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Loop Abroad

About

Loop Abroad has been offering exciting animal and teaching programs abroad since 2009. We offer summer and semester programs for people who love animals, travel, adventure, and authentic experiences. With programs in Asia, Africa, Australia and Ecuador, Loop Abroad continues to offer incredible opportunities for students to get hands-on experience with greatly respected organizations, and earn college credit through a university partner while doing so!

Founded
2009

Reviews

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Kylie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My trip to Ecuador with Loop Abroad was an amazing. Waking up in the Amazon and having wild squirrel monkeys follow you on your walk to Amazoonico every morning is something you won't experience anywhere else. We had the opportunity to work on ethograms and implement enrichments for macaws and spider monkeys, observe physical exams on a squirrel monkey and a coati, and evaluate and microchip tortoises for release. We also performed a necropsy on a capuchin monkey and a venemous equis snake. Working with the staff from Amazoonico was a lot of fun, we learned a lot about how veterinary medicine and wildlife conservation works in a foreign country firsthand. We also went into the local town and put on a two day vet clinic for their pets which was a very rewarding experience. And, we had time to do some tourist activities like sight see in historic Quito and go white water rafting!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Dessert one night was a semi sweet peeled tree tomato!
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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

During the 2 week program to Australia, I was given the opportunity to learn about prominent Australian wildlife through lectures and hands on experiences. This trip opened my eyes to how amazing Australian animals are from a medical and veterinary standpoint. It was an extremely safe, overwhelmingly fun, and remarkably educational experience! Not only did we spend in depth time learning about Australian animals, but we also had lots of chances to explore and have fun! We spent a day at the Taronga zoo as well as a day exploring Sydney. The animal education was very plentiful and was taught in a very fun and interactive way. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in the veterinary, biology, or conservation professions!

What was your funniest moment?
The many laughs and stories shared with my peers during our time on the trip!
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Haley
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spending 2 weeks in South Africa this summer has been an incredible experience I'll never forget. The staff and veterinarians at Feracare were extremely welcoming and supportive. The passion they have for what they do is so incredible. They all care so much about conservation and the well-being of cheetahs (as well as other animals they have on their property). We also got to spend the weekend at Kruger National Park and the only bad thing I can say about that is that I wish we got to spend more time there. It was so beautiful and absolutely amazing to see these animals in their own habitat. The only complaint that I have is that the food at Feracare wasn't the best but there were circumstances out of their control that changed last minute. Overall, this trip has been so eye-opening and has changed my life. It has solidified the idea that I'd love to be a wildlife veterinarian in the future.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Getting to do an injection during the DNA sampling on Kara, the cheetah my group worked with. While I was nervous about it, Dr. Peter and his tech helped the whole time and made me feel confident in what I was doing.
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Melissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have never been abroad before in my whole life and I couldn't imagine a more fitting location for me to travel to for my first time than South Africa. I wanted my experience to be in a place that no one I knew has been to so I could have no expectations whatsoever. I was nervous, but South Africa completely blew me away the min I walked into the Zoo where I would be residing. The staff of Lory Park and Loop Abroad were more than welcoming, they treated us like family and it felt like being welcomed into a second home. the sounds of the gibbons, cockatoos, and lions fully immersed me into the South African experience. The Safari Park alone made the entire trip an experience I would never forget. I am so humbled to have had this opportunity.

What would you improve about this program?
If anything I would probably improve on the organization of the excursions, like the mall trip. It was understandable however, because it was so last minute.
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Naiel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I may have been a bit nervous before the trip, but that immediately stopped once the trip got going. The experience we shared was so special and unlike any other. Thailand was such a beautiful country that I cannot wait to come back to. Everyone involved with Loop was spectacular and made the trip so much better. The bond our group formed was so supportive and loving. We all become very close and still remain in contact. Every part of the trip was wonderful and my only complaint was that I didn’t want it to end. The food was all delicious and we were able to see so much of the wonderful cities. It was so nice to get a sense of the beautiful culture. Loop created such an immersive experience that was far from any superficial tourist trip. If you want a real adventure that will be educational and enrich your soul, go on this trip.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Maria Berry

Maria is currently a sophomore at Michigan State University. She is majoring in microbiology and minoring in both the history, philosophy, and sociology of science, and in educational studies.

Maria Berry

Why did you choose this program?

The Loop Abroad trip to Thailand was first brought to my attention during a meeting for my university's pre-veterinary medicine club. I was initially impressed because of the relatively low cost of the program, considering how much hands-on experience was included in the trip. I also wanted to go to experience the country's culture - I had been thinking of visiting Thailand far prior to learning about the trip and was excited to experience the country's culture. Finally, I knew this veterinary and cultural experience would be a fantastic addition to my applications to veterinary or graduate school in the future.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Loop Abroad was incredibly thorough in helping us through the application and trip preparation processes. This was especially true due to the fact that I signed up in a private group created by a fellow pre-vet club member who had gone on the trip the year prior. The main things we had to do were filled out a form (for safety/medical information, passport information, and other necessary paperwork), pay, and pack; Loop Abroad helped a great deal with the trip's financial aid and other logistics.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Even if this is your first time studying abroad, or your first time ever being out of the country, it's okay - you will be safe and enjoy yourself.

Loop Abroad is wonderful at answering questions - you just have to ask. As for the trip itself: make sure to bring more clothes than you think you need, especially for the time you spend at Elephant Nature Park. Since it's very hot and humid, you'll want to change clothes much more than you would at home, and you want enough clothes to last you through the whole week (and longer). Additionally, conditions at Elephant Nature Park are more "outdoorsy" (i.e. you will sleep in cabins without air conditioning and be working outside all day), so bring clothes for that week that you aren't afraid to get dirty.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

This is dependent on the week. During one of the weeks, participants are staying at Elephant Nature Park outside of Chiang Mai. During the day, you and those in your Loop group will be doing various veterinary activities with the elephants, dogs, cats, and horses in the park. These include a diet study, a fecal/urine analysis, time spent at the park's cat and dog clinics, and rounds alongside an elephant veterinary professional. Meals will be eaten with the other Loop participants and those staying at the park. There will also be an activity every night, most relating to local Thai culture.

During the other week, participants will be staying at a hotel in Chiang Mai. During the day every day, participants will learn about veterinary medicine at a rescue clinic, and in the afternoon/evening, participants will do an activity (related to Thai culture) in Chiang Mai.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was nervous to be abroad alone, as this trip was my first experience leaving North America. I was mainly nervous that I would be unable to communicate with my parents and other loved ones if something bad were to happen. Thankfully, I was able to contact my parents every day of the trip. I didn't need a SIM card, like many places we went to had WiFi access.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Another question I had prior to this trip was whether any prior animal science knowledge was needed to fully participate in the trip's activities. My (relatively short) microbiology experience has not given me prior animal science knowledge, and I worried I would be unable to completely understand what we learned in the clinics and at ENP. However, this concern was for nothing - the veterinarians who traveled with us did a great job of filling us in and explaining what was going on (and why).

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