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International Agreement Encourages Scholarly Exchange Between School of Veterinary Medicine and France

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Top row, l to r: Thomas Deschamps, scientific attaché, Consulate General of France, San Francisco; Bruno Chomel, professor of zoonoses and director of the Masters of Preventive Veterinary Medicine program, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Lisa Tell, director of the Office of International Programs, UC Davis; Francis Fieni, visiting scientist to UC Davis and director of the teaching hospital at Oniris, the Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering – University Nantes, Angers, Le Mans; David Wilson, director of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, UC Davis; seated: Pierre Saï, Dean,Oniris; and John Pascoe, executive associate dean, UC Davis.

August 19, 2011

Faculty of the School of Veterinary Medicine and counterparts from Nantes, France, signed a working agreement July 26 to develop collaborative research programs and to facilitate student and faculty exchanges for the enrichment of veterinary training at both schools.

French scholars Pierre Saï and Francis Fieni represented Oniris, the Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering (a center of the universities of Nantes, Anger and Le Mans). Saï is dean of the college, and Fieni is a professor taking his second sabbatical leave at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

John Pascoe, executive associate dean, and Bruno Chomel, co-director of the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degree program, are the contacts at UC Davis. Lisa Tell, director of the school's Office of International Programs, organized the contents and signing of the agreement.

UC Davis International Programs cooperative agreements at the campus level make it easier for individual faculty members to work together on projects and facilitate student study abroad. The campus has several such student exchange programs for undergraduates in France, and the School of Veterinary Medicine has a dozen agreements with other universities abroad. The Oniris-UC Davis agreement is the first formal arrangement between the School of Veterinary Medicine and a veterinary school in France.

Each partner is eager to bring students its program for veterinary experience. At the signing, the faculty touched on the strengths of Oniris programs in animal health, veterinary public health and food safety, and explored UC Davis’ opportunities for clinical training, particularly in residencies that attract veterinarians seeking to be certified in a specialty. The professors also expressed interest in interchange of curricular materials and participation in academic development, for example, scientific conferences.

Future communications will determine the development of specific collaborations with faculty and graduate level researchers. 

Also present was Thomas Dechamps, the French attaché for science and technology. He described several financial incentives that encourage scholarly exchange with France for up to one year: The Chateaubriand Fellowship of the French Embassy, the French Embassy Partner University Fund, the France-UC Berkeley Endowment and the Fulbright Fellowship Program.

The Office of International Programs at the school level provides funding for international travel by veterinary students each summer. Among their activities, UC Davis veterinary students have accompanied faculty members abroad (lemur research), worked at foreign zoos or specialty hospitals (Australia), participated in non-profit missions to combat rabies (India), and provided free veterinary services for animals belonging to people who cannot pay for care (Morocco). (Click here for more student experiences.