Belize Raptor Internship Online

learn from a vet and support raptor rescue…

from anywhere on Earth!


Program Highlights

  • 100% Online
  • 60 hours shadowing an exotic animal veterinarian
  • Official mailed certificate of “Clinical Veterinary Care, Rehabilitation, and Raptor Enrichment” for your resume
  • Directly support a “resident” of the Belize Raptor Center (your very own Raptor Pen Pal!)
  • Sustainability: This Belize internship is powered 100% by solar energy and rain water!

*Internship is open to ALL. No pre-requisites or student status required.


Loop Abroad, in collaboration with CELA-Belize (, is proud to offer this ground-breaking online internship with the Belize Raptor Center (BRC), the leader in raptor conservation and rehabilitation in Belize. 

Support raptor rescue through medicine, diet, rehabilitation, enrichment and training. Get live exotic animal clinical experience from a veterinarian.

The BRC has made a huge impact helping birds of prey in Belize, but with the recent halt in tourism, they have lost the support they normally receive from international volunteers and visitors. Your tuition and involvement directly supports your personal Raptor Pen Pal, providing the necessary food, shelter, clinical care, rehabilitation, and enrichment for each of the 12 avian residents and transient patients. Meet the Pen Pals you will directly support by clicking the link below!

Students who successfully complete this internship will earn a certificate of “Clinical Veterinary Care, Rehabilitation, and Raptor Enrichment”.

The Belize Raptor Center (BRC)

The BRC is led by Sarah Mann, a raptor conservation and rehabilitation expert with a background in wildlife biology and conservation ecology. Sarah’s passion for her work is infectious, and she’s been a favorite among students for many years. Sarah, along with a veterinarian, will be demonstrating husbandry and veterinary skills during the live video sessions while progressing through immersive activities such as:

  • Introduction to the Belize Raptor Center
  • Meet the Birds (Pen Pal Assignments)
  • Basic husbandry and bird care
  • Diet preparation (rat breeding lab)
  • Equipment making
  • Setup, weigh, crate, and tether a bird
  • Live clinical care and studies
  • Mystery cases and detective work
  • Applications of operant conditioning
  • Making a shaping plan for an education bird
  • Bird training
  • Bird rescue, rehabilitation, and release
  • Education programs and community conservation outreach
  • Pre-conditioning, flight training, and creance skills
  • Culminating enrichment design
  • Facilitation and analysis of enrichment plan for your Raptor Pen Pal

Design your own raptor enrichment project

After building up your knowledge, make your own contribution by developing a novel enrichment plan for your Raptor Pen Pal. Like all captive animals whether in rescue centers or zoos, enrichment is essential for animal well-being and health!

You’ll work closely with Sarah and the team to refine your plan. Once it’s ready, the team will implement your plan and you can observe and analyze the results!

Class format

This internship is 100% live via video conference over six weeks. Interns will be able to participate in meaningful and important conservation projects, while asking the veterinarian and Sarah questions, and immersing themselves into the daily activities at the facility. Participants will be actively involved in the rehabilitation, clinical care, and enrichment of bird species native to Belize and the broader region.

Students will also be provided online resources and readings on exotic avian medicine and rehabilitation to supplement the live sessions – all of these resources are included in the tuition.

Students may apply from anywhere in the world. You must be fluent in English and have internet fast enough for video calls (minimum 1Mbps) and a computer with video playback, microphone, and sound. No experience with zoos or veterinary medicine is required.

Dates, Meeting Times, And Deadlines

SessionDatesEnrollment Deadline
Summer 2021May 18 – June 26May 16

Schedule of LIVE hours for the internship Summer 2021:

WeekdayMeeting Times*
Every Tuesday beginning May 185-8pm ET
Every Thursday beginning May 205-7pm ET
Every Saturday beginning May 2211am – 4pm ET

*There will be a 1 hour break on Saturdays where interns can observe raptor enrichment and/or break for lunch.

Each week, you’ll join the veterinary team by LIVE video call at the times above. Groups are limited to 20 students so all Belize Raptor Interns can ask questions and get one-on-one mentorship time.

