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    I'm a Year 13 student preparing for her Chem, Bio and Maths A-levels next month.

    I think I was one of the students who've had most difficulty in figuring out what they wanted to study.

    Ever since I was a young child, I had always wanted to become a vet. That dream stayed with me for several years. But soon after starting my A-levels, for some reason it wasn't as appealing and I began having second thoughts about it. I began to think general biology was a better path for me. I was lost around biology, marine biology, environmental sciences until I finally thought Zoology was it. Even though my dream for becoming a vet was over, my love and fascination for animal stayed the same.

    After I applied for Zoology at 5 unis. But thinking about it now, even then I always had a feeling of uncertainty with me. And the problem eventually arose when I really began to feel unsure about my university and course choices. I rejected all my 5 offers from those unis and currently hold just one place for Biology at UCL through UCAS extra.

    I thought I had finally figured myself out until recently. Now I'm beginning to have feelings for veterinary medicine again. I'm now regretting my choices and before I knew it, I was looking up veterinary courses at different unis.

    I've always found making choices difficult and now feel really annoyed at myself for not having thought this through better.

    But I know veterinary is a very competitive and demanding course so I'm a bit cautious of everything.

    My question now, is whether it is too late to change my decisions and whether it is OK to seriously consider veterinary. A part of me is telling me to wait till my exams are over and I get my reslts. I might just be getting ahead of myself - I may not even meet the grades for veterinary...!

    I am so lost at the worst possible moment - any words of advice or any comments will be really appreciated. Thank you for your time
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    If you're asking whether it's too late for this year then yes. Veterinary medicine places don't go into Extra or Clearing. If there are spaces to fill then universities contact people on their waiting lists (who have been interviewed previously). If you're seriously considering studying vet medicine then you'll have to enter into the next applicant cycle and submit a new UCAS application by 15th October.

    If you wanted to do this, then your two options would be either to reject your UCL offer and take a gap year, or to stick with biology for a year and reapply while at university. It's up to you, and although personally I'd opt for the former option, it would depend how confident you are with applying for vet. Have you done much work experience? If not, a gap year would allow you to do some (as would this summer), and you could get a job to help finance university. Lots of vets end up taking gap years and I have yet to find one that's regretted it.
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    (Original post by Little Tail Chaser)
    If you're asking whether it's too late for this year then yes. Veterinary medicine places don't go into Extra or Clearing. If there are spaces to fill then universities contact people on their waiting lists (who have been interviewed previously). If you're seriously considering studying vet medicine then you'll have to enter into the next applicant cycle and submit a new UCAS application by 15th October.

    If you wanted to do this, then your two options would be either to reject your UCL offer and take a gap year, or to stick with biology for a year and reapply while at university. It's up to you, and although personally I'd opt for the former option, it would depend how confident you are with applying for vet. Have you done much work experience? If not, a gap year would allow you to do some (as would this summer), and you could get a job to help finance university. Lots of vets end up taking gap years and I have yet to find one that's regretted it.
    Thank you for your reply!

    Yes I was aware that I will have to reapply next year if I were to study veterinary. I don't want to reject my offer just yet just in case I change my mind - would it be too late to reject my offer after my results? Although at the moment, I really want to study veterinary as long as I meet the grades. RVC requires AAA and my current offer at UCL is also AAA. So if I get 3As, I probably will just opt for taking the gap year and reapply. But I know some vet school need A*s so even though I achieve 3As, I will be restricted to which unis I can apply.... In an ideal world I would get 3 As and apply for RVC (I would prefer London-based) and getting accepted, BUT getting 3As alone isn't going to guarantee me a place right?

    If I don't meet my grades however and still want to study vet, should I consider taking retakes??

    I haven't got very much work experience yet - just a week at an animal rescue center. Which consisted of general volunteering, not like shadowing the vet or anything like that unfortunately..

    Another problem that I didn't mention before is that I am an international student so I can't stay in the country unless I am in education. The gap year comes to be a problem here..

    But the visas another issue, I know I can't get much help on this here but anyway..

    Sorry I feel like I may have overwhelmed you with all these things. But I do really appreciate your comment Thank you so much!!!
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    (Original post by sungyun_1130)
    Thank you for your reply!

    Yes I was aware that I will have to reapply next year if I were to study veterinary. I don't want to reject my offer just yet just in case I change my mind - would it be too late to reject my offer after my results? Although at the moment, I really want to study veterinary as long as I meet the grades. RVC requires AAA and my current offer at UCL is also AAA. So if I get 3As, I probably will just opt for taking the gap year and reapply. But I know some vet school need A*s so even though I achieve 3As, I will be restricted to which unis I can apply.... In an ideal world I would get 3 As and apply for RVC (I would prefer London-based) and getting accepted, BUT getting 3As alone isn't going to guarantee me a place right?

