The 68th IVSA Congress was held from July 21 to August 1, 2019 at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb. With its slogan “Many vets, one path”, it gathered 143 delegates from 32 countries. Delegates from Europe and Asia to Africa and America were welcomed by the Organizing Committee (OC), which consisted of 16 veterinary students, studying in diverse years at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb. As a member of OC, I can say that it was a great pleasure to host 143 future doctors from all around the world in a city that we know, enabling them to have a rich program for eleven days.
Throughout these days, delegates participated in regular General Assembly (GA) meetings discussing global IVSA issues.
7 lectures and 13 workshops were held in cooperation with professors and professionals from our faculty and guest speakers from FECAVA and OIE.
Denis Novak, DVM MRCVS, FECAVA vice president gave an overview of FECAVA activities during one of the GA meetings and in addition to that, he lectured on: “Successful Small Animal Consultation and Diagnostics: How Not to Panic” and “Small Animal Radiography: Welcome to The World of Shades”.
Lectures and workshops covered a large variety of topics enabling all students (from the first year to final year) to equally enjoy the educational part of the congress. Talks included both preclinical and clinical topics: parasitology, epizootiology/epidemiology, oncology.
Workshops took place on two dates with 15 participants per workshop and covered topics: “Cytologic diagnosis of neoplasia”, “Cytologic diagnosis of inflammation”, “Parasites of digestive system: from sampling to diagnosis”, “Introduction to echocardiography”, “Introduction to electrocardiography”, “Gas chromatography in the analysis of biological materials”, “Basic suturing techniques workshop”, “The world of senses”, “Sample collection in microbiology”, “Emergency neonatal care” and “Introduction to physical therapy and rehabilitation in small animals”. In addition, Aziza Bencherifa and Yael Farhi from OIE had 2 workshops on the topic: “Train to become the best OIE Ambassador”.
Each delegate was experiencing the congress in a different way but with the same opportunities, being able to choose workshops that suit them the best.
We wanted to encourage our colleagues to become skilled veterinarians with plenty of knowledge. The feedback from both speakers and delegates was great.
Aside from the official part, students had numerous trips enjoying some of the most beautiful landscapes in Croatia, discovering cities and national parks. We are incredibly lucky to be the OC of 68th IVSA Congress in Croatia. We had to conquer many obstacles along the way in trying to organize such an event. Sometimes it seemed like it was impossible to make it work. Not realizing what we got ourselves into, suddenly it got so real when we saw our delegates arriving. From that day on, we knew it was worth it. Connecting, traveling and learning together, how could it get any better?
OC member (Lecture and Workshop Coordinator)
Student at Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb
The mission of IVSA is 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”. I started my term as president of IVSA one year ago. In some ways this feels like a lifetime, but in other ways it went by in the blink of an eye – regardless, it has been an incredible journey every step of the way. The 68thIVSA Congress took place in Croatia this past July and it was my second IVSA Global event since the start of my term as president of IVSA.
The congress is a structured event during which the General Assembly of IVSA meet. The General Assembly is the highest governing body of IVSA. It forms the basis on which most of the important decisions on the future of the association on a global scale is made. The Executive Committee of IVSA Global also meets with delegates during this event to give feedback on the progress and events of the past six months.
IVSA Croatia was nominated to be a host of the 68thIVSA Congress during the 66thIVSA Congress that took place in Malaysia in 2017 and then elected as host later that year during the 67thIVSA Symposium in South Africa.
The congress included an academic, scientific, cultural and social program, which provided students ample opportunities to discuss important veterinary related issues and to learn more about each other’s cultures and countries, thereby improving their knowledge and veterinary skills and setting up a network of international relations that will benefit them tremendously in future.
Events such as this always make you think back on all the amazing opportunities that exist for veterinary students. I believe IVSA provides unique opportunities for veterinary students to explore their potential, help each other grow, inspire and be inspired by others around them and connect with fellow veterinary students from all across the world.
More information can be found on our website (www.ivsasa.org).
International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA)
I had an amazing time this IVSA congress! It’s already my 6thevent and every time it’s amazing to see all these veterinary students form friendships without borders and transfer veterinary knowledge as well!
Elwin van Oldenborgh, IVSA Netherlands
Not only is IVSA a group of passionate veterinary medicine students but this is also and most of all association full of friendship, love and kindness. Each congress and symposium that is organized allows us to see our old friends and meet the new ones. To me, IVSA is so much more than just an organization because as all of the members are used to say, this is our family.
Natalia Pokrzepa, IVSA Krakow
IVSA means meeting people from all over the world who think in the same way as me, who understand me and who love me for who I am.
Julia Nebes, IVSA Zurich
The 68thCongress in Croatia was an amazing experience for me. I love that I met so many people from all over the world, sharing the same interests as me. I loved their energy, passion and desire for partying. Also the OC team was great. They gave their best to make us have a great time. I’m happy to be a part of the IVSA family and I can’t wait for the next event.
Gabriela Băjan, IVSA Cluj Napoca
One of the first things I heard as a new member was “Welcome to IVSA family”. At that moment I did not really understand why they said ‘family’, but for those ten days it became perfectly clear. I met very friendly and enthusiastic group of young people who are always ready to help each other. And when you realise that such a big organisation is run completely by volunteering students from all over the world, you will see that it can only be done by one great family! After all, we are all united under one flag ‘to benefit the animals and people of the world’.
Nina Vasić, IVSA Serbia
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