Enrollment is rolling and sessions will close as soon as they fill. If a session is still listed here, there are still positions available.

Internship Tuition

**Since COVID-19 has disrupted many students’ travel and educational plans, we are heavily discounting tuition to help pre-veterinary students meet their goals.

SessionFull TuitionSummer 2021
Summer 2021$2000$1495

University credit is not offered with this internship.

There are no additional readings, technology subscriptions, or course materials you have to purchase to participate in this internship. Extensive resources on raptor rehabilitation, which students can keep, are included with the internship tuition.

The Gilman Scholarship could fund $5000 of your tuition. See the official website and read about Loop Abroad students who have received this scholarship. If you are a US citizen receiving a Pell Grant and currently enrolled in college or university, we encourage you to apply for this scholarship  The next round of applications for the Gilman scholarship will open in mid-August 2021 and deadline will be in October. During that time, you can apply for scholarships to use on any study abroad or virtual program starting between December 1, 2021 and October 31, 2022.

Enroll Now

Enroll Now



There are lots of ways to help fund your online and travel programs with Loop Abroad, and we are here to help!

Scholarships are a terrific way to cover some or all of your tuition for a Loop Abroad program. When you look for scholarships for pre-vet programs, you need to look at all your options!

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship:

The Gilman Scholarship could fund $5000 of your tuition and the next deadline is March 1 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time! 

The Gilman Scholarship was designed to help students of limited financial means have the opportunity to study abroad – online or in-person. Nearly a third of applicants are awarded the scholarship! This is a great opportunity to help cover your tuition.

Students can receive up to $5,000 for travel or virtual programs. The scholarship can be applied to any of our online programs, to our semester programs, or one of our 2-week programs.

Along with their application, students must submit two essays, the Statement of Purpose Essay, and the Community Impact Essay. Students must also upload their transcripts (unofficial or official). For more information on the application guidelines, please click here.

See the official website and read about Loop Abroad students who have received this scholarship. If you are a US citizen receiving a Pell Grant and currently enrolled in college or university, we encourage you to apply for this scholarship. The round of applications due March 1 will cover in-person programs or internships that start between May 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023. This cycle encompasses Summer 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, and Academic Year 2022-2023 programs.

Loop Abroad Dr. Erica Ward Scholarship

Focused elephant imageLoop Abroad is offering one FULL TUITION scholarship to cover one online program of your choice. Applications will open in early January 2023. We’re proud to add this to the list of scholarships for pre-vet programs.

Who can apply: This scholarship is open to all students age 18 and over. You do not have to be a US Citizen. You do not have to be currently in school. You do not need to be enrolled in an online course to apply. You can apply for the scholarship first and make your online course selection after you receive a decision about the scholarship. (Note: if you make any payments toward tuition and later receive the scholarship, your payments will be refunded up to the value of one online program of your choice, not including an online semester.) 

Criteria for selecting the scholarship recipient: 

We will consider financial need, commitment to conservation and/or animal science, academic performance, and ability to be a positive team member as factors in our decision. We are not looking for the applicant with the highest grades or the most animal hours. We are not looking for the applicant with the saddest story. We are looking for a student who embodies Loop Abroad’s values of teamwork, commitment to a cause, and hard work, and for a student who would not be able to otherwise afford Loop Abroad tuition (whether because of household income or recent change in circumstances).

How to apply:
To apply, you must complete the following three steps:

  1. Apply for the Loop Abroad Dr. Erica Ward Scholarship here. The application requires a copy of your proof of household income (such as last year’s tax return).
  2. Follow @LoopAbroad on Instagram ( and make an Instagram post about the program you’re hoping to join, tagging @loopabroad and #loopabroad in the post.

Dr. Erica Ward holding a black dog and an elephant at the background and an elephant dogWhy is it called the Erica Ward Scholarship? Dr. Erica Ward is our Academic Director. We believe that she embodies the values we are seeking in our scholarship applicants: she is passionate, dedicated, hard-working, and driven to make the world a better place. Dr. Ward consistently strives to find ways that Loop Abroad can support projects in need and help its students and alumni have fulfilling academic opportunities. We have decided to name this scholarship after her to honor her continued commitment to her values and purpose. (PS – She isn’t dead. Please don’t write your essay about honoring her legacy. She is very much alive and still working here. If you are a finalist for the scholarship, she will read your essay.)

