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British teen cannot apply for fast-track French vet course

Teenager from Burgundy tells of frustration at rule which means she must do two extra years’ study to pursue her dream career

Georgia Horn with her dog, Char Pic: Georgia Horn

A British teenager from Burgundy is facing two extra years of study before starting a veterinary course because she is not an EU or French citizen. 

Georgia Horn, 17, was shocked to be told she cannot apply to take the Concours véto post-Bac exam, which would have exempted her from first doing two years of a related degree (such as biology) or of generalised ‘prep’ classes similar to a continuation of lycée. 

Her family have lived in France since 2015, when she entered the French education system in the last year of primary school. 

Having learned of the fast-track system, she was keen to pursue it but the family say they have been told the rule barring non-EU nationals is set by the Agriculture Ministry and there is no flexibility. 

She hopes to obtain French nationality soon but it will come too late. 

Georgia said: “I’ve wanted to be a vet as long as I’ve known what one is. 

‘I’ve wanted to be a vet as long as I’ve known what one is’

When we used to take our pets to the vets, I insisted on going and was always really interested. 

“I found out at the start of the school year there was this new [2019] scheme to help students who don’t want to do two more years of general education and who want to get straight into it. 

As it’s a six-year degree, you don’t necessarily want two years on top. 

“I asked about the entry criteria but a veterinary school basically said ‘If you’re not French or of an EU nationality, you’re not getting in’.” 

She understands it is because the UK is no longer part of an agreement on common practice standards but cannot see the relevance to her. 

“I’ve put myself down for a biology degree and a prep class now but it doesn’t seem very fair as I’m just as qualified as any kid coming out of my class. It’s just another ‘Brexit benefit’, I guess. 

“I find it ridiculous that I can’t sign up for the tests, even though by the time the course starts, I will probably be French anyway.” 

Her father Mike said: “We understand that a student in the UK who would have been eligible pre-Brexit would now no longer be able to apply, but we’re mystified how the same distinction can be made for someone who has completed all their secondary education in France.”

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