Global Veterinary Semester Abroad – Loop Abroad

3 months. 18 credits. Vet medicine around the globe.
Global Veterinary Semester Abroad


Explore different aspects of veterinary medicine and get hands-on experience working with different animals while traveling the world.

Trying to choose between the Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad and the Global Veterinary Semester Abroad? Compare your options!

This global semester abroad is perfect for the student who is exploring various aspects of veterinary medicine, loves working with different kinds of animals, or has an insatiable wanderlust and wants to see three very different parts of the world while studying abroad.

Spanning the course of three months, students will have endless opportunities to gain hands-on experience learning clinical skills and providing care to animals in need. With three 4-week modules in South Africa, Thailand and Ecuador, you’ll have the chance to work with dogs and cats, elephants, cheetahs, marine life and various animals of the Amazon rainforest!

Who It’s For

The semester is designed with pre-veterinary students in mind. Our small, hands-on classes are taught by veterinarians and marine science instructors with extensive experience in their fields.

We know that spending a semester abroad can be daunting for pre-vet students. We’re available to answer all your questions about credit, financial aid, and coursework to make sure this semester abroad is the perfect fit for you!

Highlights

  • Feed and help provide medical care to cheetahs
  • Learn about all aspects of care and management of captive wildlife
  • Go on safari through Kruger National Park, one of the largest national parks in the world and home to almost 150 large animal species (more than any other game reserve in Africa) including lions, leopards, rhino, elephants, and buffalo
  • Work as a volunteer in a South African zoo
  • Assist in wild animal conservation research in South Africa
  • Feed, study, and care for rescued elephants
  • Assist in dog neuter surgeries
  • Learn and practice small animal clinical skills
  • Tour the city of Chiang Mai, including visits to temples and local markets
  • Get SCUBA certified and learn conservation diving
  • Learn to identify marine invertebrates, tropical fish, and understand reef health
  • Stay overnight in forest villages to understand their livelihoods and connections to forest ecosystems
  • Zipline through the jungle
  • 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
  • Discover Quito, the capital of Ecuador
  • Help to research marine fishes populations of the Galapagos
  • Snorkel the famous Kicker Rock with sea turtles and sea lions
  • Explore San Cristobal from sunrise hikes to sunset beach yoga
  • Earn 300+ veterinary hours and 18 credits
  • Earn 100+ animal experience and research hours.

Dates Open for Application

May 18 – August 12, 2019

Deadline to apply is February 1, 2019!

 apply now

Vet School

The Global Veterinary Semester Abroad is designed to enhance your pre-veterinary knowledge, skills, and experience. Learn how it can add to your Veterinary School application.

Many students find that they can use their federal, state, and institutional aid, loans, and scholarships to pay the semester fee. You may be able to use your current semester tuition toward your Global Veterinary Semester Abroad and get credit at your school, and we can help you with this process. Additionally, students can choose to receive a transcript from our university partner, a fully accredited US-based institution. Please contact us so we can help you figure out your options.

The AVMA says “If you have the opportunity to work… for veterinarians who work with different species, that’s a bonus that can make you more appealing to a veterinary school admissions committee.” We’re proud to offer you that opportunity!

Locations

The Global Veterinary Semester Abroad is based in South Africa, Thailand and Ecuador. From safaris to tropical islands to rainforests, students will travel the world and experience vastly different cultures, landscapes and animals. Check out the many places our studies will take us!

amaZOOnico

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.

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San Cristobal Island

A dream destination with pristine beaches, San Cristobal Island is part of the Galapagos Islands, far from the mainland of Ecuador.

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Feracare Wildlife Centre

Feracare offers a volunteer program which gives people of any age a chance to work with wildlife and experience the African bush. Their mission is to ensure the long-term survival of the cheetah species through maintaining a strong genetic pool with the aim to release them into protected areas if and when they become available.

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New Heaven Reef Conservation Program on Turtle Island

Much more than just a diving school, New Heaven has more than 20 years of experience showing and preserving the island reefs and occasionally hosting sea turtles in their small nursery.

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Dog Rescue Clinic

The Clinic provides free care and sterilizations to village dogs and cats and overflow housing for dogs at the nearby rescue, the Animal Rescue Kingdom. All made possible by the hard work of local veterinarians and visiting veterinarians and students!

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Elephant Nature Park (ENP)

Home to over sixty elephants who are no longer able to work in elephant-based industries or have been rescued from inhumane conditions in logging, trekking, or circus operations. The Park and its founder, Lek Chailert, have been recognized time and again for tireless efforts to improve the lives of elephants in SE Asia.

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a city of contradictions and surprises. The old city walls and brick Buddhist stupas speak to the city’s 700-year history as the center of the Lanna Kingdom.

