Summer programs
Amazon Veterinary Service

Applications are open for Summer 2022

The two-week Amazon Veterinary Service Program is based at amaZOOnico (or another of our wildlife rescue partners in the Ecuadorian Amazon). amaZOOnico is a wildlife rescue center located in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest that rehabilitates, reintroduces, and cares for animals who are victims of wildlife trafficking. In addition to learning about the animals of the Amazon and their conservation and care. Get a chance to explore some of the most popular sites of Quito and Tena on this Ecuador adventure.

The program course, “Conservation of Amazon Wildlife”, is a 3-credit course that includes observing and learning about the animals at amaZOOnico and learning from your veterinary (DVM) trip leader in the classroom and in the rescue center.

Who It’s For

This program is designed for university-aged students who are interested in becoming veterinarians or working professionally with animals. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Most are 18 to 25.

There are no pre-requisites for this program. You do not need to be in school currently to apply. Individuals of any nationality may apply.

Each group of up to 8-10 students will have its own veterinarian and the groups will share site staff. All programming is in English – no Spanish skills are required (but if you have them, you’ll definitely use them!)

Highlights

  • LA beautiful white-throated toucanive in the Ecuadorian Amazon
  • Care for coatis, toucans, tapirs, and other Amazonian animals
  • Research and create enrichments for monkeys
  • Perform veterinary labs such as coprological exams and necropsies
  • Enjoy a fun weekend of rafting and caving in Tena
  • Explore in and around Quito, including the Mitad del Mundo 
  • Learn and practice veterinary Spanish (no experience required)

Dates open for application

Ocelot is a medium-sized spotted wild cat

Summer 2022

May 15 – May 29, 2022

 apply now

Note: There will be two groups during this session. If you want to be in the same group as someone else who is enrolling, please let us know.

*The dates above indicate the day you must arrive in Quito and depart from Quito, which may mean leaving the US the day prior or returning the day after, depending on your flight time.
*Please note that there is no group flight for this program. Students will be picked up and dropped off at the Quito airport.  Loop Abroad reserves the right to cancel any program at any time; in case of such cancellation by Loop Abroad, all payments will be returned in full.

Want to travel longer with us? Add another two-week program!

Our Amazon Veterinary Service program is a full adventure on its own, but it can also be combined with one of our other two-week programs in Galapagos, Thailand, Australia, or South Africa! Combine two programs and save $100 on each program tuition.

Tuition

Nasuella olivacea or western mountain coati relaxing on trunkTuition is $3950There is a $100 tuition discount for combining this program with another 2-week program.

Interest-free payment plans are available. Current college students may be able to use federal financial aid toward their tuition. Your space is not held until your $1,000 deposit (credited toward tuition) is paid.

Tuition is all-inclusive but does not include international airfare. Tuition does not include medical insurance (the policy we suggest is under $25), a passport, snacks, and souvenirs.

There is no group flight for this program. We will have multiple pick-ups and drop-off times at the Quito airport on arrival and departure days.

Hours and Credit

You can receive 3 credits from the University of Findlay for this program. (Additional fee applies.) Loop Abroad can also assist you in working to get credit directly from your school.

Participants will earn 50 veterinary hours and 10 research hours. You will receive a certificate for 70 service hours upon program completion.

Students can calculate their own record of hours for their VMCAS or other applications but will earn at least this many hours.

Groups and Staff

Loop Abroad students on their group visit to the venueGroups will have a maximum of 10 students each, with up to two groups on the project at a time. Your group will have its own veterinarian.

Housing and Meals

Beds prepared for the students of Loop AbroadProgram housing will include hostels or guesthouses in Quito and Tena on travel weekends. During our time in the Amazon, you will stay at a small guest lodge that is approximately a 10-minute walk through the rainforest from amaZOOnico. You will share rooms with students of the same gender but will have your own bed. The lodge has electricity in the main common area and hot water in all showers, but it does not have air conditioning. While there is internet and cell signal available for emergency communications, there is not a reliable option for personal use.

Meals are included in your tuition and will be served at the guest lodge or eaten at restaurants during travel weekends. Meals are simple and not greatly varied. We can accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets and food allergies with advanced requests.

Please note that this is a project in the Amazon rainforest, and as such it offers simple, rustic lodging and food.

COVID and Safety

All participants will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (which may include boosters if eligible). All participants will adhere to the Loop Abroad COVID policy which includes providing a negative COVID test within 2-3 days prior to travel, wearing a mask when flying and when interacting outside of your “travel pod” (your group and staff), daily symptom report, testing if symptoms are present, and testing before return to the US. Loop Abroad had ZERO COVID cases in 2021!

If a program is canceled by Loop Abroad due to COVID-19, we offer a full refund of all tuition paid, including the deposit.

What if my program isn’t cancelled, but I can’t travel for personal reasons?

We understand that sometimes even though a program is not cancelled, an individual participant may be unable to travel due to illness or other personal reasons. In addition to our refund policy, if you must cancel your program enrollment less than 35 days before travel, for any reason at all, you can replace your program with the following virtual package.

 

This package includes 5 university credits from Iowa Wesleyan University (if you successfully complete the courses) and has a retail value of $5,080.

This offer is valid for cancellation of travel programs between 35 days and 1 day before the program begins, when no refunds are available for participants cancelling their travel. One virtual package available per participant; non-transferable. A participant cancelling their enrollment more than 35 days prior is welcome to select this option over their refund if they so choose.

Want to travel with us longer?

