It is the end of our second day of classes here in Košice, and it's been very interesting so far. Lesson wise, we've have Biophysics, Slovak language, History of Veterinary medicine and Histology/Embryology... And I do not want to jinx it just yet but the course load and schedule seems quite manageable. We only have a few classes a day, and they aren't insanely long: they seem to want to ease us in, which I'm pretty grateful for considering there is so much to get done overall, but it's nice for now we can focus on settling in here in the city, getting used to where everything is and finding our groove, so to speak. It seems that the 4 year program at the school have it much harder: their schedule looks jam packed. I'm a little jealous but I'll probably be grateful for the extra time as things start to pick up..!
Everyone has been really nice and welcoming: the study office was so kind all through the application process and they're still there looking out for us English speakers now, as it was definitely overwhelming moving to Slovakia not knowing the language. And the English speakers are the minority at the university, I believe there is around 300 of us (that's what they said at our orientation) out of about 1700 students total. But all the teachers have excellent English skills, and we haven't had any big issues in classes so far because of language barriers, so that's been excellent!
What's amazing about our class is how international it is. We've got people from all over the place, and it brings the coolest dynamic to class. Everyone has different experiences from high school and beyond, and I was happy to find that I was absolutely not the only older student in the class: there are quite a few students several years and more out of high school, even in the 6 year GVM program. I was so paranoid that I was going to be the oldest and still not know anything, but that's not the case at all. And the older years are being so welcoming and giving us all sorts of advice and offering us books and study materials, even these first few days.
The sun has been out and although in the mornings it's getting quite cold here, during the day it's beautiful and warm. Between classes we were sitting outside on the grass, with this little coffee stand in the little main courtyard and with a pastry from the canteen. The campus is really beautiful, and has so much character: an eclectic mix of old buildings and newer ones, with these old trees everywhere and plenty of grassy spots and benches and quite places to relax. And there seems to always be dogs around, which is definitely a plus...!
I'll definitely be writing more soon about my experiences in applying to this school and others, the actual process of moving to Košice and why it was really emotional for me to do this, and why I wanted to go to vet school in the first place..! And I really want to keep this updated throughout the weeks as we learn more and progress. I'm so looking forward to this journey :)