By Loop Abroad   Reviews (20)   99% Rating

Loop Abroad - College Veterinary Service Program

By Loop Abroad   Reviews (20)   99% Rating

In this two-week program, you’ll work and learn alongside veterinarians at an elephant sanctuary and a dog rescue. Students live among the elephants and care directly for them while providing check-ups and procedures to dogs in need.

This program is divided into two weeks. In one week, students work with our staff vet to care for dogs at the ARK dog shelter in Chiang Mai. Students learn how to assess the dogs' health by performing exams and get hands-on practice providing medical care. The other week is spent at the Elephant Nature Park, providing love and support for the 40 elephants who live there.

This program is open for college students (rising freshman through graduating seniors) who are interested in becoming veterinarians or working professionally with animals. Prices are all-inclusive (less airfare) and financial aid is available.

Locations
Asia » Thailand » Chiang Mai
Asia » Thailand
Program Type
Provider
Degree Level
High School Diploma
Bachelors
Timeframe
Summer
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Statement of Purpose
Official Transcripts
Starting Price
2000.00
Cost Description
Program tuition is $3,700. All costs are included less airfare.

Questions & Answers

After checking the site, it appears that the program is for young adults ages 18-23. Hope that helps! Here's the link for more info: http://www.loopabroad.com/content/college-veterinary-service
Hi Melodie, the price for this is $3859 USD and $5411.18 CAD

Rating Values

  • Academics
    82%
  • Support
    99%
  • Fun
    92%
  • Housing
    97%
  • Safety
    99%

Program Reviews (20)

Jazmin
Female
21 years old
Windsor, CA
Other

Best Life Experience

9/10

Loop Abroad and Thailand was absolutely amazing! It was definitely the best life experience that I have had so far. I learned a lot while over there. I loved getting to know Thai culture especially because its so different from my own. The food was amazing, before this i had never even tried Thai food before! Spending time with the animals at the shelter was awesome.I really enjoyed elephant nature park! I love what loop abroad stands for; they do not ride elephants. And that's the best part because that's when you know you're volunteering for the best! The staff was very supportive. Overall I would recommend for anyone to go to Thailand with loop abroad!
P.s. I miss Thailand all the time!!

How can this program be improved?

I wish we could have gone to explore more places. Maybe done some more tourist things. I would have also liked to go white water rafting like one of the other groups was able to do.

Meredith
Female
22 years old
Newark, Delaware
University of Delaware

This Trip Changed My View On Life

10/10

This trip was an amazing experience. I was so lucky to be able to see another country in a safe environment with people I could trust and be able to help so many animals while I was there. I learned so much about elephants, Thai culture, veterinary medicine, and myself while I was there. I am so thankful for this trip because it helped ensure me that I was taking the right path in life and it absolutely made a better person and the woman I am today.

How can this program be improved?

I loved all of the activities we did but there were a few more I wish we could have done! Perhaps a survey could be given upon acceptance to the program for us to rate which extra activities we would want to do more.

