience you have other than the emergency clinic, but I'd suggest getting a variety of different kinds of experience, i.e. with food animals, horses, research, wildife, etc., as WCVM really seems to value that.

    Of course, it's totally up to you and I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide. I just wanted to give you another option to think about!
     
  10. tealamutt

    tealamutt WSU class of 2012
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    on the subject of finances... heard a lecture today and a study just out says the average vet student graduates with $140 grand in debt (which we knew) and $10 grand of that is from starbucks purchases... just food for thought. How much do you 'need' that latte??
     
  11. frozen_canadian

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    They have actually changed the rules this year. You need to live in the province for 18 months, with out attending school, rather than the 12 months it was previously. I believe this is to prevent province jumping. Best of luck on whatever you decide.
     
  12. cozycleo

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    Wow!!! That doesn't surprise me too much. I have a Caribou habit that I have to keep under control.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. dpcdoc

    dpcdoc VMRCVM Class of 2012
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    Probably not much help, but I have been to Perth Australia and a small city near there called Fremantle. The people were very nice and I think it would be an amazing experience for you if you could work out the fiscal details. Good luck and my sincere best wishes to you.
     
  14. hopefulvet21

    hopefulvet21 Edinburgh c/o 2013
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    I think being able to gain residency will help loads from a financial point. You should also weigh the cost of the school with the great life experience you'll be getting living in another country. I think its worth it, and since your husband is from there, you will have lots of support adjusting there. There are so many great opportunities for vet students in Australia- I hear the wildlife is absolutely amazing.
     
  15. tnpfan

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Veterinary
    People spend ~$50/week on Starbucks?! :eek:
     
  16. Jochebed

    Jochebed Ye Must Be Born Again
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    Don't forget interest....
     
  17. frozen_canadian

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    I think the article probably meant 'starbacks' in the most broad sense - snacks, any coffee you buy throughout the day etc. They all add up.
     
  18. frozen_canadian

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    I think the article probably meant 'starbucks' in the most broad sense - snacks, any coffee you buy throughout the day etc. It all adds up.
     
  19. Neoformans

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Veterinary Student
    Hi,

    I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that for the Aussie or NZL vet schools you have to agree to pay at the foreign student tuition rate for your whole duration at the vet school because the applications for the locals and for international students are evaluated seperately.

    I was in a similar situation, I got rejected from WCVM when I graduated with my BSc, but I got accepted to Massey and Glasgow. From my estimates, I would be about $250K in debt (including tuition and living expenses for 5 years).

    Don't give up on the Canadian schools! Worse comes to worse, do a MSc (if you're interested in research), move to Ontario to establish residency and apply to Guelph (they have 5 seats for grad students and from what the admissions people tell me, about 10-15 people apply for those 5 seats.).

    Goodluck!
     
  20. Hollycozza

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinarian
    I'm pretty sure once you get residency you are entitled to transfer to a position as a "Local Fee-Paying Student" however local fee paying students pay only about $2000 less per year than internationals and definitely >$30,000 per year. You would be eligible to compete for a commonwealth supported position ($8000 per year) however all of your classmates that would be local fee paying students will be competing with you to do this every year. I think thats how it goes. I'm not sure they have local fee paying students at Murdoch though so that may change how it works, but thats how it was at Sydney...
     
  21. laurafinn

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Veterinarian
    At Massey, it's a bit complicated. The government passed a law last year saying that people with Permanent Residency in New Zealand cannot be full-fee paying students. If you gain Permanent Residency during vet school, you have to go into the pool for a government-sponsored spot. That means you have to stop vet school and wait for a government-sponsored spot to open up. I heard a rumour that the wait is currently four years, but that could be totally wrong.

    There are only two types of spots at Massey: government-sponsored and full-fee paying. Applications for each type of spot are evaluated separately. People with government-sponsored tuition pay NZ$8,000, international students pay NZ$42,000. (NZ$1 = US$0.59 at the moment) Moral of the story: if you want to gain Permanent Residency in NZ, do it before you apply to vet school.
     
  22. Hollycozza

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Veterinarian

    Good advice although presumably with the caveat that potentially once you're a resident the competition for a spot might be tougher? That seems to be the case in Oz anyway...
     
  23. laurafinn

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Veterinarian
    In the past year or two, the pre-selection semester route has not been significantly tougher for Kiwis vs. internationals, or that's my impression. It's gotten more competitive for the international slots over time. (I don't mind saying that it was easier for international students my year.)
     

Share This Page