March 2012 Advanced Training Course
(4th year, Department of Zoology, Okayama University of Science)
After participating in last year’s introductory course, I decided to take part in this year’s advanced course offered in [the northern] spring. The content of the advanced course was of an even higher level, allowing for more in-depth practical training experiences. It was indeed a precious experience to undergo practical training at wildlife parks and other wildlife hospitals to which one can generally not gain access. By actually seeing the circumstances surrounding wildlife, I was reminded of the difficulties associated with wildlife conservation, such as the fact that it is not simply a matter of saving animals.
Rather than just the study of animals, I believe that interaction with various people is also an important element of this training course. I was able to renew my acquaintance with some of the people I had met during last year’s introductory course. It was a lot of fun to spend two weeks with friends, learning about wildlife, and shopping and eating together; it was great to support each other as we spent our time in a culture that is different from our own. Of the four people who took part in the advanced course, two were studying to be veterinarians, while I and another participant were zoology students. Despite differences in age, universities and fields of study, we helped each other out when we came upon new things, adding extra stimulus to enhance our learning.
Through this training course, my own perspective became broader by actually seeing and experiencing things for myself. I was able to undertake both the introductory and the advanced training courses, and I intend to apply the knowledge and experiences that I garnered from both in my future studies. I’ll also be furthering my studies in Japan with the aim of revisiting Australia to learn more about wildlife.