Member Organization Exchange Officer Manual (MO EO Manual)

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More information on IVSA can be found in the IVSA Governance Manual and the IVSA Information and History Manual.

Members

There are two types of members of concern to EOs (Honorary Life Members also exist):

  1. Member Organizations (MOs) – National or Faculty Students' Societies which take active part in the IVSA by organising individual and group exchanges, sometimes Local Events, and attending IVSA Symposia and Congresses. They have the right to vote in the General Assembly; this authority is given to the delegates of the MO in attendance at the event.
  2. Individual Supportive Members (ISMs) - Individual veterinary students or qualified veterinarians can become individual members and can apply for IVSA Symposia and Congresses. Student ISMs can also take part in exchange programmes and Local Events. Non-student ISMs may only do this with the agreement with the Member Organization(s) involved. ISMs do not have the right to vote in the General Assembly (GA) (but can make motions).

Exchange Officer Tasks List

When you end your term as an Exchange Officer (EO) you need to pass your knowledge and all the relevant information about ongoing exchanges on to the new EO. The following list includes the minimum tasks you are expected to do (there may be more, just let your imagination go!).

Please take the necessary time to explain to the new EO about the duties.

You have to:

  1. Notify the Member Organization Director (MOD) that you are the new Exchange Officer, let him/her know your email address and the name and address of the president of your Member Organization (MO). Retrieve information regarding ongoing exchanges from the former EO. An email should be sent annually to the MOD with the details about the EO and the President.
  2. Read this Manual!
  3. Pay the annual fee (in some MOs, this can be the responsibility of a different board member, treasurer for example)
  4. Check the information about your faculty on the IVSA Member Organization Contact document (the MOD will remind you to do this when necessary and will provide you with the link) and keep in touch with the MOD (at least one email exchange per year is required to remain an active chapter).
  5. Prepare TWO REPORTS each year about outgoing/incoming and group exchanges and send them to the MOD latest on 15th of November and 15th of June.
  6. Inform the new Exchange Officer about his/her duties when the term ends, and make them aware of this Manual!
  7. Communicate regularly with the local members to announce them about the opportunities within IVSA, and send them the monthly EO bulletin

The Job of the Exchange Officer

EO Commandments.jpg

As the EO of your MO, you will act as the primary contact between the students of your MO and the IVSA. You will be the person students turn to if they want to go on an exchange or if they have questions. You are supposed to know everything about IVSA, so to help you we have made the following rules.

In general:

  1. Try to promote the IVSA by informing students at your faculty about the opportunities of exchanges to different countries through IVSA. This can be done by posters, meetings and also during informal talks with students who have been on exchange before.
  2. Arrange individual outgoing exchanges for interested, motivated students and help them to fill their exchange forms.
  3. Arrange individual incoming exchanges by processing the incoming exchange forms. This involves finding a practice in your country for a foreign student and helping him/her find accommodation if possible.
  4. Be available as a contact person when foreign veterinary students visit your country.
  5. Answer the polls and questions asked regularly by the ExCo and communicated through the EO Manual or through emails.
  6. Motivate and explain to the local members about the structure of IVSA, the debates and the projects.

Rules and Rights for the Exchange Officers

  1. IVSA EOs’ rights and duties are regulated by the IVSA Constitution and Bylaws, and the rules and guidelines contained within this Manual.
  2. Election of the EO(s): Every EO should be elected for a period of at least one year. The board can choose to have a single EO, or one EO senior and one EO junior.
  3. Election model of the EO(s) and of the rest of the local IVSA committee members must be recorded in the Constitution or other documents of the MO.
  4. Every IVSA EO has a reserved place for participation in every IVSA event (they must still pay the fees), if they apply before the deadline.
  5. Every IVSA EO individual exchange form has priority.
  6. Every IVSA EO is the most competent person to represent his local IVSA MO on the EO Meetings during the IVSA Congress and Symposia.
  7. An IVSA EO is not responsible if incoming students have caused any problems in his/her country.
  8. An IVSA EO has the responsibility to send an invitation letter and if needed any extra details in connection with the exchange (no insurance) to the Embassy in the country of the incoming student, if the incoming IVSA member needs a visa to enter his/her country.
  9. Every IVSA EO is responsible, in his/her local IVSA MO, for the setting up of procedures for restriction/suspension of any student from his/her local committee if he/she has not followed the IVSA Constitution, Bylaws or other rules.
  10. Every IVSA EO (personally or via the MOD) can start, ONLY during the EO MEETING, a procedure for restriction and/or suspension of another IVSA EO who has not followed the IVSA Constitution, Bylaws or other rules.
  11. The IVSA MOD, only with the support of majority votes (>50%) of participants present at the EO Meeting, can start this procedure in the IVSA GA for restriction and/or suspension of any IVSA EO who has not followed the IVSA Constitution, Bylaws, or other rules.

Students from your Faculty going abroad

Before they start the whole procedure, the student should be sure about his or her motivation, financial situation, time schedule and language skills. The EO should check all those details with the applicant. The application form should be typed or written legibly in capitals in ENGLISH, contain all relevant information and include a PHOTO.