Abigail
Female
22 years old
Salt Lake City, Utah
Other

Experience of a lifetime

10/10

This was my first time traveling outside of the country. My parents and my self were scared but I wanted to go so bad.
Loop abroad sent weekly emails about things to pack and FAQ and even the travel alerts.
My flight took off from Salt Lake City Utah to jfk airport on Friday july 11th. We were scheduled to leave jfk on Saturday morning.
We got on the flight to Thailand and I was so scared but I felt so safe. They made sure we were all comfortable and ready for the long flight.
We landed in Hong Kong after 16 hours of being in the air and then had a little lay over. Then we flew into chiang Mai Thailand.
They let our parents know we were there safe. The next 2 weeks were all about learning, and exploring.
We stayed at the elephant nature park for 1 week which was the coolest experience ever. We were literally sleeping with the elephants outside our door. We learned a lot about elephants. How many people get to say they have bathed with an elephant in the wild? Not many. But I did. We splashed with them and bathed them for hours. After our week there we went and stayed at a hostel that loop abroad rents out just for their students. We were there for 1 week and worked in a animal shelter. We neutered 2 dogs and 2 cats. We actually did it. It was amazing. We learned how to give vaccines and take blood and remove ticks.
During our free time they took us to the night markets, and gave us each a cell phone to communicate. If we did not come back on time or disrespect the rules we would get that privilege taken away. They wanted to make sure we were always safe.
They took us to cool restaurants and a butter fly sanctuary and even tiger kingdom where we layed and played with tigers.
Then the day came. Time to leave. I was ready to go home but I knew I was going to miss Thailand.
Overall, this trip was so worth it. I can't express how grateful I am to loop abroad not only for the amazing experience but also feeling so entirely safe and protected the entire time.
If you're looking for a trip or a volunteer program for you or your child I highly recommend them. They have all sorts of programs not only vet ones. Check out their wesbite. Www.loopabroad.com
I plan to go back with loop abroad.

How can this program be improved?

If I could change one thing, it would be the program length. I would have loved 1 more week.

Laura
Female
21 years old
Albuquerque, New Mexico
University of New Mexico

Amazing Experience!

9/10

This trip was an incredible experience. The short two weeks we were there we were constantly busy doing fun and exciting things. If you love animals, adventures, and good times then this trip is perfect! You have to put in some hard work, but hey work hard, play hard right? The staff was super supportive and was always willing to help you with anything you needed whether it was being homesick or what to buy for a family member, they were there to help! I learned so much and had so much more fun than I ever expected.

How can this program be improved?

More freedom to college aged kids, we are (kinda) adults at this point lol.

Caroline
Female
19 years old
Ottawa,Ontario, Canada
University of Ottawa

11/10

10/10

All I could think about when filling out the programs review preceding this page was that I wish 11/10 was an option, because that is truly how I would rate every aspect of my experience with loop abroad. Being an aspiring veteranarian this trip seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to travel abroad, learn in a hands on environment about veterinary medicine ( both domestic and exotic!) and make life long friends, so it's safe to say that going into this adventure I had very high expectations. Well, it's also safe to say that every single one of those high expectations was exceeded. From before my departure, the staff was extremely friendly and tremendously helpful, the amount of hands of veterinary learning I got to be a part of was outstanding, and the amazing people and animals I met along the way only made the experience 100x better. I would recommend this trip to anyone with an interest in pursuing veterinary medicine who's looking for a hands on and unique learning experience, but most of all to someone who is looking to have their lives forever changed (FOR THE BETTER!!!) by this extraordinary program. The college veterinary program with loop abroad was easily the best two weeks of my entire life and thanks to loop, do have lifelong memories, knowledge and friends that I will carry with me for a very long time.

How can this program be improved?

I wish I could help and make some sort of constructive criticism, but there's nothing to improve. The trip was so safe, organized, fun and exceeded all of my high expectations. 11/10

Rachel
Female
22 years old
Davis, California
University of California- Davis

College Veterinary Service in Thailand

10/10

I learned so much and had a lot of fun during the two weeks I spent in Thailand this summer. I got to practice veterinary skills such as drawing blood, checking for parasites, and neutering a dog and cat. The second week was spent with rescued elephants and it was amazing to see the hard work that went into the sanctuary and what a difference it made in these elephant's lives. The Loop Abroad program staff were all helpful and friendly and tried extremely hard to make sure that we had the best experience possible!

How can this program be improved?

I would be happy to have another week with the program, I feel like even though we learned so much every day there was still more to do!

Layna
Female
23 years old
Glenpool, Oklahoma
Rogers State University

Best Experience of my Life!

10/10

I joined this program knowing I wanted to work with exotic animals, but actually being there and living it was an entirely different feeling. I felt whole while I was there. I didn't want to leave and I have already planned to go back once I graduate veterinarian school, if not sooner.

How can this program be improved?

The length was not long enough for me. I wanted more time to experience everything.

