Hey there! I’m Laeticia from Singapore. I am currently a 3rd year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) student at Melbourne University and I am really enjoying it!
My childhood dream of being a vet started with the introduction of my dog Zorro into my family when I was 11. The passion to help animals fueled this dream that is now becoming a reality! Veterinary medicine is not offered at local universities in Singapore, so studying abroad was the only option.
Bringing Zorro out to Sentosa Beach, Singapore
I chose to study in Australia as it was close to home compared to countries like America and the UK - making it easier to return home during the breaks. Melbourne is also ranked the most liveable city in the world, with Melbourne University as Australia’s top university!
Studying abroad was a surreal thing for me as leaving loved ones was no easy feat. At a young age of 17, I was nervous to move to a foreign country alone and taking care of myself for the very first time. I first completed a year of foundation studies at Trinity College before completing my Bachelor of Science at Melbourne Uni. It was easier to make friends at Trinity due to the small class size. This is in contrast to my undergraduate studies where the cohort comprised of over a thousand students, each having a different schedule and proving hard to remain connected.
One way I overcame this was finding a community - I highly recommend doing this! There are many student clubs that Melbourne University has to offer and it’s easy to find one that caters to your interests. I joined Overseas Christian Fellowship (OCF) where I met people from different courses and assimilated into the community quickly.
Easter Camp with my Overseas Christian Fellowship (OCF) friends
As I completed a Bachelor of Science at the University, I entered the DVM program via the accelerated track. As the DVM cohort consisted of only 130 students and since we shared the same timetable, this made it easier to recognise faces and helped us get to know each other during tutorials. Over time, these strangers became close friends.
One of my favourite moments in vet school was receiving well wishes and kind words as I entered the lecture theatre on my birthday! I became closer to my classmates throughout the year as we braved through 7 exams in a semester and participated in various activities together.
I befriended not only the locals, but also students from across the globe. Having culturally diverse friendships greatly enhanced my experience of studying overseas. As a 3rd year DVM student today, I am thankful to be in this course where I have made friends who not only share my passion for animals, but also go through life with me.
On placement with sled dogs at Mt Buller
Coming to Melbourne 5 years ago has definitely been an incredible journey thus far. Some highlights include the countless road trips to beaches, wineries, hiking trails, diving and skiing locations that I would not have been able to experience in Singapore. Overall, I am immensely blessed to have made amazing friends from OCF and vet school who I will treasure for life. I really hope that you will enjoy your time here as much as I have and I might just see you around in the near future!