As an EO, you must SIGN the exchange form in order to validate it and send it to the applicant's first-choice country. Include a short note to introduce the student, and give your personal opinion about the exchange.

Keep one COPY for your own files, and give one COPY to the student, so they have a proof that everything has been officially arranged.

The form MUST be accompanied by a COVER LETTER from the applicant, which should include what the applicant wants and why, any relevant veterinary experiences and anything else the Exchange Officer of the hosting country needs to know so as to make the exchange successful. Also, a RECOMMENDATION LETTER written by their faculty is required. This letter should confirm that the applicant is actually a student of their faculty, and how good a student they are. Its purpose is to help the EO have a better chance to get the desired practice.

In the application form, there is a paragraph that states that “if the STUDENT SIGNS the form he knows and understands his duties and rights, which you as EO should explain”. This allows you as the EO to take action against students who have not done what they are expected to do. This information is on the back of the application form.

About the application

In most countries, students can be placed in private practices or in veterinary colleges/universities for a specific period of time. For most exchanges, travel expenses, food and lodging should be paid for by the student. However some faculties may provide room and/or board.

The student should only enter a second-choice country if he/she is interested in having an exchange in another country that his/her first choice country. The duration of stay is usually two to four weeks, with a maximum of six weeks. It is easier to place a student who is in his/her clinical years rather than a first year student since they are more readily accepted by the veterinarians. (Some countries don't take first year students).

For most countries it is not necessary to speak the native language, although it may make it easier on the student (in most countries English is fine). It is very important though that the student is honest and realistic about their language skills in order to prevent communication problems.

Type of practice

They have first to select either University or a private practice, then number their preferences. They must not list any options (even if it's number 5) on the form if they are not prepared to accept an exchange in that type of practice.

The application form and process of applying are free of charge. Application can be done by e-mail, mail or fax.

Students from abroad coming to your country

As the EO of your faculty you will receive applications from other countries’ EOs. You are responsible for arranging these exchanges.

You MUST let the applicant and the EO know that you have received the application form (standard-letter 1).

You should start looking for a suitable practice by contacting veterinarians. Once the exchange is arranged you have to let the applicant know that you found a placement by sending a letter (standard-letter 2) with more details and the address of the veterinarian. Remind the applicant at this time that (s)he is expected to contact the veterinarian personally within one month before the date of the placement, to receive the details.

Include also the exchange evaluation form so that they can report the results of the exchange back to you. Send a copy of that letter to the applicant’s EO so that (s)he knows what's going on.

After the deadline of 1 month prior to the placement, you have to contact the veterinarian yourself to ask if the applicant has been in touch. If the vet ‘’’has not’’’ been contacted try to find out what is wrong by contacting the applicant and the EO. If you have arranged everything for the exchange and the applicant does not show up without a good reason, then you should inform their Exchange Officer. The applicant will then be suspended from any further exchange. Be aware that some countries will require a letter of invitation to enable them to obtain a VISA. If you are unable to place the student within one month after receiving the application, send the application form to the second choice country.

Time schedule for an individual exchange

Time before the EO’s duties are supposed to take place.

  • 6 months - Application has to be received by the EO and a confirmation has to be sent to the exchange student.
  • 5 months - EO has hopefully been able to find a place with a vet. If not, application will be sent to 2nd choice country. Send an information letter to the exchange student, containing info about the vet or that the exchange has been sent to the country of 2nd choice.
  • 4 months - Student should have contacted the vet and confirmed this with you (or the EO in the 2nd choice country has to find a vet).
  • 3 months - If the student has not contacted the vet, the EO can use this month to find out why no contact has been made (or the EO in the 2nd choice country has to send an information letter to the student).
  • 2 months - EO in the 2nd choice country can use this month to find out why no contact has been made if the student did not contact the vet.
  • 1 month - Everything should have been arranged or called off by now.

Group Exchanges

You will need to write a letter to the MOD, stating that you are looking for (a) group exchange partner(s). Then the MOD will distribute your letter to all IVSA EOs. With the EO of your potential group exchange partner, you will coordinate the dates of the exchange, number of participants and details about the accommodation and program. The EO from the host faculty must send information to the MOD and EO from the guest faculty about the FINAL dates and preliminary programme, at the latest 15 days before the start of the group exchange programme.

IMPORTANT: You will have to write TWO reports in which you must write all your information concerning the exchanges (both individual and group exchanges). You must fill in these reports and send it to the MOD before the 15th November and 15th June. (These reports may be presented by the MOD during the EO Meeting during the Symposium and Congress). You may send any extra information, questions or ideas to the MOD along with these reports. For any queries, you can always e-mail the MOD at mod@ivsa.org.


Some practical notes

This guide includes some standard-letters which can help you with your correspondence. You don't have to use them as they are - don't hesitate to change them if you need to know anything else! These are just guidelines.

