Julia laughing while walking a dog

My student exchange became an international move

Julia Wolf, Veterinary Medicine

A little bit about me

I am originally from Long Island, which is an area just outside of New York City, and arrived in Australia in 2016 for a 4-month university exchange. I loved Australia so much I decided I wanted to stay long term which is when I enrolled as a student at Murdoch.

When I’m not studying, I play volleyball in the WA volleyball league. I also spend a lot of my time at the gym and hanging out with friends. I’m a sucker for a good coffee so cafe outings on the weekend are a usual activity.

I’m heavily involved in the Murdoch Veterinary Student Association and am acting President. I work as a puppy school trainer at a local vet hospital. I facilitate puppy playtime and teach owners about puppy healthcare, training, and lifelong care, it’s lots of fun.

My interest in Veterinary Medicine started early

I like to attribute my thirst for veterinary medicine to a time when I was about six years old. My parents took me to a petting zoo and the farmer came out and said their cow was calving and if my parents and I would like to watch. My parents weren’t keen but I was absolutely mesmerised by the experience and have wanted to be a vet ever since.

What I love about Murdoch

I can honestly say that Murdoch is one of, if not the best, vet schools in Australia. The faculty set you up to succeed as long as you’re willing to put in the work. It is a community and if you put your heart and lots of effort into this degree you will get a lot out of it.

We are so fortunate at Murdoch – we are taught by some of the foremost veterinarians in their fields and they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from. Also, the vet school is a very close-knit community and both staff and students contribute to its culture equally.

I’m thankful to have ended up in a supportive and safe environment to learn and I have met some incredible people along the way.

Lecturers treat you like equals

I have encountered so many lecturers and staff members that genuinely care about their students and will go out of their way to help a student in need. The staff treat you as equals and hold you to a high standard just as they would for any other colleague and that is pretty special.

When I was studying in the US, there was a big split between faculty staff and students. At Murdoch, the lecturers are more than happy to work with you to accommodate any adverse circumstances, either individually or for the whole cohort. This was especially appreciated during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I can honestly say that Murdoch is one of the best vet schools in Australia. The faculty set you up to succeed.

My experience as an international student

As an international student, it was originally very hard to feel comfortable and settled because I moved to Perth not knowing anyone. However, once I started putting myself out there and engaging with the vet community I instantly felt right at home. Now, I often forget that I’m actually an international student!

My advice for future Murdoch students

Your university experience will only be as good as what you put into it. I think this holds especially true in the Murdoch Veterinary School as we are like a big family. If you don’t engage with your cohort and your lecturers, you will not get the most out of your time at Murdoch.

Whether you’re an international student or not, make sure you take any opportunity to put yourself out there and meet new people. If you do that, you will become a part of the community and feel right at home like I did.