Bonus Weeks

Thailand Adventure Bonus Week

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Spend a week exploring the best culture and adventure activities that Chiang Mai has to offer!

Who It’s For:

This Bonus is designed for students in our Veterinary Service programs who would like to spend a week exploring the best culture and adventure activities that Chiang Mai has to offer. It is only available to students who are enrolled in and linking to a two-week Loop Abroad program.

Loop Abroad in a raftDates

July 2 – 9, 2018
July 30 – Aug 6, 2018

The Adventure Bonus Week can be linked seamlessly with any program taking place:

June 16 – July 2, 2018
July 14 – 30, 2018

 apply now

*Program begins with departure from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Groups will return to the US on final program date, plus or minus one day depending on time of departure.

Tuition

Tuition is $1,250 USD. Linking the Adventure Bonus Week with a program will not increase airfare.

The Adventure Bonus Week does not qualify for a 10% tuition reduction when added to a program. Financial aid is not available for the Adventure Bonus Week.

Itinerary

Loop Abroad Students with hand made parasols

  • Discovering Chiang Mai on a guided tour of the ancient walled city
  • Visiting a butterfly and orchid sanctuary
  • Spelunking through the ancient Chiang Dao caves by
    hand-held gas lantern
  • Planting rice in a local village (depending on rice season)
  • Traveling to the top of Doi Suthep mountain, past hidden
    jungle temples
  • Trekking to a hill-tribe village in the jungle and spending the night at a hot springs resort
  • Rafting a jungle river
  • Exploring the majestic golden temples atop Doi Suthep,
    high above the city
  • Swimming in a rain forest waterfall
  • Soaring through the jungle thirty times on Thailand’s
    longest zipline course
  • Cooking Thai dishes at an outdoor cooking class
  • Meditating and learning about Buddhism from Buddhist monks
  • Discovering night markets and street markets
  • Eating all the best flavors of Thailand
  • Exploring the amazingly intricate white temple in Chiang Rai

 apply now

Your itinerary may vary slightly based on weather, holidays, and a number of other factors.

Thailand Marine Bonus Week

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Get SCUBA certified, conserve precious coral reefs, and stretch out on the beach!

Who it’s for

Students over 18 on Loop Abroad’s programs in any country June 16 – July 2 OR July 14 – 30. No previous experience required.

Dates open for applications

July 2 – July 9
July 30 – Aug 6*

apply now

What It’s About

Loop Student looking at sea in Thailand

One week of SCUBA diving and tropical island living on the beach. Relax with sunrise yoga (optional), learn how to SCUBA dive, practice identifying tropical fish, check coral health, and join in marine research and conservation projects.

The New Heaven Reef Conservation Program is on Koh Tao island in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s known throughout Thailand for its work in marine conservation. The center – where we will stay – is nestled in a quiet bay on the beach away from the main town and night life because we’re here to focus on exploring and conserving the coral reefs, cleaning up the ocean, learning from experts about this spectacular but threatened ecosystem, and having a wonderful time living on a beautiful island.

Hours and Credits

Loop Students at Sunset
During the Marine Bonus Week you will earn:

  • 20 Animal Experience Hours
  • 10 Research Hours
  • 10 Service Hours

SCUBA certifications are offered through Scuba Schools International (SSI). If you have questions about receiving college credit for this certification, please contact us.

SCUBA Experiences for all levels

For many students, this will their first time SCUBA diving – and there’s no better place for it!

We accept students of all levels – from zero experience to Advanced Open Water or higher certifications. Each morning, we’ll break into small groups based on experience level for the day so everyone can learn at their own pace. We’ll regroup at dinner.

Turtle Underwater
If you don’t have any SCUBA certification, you’ll have the opportunity to complete your Open Water Diver certification over the first three days. Each day, you’ll study and practice skills with your dive instructor in a small group. After your certification, you’ll join an ecological monitoring and coral restoration dive with New Heavens’ experienced Research and Conservation team.

If you are an Open Water SCUBA diver already, you’ll spend the first two or three days to complete your Advanced Open Water Diver certification in a small group with your dive instructor. After your certification, you’ll join an ecological monitoring and coral restoration dives with New Heavens’ experienced Research and Conservation team.

