Our trip to Valdivia, Chile, was exceptional both from a medicine and cultural standpoint. During our stay we were exposed to many aspects of the Chilean veterinary profession such as the dairy industry, equine theriogenology, small animal surgery, and aquaculture. The professors involved in the program were eager to teach and allowed us to be involved in many of the day-to-day operations their jobs entailed. While working with them we traveled all over the countryside to various farms and towns that each offered something new and interesting to see. Even the farm owners and other clients seemed more than willing to accommodate students. And it didn't hurt that many of them spoke English.
At night we explored Valdivia and enjoyed the culture of the city. We became regulars at a place near our apartment called The Bunker which had the best sandwiches and beer in the city. We took in an art show and participated in a genuine Chilean barbecue. The bus system in Chile is amazing and very inexpensive; on weekends we were free to travel at our leisure. We saw the fierce volcanoes of Pucon and the haunting, fog-covered shores of Fort Niebla.
This is an excellent trip and I was lucky to be offered the chance to participate. It is the perfect opportunity to see how veterinary medicine is approached outside the United States and experience another country firsthand. Take advantage while you can! Clinics and the real world are just around the corner.
Class of 2012