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Coursework

The Global Veterinary Semester gives you a chance to pack a full pre-veterinary semester abroad into your summer. You’ll learn about veterinary medicine in:

  • South Africa: zoo medicine and cheetah center
  • Thailand: small animal clinic, elephant sanctuary, and marine center
  • Ecuador: Amazon zoo, spay/neuter project, and marine research

At each location, your coursework is supplemented by culture and adventure activities that give you a chance to explore the world from new perspectives. Housing, meals, and all activities are included in your tuition.

The semester is divided into blocks so that you can focus on one course at a time immersed in a shelter, sanctuary, research, or clinic setting. With each block, you will build and practice new knowledge and skills. The coursework is demanding, but you will go home with memories of a lifetime and key experiences that will prepare you for your veterinary training and career.

The Global Veterinary Semester Abroad is comparable to a full semester of courses, including labs at your home institution, and offers a total of 18 course credits.

Please note: we have listed credits based on the number of hours of instruction, homework, and fieldwork in each course. But the number of credits you receive at your school will vary depending on how you apply for credit and how your school grants it. Through our university partner (School of Record), we can offer all students a full transcript.

Your semester abroad will be divided into three 4-week modules:

  • May 18 – June 16: South Africa
  • June 16 – July 14: Thailand
  • July 14 – August 12: Ecuador

South Africa

May 18 – June 2:

Earn 3 credits by taking “South African Animal Conservation”, taught by Loop vets.

You’ll start your Global Veterinary Semester Abroad with two weeks at the Lory Park Zoo in Johannesburg. Lory Park is an animal and owl sanctuary with a focus on education and conservation. Lory Park is one of only a handful of institutions in Africa accredited by the Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

Your course is made specifically for pre-vet students and combines lectures, volunteer hours, and hands-on training to provide you with unique zoo experience. Your time at the zoo will include lectures and presentations on genetics mutations, conservation medicine, reptiles in captivity, amputee animals, big cats in captivity, and other topics, but it goes far beyond lectures.

You will be able to learn about and assist in creating enrichments and training for primates, cats, and birds, including learning to fly owls. You will help to design and create enrichments for zoo animals. You will learn about and practice animal care such as cub weighing, wing and nail clipping and capture and restraint of birds of prey, health checks on donkeys, vaccinations of primates, and deworming of birds. You will be given safety training and training and experience on proper handling and free and protected contact techniques. You will also assist in food preparation, enclosure cleaning, and enclosure maintenance daily, and help with community outreach projects.

 

Students have the chance to monitor heart rate while the sedated animal receives care.
June 2 – June 16:

Earn 3 credits by taking “ABCs of African Big Cats: Anatomy, Behavior, and Conservation”, taught by Loop vets right alongside the cats themselves.

During this course, students will split their time between volunteering at the cheetah breeding and conservation facility and learning from Loop vets in classrooms and labs.

You will get the chance to participate in veterinary labs such as necropsies, surgical practice, and microscope use. While we do NOT purchase dead animals for necropsy, we may use an already-dead animal that is being used to feed the cheetahs to practice necropsy, suture, and surgical skills.

cheetahsAdditionally, you’ll have ample opportunity to observe the cheetahs closely throughout your time on the project as well as engage in hands-on interactions with them in small groups. Hands-on contact is limited to safe, short interactions that do not cause the animals undue stress, participation in training exercises when available, and necessary medical treatment and observation on sedated animals.

 

Students working with the bat care provider

Observing and learning about the other animals at Feracare, including porcupines, wild dogs, caracals, African wild cats, lions, vultures, and bat-eared foxes, is built into your weekly schedule. We may or may not be able to provide medical care to the animals on the property, depending what is needed at the time.

Thailand

June 16 – June 30

Earn 3 credits by taking “Tropical Shelter Medicine, Management, and Welfare: From Companion Animals to Elephants”, taught by Loop vets alongside dogs, cats and elephants.

During this course, you will work with our staff vet to care for dogs at the Dog Rescue Clinic outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Students are in the examination room in small groups, assisting with procedures and surgeries and learning hands-on from the vet. Each day will have a lecture-style portion at the clinic and a chance to put the skills learned into practice helping animals in need, culminating in two surgery days at the end of the week.

You will also spend time living and volunteering with the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in a specially-tailored volunteer program. Students work with the elephants, helping to feed them, cut their food, clean their homes, and provide overall care for them. They will also help with sanctuary upkeep and have the chance to participate in cultural activities.

In addition, your vet will help you learn about elephant anatomy and physiology, body condition scores, and behavior.