If you’re already an Advanced Open Water SCUBA diver or have a higher certification, you will need to prove your skills on a refresher dive then you’ll jump right in with the experienced Conservation and Research divers! From day one, you’ll learn and practice advanced skills related to marine species identification, coral health monitoring, artificial reef construction and maintenance, and/or other skills. Just like students on doing the SCUBA certifications, you may need to attend small group lectures and training to prepare for the day’s conservation dive.

As long as the weather and visibility are good, all students can expect to enjoy 5-6 SCUBA dives and at least one snorkel experience. Your group will have up to 16 participants, one Trip Leader, and the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program instructors.

Itinerary

Loop Students in Scuba Diving gear

Please note that this is a sample itinerary and is subject to change based on weather, tides, visibility, animals and ecosystems in need, and other factors.

Sunday: Say goodbye to your program group in Chiang Mai and meet with your new Marine Bonus Week group. Travel to Koh Tao (combination of plane, bus, and ferry). This may include one overnight stop before you reach the island.

Each day Monday – Friday: Koh Tao runs on ‘island time’. Being surrounded by palm trees, coconuts, and the sound of the waves just makes people slow down a bit. Here’s the rough plan for each day, but plan to be flexible:

7am: Yoga class (optional)
8am: Breakfast
9am: Arrive to New Heaven and prepare equipment
9:15am: Morning class and/or SCUBA
11:30am: Lunch
12pm: SCUBA
3:30pm: Relax on the beach
5pm: Class or project briefing for next day (only 2-3 days)
7pm: Dinner
8pm: Evening games or free time
A hut on a beach in Thailand
Monday: Orientation to the island and New Heaven Reef Conservation Program’s mission of conservation and research
SCUBA Day 1

Tuesday: SCUBA Day 2

Wednesday: SCUBA Day 3
Evening: Marine Ecology 101 and Monitoring Techniques

Thursday: Reef invertebrates and indicator species lecture
Conservation Dive
Evening lesson: Shark and Turtle Ecology and Monitoring

Friday: Morning shark survey snorkel
Conservation Dive
Final dinner on the mountain

Saturday: Dip your toes in the ocean one last time then travel back to Chiang Mai (combination of boat, bus, and plane). Evening trip to the Chiang Mai Street Market for shopping, food, and fun.

Sunday: International departure day! Loop Abroad alumni meeting, relax and pack, buffet lunch, and airport departure. Groups will return to the US on final program date, plus or minus one day depending on time of departure.

Safety

New Heaven dive schools has an excellent safety record and often hosts student groups like ours. Their experienced team of conservation divers will provide our safety orientation on arrival. In the water, the most important skill is to move slowly and deliberately, observing but not disturbing the many colorful creatures you see. As with most wildlife, patient explorers will find the most amazing species and unusual behaviors.

Above water, Koh Tao is a small but busy community of divers and visitors. It’s a beautiful and exciting place to be, but it’s important to stay with your group and watch your belongings, especially considering we’ll be loading or unloading the boat every day!

Note: All participants must be capable of independently entering and exiting the water by a ladder and must pass a basic swim test (swimming, treading water) in order to safely join in-water activities.

Tuition and What’s Included

Tuition is $1,350 and is all-inclusive: all meals, housing, activities, lessons, supplies, boat transport, and roundtrip transportation from Chiang Mai to Koh Tao and back.

The Marine Bonus Week does not qualify for a 10% tuition reduction when added to a program. Financial aid is not available for the Marine Bonus Week.

Students may be in double rooms or dorm-style rooms with students of the same gender with twin beds or a shared bed. Rooms do not have air conditioning. Meals will be eaten as a group at local restaurants, mostly serving Western and Thai food. Special diets and food allergies can be accommodated.

How to Apply

Choose any two-week program for June 16 – July 2 OR July 14 – 30. Then choose “Marine Bonus Week” for July 2-9 OR July 30-August 6.

apply now

Thailand Elephant Bonus Week

Want more elephant time? You got more elephant time!

This Bonus Week is only available to students who are enrolled in and linking to a two-week Loop Abroad program.

Message us about this program on Facebook!

ElephantsDates

July 2 – 9, 2018
July 30 – August 6, 2018

Elephant Bonus Week can be linked seamlessly with any two-week program taking place on the following dates:

June 16 – July 2, 2018
July 14 – 30, 2018

*Program begins with departure from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Groups will return to the US on final program date, plus or minus one day depending on time of departure.

