IVSA Indonesia X IVSA SAVMA Ohio State Group Exchange 2020. Report by Bela Citra Aqidah as Best Delegate



Ohio State Online Exchange

Created by: Bela Citra Aqidah

University : University Gadjah Mada 

Universitas Gadjah Mada IVSA Indonesia and IVSA SAVMA Ohio State Exchange On the  evening of Saturday, the 26th of September 2020, we, IVSA Indonesia, held an online exchange program with IVSA SAVMA from the Ohio State Chapter. Through this online event we were hoping to be able to build relations and get to know each other, both on the formal one-IVSA-to-another level, and also on the personal level. There were a total of 12 delegates from Indonesia plus the organizing committees from PR IMAKAHI, and the President of IVSA Indonesia. We wore our Batik, of course, with pride and joy. Representing the USA were Sophie Cressman as the current President of IVSA SAVMA Ohio State Chapter, Taylor Williams as the Exchange Officer and also President Elect, and Elen Hernandez as a member of the chapter who is contributing actively on the global level as Treasurer and D.A.D of IVSA Global.

To achieve our goals in building relations and getting to know each other, the event began with introduction. Everyone told each other names, where we came from, what field of Veterinary Medicine we’re interested in pursuing, and a fun fact about our country. It was fun learning about America and each other. After that we had a presentation delivered by Sophie about America as a country. From the presentation, we the delegates learn about “the American way of life” and everything that makes America the way it is, from the landscapes, cities, traditions, and all theway to food. Though America is famous for its dominating number of fast food chains, Sophie let us know that there are some amazing gourmet and organic foods that are local to America as well. She told us how diverse and different American cities are to each other, so and so that it would be a waste not to explore each state one by one, when we do get a chance to visit. And then it was our turn to present. I was delighted for the opportunity given to me to represent Indonesia on this exchange. I shared my screen and presented our story, “The Life of Vet Students in Indonesia”. 

The main take away from my presentation was not only about Indonesia as a country, but also how veterinary education works in Indonesia, and the unique independent stories that we got to share as fellow vet students. I was happy to be able to share my story and also learn about the stories of others like me who are Indonesians going to vet school whether in the same university or not. Some stories are relatable, and some are simply unique and fun. Then it was time for ice breaking where we did a little “show and tell”. We all brought special things in our homes and presented it to each other. I just had to show them my bekantan doll, Becky, as she’s a souvenir from my trip to Kalimantan back in January before the pandemic strikes. On that trip I had an encounter with a troop of wild bekantan in the jungle! They are magnificent and I just can’t get over how lucky I am to be able to see them in person. Elen on the other hand showed us her adorable chinchilla! His name is Simba and he was napping in a pot before he woke up because Elen lifted the pot to show us. Simba is so adorable! Once we’re all refreshed another presentation begins. This time it was about IMAKAHI by our friend Joseph Wunda a.k.a. Rico. Rico presented to the delegates all about IMAKAHI as an organization, including the University members, history, and programs. Then Taylor and Sophie also presented about IVSA SAVMA especially the Ohio State Chapter, and also about veterinary education and vet student life in the USA. We concluded the event with a free-flowing discussion session that was fun and also insightful. Then we took pictures together and headed back to our night at home, or morning, for them.

From this event I have learned a lot about my own country and also USA. I learned about IVSA a bit more, and most importantly, I have made a lot of friends! I made friends withElen, Taylor, and Sophie, and also with the 11 other Indonesian delegates and our organizing committees and President. Though the event was over, the friendship continues through social media and I will cherish that dearly. This event also taught me the differences between veterinary education here in Indonesia and there in USA. Here, we are called the “Faculty of Veterinary Medicine” which means we are a part of an undergraduate program in a university and the professional education that we get is the 2 years of clinical rotation. In the USA however, they are called the “Veterinary School” which means they are not a part of an undergrad program, they are the professional education program in itself. So people who go to vet school in USA has already previously graduated from undergrad! That naturally gives them more years than we have. Good news is, their clinical rotation is just one year that’s already included in their 4 years of vet school. In Indonesia, after the undergrad part of veterinary studies we would get a bachelor degree and then after clinical rotation we’d become Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. In USA, they enter vet school already as bachelors and then come out of it directly as DVMs. I know! Fun.

Another thing that stuck out to me was that getting into vet school in USA is more competitive than med school, whereas in Indonesia it’s the opposite. My theory, is that because in USA the society have come to love and respect animals better than where Indonesia is right now on that journey, they have also come to appreciate the veterinary profession better than we are right now. I know that it’s still an ongoing journey for them, but they are further ahead than we are so far. My hope for Indonesia is for us to catch up with the rest of the world in how we better treat our animals with love and respect and appreciate the veterinary profession

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