There will be a chance while at the Elephant Nature Park to learn from the elephant vet on staff, help provide medical care to animals in need, learn to test for various medical conditions in large mammals, and possibly observe surgical procedures in the on-site dog clinic. Students may also have opportunities to shadow the elephant trainer, participate in a diet study, prepare medications, or any number of other things going on at the park.

 

June 30 – July 14

Earn 3 credits by taking “BIO 380B: Tropical Conservation and SCUBA Diving”, taught by marine science instructors as you dive in the waters off the coast of Koh Tao, Thailand.

This course will cover various topics, including tropical forest ecology, deforestation and accelerated forest recovery, climate change and its effects on all ecosystems, how local communities traditionally use forests and reefs, and how to preserve ecosystems while helping local people.

Additionally, after becoming SCUBA certified, students will participate in a combination of lectures and conservation diving in order to study the complexities of marine ecosystems. Students will learn about coral reef ecology and reef organisms from invertebrates to fish, reptiles, and mammals, as well as learn to identify marine invertebrates, tropical fish, and understand reef health.

Ecuador

July 14 – July 29

Earn 3 credits by taking “Conservation of Amazon Wildlife”, taught by Loop Vets as you observe and learn about the animals at amaZOOnico.

During this course, students will learn about Amazon conservation and animal care while assisting in helping to care for the animals, including cleaning and preparing food. You’ll be able to join the staff vet on vet walking rounds to monitor animal care, collect data from camera traps for research, participate in veterinary labs such as blood pathology, and observe the placement of one GPS collar on a previously released primate or other animal eligible for release, and the subsequent release.

Throughout the week, students will have the opportunity to perform ethograms on animals and design and implement enrichment projects for them, work with the vet to place transponders into birds so that they can be identified, and even work as a team with your veterinarians to provide free medical care for cats and dogs, including vaccinations, skin and ear treatments, and spay and neuter surgeries.

 

July 29 – August 12

Earn 3 credits by taking “Galapagos Marine History, Ecology, and Research”, taught by marine science instructors as you spend time on the island of San Cristobal.

Throughout the program, you will spend approximately 40 hours assisting in a research project to track the fish species that visit certain beaches on the island, including the times they visit and the number of fish. With over 500 species of fish that can be spotted in the shore area of the ocean, there’s a lot to learn about marine fish identification. We will track numbers in real time in the water with a mask and snorkel, and you will also take GoPro footage and review the footage out of the water to get accurate counts and species analysis.

Your research time also includes learning and practicing proper research and recording methods, tracking your data, creating a presentation of your findings, and learning about the marine ecology of the area and the anatomy of the variety of marine species that make their home on San Cristobal. You can expect that about half of your research and class time will be in the water and about half will be in the classroom (which will sometimes be the beach).

Tuition

We know studying abroad is a big investment. If you are currently in college or university, we can help you to work with your school to get credit for your Loop Abroad courses and be able to access federal financial aid to use toward your Loop Abroad tuition.

If you are considering applying, let us know! We can walk you through each step from talking with your school advisors to making the program affordable for you.

Semester Tuition

The Global Veterinary Semester Abroad comprehensive fee of $20,450 covers much more than just tuition:

  • Tuition for 18 course credits, including an official transcript from our university partner, Iowa Wesleyan University
  • Housing in all program locations
  • All meals during the semester
  • Activities in every location (such as ziplining, rafting, etc.)
  • Transportation to class each day and transportation for field courses, including airfare within Thailand between program locations
  • Course readings and materials (no books to purchase)
  • Clinic and lab supplies
  • SCUBA certification

That means that you do not pay any additional fees for labs, books, housing, or meals during your program.

Note: The semester fee DOES NOT include international airfare or airfare between Quito and the Galapagos. It does not include the $100 Galapagos entry permit (arranged at Quito airport). We can help you to organize a multi-stop ticket.

Financial Aid

Many students studying abroad use financial aid such as grants, scholarships, and/or loans to help pay their tuition and program fees.

Because we offer transcripts through our US university partner (School of Record), you may be able to use your state, federal, and/or institutional aid and loans towards the semester tuition. Generally the first step is to get your credits approved by your current school – and we are happy to help!

There are also several outside scholarships designed for students studying abroad. We suggest that you talk to your financial aid office for recommendations. We will support your application!

Loop Abroad also offers a limited number of awards for semester students ranging from $500 to $5,000 based on qualifications and financial need.

If you aren’t sure where to start, please contact us! The sooner you start the process, the easier it is to communicate with your school about credits and financial aid.

Vet Hours

We understand pre-vets. You can’t let a summer pass without making progress towards a competitive vet school application. Join us for animal experiences you can’t get anywhere else on the planet all while developing hands-on veterinary skills, building your resume, and having an amazing adventure around the world. You won’t waste a moment.

