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Gap Year Ideas Plus General Veterinary and Uni Stuff

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    Hi everyone!

    I've just finished AS and I realised a few weeks ago that I want to be a vet. So I've been looking into it and booked work experience for 2 weeks away which I'm going to use to get a proper experience of the job and basically double check that's what I want to do.


    However, because I've only seriously started considering this career recently, I don't have any work experience down (and getting 6-10 weeks w/e before your application is a requirement for Unis) so I can't apply with the realistic view of getting into Uni at the end of A2 (2013 entry).

    I do plan on applying this year though, if only for the experience. I wouldn't have a great deal to write on my PS if I applied for 2013 entry, so I'll most likely apply for deferred (2014) entry and write about what I plan to do with my gap year (see below) in my PS and I'm hoping I might get an offer, though I don't know how likely this is (does this sound like a good idea to you guys?).

    If I don't get any offers, however, I'll just apply at the end of A2 for 2014 entry when I'll have the required amount of w/e (hopefully - I've got some booked for my A2 year half terms etc) and definite A2 results, as well as the potential of doing further stuff in my gap year before Uni.


    So yeah, as I said, I've got a few weeks w/e booked for next year (during A2 half terms, holidays etc) at some vets, as well as some farms and stables that I need to ring up, so hopefully I should have some placements (fingers crossed one or two might ask for regular work on Saturdays or something) throughout next year which will mean I meet requirements for Unis when I apply at the end of A2.


    As for my gap year which, if I want to be a vet, I have to take due to the whole w/e problem, I've got a few ideas of what I want to do;

    - Gather lots more and varied w/e at vets, farms and anywhere animal-related that will take me! (I'm in Hertfordshire, if anyone knows anywhere),

    - Get a better-paying job than my current one and work A LOT so I can save up,

    - Learn to drive if I don't this year,

    - Possibly go away on a Veterinary placement with Projects Abroad ( http://www.projects-abroad.co.uk/vol...d-animal-care/ ) for 3 months-ish, though that's about £3000ish (GBP) so this depends on the money side of things. (I haven't found any cheaper companies that offer veterinary-specific placements abroad, but if anyone knows any, it would be great to hear about them!),

    - Maybe go and visit my sister who lives in Australia for a bit though, again, this would be expensive so I'm not too sure I'll be able to,

    - Perhaps do an animal-related college course or qualification to continue learning and keep my mind working so it doesn't turn to sludge.


    Oh yeah, and the ASs I took were Biology, Chemistry, English Literature and History. I'm dropping History next year and possibly taking up AS Maths - does anyone have any ideas whether AS Maths would boost my application, or is there no point in me taking an extra AS, as I'm having a gap year?

    I'm not going to do any further traveling other than the options I mentioned above, but most gap year websites and articles etc are focused on traveling and volunteers, so I haven't really been able to find out any further suggestions on what I could do for a whole 14/15 months (July to September/October the following year) so any suggestions other than mine ^^ are very welcome!

    ~

    Okay, I think this was more me setting out my plans rather than asking questions, but if anyone does have any suggestions or answers or anything, they're very appreciated. Also, if anyone just wants to acknowledge that I'm not going crazy or have made some major mistake or wants to give advice, that would be great too!

    Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read all this guys!
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    (Original post by Silverwolf)
    - Gather lots more and varied w/e at vets, farms and anywhere animal-related that will take me! (I'm in Hertfordshire, if anyone knows anywhere)
    Without 10 weeks w/e you don't stand much of a chance, it is something you have to do (if not better) if you are forced to take a gap year.

    - Get a better-paying job than my current one and work A LOT so I can save up,
    Even if you spend 3-6 months travelling and/or getting work experience that still leaves you a good 6-9 months to earn some money.

    - Learn to drive if I don't this year,
    This is something you need to do otherwise you are going to struggle getting to placements, work or callouts before, during or after uni.

    TBH you should be able to fit it around work/work experience fairly easily by having lessons in the evening or at weekends.

    - Possibly go away on a Veterinary placement with Projects Abroad ( http://www.projects-abroad.co.uk/vol...d-animal-care/ ) for 3 months-ish, though that's about £3000ish (GBP) so this depends on the money side of things. (I haven't found any cheaper companies that offer veterinary-specific placements abroad, but if anyone knows any, it would be great to hear about them!),
    Be very careful with these sorts of things. Remember that the majority of these are businesses, not charities, that charge relatively large amounts of money to travel abroad and work for free. They tend to pay a nominal fee to charity (while pocketing the rest). They're more holidays than volunteer or work placements - the hours are generally short and you don't have to work at all if you don't want to.

    My advice would be to either take a proper holiday abroad or contact genuine conservation/animal welfare charities for overseas volunteering opportunities. You may end up working harder but you will pay less (ie; just board and lodging) and get more from it.

    - Maybe go and visit my sister who lives in Australia for a bit though, again, this would be expensive so I'm not too sure I'll be able to,
    It is doable if you get your w/e out of the way and get a job.

    You need to get organised. You can travel, you can get work experience, you can learn to drive, you can get a job, etc but for it all to work you need to plan it out properly rather than leaving it till the last minute, booking random work placements throughout the year making it impossible to get a job, etc.

    - Perhaps do an animal-related college course or qualification to continue learning and keep my mind working so it doesn't turn to sludge.
    By all means keep up to date and keep doing background reading but I would question how much doing an animal related college course is really going to help you.

    If you're going to do a course do something which pays, a riding instructor would be a good bet but I don't get the impression you have much experience with horses.

    Oh yeah, and the ASs I took were Biology, Chemistry, English Literature and History. I'm dropping History next year and possibly taking up AS Maths - does anyone have any ideas whether AS Maths would boost my application, or is there no point in me taking an extra AS, as I'm having a gap year?
    Taking extra AS' are of questionable benefit - some people swear it helps, other's it doesn't.

    The minimum requirements are 3, if that is all you have the maximum the universities can ask of you is 3 A*. If you have 4 the danger is that the universities may make you a higher offer, or if you underachieve in your 4th AS it may detract from how well you did in the others.

    Some of the vet schools (eg; Edinburgh) ask for 3 sciences including Maths/Physics so Maths may be a good bet and open up your options somewhat (as long as you can get a decent pass in it).
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    Some of the vet schools (eg; Edinburgh) ask for 3 sciences including Maths/Physics so Maths may be a good bet and open up your options somewhat (as long as you can get a decent pass in it).
    Actually this is no longer the case with Edinburgh as of 2012. For 2011 entry and earlier, the requirement was AAB to include Biology, Chemistry and either Physics or Maths. From 2012 entry onwards, the requirement is AAA to include Biology, Chemistry and a subject approved for entry to the university (essentially any 'academic subject'). I should know as I applied with Geography as my third subject and have a conditional offer for this year! It's only Cambridge now that require the third subject to be Physics or Maths.

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Updated: July 19, 2012
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