Be sure to keep the address of any veterinarian who provided a successful exchange (try to build up a database for future EOs).

Please contact the MOD about any changes concerning the information in this Manual.

You should receive an updated IVSA EOs address list from the MOD by email four times a year (October, December, February and May). In case you don't receive any of these, please let the MOD know by e-mailing to mod@ivsa.org

IMPORTANT: If you cannot get in contact with an EO in another country/faculty (no reply after 1 month and several emails), contact the MOD immediately.

Keeping yourself informed

Updating of the information about the EO and the President (name and email address), and sending information to all IVSA EOs’ e-mail address list and other resources will be done ONLY by the MOD (or some other ExCo Officer or Secretary) when new information is received from the EOs. You will have access to this information on the IVSA webpage.

Standard Letters

Standard letter 1 (Letter of receipt)

Dear................,

I am writing to confirm the receipt of the IVSA application form concerning the student.........(name). The exchange is currently being processed and I will contact you again as soon as further details have been arranged.

Yours sincerely

(your name)


Standard letter 2 (letter of confirmation to the applicant)

Dear................,

I am pleased to let you know that I have arranged for you to see practice, as requested, with the following veterinarian: Name/ address/ telephone/ fax/ E-mail. They/ he/ she can take you for ...(number) of weeks from......(date) till....(date).

Accommodation:.........(details)

Costs:...........(details)

Other matters:.........(details)

You must contact the veterinarian immediately to confirm your visit and to finalise dates, accommodation etc. Please, confirm your visit with me too. If for any reason you are unable to take part in the exchange, please notify me as soon as possible so I can cancel the arrangement with the veterinarian.

The success of the IVSA exchange programme depends upon feedback from you so please send me a postcard or a short note to let me know that everything is alright. And if you have any problems, do not hesitate to contact me. I have enclosed an evaluation form which I hope you will complete after your exchange and return it to me. I hope you will have an enjoyable stay and a successful exchange.

Yours sincerely

(your name)


Standard letter 3 (to EO confirming the students placement).

Dear.......,

I am writing to confirm the successful placement of............(name). (S)he has been placed for...(number) weeks from......(date) till...(date) with the following veterinarian.......(name/ address). I have written to ......(the students name) with the details.

Please remind him/her to confirm the arrangements with the veterinarian and me as soon as possible. If you need further information, please contact me.

Yours sincerely

(your name)


Standard letter 4 (letter to the veterinarian)

Dear.........,

I am writing on the behalf of IVSA to ask whether it could be possible for your practice to accept a foreign student. All students speak and understand English at an acceptable level. If you have not heard about IVSA before, I will briefly explain what we are about. The Association was founded to benefit the animals and people of the world by harnessing the potential and dedication of veterinary students to promote the international application of veterinary skills, education and knowledge. Membership is irrespective of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or parental status or disability. Members include national veterinary student organizations, other organized groups of veterinary students, individual veterinary students and qualified veterinarians.

We hold conferences, organize individual and group exchanges, raise funds/ collect books and equipment for disadvantaged faculties and produce a journal The International Veterinary Student.

I am trying to place..........(name), a............(nationality) student, in...............(number) year of study. (S)he would like to see practice for............(number) of weeks in.......... (period of time).

If you are able to help in any way it will be greatly appreciated. I would also be grateful if you could advise us about the options for local accommodation and the costs.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. If you would like further information about the Association or the student, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

........(your name)


Standard letter 5 (letter of thanks to the veterinarian)

Dear............,

Thank you very much for providing a place for ...............(name) at your practice. I have written to him/her, giving your name and address so (s)he will be in contact with you soon to confirm the dates and accommodation. I have enclosed an evaluation form to determine the success of the exchange. It would be very helpful if you would complete it and return it to me after the student has left. It will help me to minimise any problem that may be encountered in future exchanges. Thank you for all your help. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any kind of problems or questions.

Yours sincerely

...(your name)


Evaluation form for the veterinarian to the EO.

Dear.............,

The purpose of this exchange evaluation form is to enable us to improve the IVSA exchange scheme so that next year’s exchanges will be even more successful than this year’s.

Please complete this form and return it to me as soon as the exchange is over.

Your name and address:

Did you have any comments/praise/problems/complaints about the student’s motivation, attitude, involvement or knowledge?

How about their stay (if accommodation was arranged through your practice)?

How long did the student stay ?

Was the time sufficient for the student to get acquainted with your practice and to learn something?

Do you have any further remarks?

Thank you very much for your cooperation.


Evaluation form for the applicant to the EO.

Dear..........,

The purpose of this exchange evaluation form is to enable us to improve the IVSA exchange scheme so that next year’s exchanges will be even more successful than this year’s.

Please complete this form and return it to the Exchange Officer of the country you have been to.

Your name:

Name and address of the veterinarian you have visited:

Were there any problems/complaints/praise about your involvement in the practice?

How about your stay and the costs?

How long time did you stay?

Could you have stayed longer if you wanted to?

Do you have any further remarks?

Thank you very much for your cooperation.


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