The scholarship will be credited toward tuition for the winning student toward the Loop Abroad online program of their choice. If the chosen winner has already made payments toward his or her Loop Abroad tuition, those payments will be refunded in full.

The scholarship is non-transferable. If the student cannot attend, the scholarship will be void – it is not a cash prize and cannot be paid as such. Applicants must be over the age of 18. Citizens and residents of any country may apply.


The Gilman-McCain Scholarship:

Young lady holding a blue parrotThe Gilman-McCain Scholarship is a congressionally funded initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and named after the late senator John S. McCain from Arizona.

This scholarship is open to US citizen undergraduate students who are child dependents of active duty service members and receive any type of Title IV federal financial aid. Students can receive awards of up to $5,000 for 2+ weeks of international travel or online programs. The scholarship can be applied to any of our online programs,  semester programs, or 2-week travel programs.

The next round of applications for the Gilman scholarship opens in January 2022. The deadline will be in March. At that time, you can apply for scholarships to use on any program starting between May 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023.

Freeman-Asia Scholarships:

Smiling woman hanging on a ropeThe Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. This scholarship is open to both US citizens and permanent residents who are undergraduate students at a two-year or four-year college or university.

Recipients can receive up to $3,000 in awards for summer programs. This scholarship can be applied to our Thailand programs for 2+ weeks.

In order to apply, students must fill out an online application. Read the scholarship instructions here and the eligibility requirements here.

Applications for the 2021-2022 school year are closed. 

The Fund for Education Abroad:

Loop Abroad scholarships student checking heartbeat of the tigerThe Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) invests in promising students with financial needs who wish to study abroad. Potential applicants who meet our eligibility requirements may participate in any international education program that meets their academic objectives.

This scholarship is open to US citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a college or university in the US. Scholarships range from $1,250 – $10,000.

Along with their application, students must submit a financial aid form (filled out by the financial aid office at their school), one recommendation letter, and a copy of their unofficial transcript.

Applications for Spring 2023 (programs from January- May) are due by September 15, 2022 at 12pm (noon) EST. Students may review the scholarship and application instructions here.

Scholarships of note that you can apply for through the Fund for Education Abroad include:

  • The Hiliary Echo Douglas Memorial Scholarship – for students studying abroad in Southeast Asia
  • Boston Area Study Abroad Association Scholarship – for students with schools in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Connecticut.
  • Rainbow Scholarship – For LGBTQI students that participate in a high-quality, rigorous education abroad program.
  • Malú Alvarez Global Access Scholarship- Five scholarships for semester-long programs to be awarded for study in any country.
  • NAFSA Tamara H. Bryant Memorial Scholarship- These funds are awarded to African-American undergraduate students in the United States who hope to study abroad.
  • Gateway International Group Education Abroad Scholarship- Scholarship awarded to those who are first-generation college students, or those whose home or college of study is in Kentucky. Travel Video Contest:

Smiling woman holding small wildcatThe 2020 Travel Video Contest gives students the opportunity to win a scholarship by sending in an original video discussing:

  • How COVID-19 has impacted your international education or cultural exchange experience abroad
  • Your ideal international education or cultural exchange after Covid-19

There are several prizes available ranging from $250 to $4,000.

In order to apply, students must create a 4-minute video and submit an online entry form. Tips and tricks for filming a video entry can be found here. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

Submissions are due by October 13, 2021. Apply here.

NAFSA scholarships

NAFSA is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and they have a long list of scholarship databases (including scholarships for pre-vet programs) that might help make your program possible!

"The veterinarians we worked are so innovative and genuinely cared about us and our success. You truly feel like an integral part of the Raptor Center. I would definitely recommend doing it."

Abigail H., Belize Raptor Internship Online 2020

Animal Science Major, Michigan State University