My name is Kaitlin and when I applied for the semester abroad program was in my Junior year of my undergrad applying for the semester abroad of my spring semester senior year. I had known Loop Abroad in the past for two other programs and am well versed in their application process, Thailand programs, and in country policies.
First off, if you are looking for a program to gain veterinary experience, this is for sure for you! You will become proficient and confident in your ability to complete blood draws, IV catheter placements, canine intubation, surgical anaesthesia monitoring, pre operative physical exams, as well as general husbandry and care for canines and felines. As far as non companion animals go, you will get up close and personal with sea turtles, elephants, and zoo species. The education you receive on this trip is nothing short of amazing and something that I personally will never take for granted. it was an experience that I probably would not have gotten in the United States.
Even though this is a study abroad program, there are so many opportunities for adventure outside of your studies. You have weekends off when you are in Chiang Man, which is a large city with plenty of opportunities to do activities such as temple visits, orchid gardens, shopping, open markets, and karaoke bars just to name a few.
When you first arrive in Thailand; the first week is all about learning about Thailand and Thai culture. This covers all your bases such as ordering food in Thai restaurants, learning Thai food, basic vocabulary to buy items in markets, and how to order a red truck (taxi)! Thai people are so very nice and welcoming to expats that Chiang Mai will feel like a second home to you! So much so that when you leave to visit Koh Tao for the marine life course, or kanchanaburi for elephants world, that you will be homesick for Chiang Mai.
Overall this study abroad program changed who I am as a person, and who I am as a veterinary student. I can also say now, as a first year veterinary student at the Royal Veterinary College in London, that I do have a leg up on some students with the information that I gained from this program!