Vet travel awards

Veterinary Medicine: travel and research opportunities

Emily Bertin (Veterinary Medicine 2017) received a Fitzwilliam Travel Award to help towards her visit to South Africa. During the Christmas vacation 2018 she volunteered at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

She spent five weeks at the centre in north eastern South Africa. It’s home to a variety of species, including wild cats such as servals and caracals, leopards, lions, cheetahs, honey badgers, spotted hyenas, wild dogs, eagles, owls, vultures and many raptors.

Volunteers were assigned special cases to care for, which were often more vulnerable or temperamental animals. I was solely responsible for the feeding, care, cleaning and treating of a baby bushbuck and duiker – two species of antelope, two baby thick-tailed bush babies, two lovebirds, a fledgling turtle dove and two nestling weavers. I was also involved in the training of a juvenile hooded vulture to become an ambassador animal used to educate the public on external talks.

Bush baby Cheetah

Honey Badger Deer

Sarah Kowalczyk (Veterinary Medicine 2017) was the recipient of a Travel Award in the summer of 2018. It enabled her to travel to Thailand for a placement at an animal charity. 

During her time in Thailand, Sarah spent two weeks at the Soi Dog Foundation on the island of Phuket, a charity helping treat and rehome street dogs and cats. 

This award allowed me to gain a valuable insight into the ongoing work in Thailand to combat the illegal dog meat trade, as well as ending the suffering of the street dogs and cats of Phuket.

Due to the circumstances many of the dogs had faced before coming to Soi Dog Foundation, it was important to have volunteers spend time with them. This helped the dogs to be more confident around people and repaired the human-animal trust that may have been broken.


Mike Fan (Veterinary medicine 2015) has received two awards to help with the costs of his preclinical extra mural studies (EMS) or work experience – a compulsory component of the preclinical veterinary course. The purpose of these placements is to prepare veterinary students for clinical years by ensuring that they are familiar with both handling and working with the main species encountered in veterinary medicine today.

One award was for working in a two-week placement at a cattery in 2017.

This placement has helped me gain vital experience and confidence when working around cats. I have benefitted from a greater understanding how catteries are run in terms of handling cats and managing the business. I have gained invaluable skills, which will help prepare me for veterinary school in the years to come – as well as in the veterinary profession. I’d like to thank you for the generous award, I am very grateful for it.

The second award was for a two-week placement on a sheep farm during the 2016 lambing season. 

Duties carried out during my placement included handling and moving ewes and lambs, lambing ewes and ensuring smooth delivery of lambs, feeding and tubing lambs with colostrum and milk powder, administering medicines and assisting with tail docking and castration.

Lambing Lambing