Exotics Veterinary Pathology Internship Online

Join a Wildlife Veterinarian LIVE…
From anywhere in the world


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Work directly alongside a wildlife veterinarian at a Belizean clinic in this veterinary pathology internship. Intern at a state-of-the-art onsite clinic at a center respected locally as a leader in pathological disease assessment, treatment, and research.
This internship is designed for undergraduate students as an introduction to basic veterinary pathology.

Prerequisite: No prerequisite courses are required, but interns should have a basic understanding of mammal anatomy and physiology.

Program Highlights

  • 100% live online through Zoom and Google Classroom
  • Earn 48+ veterinary hours for VMCAS vet school applications (48 live exotics vet hours and 12 open Q-and-A vet hours with observation and optional breaks)
  • Join a wildlife veterinarian up close and in real-time for necropsies and organ dissections
  • Learn pathological techniques used in veterinary medicine and participate in examinations
  • Support exotics rescue, rehabilitation, and research in Belize
  • Interns attending at least 70% of live sessions will receive a certificate of completion (sessions are recorded if you are not able to attend all hours live)


Claw on castThe main objective of the internship is for you to understand and learn the pathological changes that occur in tissues and organ systems and how such changes provide the basis for clinically-manifested diseases. You will have opportunities to apply concepts you have learned in cellular biology and anatomy and physiology, but these are not pre-requisite courses for the internship. You will understand and learn the occurrence, development, and progression of pathological changes in body systems and individual organs, and relate their morphology at gross (macroscopic) and microscopic levels to clinically recognizable functional defects and disease states.
Instead of a lecture-based course, this virtual internship uses Zoom and Google Classroom to bring you into the clinic and learn as the teaching veterinarian guides you through the diagnostic processes used in the clinic. The focus is on understanding the principles and patterns of pathology by seeing them in real-time. You will be exposed to practical examples of disease processes. This internship provides a foundation in pathophysiology and a link between biology concepts and their clinical applications.
Plasma cellsIf you are interested in pathology but the terminology above sounds intimidating, don’t be scared! This internship is designed for undergraduate-level students as a basic introduction to veterinary pathology. Learning in an internship is different from learning in a traditional classroom. You will learn by watching the veterinarian explain and apply concepts directly to actions taken in the clinic each day.
Your tuition supports the avian rescue clinic in rural Belize where the program takes place and ensures that your teaching vet can focus internship hours on demonstrating, teaching, and explaining the pathology of exotics in ways that will be interactive, memorable, and applicable to your future veterinary education and career.

Each day, learn and practice your skills in:

  • Veterinary pathologyX-ray film showing a broken bone
  • Systems pathology (specific pathogenesis and diseases of body organ systems in birds and other exotics)
  • Gross pathology
  • Histopathology
  • Cytology
  • The spectrum and mechanisms of pathological changes in tissue
  • The role of clinical pathology in relation to diagnosis, prognosis, case monitoring, and the use of diagnostic equipment
  • Hematology, coprological examination, and parasites as they relate to cause, nature, and origin of disease

Join Dissections, Exams, and Clinical Activities:

Barn owl's wing treated by veterinary

  • Exotics necropsies: Necropsies of birds and other exotics will be a centerpiece of the internship, and a key component to understanding health and diseased systems of animals such as birds of prey, parrots, rats, rabbits, iguanas, and coatis.
  • Organ dissections: Detailed dissections of organs such as heart, eye, lung, liver and brain of exotics and large animals helps you to understand the structure of these organs, their functionality, the appearance and function of healthy organs, and the ability to identify disease in these organs.
  • Case studies and clinical rounds: the interns will work together with the veterinarians to test, assess, and diagnose cases and prepare a treatment plan
  • Clinical care of exotics: triaging avian and other exotic patients and shadowing the veterinarians in providing clinical care
  • Osteology: understanding diseases of bones in avian patients, including fracture stabilization, surgery, and fracture pinning
  • Therapy and treatment in avian patients, including wound care, physical therapy, and fluid therapy and management
  • Radiology: the use of x-rays, including dental x-rays, in diagnosing disease
  • Coprology: fecal exams
  • Parasitology/parasite pathology: discussion and discovery of common parasites in the tropics, their symptoms, their effects of micro and macro systems, and their treatment
  • Histopathology and cytology: use of microscope slides and/or virtual microscopy for tutorial-style histopathological teaching, including understanding hematology, blood stains, PCV, total protein, and differential counts.

The course also includes an intern project (approximate time commitment outside of session: 2 hours) designing an informational brochure on a common animal illness that will be used to improve animal health in the community around your host organization.

Note: all necropsy and dissection specimens are performed on naturally deceased animals, feed animals, or animal parts disposed of from food animals. No animals will be raised for or euthanized for necropsy.


Program Dates: Next dates have not yet been announced – to be notified when this program opens, please email [email protected]

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


What will a Zoom session look like? Here’s an example internship day!

4-6pm Heart Necropsy (Pathological assessment)
6-7pm Observation break (Students may stay to observe microscope slides or observe animal behavior)
7-9pm Discussion: Heart diseases in veterinary medicine

Internship Tuition

Two Plasma cells comparedSince many students have had difficulty finding shadowing or volunteer experiences due to COVID-19, we are heavily discounting tuition to help students meet their goals.

SessionFull TuitionSummer 2022
Summer 2022$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.


Dr. Jorge Luis holding a wild duckDr. Jorge Luis is a wildlife veterinarian from Mexico who completed his studies at The National Autonomous University of Mexico School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry (UNAM), the oldest veterinary school in the western hemisphere! UNAM is considered the most prestigious veterinary school in Latin America and is the only school in the region to be granted full accreditation by the AVMA Council on Education.

Dr. Jorge comes to us with various zoo and wildlife experiences, including focused studies on lions, tigers, and birds such as blue-footed bobbies, pelicans, and raptors. Dr. Jorge is an avid fan of the outdoors and enjoys working with the amazing wildlife he gets to see and treat every day.

A note about veterinary hours: Your internship involves live meeting hours working with an exotics veterinarian in Belize. Some vet schools classify these as “veterinary hours” while others might have you classify them as another type of experience. To decide how to record these hours in your VMCAS application, please check with the vet schools to which you are applying.



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 for 2023 are now open and are due December 1, 2022, for your choice of an online program in 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 (instagram.com/loopabroad) and make an Instagram post about the program you’re hoping to join, tagging @loopabroad and #loopabroad in the post.

Announcement of Award: The scholarship winner will be notified by January 15th.

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.

InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest:

Smiling woman holding small wildcatThe InternationalStudent.com 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