A Galapagos Adventure

Courtney Hoy weighed her options at the end of her first year in Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

She could return immediately after classes to her hometown of Charlottesville, Va., and resume working at a local veterinary clinic (staffed incidentally by a pair of Iowa State graduates).

Or she could do something she had never done before on so many different levels.

Hoy choose to do something new.

Now instead of two weeks back home, Hoy was traveling with fellow College of Veterinary Medicine students in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador as part of the college’s international program offerings. Each summer, the college offers trips to a variety of international destinations including Galapagos and Africa.

“I had never been abroad before and I don’t know if I will be able to travel after I graduate,” Hoy said. “So this seemed like a good opportunity to do just that.”

For two weeks Hoy and her fellow vet med students traveled through Galapagos and Ecuador. The group went to a zoo, spent a 1.5 days spaying and neutering dogs and cats and visited a small general veterinary practice. On a Galapagos farm they saw procedures performed on a pair of bulls, a horse and two boars.

“The veterinarians in Ecuador and the Galapagos provide a much different level of care there than in the United States,” Hoy said. “It was a great opportunity not only to get hands-on experiences but also to see how veterinary medicine is different in different parts of the world.

But it wasn’t all work and no play for the Iowa State group. There were plenty of touristy activities during the two weeks.

“It was a very worthwhile experience to go on this trip,” Hoy said. “Getting to see other perspectives on what veterinarians in other parts of the world are doing with their patients was an added plus.”