As a pre-veterinary student, it was difficult finding a study abroad program that coincided with both my future career and travel goals - 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. Their semester program was exactly what I had been looking for, so I applied, and half a year later I was sitting on a plane en route to Thailand.
Over the course of 14 weeks, I learned about many aspects of veterinary medicine, conservation, and Thai culture. We spent time at a dog shelter, where we helped with surgeries and learned about a variety of essential veterinary skills (i.e. blood draws, physical exams, anesthesia, catheter insertions, 4Dx snap tests, etc.), and visited and worked at elephant sanctuaries where we learned about the fundamentals of elephant medicine and got lots of valuable hands-on experiences with exotics during our travels across the country. These are just some of the many areas of animal health and veterinary work that we touched upon.
The program takes you all over Thailand, where you get to experience the unique cultural aspects of the country as well as the various challenges that come with veterinary medicine. It was amazing being able to work with both Thai and American veterinarians, and I learned so many life lessons that shaped me into a more confident and independent individual. I hardly had any veterinary experience before embarking on the Veterinary Semester Abroad trip, but coming out of it I gained so much experience and appreciation for the field. I would do it again if I could, and I highly recommend this experience for anyone interested in pursuing the veterinary field.