Tuition

Tuition is $1,350 USD. Linking the Elephant Bonus Week with a program will not increase airfare.

The Elephant Bonus Week does not qualify for a 10% tuition reduction when added to a program. Financial aid is not available for the Elephant Bonus Week.

Itinerary

The Elephant Bonus Week takes place at an elephant sanctuary in the Bangkok area of Thailand. The Elephant Bonus week group will travel together to Bangkok (included in tuition). The group, which has a maximum of 12 students, will work with a vet at the sanctuary helping to treat, examine, care for, observe, and maintain the elephants who live there. This will be a chance to learn up-close about elephant medicine from an vet. You will be hands-on with the elephants and may also assist other animals who live at the sanctuary.

Loop Student bathing elephant

We will live at the sanctuary Monday – Friday (after arriving Sunday evening) and you will earn 40 veterinary hours working with your vet that week in this amazing setting.

On Saturday, we will say goodbye to the elephants and spend a day visiting the sights in Bangkok on a tour. We will return to Chiang Mai to depart on Sunday. All meals, travel within Thailand, housing, and activities are included in your tuition. Adding the Elephant Bonus Week will not increase your international airfare.

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South Africa Adventure Bonus Week

The Cape of Good Hope

Penguins, whales, sunsets, and the southernmost tip of Africa!

Who It’s For

Students age 18-25 participating in a Loop Abroad program on June 2 – June 18 in any country.

This is the perfect chance for Loop students on the Veterinary Service: South Africa program to extend their journey and get even more out of their experience. Students on other Loop Abroad trips around the world may join, but will be responsible for the cost of any additional airfare. There will be no airport pickup charge.

Dates open for applications

June 17 – 25, 2018

apply now

ItineraryPenguins

From the lighthouses that dot the coast to the top of Table Mountain, the Adventure Bonus Week is just that: an adventure.

This one-week tour is especially designed for Loop Abroad students. It is packed with activities distinct from the Veterinary Service: South Africa program and combines the most interesting and well-known tourist locations with chances to experience and see unique wildlife and landscapes.

Each day will be filled with exploration and adventure including time in the city, cultural activities, and lots of exploring in nature. It is a packed week that takes you throughout and outside Cape Town and along the southernmost coast of Africa.

Activities

Whale
Enjoying the V+A Waterfront in Cape Town
Observing Cape Town from the Wheel of Excellence giant ferris wheel
Savoring famous South African dishes such as biltong, bunny chow, melktert, and malva pudding
Soaring to the top of Table Mountain on the cable car
Touring Cape Town’s famous sites
Visiting Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held
Getting up-close with African penguins at Boulders Beach
Relaxing in picturesque Simon’s Town
Exploring Cape National Park, home to baboons, fur seals, ostriches, and stunning views
Snapping a selfie at the Southernmost tip of Africa
Wandering the coast where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet
Whale-watching from a boat during the humpback and Southern right whale migration
Hiking in beautiful Agulhas National Park
Discovering the famous Kirstenbosch Botancial Gardens, known as Africa’s most beautiful garden
Cruising off the coast at sunset for a special view of Cape Town
Seeing unique wildlife such as rock hyraxes and fur seals
Photographing the protea, fynbos, birds of paradise, and other famous South African flowers
Spotting whales off the famous Hermanus coast
Shopping for souvenirs, crafts, artwork, and clothes on Long Street

Exact itinerary is subject to change based on weather and availability of activities.

Tuition + What’s Included

Tuition is $1,850. That includes flight from Johannesburg to Capetown and back, all activities, all in-country transport, all housing, and all meals. Souvenirs, snacks, and non-water drinks are not included.

Housing will be at hotels or hostels where individuals not on a Loop Abroad program may be staying. Students will share rooms, but will not share a room with non-Loop participants. Meals will either be prepared by tour staff, eaten at restaurants, or self-catered (cost included). We can accommodate special dietary requests with advance notice.

If additional ABW sessions are added, students currently enrolled will be given the first option to switch dates if they so choose.

How To Apply

Apply for a Loop Abroad program on June 2 – June 18 and pick “Adventure Bonus Week: South Africa”.

Remember: Students whose June 2-18 program is in another country will be responsible for additional airfare. Students whose June 2-18 program is in South Africa will not have additional airfare charge for adding the Adventure Bonus Week.

apply now

Australia Adventure Bonus Week

Bondi Beach Australia

Waterfalls, beaches, and mountains from the Blue Mountains to Port Stephens. Plus Sydney city life!

