University College Dublin
Ireland's Global University 

Student Testimonial

Read about Kelvin Koun-Tai Ho's experience studying Veterinary Medicine at UCD.

Kelvin Koun-Tai Ho's Testimonial

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Why veterinary?

I love to figure out the nuts and bolts of diseases, and with the prospect of gaining practical skills to treat animals (including my favourite species, the cat), I am naturally drawn to veterinary medicine. Enthralled by the investigative work that I saw on TV shows like Nature's Giants, I embarked on this course, having at the back of my mind the desire to become a veterinary pathologist (apparently, you need a veterinary medical degree to become one). It is thus also the diversity of species - farm, companion, equine and exotics - that really drew me into the course, as it provides me with a good comparative knowledge of diseases across species.

Why Ireland/UCD?

UCD is the only veterinary school in the island of Ireland, and it is accredited by both RCVS and AVMA, which not only allows me to practise back in Singapore, but also facilitates future career advancements in other countries like Australia and USA. Ireland is also known for its rich agricultural heritage, and the veterinary school has a faculty that is engaged in the development of Ireland's food production system, which certainly benefits me in terms of better learning about food animal medicine. In addition, the veterinary hospital where students spent most of their time in their final clinical years has excellent facilities and is located in the vet school itself; there is also arranged transport to the school farm just located at the outskirt of Dublin. 

Most enjoy in the programme?

The veterinary course is a very intellectually stimulating course, in that you are constantly on a steep learning curve (my medic roommates always asked me how it is possible to cover so many species in five years) and that you are constantly honing and falling back on the knowledge and skills that you have learnt previously. Growing up in a city with almost nil agricultural activity, I really enjoyed the times when I got to learn about farm animals. As part of the course, I am also required to complete preclinical extramural placements in farm establishments, and living and working on Irish farms has indeed brought me closer to appreciating the different raw facets of country life, its people and culture. This is something I can safely say that you cannot get to enjoy in many of the other courses. Lastly, the people - the staff and students - forms really a close-knit community and there is always some good craic around in the veterinary building.

Advice to other students from Singapore interested in coming to UCD

Many veterinary prospective students from Singapore decided to head Down Under for their education and it is completely understandable with respect to climate, proximity to home and the sizable Singaporean population in various veterinary schools in Oz. But I will say take some time to consider somewhere further from home and comfort zone, but with equally pleasant environment and the same opportunities to get to know people from different walks of life. And lastly, Europe is ever so accessible from Dublin and it is always possible to check your to-visit-list for the various countries during your school vacations. 

Veterinary Medicine in UCD

Interested in studying Veterinary Medicine in UCD? Visit the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine for further information.