Undergrads, keep reading. Everyone else, see you next post!
I’m about to share a unique opportunity for you to get an incredible experience next semester. This experience will not only be a lot of fun and intellectually stimulating, but it will also put you in a great position as you prepare to apply to veterinary school. How could you not like the sound of that?
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
I didn’t get to mention in my article about the National Zoo externship that some of my most memorable days were the ones I spent out at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute. This is a research campus set out in the rolling hills of Virginia where Smithsonian scientists carry out some pretty exciting research on all things relating to conservation biology. They have a number of endangered and threatened species that are kept in more natural large enclosure settings.
One of the National Zoo veterinary residents is out there almost every day, so I got to tag along a few times to work with Przewalski’s horses, red pandas, clouded leopards, and other remarkable creatures.
Semester Abroad in Virginia?
All that is simply an introduction to the real reason I’m writing today. I recently learned about this undergraduate semester study program that is held right on the grounds of the CBI. It is called the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, and it is a partnership between the Smithsonian and George Mason University (one of Virginia’s big public universities and just down the street from where I grew up!).
This is like a study abroad program, except that you’re just in the beautiful countryside of Virginia rather than some exciting foreign country. You should be able to easily transfer academic credit to your college, through the partnership with George Mason, and you should also be able to use your regular student loans or other means of paying for tuition to go towards this expense.
All the Details on How YOU Can Make it Happen
I’ve exchanged a few e-mails with the program administrators for you already, so here’s the scoop. They haven’t had enough applicants for the spring 2013 semester, so they have pushed back the application deadline to January 3. She also sent me the scholarship application, so I’ll e-mail that to you if you get in touch on my contact page. She told me that every student who applies for a scholarship will most likely get one, and that they range in amount (merit-based) from $2000 – $7000.
The program and scholarships are open to both U.S. and foreign students.
I know this is last-minute, and that you’d be kind of crazy to think about doing something like this so late in the game! But why not be a little crazy?
I honestly believe that your participation in a program like this would do wonders for your vet school application. You will be able to honestly paint yourself as an applicant who is serious about an uncommon veterinary field, and that is what application committees are most interested in seeing.
As always, I would be more than willing to help out by reading over your application essays!
So will you go for it? This could be a real game changer. What’s holding you back?