Link this program to another two-week program and save $100 on each tuition. This program can combine with:

 

Apply Now

Locations

AmaZOOnico is a wildlife rescue centre located in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest that rehabilitates, reintroduces, and cares for animals who are victims of wildlife trafficking. AmaZOOnico has been working to rescue, rehabilitate, and release animals for 25 years.

All of the animals that arrive at the amaZOOnico are brought by the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment, usually after being confiscated from people who have kept them as pets or intended to trade them on the black market. Some animals arrive suffering from multiple physical and behavioural problems which make it impossible for them to live free in the forest. In those cases, AmaZOOnico provides them with spacious and comfortable enclosures where they can live in the most natural conditions possible. In other cases, the animals arrive in better physical and mental condition and after passing through quarantine, various examinations, and a rehabilitation process, they can be successfully reintroduced back into their natural habitat.

During the day, amaZOOnico is open to day visitors, which helps to raise awareness about wildlife trafficking, to fund the rehab and release projects, and to care for the animals that cannot be released.

AmaZOOnico is based inside Selva Viva, a nature reserve with over 4,000 acres of conservation rainforest where most of amaZOOnico’s releases take place.

In the summers of 2018 and 2019, Loop Abroad sponsored GPS collars to help with the research at AmaZOOnico. The first collar was for “America” the Tapir so that she could be released into Selva Viva to live a wild and free life, while her safety could be monitored. In 2019, we provided collars for monkeys that were ready to be released. Going forward, students will continue to track these animals and learn about how GPS tracking can improve release techniques and make sure future animals get the best chance at a new life in the wild.

Mitad del Mundo monument between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Amazoonico is about one hour from Tena, the capital city of the Napo province and a small city in the Amazon rainforest. We’ll stop in Tena on the middle weekend of the program to relax and to enjoy some of its famous attractions, including rafting and a cave trip.

This program begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. On arrival and departure Sundays, depending on the timing of their flights, students will be able to explore Quito with their staff. On the final Saturday of the program, the group will have a day to tour the colonial Old Town and explore the Mitad del Mundo, a monument on the equator that divides the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Students traveling onto or coming from a Loop Abroad program in the Galapagos can arrange for connecting flights into and out of Quito.

Itinerary

This itinerary is subject to change, but should give you a good overall program feel.

Arrive in Quito on Sunday and meet your group. Depending on the time your flight arrives, you may have a chance to explore some of the city with your group leader.

On Monday, we will make our way from Quito to Tena, with a stop along the way (weather-permitting) to visit some hot springs. Once we arrive in Tena, we’ll enter the Amazon rainforest and travel by boat to the lodge where we’ll be staying during the program.

Starting Tuesday mornings, our weekdays will be spent at amaZOOnico. We’ll walk about ten minutes through the jungle from our lodge to amaZOOnico and take on the day’s schedule. Most days will include:

  • Lecture by one of our veterinarians on Amazon conservation and animal care
  • Opportunities to lead visitor tours of the animals at amaZOOnico (a few students/day)
  • Assisting in helping to care for the animals, including cleaning and preparing food
  • Joining the staff vet on vet walking rounds to monitor animal care
  • Veterinary labs such as blood pathology
  • Collecting data from camera traps for research

During the weekdays, we will also:

  • Perform ethograms on animals and design and implement enrichment projects for them
  • Assist and observe the vet in performing any necessary medical care
  • Practice and learn some Spanish for veterinary medicine (based on your level – no experience required)

Please note that most of the animals at amaZOOnico cannot be handled, as they are wild animals and our goal is to provide them with only the care that they need to stay healthy and safe. You may be in the enclosures with birds, tapirs, tamarins, guatins, coatis, and tortoises. There is no contact permitted with the captive or free monkeys.

In the evenings, we will relax as a group at our nearby lodge.

On the weekend in the center of the program, we’ll take a break from amaZOOnico and travel to Tena, which is famous for its rafting. We’ll have a rafting trip, visit a local cave system, and have some free time to relax and explore the town.

On the last Friday of the program, we will make our way back to Quito. We will spend Saturday touring the colonial Old City of Quito, and also visit Mitad del Mundo, the famous “middle of the world” monument on the Equator, where you can grab a cool photo of yourself in the North and South hemispheres.

Students can depart from Quito any time on the final program Sunday. Students leaving later in the day will have time to explore in Quito with their staff.

Amazon Animals

Who lives at amaZOOnico? It’s important to note that the animals at amaZOOnico vary. This is a true rehab and release program, so lots of animals come and go.

Here’s who’s usually there:

  • LOTS of birds, including toucans and parrots
  • Anacondas
  • Tapirs
  • Caimans
  • Lots of primates, including capuchin monkeys, tamarins, woolly monkeys, and spider monkeys.
  • Guatins
  • Coatis
  • Jaguarundis
  • Tigrillos
  • Turtles
  • Tortoises

In addition, troops of free spider monkeys and squirrel monkeys live on or near the  property and are easily seen each day.

For two days of your program, your Loop Abroad group will host a free veterinary clinic for dogs and cats owned by people in the area, where we can provide vaccines, physical exam, skin treatments, wound care, and sterilization surgeries. So we'll have plenty of companion animals around too!

Scholarships

 

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 (instagram.com/loopabroad) 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.)

Details:
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!

"This was a great learning experience! We were able to spend a lot of time with the vets and they were constantly answering questions and sharing their knowledge. Strongly recommend this trip!"

Andrea G., Thailand College Veterinary Service 2016

Wright State University, Dayton, OH