When Addam and Jane Stine started Loop Abroad in 2009, they wanted to bring students who love animals on international adventures to see the world and experience animal care and conservation in a new way. They knew Chiang Mai, Thailand was the perfect place to start.
They partnered with local organizations already making a positive impact to offer the first Loop Abroad program to a wonderful group of 9 American high school students. In the next few years, programs grew with more focus on veterinary education, animal science, and service. Students learned key skills they would need to make an impact at home and abroad.
In 2013, responding to student requests, Loop Abroad opened its veterinary service programs to college students for the first time. The focus was still on partnering with world-class conservationists and educators and working with local conservation organizations to create unforgettable learning and service opportunities.
After years of development, Loop Abroad offered its first 14-week Veterinary Semester Abroad in Fall 2016. The semester includes 20 credits of hands-on courses -- from small animal surgery-room skills to elephant medicine and coral reef conservation. It’s a life-changing adventure from forested mountains to island reefs during which students learn hands-on about veterinary medicine and animal conservation.
In the summer of 2017, Loop Abroad began expanding around the world. Dozens of passionate alumni and many new recruits were the inaugural season of our Veterinary Service South Africa program. Now Loop Abroad is also in Australia, South America, and the Amazon and Galapagos, but each group is small and each program focuses on sharing veterinary and conservation knowledge across cultures and supporting local conservation projects in their efforts.
Loop Abroad continues to expand our reach while holding onto our founding values. We now proudly offer a wide-range of travel and study experiences for students who share our commitment to animal welfare and respect for all living things.
Loop Abroad is a Certifying Organization for the Presidential Service Award. Loop Abroad is also a member of the Forum on Education Abroad, which develops Standards of Good Practice for study abroad providers. We seek to follow the Standards of Good Practice in everything we do in pursuit of our educational mission. We are proud to have Iowa Wesleyan University as our School of Record.
Loop Abroad is a student travel organization that began with a singular mission: provide the best hands-on study abroad for students pursuing careers working with animals.
We’ve done this by partnering with world-renowned conservationists in their efforts to protect endangered animals. While our programs and geography have expanded, we remain committed to global animal welfare. Read why we don’t ride elephants.
Our mission is to make a positive impact on animal welfare and marine and wildlife conservation around the world by partnering with responsible, local organizations to support them in their efforts while at the same time offering our students unprecedented opportunities for hands-on learning across all programs.
Unlike “voluntourism” programs, Loop Abroad programs follow a study abroad model. Our students travel to learn from others and to become better educated individuals who can give back in their professional careers and work across cultures.
Moreover, we are proud to offer a wide-range of ethical and responsible travel programs to students who share our commitment to furthering the cause for animal welfare, biodiversity, and respect for all living things.
As we pursue our mission, we strive to follow the Standards of Good Practice set out by the Forum on Education Abroad, which is recognized as the US Standards Development Organization for the field.
We expect a lot from our students and we demand the best from our staff. We’re proud to offer an elite, experienced faculty.
Our goal is to bring students an authentic travel experience rooted in curriculum and worthwhile activities and enhanced by leadership, cultural, and service experiences. We want students to return home with a better understanding of the world around themselves, and their roles as leaders in their own lives. One of the ways we do that is by surrounding them with successful, interesting, and encouraging faculty and staff.
“This program allowed me to have the experience of a lifetime and build some lifelong friendships! I never could’ve imagined how amazing this adventure would be. I had such an amazing time gaining experience with elephants and building great memories with amazing people!”
Sarah B., Thailand 101 2016 + Elephant Bonus Week