Lachlan Hysen ('17), ISB Graduate and Future Veterinarian
Posted 14/08/2018 13:10

Lachlan Hysen ('17), ISB Graduate and Future Veterinarian

We were lucky to have the chance to catch up with recent ISB Graduate (‘17’), Lachlan Hysen, while he was in Basel visiting family and friends this summer. He is home for summer break between his first and second years at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the largest and longest-established vet school in the English-speaking world and is a college of the University of London. Read more about our interview with Lachlan below:

What are you studying at RVC?

I am currently in the four-year Bioveterinary Medicine programme in Camden. The programme will allow me to complete an introductory graduate transition year that will allow me to apply for the three-year Graduate Accellerated programme. As a graduate in veterinary medicine, I will then be able to practice as a vet in countries around the world.

How are you finding the programme so far?

The programme exposes students to all areas of veterinary medicine and provides a great deal of practical experience. I appreciate being able to learn about all types of animals from the smallest to largest, pets to farm and zoo animals. Recently, I spent two weeks on a farm learning from the perspective of a farmer to see dehorning cows, feet cleaning and artificial insemination. In the last year of the graduate programme, I will do clinical rotations in a variety of different types of veterinary-related organisations to apply everything I have learned.

How did you become interested in veterinary medicine?

It’s the typical story where I always loved animals. When I was six years old, I had a cat that died of spinal cancer. He had to be put down and that, unfortunately, was my first experience with a vet. When I was nine, I was able to volunteer at the Basel Zoo to see what it was like to work with zoo animals. I did not speak much German, so the language was a challenge, but I enjoyed seeing different types of animals and how the trainers and vets worked with them. Later, in high school, I spent two years working every Saturday at a small animal clinic. When I was seventeen, I also spent two weeks working with an equine vet in Oberwil gaining first hand experience on taking blood, injection types and giving medication.

Do you think you would like to work with smaller or larger animals in the future?
It’s still too early to tell, but from the experiences I have had so far, I have learned that working with small animals is more about taking care of the pet owners as well as the animals. For farm and zoo animals, it is more about the welfare of the farm or zoo and weighing the cost benefit of the procedures.

How do you feel ISB and the IB Diploma prepared you for university?

I have found that I am much better prepared than many of my peers for tests, essay writing and lab reports. I’m finding I am regularly using the skills I learned in extended essay at university. We do have tests with multiple choice questions, but for the ones where we are required to apply the different areas of knowledge to formulate the final answers, I am able to use the problem-solving skills I learned during the IB. In the future, we will also have verbal testing where moderators will be asking 5 levels of questions ranging in difficulty so I will definitely lean on the public speaking experience I gained at ISB.

Thank you to Lachlan for sharing your story with the ISB community.  We love to hear from our alumni.  If you would like to share your alumni story, please email us at