    If I don't meet my grades however and still want to study vet, should I consider taking retakes??
    Most vet schools will accept retakes, although often there are conditions to meet (for example getting minimum grades of BBC first time round). Off the top of my head RVC accept resits and Edinburgh don't, but I can't remember for any of the others. Check university websites to clarify their stance on retakes.

    I haven't got very much work experience yet - just a week at an animal rescue center. Which consisted of general volunteering, not like shadowing the vet or anything like that unfortunately..

    Another problem that I didn't mention before is that I am an international student so I can't stay in the country unless I am in education. The gap year comes to be a problem here..

    But the visas another issue, I know I can't get much help on this here but anyway..
    Ahh, I'm afraid that I know very little about international applicants so can't help you much there. With regards to work experience, most applicants have several weeks worth by the time they apply (and variety is arguably more important than sheer quantity- you're not just limited to strictly vetty places; farm/kennels/stables/other husbandry placements etc count and are also important). I don't know if they're a bit more lenient for internationals as availability of work experience might be very different. At any rate it would probably be wise to squeeze in another couple of weeks if you can; universities are very keen on having students prove that they've done 'career exploration' and all that and that they know that a vet degree can lead to a variety of careers. I was asked about a couple of case studies at my interviews so it would be a good idea to have one or two up your sleeve.

    If you still wanted to come to the UK on your Visa and go to UCL for a year then it's still possible to apply while at university. Bear in mind though that you may need to take days off to attend interviews (usually held November - March). Also, if you don't get in after your first vet app (not a nice thought and I'm not questioning your abilities, but sadly a possibility that needs entertaining given the competitive nature of the course), would you be happy to do two years of bio? Or would you rather finish your degree and apply for vet postgrad? Just food for thought thinking about funding.

    Sorry I feel like I may have overwhelmed you with all these things. But I do really appreciate your comment Thank you so much!!!
    No worries Sorry I couldn't be of more help for the international stuff.
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    (Original post by Little Tail Chaser)
    Most vet schools will accept retakes, although often there are conditions to meet (for example getting minimum grades of BBC first time round). Off the top of my head RVC accept resits and Edinburgh don't, but I can't remember for any of the others. Check university websites to clarify their stance on retakes.


    Ahh, I'm afraid that I know very little about international applicants so can't help you much there. With regards to work experience, most applicants have several weeks worth by the time they apply (and variety is arguably more important than sheer quantity- you're not just limited to strictly vetty places; farm/kennels/stables/other husbandry placements etc count and are also important). I don't know if they're a bit more lenient for internationals as availability of work experience might be very different. At any rate it would probably be wise to squeeze in another couple of weeks if you can; universities are very keen on having students prove that they've done 'career exploration' and all that and that they know that a vet degree can lead to a variety of careers. I was asked about a couple of case studies at my interviews so it would be a good idea to have one or two up your sleeve.

    If you still wanted to come to the UK on your Visa and go to UCL for a year then it's still possible to apply while at university. Bear in mind though that you may need to take days off to attend interviews (usually held November - March). Also, if you don't get in after your first vet app (not a nice thought and I'm not questioning your abilities, but sadly a possibility that needs entertaining given the competitive nature of the course), would you be happy to do two years of bio? Or would you rather finish your degree and apply for vet postgrad? Just food for thought thinking about funding.


    No worries Sorry I couldn't be of more help for the international stuff.
    Thank you! You've actually been really really helpful and certainly calmed me a bit.

    I am actually attending school in the UK right now. The problem I was talking about was that if I take a gap year, I won't be able to remain in the UK since I won't be in education anymore. And I would really prefer to to find some work experience here in the UK than anywhere else.

    In an ideal world I would get into vet school first time round but yes I guess I should consider the options when I don't. Considering that I get 3As, do you think universities are also more likely to accept me considering that I will be paying international fees? (a whooping 25,000) This is also why it would be great if I get in first time round so that I won't need to pay for the 2 years in bio.

    Thank you so much for your advice!:thumbsup: But I think for now I should concentrate on getting those As and after exams I could do some more thinking. Would it be ok if I find you again afterwards?
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    I would concentrate on getting your exams done and get the results then if you're sure about Veterinary, take a gap year to build up work experience. Personally I see no benefit to starting the first year of Biology to apply for Veterinary and dropping out, would be a waste of time and money - you'd be better off using the time to build up a work experience portfolio.
    I guess you could always defer the UCL Biology offer for a year so you always have that to fall back on.

