Nicole Cady - "The Other UCD" - an Irish experience
I spent this past summer at the University College Dublin School of Veterinary Medicine studying antimicrobial resistance in Escherichia coli in wild Irish seals. This experience not only allowed me to develop valuable laboratory skills, but provided an opportunity to see veterinary medicine and research in action in a different cultural context.
Working in the laboratories of the veterinary school, which are attached to the UC Dublin veterinary hospital, I was familiarized with the facilities where Irish students learn and practice veterinary medicine and research. I was kindly given a tour of the veterinary hospital and even participated in a necropsy on the pathology floor. I was able to learn hands-on about the veterinary curriculum at UC Dublin, allowing me to compare and contrast with my own curriculum at Davis and appreciate different models of teaching veterinary medicine.
The incredible friendliness of the students and faculty at the veterinary school, as well as Irish people I interacted with outside of work, never ceased to make me feel welcomed and supported in an unfamiliar environment. I was able to learn more about Irish culture, history and language while making invaluable friends and professional connections. My research mentor at UC Dublin, Dr. Gerald Barry, was an excellent example of this. His academic expertise guided me in learning new technical skills and challenged me to think scientifically through obstacles. Even more than this, he supported my international experience by encouraging taking time to visit different parts of Ireland and getting to know a different culture firsthand.
My belief has only been strengthened by this experience that international exposure for veterinary students is crucial to developing adaptability, diplomacy, and cultural awareness. I aspire to work internationally in my career and this opportunity has contributed in preparing me for success. I hope that I can continue to help foster the relationship between UC Davis and UC Dublin veterinary schools, and appreciate all those that made this unique experience possible.