Irene Mia M. Villa

Field of Study / Research: Pre-Medicine

Program: Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGrad)


Philippine Affiliation: Pampanga State Agricultural University, Pampanga

U.S. Affiliation: Castleton University, Castleton, VT


My first name is Irene Mia, however I want people to call me Mia instead of Irene. Because Irene means peace in Greek, and that’s opposite of what I am. My heart screams adventure. The comfort zone isn’t really for me. It’s always safe and peaceful there. There’s always a routine for everything. In the comfort zone, people age, but not grow.

I’m the youngest in my family, born in the 5th of July 1997. I was born with a hemi facial microsomia, Facial cleft 7. Ever since I was a kid, I have been having reconstructive surgery. When I was 4 years old, my mother died. After a couple of years, my dad decided to move to UAE with us. You can say that most of my childhood was spent abroad. I studied at Pisco Private School in Abu Dhabi from elementary till high school. I am a Filipino but Emarati at heart. Shawarma is life! Haha!

Right after I finished high school, I went back here in the Philippines to continue my studies. I enrolled at Lyceum Subic Bay, with the course Customs Ad. I entered that school not because I wanted to study there. Living abroad made me not accustomed to the Philippine culture. My aunt advised me to enter that school because it was near our house, and so that I could adjust here in the Philippines. After a semester, I moved to Pampanga.

As of the moment, I am studying Veterinary Medicine. Most vet students would say that they love animals, which is why they are taking Vet Medicine. As for me it’s the other way around. Animals love me. I was the kid who had more bullies than friends. All I had back then were my pets. They’re the reason why I’m here. Becoming an animal doctor is my way of giving back to them.

Education & Training
Pampanga State Agricultural University
- Premed (2014 - 2016)
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (2016 - 2017)

Training/Leadership Workshops

  • ROTC leadership training (July 2014)
  • College of Veterinary Medicine Free Anti Rabies Vaccination Drive (February 2015)
  • College of Veterinary Medicine Free Spay/ Neuter (February 2015)
  • Ruminant Health Workshop (January 2016)
  • College of Veterinary Medicine Free Anti Rabies Vaccination Drive (February 2016)
  • College of Veterinary Medicine & Animal Kingdom Foundation Spay and Neuter Project Equine Health Project (March 2016)
  • Silage Making Workshop (November 2016)
Other areas of interest
Wildlife Photography
With the two things I love in mind (animals and travelling). Becoming a wildlife veterinarian became an ambition, which comes with wildlife photography!

I’m a motivational speaker (in progress)
With all the hardships I’ve experienced in life. I thought I was a failure. I thought I was not good enough. Back then I didn’t recognize that I was able to overcome those hard times. All that’s in my head was that my life is horrible. That all changed when my best friend told me to talk to a few medical students who were having a retreat at Baguio. I talked them, told them my story, and how I worked my way up to vet med school. I wasn’t really expecting anything from it. However, it did cause a huge impact in their lives. Their point of view in life changed. Finally they decided to continue their journey. With that being said, if my words will cause people to see the beauty in life, no matter how hard it could be. Then I’ll continue on talking!

Arts, music, drawing, and poetry
I’m all into that. It relieves stress. I play the piano mostly, but when I was younger I used to play drums and violin. I don’t read sheet music, although I know how. I prefer to listen to the song, and then my ears and my fingers will just help me figure out the keys. As for drawing, I’m strictly into black and white drawings. Some people call it charcoal drawings. However, I prefer pencils! Poetry is not for everyone, but it’s for me. I find that words can affect much more compared to actions. Shakespeare is my favorite poet.