When applying for a university course, making your CV stand out from everyone else’s is a tough challenge. Meeting the academic criteria is not enough; you need to show your prospective tutors that you have something more to offer. The field of veterinary medicine is notoriously difficult to get into and the competition is high for limited places. One way of improving your chances of getting on the course of your dreams is to demonstrate your commitment to the subject and your dedication to your ambitions.


A great way to do this is to embark on a course of valuable veterinary work experience. By putting yourself forward and engaging on a course voluntarily, you are showing your willingness to work hard and do a little more, while researching around the subject and exposing yourself to real life experiences. Veterinary work experience also gives you the chance to really decide if this field of study is what you imagined and is, in fact, the one for you.

There are options to embark on veterinary work experience projects in the UK but for the more adventurous student, South Africa has some excellent courses offering once in a lifetime work experience. Home to some of the most wonderful animals on the planet, South Africa is an extremely proactive and exciting place to work.

The Pre Vet Eco Experience

At The Shamwari Centre in South Africa there are great opportunities to get involved in comprehensive veterinary work experience courses. As one of the leading centres in conservation and research, Shamwari has all of the elements required to involve prospective veterinary students in a really worthwhile program. Whether you have already begun your veterinary studies or whether you are about to apply for a course, there is a program that will suit you. The Pre Vet Eco Experience is particularly aimed at those aspiring vets, yet to begin their university course, and is one that covers a broad range of skills. The course is both interactive, with plenty of opportunity to get hands-on, and theoretical, with lots of time to study and ask questions.

What The Course Involves

The course is based around giving the students the most in-depth introduction into veterinary work in Africa and includes all aspects of a vet’s work, including work in the field, time in the animal clinic, attendance at lectures and opportunities to research. Students will not only be exposed to the very rewarding aspects of work in the African Bush but will also experience some of the tougher, more intense side of wildlife work here. Working alongside professional vets, students will be taught how to dart the animals, track some of the larger predators and get involved in current, important research. Conservation issues will be covered and students will experience some of the politics and ethical decisions that need to be made everyday when working in this complex country.

On completing the course, students should return home filled with renewed confidence, increased enthusiasm and a realistic view of the field they want to be involved in. Spending time in South Africa also brings with it other rewards, offering students the chance to experience a new and different culture. From every aspect, veterinary work experience in South Africa is a positive one and one that will stay with students always.