Jen C. traveled to Thailand on Loop Abroad’s College Veterinary Service program in 2016.
Traveling to Thailand with Loop Abroad was the best experience of my life. I learned so much from amazing teachers, I made important connections with experienced professionals in the field, and I made friendships that I know will last a lifetime.
Whenever I discussed my trip with others, there were many people that said “That’s Amazing! How do I apply?” but there were even more people who said “I would love to go on a trip like that, but I could never afford it.”
Yes, the trip is expensive, but anytime you travel abroad it will take time and commitment to raise enough money to make your dream a
reality. Don’t let the fact that you don’t think you can afford it stop you from having such an amazing
opportunity. There are so many ways that you can make your trip happen. You just have to be
determined, have a positive attitude, and never give up.
I raised money and budgeted for my trip in many different ways.
First, I have a job on campus during the school year, so I picked up a couple extra hours each week to put towards my trip. I also cut back on my expenses. I cooked more meals at home, instead of going out. I started making coffee at home instead of going out and buying it multiple times a week. If I went shopping, I would only buy one or two things instead of four or five. Just because you’re cutting back doesn’t mean you can’t do fun things and enjoy yourself. It just means you have to be aware of how much you are spending and be careful. You’d be surprised how much just changing a few things in your normal routine can make a huge difference.
Also, when/if people asked what I wanted for my birthday or the holidays, I just said help me raise enough money to go to Thailand. Instead of getting gifts, my family gave me money to go towards my trip. Set up a GoFundMe account. I didn’t do this personally, but I know people who have and have been very successful.
In your description, explain what Loop Abroad does. Tell people the mission and goals of the organizations that Loop works with. Tell people about the many animals that you will be helping. If your audience knows a lot about the efforts that are going on to improve these animals’ lives, they will be much more likely to want to help make this trip possible for you. The Pre-Vet Club at my school raised over $1600 to purchase a Doppler Blood Pressure monitor for the ARK. Even though we were fundraising as a group, you can raise just as much on your own, as long as you are motivated and work hard.
Take advantage of the resources that Loop Abroad provides you with to help you fundraise. One of the fundraisers that the club did was through Animal Kind Clothing. We sold Thai pants to students, faculty and staff on campus. Whether you are in high school or college, raising money through your school is a great way to reach a lot of people.
We also did a fundraiser through Popcorn Palace. This fundraiser was really easy and raised a lot of money in a short period of time. Over Spring Break, we had members sell popcorn to their family and friends. Research fundraisers online; there are so many out there. Get creative and have fun with the fundraiser you are doing. And if you ever find yourself stuck or out of ideas, Loop Abroad staff is always there to help.
Traveling abroad requires initiative and determination. Not only did I learn so much on my trip to Thailand, but also I learned a lot preparing for my trip. I learned how to really get creative and my communication skills improved. There were times when I got discouraged, but I always kept trying new things. When you step foot in a foreign country and are greeted by friendly and welcoming people, when you help the animals at ARK lead happier and healthier lives, when you enter a Buddhist temple and immediately feel at peace, when you witness the beauty and majesty of an Asian elephant up close, you will not only feel pure joy to be there, but pride in the fact that you worked so hard to make your dr[/wpv-autop]eam a reality.