Applications are open for Spring and Fall 2024!
You can now apply for this program through CIS Abroad!
Get hands-on with veterinary medicine in elephant sanctuaries, zoos, veterinary hospitals, and marine conservation centers
The semester is designed with pre-veterinary students in mind. Our small, hands-on classes are taught by veterinarians with extensive experience in their fields in the shelter, sanctuary, and clinic settings. Each course will be taken in a set sequence, providing the opportunity for one course to build upon another as you progress through the semester.
You’ll also get to participate in all the courses with the same cohort of students as you travel and live together during your time abroad.
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!
The Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad has been selected as a Runner-Up for Best Gap Year Program in 2018-2019 on GoAbroad.com!
“As a pre-veterinary student, it was difficult finding a study abroad program…. I wanted to experience a completely new culture but also knew that I needed to gain more veterinary experience. I almost gave up hope in finding the perfect program, but then I heard about Loop Abroad.” — Antonia L., Spring 2017
Fall 2023: Sunday, Aug. 27 – Friday, Nov. 24, 2023
Spring 2024: Sunday, Jan. 14 – Friday, Apr. 12, 2024
Rolling admissions; applications are open now!
*These are the in-country program dates, and travel to the start and from the end of the program may add additional days.
The Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad is designed to enhance your pre-veterinary knowledge, skills, and experience. Learn how it can add to your Veterinary School application. We can match students with internships, research opportunities, and travel adventures in Chiang Mai and throughout Southeast Asia.
Veterinary Semester Abroad also helps you to earn over 200 veterinary hours which is a huge asset when applying to vet school.
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 Thailand 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!
Some of our students have been recording their experiences on a video blog. Check it out!
For programs starting after August 20, 2023, COVID-19 vaccinations are recommended, but they will no longer be required.
All participants must follow the Loop Abroad COVID policies, which include testing negative 2 days before travel, reporting symptoms if they arise during the program, masking or testing if asked to by staff, and isolating if you test positive.
We’re always excited to share what we love about Thailand
The semester is based in Chiang Mai, which is home to many of our staff and holds a special place in the hearts of all of our alumni. Chiang Mai offers unparalleled cultural and animal experiences in a relatively safe and comfortable environment. You will spend about half of your program in Chiang Mai and half your program at other sites throughout Thailand to which you’ll travel with the same student cohort and staff. Check out all the places our studies will take us!
Home to over eighty 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.find out more
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.find out more
Want to fit a semester abroad in Thailand into your pre-veterinary education path? Here’s how it can work for you!
This page is a general overview of the process of Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad, from applying to attending. For more detailed information on any of these points or personalized assistance, contact us! We are happy to help.
The Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad is a full, academically rigorous college semester designed for pre-vet students. It takes place in fall and spring, over the course of around 14 weeks.
The program has space for up to 12 students and takes place throughout Thailand. Students travel throughout Thailand together and take a set series of courses in a set order. Each student must take all the courses, which are worth a total of 20 credits. The program does not take place on a college campus, but instead in elephant sanctuaries, dog clinics, marine research centers, and other animal facilities in Thailand.
Loop Abroad is not a college. Participants in the Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad will receive their credits and transcript from the University of Findlay, our school of record in the US. For students who are currently in college, we can help you work with your school to transfer these credits. For participants not currently in school, you will receive a transcript from the University of Findlay.
The tuition for the Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad is $21,950. It includes tuition, housing, meals, transport to class each day, transport within Thailand, books, and lab fees. It does not include airfare to Thailand, health insurance, or a visa.
Financial aid options are available. If you are currently a college student, your semester in Thailand would replace your semester tuition on your home campus. We can assist you in using federal financial aid toward your Loop Abroad tuition.
This program is open to applicants age 18 and over. You can be a citizen or resident of any country. You do not need to currently be in school. All courses are taught in English - no Thai language skills are necessary.
Competitive applicants plan to apply to vet school or otherwise work in a career with animals, have a 3.0 GPA or greater, and have a demonstrated interest in working in animal science. No specific skills or experiences are required. We do require one course of college-level biology as a prerequisite (AP Bio or IB Bio would meet this requirement, and there are affordable online alternatives available.)