Research and Veterinary Experience Hours

When you apply to vet school, you have to describe and record hours for three kinds of experiences: research experiences, veterinary experiences, and animal experiences.

In our semester, you’ll log 300+ hours working with a veterinarian (DVM) and 100+ additional hours of animal experience and research.

Explore Many Areas of Veterinary Medicine

Studying abroad in three different countries means you’ll get to experience a ton of different areas of veterinary medicine, which can be an advantage for admission to vet school. North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine says:
“… [S]upervised experiences in three or more different areas are highly recommended for a competitive application…. small animal, large animal, research, food animal production, exotic, aquatic, wildlife, zoological medicine”

Loop offers veterinarian-supervised experiences in six of these areas!

  • Small animals
  • Research
  • Exotic animals
  • Aquatic animals
  • Wildlife
  • Zoological medicine

Referring to who gets into vet school, the AVMA says…
“If you have the opportunity to work …for veterinarians who work with difference species, that’s a bonus that can make you more appealing to a veterinary school admissions committee. Get as much experience as you can while you have the opportunity.”

The Global Veterinary Semester Abroad gives you varied experience in a module schedule, so you’ll have one course at a time, and you and your classmates can focus on learning material and skills from the vet or vets leading your course. You’ll also get to know your vets well because of the small class size and hands-on nature of your coursework, which allows you to learn about their experience in the veterinary profession and allows them to get to know you well enough to write recommendation letters.

Cross-cultural Shelter and Clinical Experience

According to the AVMA, “volunteering at shelters or rescues can provide animal handling experience that will help make you a better candidate [for veterinary school].”

With Loop, you’ll study shelter management while assisting in a shelter. You’ll study marine vertebrates and then identify them while diving over a coral reef. You aren’t just shadowing at the clinic down the road — you’re learning first-hand about the communication challenges of practicing in cross-cultural organizations.

Our semester is designed to give you not only technical knowledge and animal handling experience, but the cultural and communication skills to make the most of your training.

Workshops to Support you in your Veterinary Goals

We offer faculty-led workshops and advising to help you with every aspect of applying to Veterinary School and advancing your career. Covered topics include:

  • Writing and updating a resume
  • How to talk about your experiences in interviews
  • Seeking and finding additional experience
  • Securing letters of recommendation
  • Writing an admissions essay
  • The vet school application process
  • Veterinary career options

How to Apply

The Global Veterinary Semester Abroad is open to students from all academic backgrounds, not just pre-vet students.

We welcome students to study with us as a gap year after high school to decide if they want to pursue a veterinary education. We also welcome students who have completed an undergraduate degree but want to enhance their vet school application.

We are proud to often host students on their first trip abroad as well as students who are seasoned international travelers. You do not need to be a US citizen to apply.

We understand studying abroad is a big decision — we’ll walk you through every step. We can help you figure out if it’s a good fit and how research, internship, and course credit as well as financial aid would work for you.

Who Can Apply

In order to enroll in the Global Veterinary Semester Abroad, applicants must meet the following requirements by the time the semester begins.

  • Eighteen years or older
  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Passport valid for 6 months from the end of the program
  • Healthy enough to travel and work outside in hot, humid climate
  • Able to swim

What makes a competitive applicant?

Each course in the Global Veterinary Semester Abroad is a group of up to 12 students, who work closely with one another and with their veterinarians and instructors. For this reason, the #1 skill we look for in an application is the ability to work as part of a team.

We’re looking for students who understand what the Global Veterinary Semester Abroad entails and are eager to work hard, support their classmates, and get their hands dirty.

We don’t require any specific animal experience, but a demonstrated interest in working with animals or in veterinary medicine will strengthen your application. We don’t require a certain GPA, but strong applicants generally have a GPA of 3.0 or greater. Your application is more than just your GPA. We do not consider standardized test scores in our admissions decisions.

I’m ready to apply – what now?

Once you’re ready to apply, you can click on the “apply now” link below and get started.

The application for the Global Veterinary Semester Abroad has a $50 application fee, and will require your transcript, resume, 2 academic or professional references, and includes an essay component. Please note that upon acceptance to the program, your spot is not guarantee until the non-refundable deposit of $5,000 is paid.

If you’d like our help before applying to make sure that your credits will transfer to your current college or university and that you’ll be able to successfully fit the Global Veterinary Semester Abroad into your academic schedule, please contact [email protected] for assistance.

Trying to choose between the Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad and the Global Veterinary Semester Abroad? Compare your options!
Deadline to apply is February 1, 2019!

 apply now

Get more details about this program…

"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., College Veterinary Service 2016

Wright State University, Dayton, OH