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Holly, BVSc 2018-2019 at the University of Bristol

Hey, I’m Holly. I’ve just finished my third year at Bristol vet school and I will be taking a year out to intercalate next year.

Why did you choose to intercalate?

I didn’t come to vet school with the intention to intercalate, in fact I had never even heard about intercalation before we had a lecture on it in second year. I immediately thought “not another year of studying!” but after I found out more, I decided that I would enjoy doing something a bit different and having a break from the intensive nature of the vet course for a year. The opportunity to carry out a research project and the possibility to tailor the course to what I am interested in really sounded great since this is not typically an option for vet students!

What are you intercalating onto?

I will be intercalating in Zoology (BSc) and I am staying at Bristol University. There is the option to intercalate externally but I didn’t feel that moving to a new city for just one year would suit me. This is not a stand-alone intercalation course as some are – I will be joining the third year students of the Zoology degree. I chose Zoology because there seemed to be a wide variety of interesting units to choose from, whilst keeping the focus on the animal/veterinary side of things. I am particularly looking forward to the units on behaviour and communication as I enjoyed the small number of lectures we had on these topics in first and second year so it will be great to explore them in much more depth.

How did you find the application process?

Despite deciding to apply very last minute, I found the application process very smooth. There was a google form to complete and also a more formal application form which needed an academic reference (my personal tutor was very happy to help with this) and a short personal statement about why you wanted to intercalate. There are a limited number of intercalation places on the Zoology course so I was slightly worried that it would be competitive, but I received an email a few weeks later saying I had been offered a place! Intercalation is very much encouraged at Bristol (and probably at other universities too) so as long as you sound enthusiastic and you have shown that you are a committed student then I don’t think you will have any problems finding a place.

What are you looking forward to most about intercalation?

There are many things I am looking forward to! Experiencing a new teaching method and having time to research the topics for myself outside of lectures will be very interesting. I am also looking forward to the research project as there is nothing like this in the vet course (at least at Bristol). And to be completely honest, I am excited to have another year in the city (as 4th and 5th year Bristol vets move out to the vet campus in Langford) and to carry on with the societies I have been a part of.

What are your plans for the future?

At the moment I really don’t know! I always thought I would go on to pursue a career in small animal practice, but seeing the wide range of career options as I have progressed through vet school has opened my mind to many more possibilities. I believe that intercalation will open up even more opportunities and will be a good back up degree to have if I ever decide that I want to work outside of the veterinary profession.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about intercalation, please feel free to email me on hm16034@bristol.ac.uk

My experience with finding housing

I’m taking a rather unusual route by returning to halls for my intercalation year. As I decided to intercalate so last minute, I was struggling for housing options but then I found out that Bristol does allow a certain number of older students to return to halls each year. I know a couple of friends who are doing the same thing and I think I will enjoy being a sort of older sister figure to the freshers. I’m not sure if other universities will offer this, but if you are a Bristol student and would consider returning to halls then I recommend looking at this webpage.

If you are applying externally to Bristol then you will be guaranteed a place in halls. Click to check out this webpage for more information.