Nikki
Female
23 years old
Westfield, MA
Other

Thailand Vet Program

10/10

The program I went on was the best time of my life! I'd have to say the highlight of the trip was living with the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in the mountains of Chiang Mai for a week. It was so inspiring learning about the elephants and working alongside the elephant vet and elephant trainer to help the wonderful creatures! It was also nice meeting new people, I have 12 forever friends from my trip!

How can this program be improved?

I believe this program was perfect. Everything was organized and well thought out!

Mckayla
Female
22 years old
Laramie, Wyoming
University of Wyoming

Life Changing Experience!

10/10

Going on the Loop Abroad program completely changed my life! I learned so much from the culture to elephants! I fell in love with elephants and it was amazing to get hands on experience with them and actually be able to build a relationship with them! I am such an adventurous person, and I don't think it can get more adventurous as that! I am forever grateful for my opportunity to be apart of this program, and I can't wait to go back in the future!

How can this program be improved?

I would have loved for this program to be longer! I really have no complaints about the program!

Trisha
Female
25 years old
Gainesville, FL
Santa Fe College

Most AMAZING trip EVER!

10/10

I got to visit the amazing country of Thailand! While there I spent one week exploring all of Thailand from temples to dog shelters to a place called Tiger Kingdom! On my second week I volunteered at a place called Elephant Nature Park where I got to do vet work on elephants and feed and bathe them regularly! This was a trip of a lifetime and I would recommend anyone to go!! I met so many new people and made some life long friendships!

How can this program be improved?

Make it longer!

Brigette
Male
22 years old
Whippany, NJ
Becker College

Best trip Ever, but One Recommendation..it's hot in Thailand so Stay hydrated!

10/10

I first heard about Loop Abroad when an ad for the “Vet Service” trip popped up on my facebook newsfeed. I immediately called my mother and said “Mom, I’m going to Thailand this summer.” While my mom and my dad were skeptical about the trip, we did proceed to set up a phone interview with Addam, one of Loop’s Founders and directors. He answered all my questions and even recommend that I talk to previous students. My parents were still skeptical, first for my safety and then for the cost. However after more phone calls and emails with Addam and Jane, Loop’s other Founder and director, my parents really felt safe letting me travel to Thailand with Loop!
I did find out about Loop Abroad in May so it left very little time for fundraising. However, with the finical aid I received and my determined fundraising skills I was able to cover the cost of the trip with no finical burden. To be honest spending some money that I had saved for years on this trip was the best decision and “purchase” that I have ever made!
A few weeks before our trip Loop sent out an email with the names of other students that would be in our group. We all immediately reached out to each other through Facebook and Email. Upon meeting at the airport we all clicked right away! One thing that I love about Loop Abroad is that we fly out of the country with one of their staff members. This really helped me and others feel safer; especially when many of us were going out of the country for the very first time.
The flights and the layover times were great bonding experiences. And we all became friends by the first layover. When we landed in Chaing Mai we were greeted at the airport by Addam, and got to take Tuk Tuks to the Spicy Thai. Spicy Thai became out home for the first week. Spicy is an amazing hostel and Aum and Noom are amazing hostess.
My group spend the first week volunteering at The ARK. There we taught by Hannah one of Loop’s Vets. She taught us so much! I got to do physical exams, give vaccines, draw blood, and assist in surgery! By the time I started my first semester in college after my trip to Thailand, I was ahead of many of my classmates. Surgery Day at ARK was by far one of my favorite days! We neutered 3 dogs! Between the 6 of us we each got to rotate through different roles in surgery! During the week we also got to know many of the dogs at the Shelter. By the end of the week we all had our favorites! My favorite by far was NaKorn who we named Winn Dixe prior to knowing his name.
Our week wasn’t just spend doing volunteer work, we also got to learn a little bit about the culture. We went to many different markets, but my favorite was the Night Bazar. You can’t really leave any Thai Market without a pair a famous pair of Thai Pants. At the end of our first week everyone had at least 2 or 3 pairs of Thai pants. Another activity that we did one night was going to a monk chat! It was so awesome! We got to help the Monks practice English while they got to teach us about their culture. We learned that our Monk was secretly loving all of T-Swifts music! His favorite song was 15!
During the weekend we spent the days traveling around Chaing Mai! We visited the Chaing Doi caves and Temples. The caves were amazing! I had never been in a cave prior and these were just gorgeous! Though we visited many temples, they were all so special and so unique.
Another one of my favorite adventures was going to the Tiger Kingdom. I got to bottle feed a tiger cub!! Who else can say that!? Who can say they have kissed a tiger before!? Well if you go to Thailand you’ll be able to too!!!! In addition to the caves and Tiger Kingdom we also visited the Orchid and Butterfly garden. I had never been to a butterfly garden before, so naturally I had never really seen so many butterflies before!
My group also went on a hike to another beautiful temple and a waterfall! Pictures don’t do justice sometimes! On Monday my group travel to Elephant Nature Park and got to work alongside vets treating elephants! ENP really isn’t JUST elephants, you can find animals of all kinds at the ENP!
At the end of the 2 weeks I wasn’t ready to travel back home! Chaing Mai is beautiful and the friendships that I made with not only my group, but also other Loop groups and Loops staff are amazing, I wasn’t ready to say “see you later.”
Traveling to Thailand with Loop Abroad was truly the best thing that I have chosen to do!! I not only had the best time of my life, but I also learned so much that has been beneficial to my education. Everyone should apply, even if it’s not on the vet trip, Loop Abroad is a life altering experience. Any High School or College student should travel with Loop!!!