    Do you have to be in full time education for your visa? Not sure how they work but would it count if you did resits or maybe you could take an animal related college course a few days a week and then the other days spent seeing practice?

    Happy to be corrected but I don't think vet schools would be more likely to accept you as you'd be paying international fees.
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    (Original post by sungyun_1130)
    Thank you! You've actually been really really helpful and certainly calmed me a bit.

    I am actually attending school in the UK right now. The problem I was talking about was that if I take a gap year, I won't be able to remain in the UK since I won't be in education anymore. And I would really prefer to to find some work experience here in the UK than anywhere else.
    Ahh, sorry for the misunderstanding, my bad I agree that getting work exp. in the UK would be a good idea as UK systems are what you'll be learning about at a UK vet school and what they'll want you to know a little bit about at interview. Is there any other type of Visa you could apply for? Failing that, I assume you're still allowed to stay here over summer so you could fit in as much as you can now (besides, while you are allowed to put down planned wex universities prefer if you've done it prior to application. There's still time to send out a bunch of emails and book your summer up). . Accepting a university offer is, in the words of UCAS, a 'serious contractual agreement', but I don't think it would be a big deal for you to phone up and ask to decline your offer?

    In an ideal world I would get into vet school first time round but yes I guess I should consider the options when I don't. Considering that I get 3As, do you think universities are also more likely to accept me considering that I will be paying international fees? (a whooping 25,000) This is also why it would be great if I get in first time round so that I won't need to pay for the 2 years in bio.
    I don't work in admissions or anything so I wouldn't be able to say for certain, but as far as I've gathered home and international applicants are assessed separately in most cases. There's a bunch of places for home applicants and a separate bunch of places for internationals, so they're never really against each other and it would never be the case that, if they were giving out the last offer available and were choosing between two candidates with the same grades, wex etc that they'd choose the international person due to the fees. I think it would be patronising for me to say that either group has it better (it's competitive for everyone!), but if I'm understanding how it works correctly then it could theoretically be possible that ALL of the international applicants could be better than all of the home applicants, but the home apps would still get places because some are allocated to them, and vice versa.

    TL;DR, I haven't seen data that breaks down rate of offers given to home vs international applicants, but as far as I know both groups aren't pitted against each other so no, I don't think they favour people who pay more. That's all speculation though, based on the observation that offers for internationals tend to be given out at different times to home applicants.

    Thank you so much for your advice!:thumbsup: But I think for now I should concentrate on getting those As and after exams I could do some more thinking. Would it be ok if I find you again afterwards?
    Of course I'll probably be around, feel free to drop me a PM or whatever. There's a load of much more knowledgeable people than I on the forum though, including current vet students, international applicants and admissions tutors so if I can't give you an answer then someone else will be able to

    Best of luck with all your exams!
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    (Original post by lwescott)
    Happy to be corrected but I don't think vet schools would be more likely to accept you as you'd be paying international fees.
    yeah... I figured.. I guess I was just trying to find something good from being international.

    I don't like how I'm trying to rush into this. This decision shouldn't be something made in a rush.

    You're right. For now, I will concentrate on my exams and wish for the best. Thanks
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    (Original post by sungyun_1130)
    yeah... I figured.. I guess I was just trying to find something good from being international.

    I don't like how I'm trying to rush into this. This decision shouldn't be something made in a rush.

    You're right. For now, I will concentrate on my exams and wish for the best. Thanks
    I think you need to get your exams out the way then think about what you really want to do considering you wouldn't be able to apply until October now anyway. You can reject a place at university right up until you're due to start, so if you're still not sure keep your place until you are sure, what I wouldn't advise is you begin this degree, drop out and then apply for vet med, because some universities can look upon this as 'you don't have the ability to complete a course' which was what I was told whilst I was doing my first degree.
    One bit of advice I have to give is that you have to have a BIG enough reason for wanting to do veterinary. If you can't see a big enough reason, when stuff gets really tough you wont have something to guide you through it all, and veterinary medicine is NOT an easy course. You have to have the passion and the want to really do it to get you through it, and I'm speaking from personal experience. I had an exam yesterday and the rest of my exams continue in just under 10 days time. The amount of stress I am currently under with regards to exams and revision is massive, and the thing that gets me through it all is my reasons for wanting to be a vet.
    And about the reason big enough, these are the words from Noel Fitzpatrick himself. If you don't have a reason big enough and if your reasons are not the right reasons (i.e you're going into if just for the money, which is crap anyway haha) then you shouldn't be doing it.
 
 
 
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