Step 1: Talk to your advisor. We suggest that you meet with your advisor about a semester abroad and the credits you would be transferring into your degree program. Usually, your advisor will want to see syllabi for all the courses. For a copy of all the syllabi, please send an email to [email protected]. Ask your advisor to approve the credits so that you may approach your study abroad office with your plans to participate in a Loop Abroad semester. Note that the course load of 20 credits is a complete semester, and you are expected to participate in all courses and class meetings during the semester.
Step 2: Apply for admission. You can apply for admission at any time, but it is best to apply at least a few months in advance so you have time to meet with the various offices on your campus and make arrangements for your study abroad. In your application, you can indicate if you are applying for financial aid from Loop Abroad, which can award need-based funds of up to $5,000 per student. You would get notice of any financial aid award with notice of admission.
Step 3: Secure funding for your semester. Once you are admitted, and have your credits and study abroad experience confirmed, it is sometimes possible to use your federal financial aid if you are currently enrolled in a US college or university. Your financial aid office can help you with this process, and we will also assist you. In some cases, your school will require specific documentation from Loop Abroad and we are able to work with them to make this semester financially feasible for you. Note that the semester tuition includes housing, meals, and even books, some students actually find it costs them less to go abroad than to stay on their home campus for the semester.
Step 4: Pay the deposit and submit the necessary paperwork. Before you can be confirmed as a participating student, you must pay the deposit to hold your spot in the upcoming semester. There are only 12 spots available in order to keep the class sizes small. You will also have to complete enrollment paperwork that includes a medical form.
Step 5: Plan for travel to Thailand. The Country Director for the Thailand semester will send you an email with logistical information about travel flights, the required rabies vaccine, international phone plans, and any travel visa requirements. You will also receive a calendar with the dates for your in-country orientation, course schedule, and any school breaks during the semester. We can help you with everything from selecting flights to deciding what to pack!
Step 6: Arrival in Thailand. You will be met by Loop staff when you arrive and taken to your group housing. You will have an in-country orientation and a chance to get to know your group before you start your veterinary courses.
During your semester abroad in Thailand, the staff is available 24/7 to support you. You will live with your fellow students and your travel between course locations will be arranged as a group by Loop Abroad, with staff traveling with you. The semester is a busy, packed schedule with lots of places to go and lots of work to do, and we’ll do it all as a group. If you have questions about the Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad, from applications to safety and everything in between, reach out to us!
Hands-on veterinary experiences from dogs and cats to exotics and elephants
The semester is divided into blocks that will you take in a set sequence so that you can focus on one course at a time immersed in a shelter, sanctuary, 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 semester in Thailand is comparable to a full semester of courses including labs at your home institution.
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.
Here are the courses offered each semester. Please note that though the sequence may be different for different groups and different semesters, all of the following courses are included in your semester abroad.
Course topics and itineraries are subject to change based on the discretion of veterinary instructors.
Unforgettable animal and travel experiences in Thailand and much more
We understand pre-vets. You can’t let a semester 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 in Thailand. You won’t waste a moment.
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 250+ hours working with a veterinarian and 20 hours of research.
Studying in Thailand 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 five of these areas!
Referring to who gets into vet school, 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. Get as much experience as you can while you have the opportunity.”
The Thailand 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.
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.
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:
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. You may even be able to apply some or even all of your home institution semester tuition toward your Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad tuition, which can mean that studying abroad costs the same or even less than spending your semester on your home campus.
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.
The Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad comprehensive fee of $21,950 covers much more than just tuition:
That means that you do not pay any additional fees for labs, books, housing, meals, or in-country transport for courses during your program.
Note: International airfare to and from Thailand is not included.
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. For students who are currently in college or university, you may find that you can use some or even all of your home institution semester tuition toward your Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad 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.
The Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad in Thailand 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 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.
In order to enroll in the Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad, applicants must meet the following requirements by the time the semester begins. For example, if you haven’t completed the biology requirement yet but are ready to apply, you could apply on the condition that you complete the requirement before the semester starts. Affordable online options are available.
The Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad is a cohort 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 Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad entails and are eager to work hard, support their classmates, get their hands dirty, and work hard.
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.
Once you’re ready to apply, you can apply through CIS Abroad.
