Festa Shala, Kosovo
- Current position: Student, Veterinary Medicine, University of Prishtina 'Hasan Prishtina'
- Scholarship: Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies | CEEPUS, financed by the Austrian Ministry for Education, Science and Research
- Duration: 06/2021
- Motto: "Your mind is a weapon. Keep it open"
A last year student of Veterinary Medicine, University of Prishtina ‘ Hasan Prishtina’, Festa Shala spent one month exchange at the University of Vienna, Veterinary Medicine. During her studies, she was part of the IVSA (International Veterinary Students’ Association), and during this time she helped organise a one week exchange between Kosovo and Finland (Helsinki). After a 5 month Erasmus+ stay in Milan, Italy (University of Milan, Veterinary Medicine) and one month in Zagreb (University of Zagreb, Veterinary Medicine, Clinic of Surgery) with CEEPUS programme, she came to Vienna and shifted to the Small Animals Department in the Clinic of Surgery. Festa Shala is currently working part-time for a Veterinary- Pet organisation in Kosovo where she is responsible for assisting in the regulatory affairs and giving pet owners care advice about food choices and health.
My exchange in Vienna has given me challenges that I thought I wouldn’t be able to endure before coming to Austria. I will always appreciate the welcoming and the warm atmosphere here in Vienna. This will definitely impact my career as a young ambitious veterinarian. What I loved actually here in Vienna is the warm welcoming from people, I would say Vienna is the most intercultural place I ever been. For example, during my practice in VetMed there where students, PhD students and doctors who came from Italy, Poland, Germany, Greece and other regions which made me feel very integrated. I have had long thoughts about my prospective career in reflection with the positions of various Veterinarian colleagues that I have met in Vienna. I believe that Veterinary Education gives students a very broad range of career possibilities but one should carefully choose whether the decision to pursue a certain path, be it a PhD, a clinical specialization, etc., is the right one to make. OEAD gave me this huge opportunity to be part of such an amazing dream-come-true exchange that I will be forever grateful. I was able to experience night Shifts, on-duty calls for 12 hours during weekends, stationary clinic time, none of which would be possible in my home country. I always dreamt and thought about how these experiences would turn out to be, and I can surely say that they were challenging and very enlightening.