Who It’s For

Students age 14-25 participating in a Loop Abroad program on June 2 – June 18 in any country.

This is the perfect chance for Loop students on the Veterinary Service: Australia program to extend their journey and get even more out of their time in Australia. Students on other Loop Abroad trips around the world may join, but will be responsible for the cost of any additional airfare. There will be no airport pickup charge.

Dates open for applications

June 17 – June 25, 2018

apply now

Itinerary

From the rollercoasters in Luna Park to the waterfalls of the Blue Mountains, the Adventure Bonus Week is just that: an adventure.

This one-week tour is designed especially for Loop Abroad students, combining the most interesting tourist spots with chances to experience the landscapes and wilderness adventures that make Australia unique.

Each day will be filled with exploration and adventure including time in the city, cultural activities, and lots of exploring in nature. It is a packed week that takes you throughout and outside Sydney and along the Australian coast.

Activities

Penguin
Observing sea life at the Sydney Aquarium
Horseback riding to look for kangaroos
Hiking through the Blue Mountains to waterfalls
Spotting little penguins at Manly Wharf
Whale watching for Humpback and Minkie whales on the Pacific Ocean
Snapping a selfie at Madame Tussauds wax museum
Observing the city from its highest point: the Sydney Tower Eye
Traveling to the Blue Mountains by train
Learning spooky Sydney history on an evening ghost tour
Visiting the famous Three Sisters rock formation
Relaxing in beautiful Katoomba
Stargazing at the Sydney observatory and planetarium
Basking in the sun at Manly Beach
Enjoying a free day in the city to choose your own adventure!
Discovering Aboriginal history on a Rocks aboriginal tour
Riding the rides at Luna Park, Sydney’s famous amusement park (unlimited ticket)
Shopping and strolling at The Rocks in the evening
Sand boarding in the dunes at Port Stephens
Dolphin watching off Tomaree National Park
Touring the biggest sand dune mass in the Southern Hemisphere by 4WD vehicle

Exact itinerary is subject to change based on weather and availability of activities.

Tuition + What’s Included

The Australian Outback
Tuition is $2,150. That includes all meals, activities, and in-country transport except for on one free day. All housing included (including free day.) Souvenirs, snacks, and non-water drinks are not included.

Housing will be at hotels or hostels where individuals not on a Loop Abroad program may be staying. Students will share rooms, but will not share a room with non-Loop participants. Meals will either be prepared by tour staff, eaten at restaurants, or self-catered (cost included). We can accommodate special dietary requests with advance notice.

If additional ABW sessions are added, students currently enrolled will be given the first option to switch dates if they so choose.

How to Apply

Apply for a Loop Abroad program on June 2 – June 18 and choose to add “Adventure Bonus Week: Australia”.

Remember: Students whose June 2-18 program is in another country will be responsible for additional airfare. Students who June 2-18 program is in Australia will not have an additional airfare charge for adding the Adventure Bonus Week.

apply now

Notes On Adventure Activities and Free Day

This premium tour includes hiking, horseback riding, and other adventure activities that are suitable for active individuals with no health restrictions. Horseback riding has a weight limit of 100 kilos (220 pounds) but participants may request to sit out this activity (no refund available). Participants should be able to comfortably hike a moderate hike (suitable for all fit participants; no experience required) for 1-2 hours and walk along an easy trail for 3 miles.

Please note that this tour includes one free day in Sydney, which is at your own expense. Accommodation and breakfast for this free day are included in the tour price. Activity restrictions are detailed below. There are a number of free activities you can enjoy on this day if you so choose. You may also visit the Wildlife Zoo on this day for free admission if you choose.

On your free day in Sydney, you agree not to participate in any of the following high-risk activities: riding or driving a motorcycle or motorscooter, mountaineering, hang gliding, hot air ballooning, mountain biking, parachuting, bungee jumping, caving, heliskiing, skiing, snowboarding, SCUBA diving, white or black water rafting, rock climbing, ziplining, wakeboard riding, or water skiing. You may also not rent a car or drive a rental car.

"I loved simultaneously learning about veterinary medicine and Thai culture, and seeing the unique challenges and opportunities here."

Antonia L., Veterinary Semester Abroad Fall 2016

Michigan State University