Farrahn (O’Hara) Olson graduated on July 1, 2022, with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery from the AVMA Accredited University of Glasgow, School of Veterinary Medicine in Scotland. She was the first WSU student accepted into FEEPASS (Facilitated Early Entry Program for Animal Science Students), a partnership between the University of Glasgow and WSU, one of several universities with animal science programs in the U.S. Exemplary animal science students like Olson who are accepted into FEEPASS enter the program at the beginning of the final year of their animal science degree as a study abroad option. She earned her BS degree in animal sciences at WSU in 2018 after successfully completing her first year at the University of Glasgow and began the four-year BVMS curriculum.
Olson thoroughly enjoyed her five-year educational experience at the University of Glasgow. The program was somewhat different from similar veterinary medicine degree programs in the U.S. All students are expected to work one-on-one with veterinarians and learn practical, clinical, personal, and professional skills to prepare for a career in veterinary medicine. Olson said the curriculum also included traditional lectures and lab classes. However, rather than multiple exams throughout the year, there is one big exam at the end of each year.
In addition to regular coursework, the degree program at the University of Glasgow required Olson to participate in extramural studies during her vacations. Normally, students must undertake 26 weeks of clinical extramural practical experience, which can be anywhere in the world. However, the COVID-19 pandemic complicated Olson’s educational experience.
“I was told to fly home at the beginning of the pandemic and for the next nine months I attended online classes,” she said. “Our extramural studies requirements were also reduced from 26 weeks to 13 weeks because of the pandemic.”
Despite the hiatus, Olson later found time to travel the surrounding Scottish Highlands and explore other European countries like Poland and Hungary.
Originally from Nine Mile Falls, Washington, Olson recently married her husband, Tanner, and together they bought their first home. She has been working at a mixed-animal veterinary practice in Creswell, Oregon since July 11 and loves her job. She appreciates her mentors at the clinic and is grateful for the educational foundation she received in animal sciences at WSU.
“My education in animal sciences was very helpful, especially classes like Nutrition, Feeds and Feeding, Ruminant Nutrition, and Reproduction. All the classes I took at WSU were better than similar courses in vet school because I got more support going through the material. I’m grateful to have a background in animal science that I built on in vet school,” she said. “I especially loved being a member of the Student Swine Cooperative! There are not a lot of pigs in Scotland, so I appreciated the hands-on experience SSC provided. I also enjoyed learning about the business and marketing aspect of the swine industry.”