IVSA South Africa
IVSA South Africa is based at the University of Pretoria, Faculty of Veterinary Science. This is the only faculty in South Africa that offers Veterinary Science as a degree, therefore we are unique in the way that our MO represents not only South Africa, but our university and vice versa! We are a bunch of bright, young and active students who aim to connect South African veterinary students with those around the rest of the world and learning as much from each other as we possibly can. We are a very active chapter with 170 members currently that is constantly growing. Our chapter is very focused on community outreach programs, Wellness and the One Health concept.
Our Faculty is located in Pretoria, which is the capital of South Africa. Our Campus is isolated from the university's main campus and it's situated on a farm-like setup. We are roughly 30 kilometers from Main Campus which is located in Hatfield, Pretoria. Our campus is very isolated and because of the farm area, encompasses the beauty of South Africa. We have some of the best veterinary facilities in our continent, something we are extremely proud of. we have an Academic Hospital where the students are trained and lectured by our country's finest Veterinarians and Researchers. On our campus, we have many animals that are used for the purposes of learning and teaching. We have cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and dogs. In addition to our live animals, we also have both a dirty and cleans skill lab with state of the art equipment to practice for techniques such as suturing and rectal examinations to name a few. We also have multiple specialized departments such as the Anatomy & Physiology Department where we have an anatomy hall to practice in; as well as a Pathology Department with a path hall where one can be a part of multiple post mortems taking place at once. In 2020, the faculty opened a brand new wildlife clinic facility with state of the art wildlife bomas and specialized equipment, providing future students the unique opportunity to gain skills and knowledge to handle some of Africa's most famous wildlife species in a safe environment. Our residences are on the same grounds as the campus and are roughly 500 metres from each other. Cycling and Walking to class are the norm for us. Most students are based in the residences or live very close by to our campus.
Pretoria is the capital of South Africa and is known worldwide as the Jacaranda city. Every year around springtime, the jacarandas bloom and turn the whole city purple, a beautiful site for those in the city and around campus. Pretoria is named after Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius. We also have the Voortrekker Monument which is iconic and encapsulates South Africa's history beautifully. We are very centrally located and are close to the major cities and the Union Buildings which is iconic for Pretoria.
Option 1: Going through the University of Pretoria
- Apply at least 6 months in advance
- IVSA has no control over whether you are accepted or not and can’t take responsibility for the student administration department of the University of Pretoria.
- Accommodation in our dorms charge a fee that can be inquired about further once accepted for internship.
- Our hospital provides opportunities in:
- Small animal medicine
- Production animals
- Equine medicine and surgery
- Our exotic clinic is a separate private clinic within the hospital
- There are also opportunities for post graduate students to participate in various research projects taking place in our departments:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Companion Animal Clinical Studies
- Paraclinical Sciences
- Production Animal Studies
- Veterinary Tropical Diseases
- The selection process is thorough as we have limited space and students with previous clinical experience who are finishing off their degree have a better chance of getting in.
Option 2: Placement with a Private vet, Zoo or Wildlife Sanctuary
- We have number of very good private veterinary clinics who are willing to take on eager but experienced student volunteers, accommodation and food have to be organised separately in many cases (we try our best to assist in helping students get the most affordable accommodation possible.)
- Most clinics are either small animal, equine or mixed. Livestock vets are mobile and travel to farms.
- Wildlife vets are scarce, busy and they can possibly charge a hefty fee (€50 – 100/day)!!!!
- Wildlife work is very hands on and physical, so be prepared!
- An option for students who are very interested in wildlife is to place them in a wildlife rehabilitation centre (they also charge similar fees) where they participate in day to running of the facility as well as the veterinary aspect of caring for the animals and possibly some game capture when bringing in new animals.
- Wildlife work is variable, days of heavy work may be interspersed with quiet days. Some Parks board vets sometimes have nothing to do for 2 weeks at a time – it is not guaranteed that you will take part in game capture or work with the wildlife
- We try to keep the length of exchanges to four weeks maximum, especially when dealing with private vets. Our Hospital does however take on students for a longer period of time if they are part a research project that runs over a few months.
- Due to the large number of individual exchange enquiries we receive, IVSA South Africa have decided to try and limit the number of individual exchanges to ten per year, five wildlife and five private placements as exchanges take a lot of time to organise. This is not a fixed number and may vary according to circumstance.
- Often the cheaper accommodation is further away and it is an advantage if one can drive – public transport is not reliable and often not safe for foreigners. We suggest that staying in the accommodation provided by the zoo/private vet is advisable (even if it is a bit more expensive) for this reason.
- uShaka Marine World in Durban has one opening a year with the vet that works there. Must be a maximum of 4 weeks and a minimum of 2 weeks.
- Please be aware that the rural and small town vets, even if they are specialized in one species, often deal with companion, exotic, equine, production and wildlife work in varying degrees.
- Our holidays:
We have three times a year during which we can either host an exchange or take part in one overseas:
- A very short 2 week break at the end of March/Beginning of April
- A 2 week break at the beginning of July (winter in SA)
- Mid November and December (summer holidays).
- We can normally host up to ten exchange students and ten of our own students making the group total twenty.
- We generally try to raise all the funds for the South African leg of the exchange and it is then expected that the country we are exchanging with will raise the funds for their leg of the exchange, each exchange is different however.
- Exchanges usually last between ten days and two weeks.
- We are happy to exchange with 2 countries/faculties simultaneously if the itinerary will allow it (i.e. 5 students from Netherlands and 5 from Belgium on one exchange)
- We need to know 1 year in advance to organise an exchange.
- Our exchanges are generally a massive South African road trip, exploring our many World heritage sites, getting in touch with wildlife, swimming on our stunning beaches as well as the opportunity to give a little back to the community by taking part in a community veterinary clinic....... all of this is peppered with the veterinary education and lectures at our University as well as at many of the places we visit (crocodile farm, elephant sanctuary, cheetah sanctuary etc).
- So feel free to contact us to organise an exchange as we love to explore the wanders of the world and enjoy introducing people to ours!
IVSA South Africa in conjunction with Live4Now are giving international students the opportunity to experience a once in a lifetime Wildlife veterinary programme.
Live4now Wild Vets is a specialised wildlife vet programme for people who are associated within the veterinary science field and would like to get practical, hands-on experience with domestic and wild animals in South Africa, under the supervision of a wildlife vet.
You will have the opportunity to listen to animal-focused lectures and well as participate in practical interactions. There are two Wild Vet programmes: the 2 Week Wild Vets programme and the 3 week Wild Vets and Conservation programme. The 3 week programme includes a week spent in wildlife conservation whilst the 2 week programme does not.
The program addresses aspects such as Wildlife Diseases, Wildlife Conservation(3 weeks program), Game Capture Techniques & Darting, and many others.
If you are interested in this program feel free to contact IVSA South Africa
Meet The Committee
President and Secretary : Lilianne Tran
Vice President and OIE Ambassador: Nabeelah Rajah
Exchange Officer : Genna Robinson
Exchange Officer : Chris Volschenk
Exchange Officer : Maximilian Krings
Treasurer : Vaisshnavi Harrichund
Community Engagement : Michelle Venter
Student Wellness : Zimaseka Pamela Basjan
Animal Welfare : Shira-Lee Samson
IVSA External and VB4A liaisons: Andricia Padayachee
SAVA Representative and Alumni : Shannon Thompson
SCoVE Ambassador : Ashley Heymans
Public Relations and Media : Andrea Lau
HOW TO GET IN CONTACT WITH US
Visit our website: IVSA South Africa Website