We encourage you to apply as early as possible to take advantage of the opportunities that are available. For students pursuing credit from their current school, you may need to start the paperwork on your campus as early as 3 to 9 months ahead of time – check with your advisor!
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 Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad into your academic schedule, please contact [email protected] for assistance.
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!
The Gilman Scholarship could fund $5000 of your tuition and the next deadline is March 9 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 March 2023 Deadline application will open in mid-January 2023 for applicants whose in-person programs or internships start between May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024. This cycle encompasses Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Academic Year 2023-2024, and Spring 2024 programs or internships. The application deadline is Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 11:59pm Pacific Time, and the advisor certification deadline is Thursday, March 16, 2023.
Loop Abroad has committed $10,000 in annual funding to program participants joining us from a military background. If you are active duty military or are a veteran, and are considering a career in veterinary medicine, we hope you’ll consider applying to join a Loop Abroad program.
Scholarships of $500 – $1,000 are available for in-person programs. Scholarships of $1,000 – $3,000 are available for select self-paced virtual programs, which can cover the full cost of a virtual program.
Please find more details here.
Loop Abroad is offering one FULL TUITION scholarship to cover one travel program (up to 2 weeks) of your choice. Applications for 2023 are now CLOSED. Applications for 2024 will re-open in January 2024. 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 have to complete an application to Loop Abroad in order to be selected for the scholarship. The scholarship winner must be able to complete the Loop Abroad enrollment paperwork, requiring a doctor’s signature, and must meet all safety requirements of program enrollment.
Note: if you have already applied to Loop Abroad and been accepted, you can still apply for this scholarship. If you have made any payments toward tuition and later receive the scholarship, your payments will be refunded.
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).
This scholarship covers tuition to one Loop Abroad program with a duration of 1 to 2 weeks in the summer of 2023. It is not transferable to other individuals or future semesters. It does not include airfare, travel or medical insurance, passport, college credit fees (optional), visa (if required), or any optional incidentals during your program. Please understand that a full tuition scholarship does not make travel completely free: passport, airfare, and other expenses depend on the program location.
Once a scholarship winner is chosen, the winner will need to complete full application paperwork for Loop Abroad. The winner must then also complete the enrollment paperwork, which includes waiver forms and a medical form signed by a doctor indicating that you are able to safely participate in a travel program.
The scholarship winner agrees that Loop Abroad may publicize the awarding of the scholarship, including the recipient’s information such as name and current university. The scholarship winner will be subject to all regular rules of participating in a Loop Abroad program.
How to apply:
To apply, you must complete the following three steps:
Why 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 program of their choice.
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.
ALL PARTICIPANTS IN LOOP ABROAD TRAVEL PROGRAMS MUST BE VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19. All participants are subject to other COVID requirements, such as providing a negative COVID test taken within the 2 days prior to travel. If you are unable to meet these requirements, you may use your scholarship toward a Loop Abroad online program of your choice within the 2023 calendar year.
Loop Abroad reserves the right not to grant a travel scholarship for the 2023 year if there are no qualified applicants who have applied by the deadline.
The 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 deadline for this scholarship is March 9, 2023.
The 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.
All student applications for Academic Year 2023-2024, including the following terms: Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Academic Year 2023-2024, Spring 2024, and Calendar Year 2024, are expected to open in February 2023.
The 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:
SeniorCare.com continues to bring more awareness to the key issues we face as an aging population. For the 8th consecutive year, we will be awarding an annual college scholarship to an individual that best demonstrates to us why “Aging Matters” to them. A $1500 scholarship will be given annually to a selected college student that currently cares for an aging loved one, works within the senior community, or intends to pursue a career that will have an impact on the elder population. Any existing student (or incoming freshman), in good academic standing, at a 2 or 4-year accredited college can apply for this scholarship. The recipient will demonstrate a unique and admirable understanding and desire to show us that “Aging Matters” to them.
All applicants can get more information and apply online here. Applications are due May 15, 2023.
FirstTrip.org offers scholarships for students who are studying abroad for the first time. At the time of writing, Thailand, Costa Rica, and Belize programs would be eligible for these $1,500 scholarships. Find out more and apply at FirstTrip.org. Applications are rolling and suggested to be submitted at least 3 months before your program. They also have funding available for passports ($130) as well as some other supplemental awards.