Due to the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, IVSA had to become creative to ensure her activities could continue in a different shape. With exchanges now being out of the question, online exchanges became the replacing activity.
What is an online exchange?
An online exchange is a corona-proof method to get to know veterinary medicine students from abroad. Usually, an online exchange online takes a few hours and takes places in the evenings or weekends (depending on the timezone difference). Longer versions are, however, also currently being set up.
The online exchanges take place on MS Teams; here, we can split up into smaller groups to meet individual students and use the general group to host various activities such as sharing presentations, playing games and discussing the different way in which veterinary medicine is practised in the represented countries. This way, we can still ensure that Dutch students get the change to meet vet students from all over the world in spite of persisting travel restrictions.
Online exchanges so far
So far, IVSA the Netherlands has organised various online exchanges. First off, we organised one with the students of Cluj-Napoca who had visited the Netherlands right before the corona outbreak started, but did not get the chance to host the Dutch students in Romania. Afterwards, we organised fully-online exchanges with IVSA Sweden and IVSA Rampura-Phul. Read about our EOs experiences with online exchanges:
‘’From the get-go, everyone was paired up with a Swedish student based on common interests. This could be a certain hobby, a favourite animal or a similar study phase. The students split up into several subchannels to introduce themselves to their exchange partner. The goal was to introduce the other to the group afterwards. Time sure went by quickly, and I think the other students could definitely agree with me on that, as I had to come and remind some to return to the general group call in time. Once everyone had joined again, it was a lot of fun to see how everybody introduced their partner to the rest of the group. There were a lot of smiles and laughs to be seen across the screen. It was interesting to learn from the Swedish students; we learned that there were several students that hunted as a past time, something which Dutch students rarely do. It is a shame we did not get to meet in person due to the pandemic, but getting the chance to socialize with people from a different country without a lot of travel time did come with its own advantages!’’