International Programs Scholarship Fund
By helping offset the cost of travel abroad, the CVM International Programs Scholarship Fund gives students the opportunity to study transboundary livestock diseases first-hand and to learn how to interact successfully with people in different cultures.
“The scrawny, white cattle were huddled by the hundreds into a ‘cow camp’ along the White Nile in South Sudan. The cattlemen gather them here along the river to better protect themselves against raids by neighboring tribes who want to steal cattle. These cattle are the people’s bank account. Cattle number determines wealth, status, and power. Our little group of veterinarians from Texas A&M as well as the local South Sudanese veterinarians were visiting the camp to get a better idea of what health problems affected these animals. The cattle were obviously very thin. On closer examination, many of the cattle had hugely swollen lymph nodes indicating something more may be going on besides lack of nutrition. Our South Sudanese colleagues were concerned about East Coast Fever, a disease that I had only heard about while attending lectures on foreign animal diseases. Our colleagues and the herdsmen were looking for answers and for help. Could we help them?”
We have all heard that our world is getting smaller. It’s not unusual for a person to be sitting in their office in the U.S. one day and 36 hours later be in a country literally half-way around the world. No longer are the foreign animal diseases students learn about in medical school or veterinary school something that has little potential to affect our lives in the U.S. In addition, our highly mobile lives bring us into contact with new cultures. Are we able to deal with people from other cultures in a way that leads to solutions and not more problems?
In order to better prepare our students for futures in the medical professions, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) International Programs initiative endeavors to help students gain international experiences by helping them travel and study internationally. We have several faculty members who lead study abroad courses that last from a few weeks to an entire semester. In addition, we help students develop independent study abroad experiences and then provide travel stipends to help offset the cost.
Over the past three years, we’ve helped students travel to and learn in China, Mongolia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Thailand, Australia, and more. We believe these experiences help prepare our students to become better medical professionals by allowing them opportunities to see the foreign animal diseases they read about and by learning how to interact successfully with people in a culture that is not their own.
With most students, cost is the greatest limiting factor that prevents them from experiencing this type of learning opportunity. The CVM International Programs initiative helps supplement travel expenses up to $1,000 per student, but with a total student population of over 2000, we are unable to supplement all of them. Please consider supporting the CVM’s International Programs initiative with a tax-deductible contribution.