How can this program be improved?

Loop Abroad's program is great! Though my group was their first Vet trip so I know many aspects of the week at ARK have already been improved dramatically!
One thing that our group didn't get to do that the non-vet trips got to do was zip-lining. I would have really like to participate in that!

Cienna
Female
Ferndale, washington
Colorado State University

Couldn't believe my eyes

10/10

I held the rice ball up to her truck. Noi nah, a relatively new elephant hesitantly picked it up. A downpour started around us and quickly coated our clothes to us like glue. It seeped into my bones, but I did not care. I loved this moment, these creatures, and the friends around me as we ran back to the shelter. We all fell into a laughing heap and a sense of complete happiness washed over me. These are the kind of moments that are created here. Moments that will stick in your mind forever.

How can this program be improved?

If I could change one thing it would be the food at ENP. I was not prepared for the vegan/vegetarian options and craved meat constantly. They had a schedule for the weekly food, but the lack in variety after 3 weeks was frustrating.

Aren
Female
23 years old
Hastings, Minnesota
North Dakota State University

TAKE ME BACK!

10/10

This trip was amazing! I've never had such an experience in my life. Part of this was because Thailand was the prettiest place I've ever been. Part of it was because elephants are awesome! But mostly it was because the people I was surrounded by were so great! All of the cute cute dogs also helped and I learned a lot.

How can this program be improved?

More food options, I got pretty sick of the Thai food not gonna lie!

Allie
Female
23 years old
Kentucky
Berry College

My Thailand Trip

10/10

This trip is unique because it is a vacation and study abroad experience all in one. These two weeks were stress free and so relaxing, yet I gained veterinary knowledge that I wouldn't learn until vet school. I loved working with the elephant vets at ENP and as well as Dr. D (Dana)! Dr. D gave me responsibilities that my own vet that I have worked for for 2 years has not allowed me to do. This trip will open many doors for me and has strengthened my desire to become a vet!

How can this program be improved?

I wish I would have gotten to stay at ENP for one more week. I also wish I could have experienced more of the tourist things to do in Thailand.

Sam
Female
23 years old
Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin- Madison

When in Thai

10/10

This experience was a once in a lifetime. I had an amazing two weeks spent with really great staff. Not only is it hands on learning but an eye opener to the rest of the world. As a pre- vet student, it was awesome to work alongside a vet.

Katlyn
Female
23 years old
Victoria, TX
Other

Once in a lifetime experience.

10/10

This program opened my life up to the world of travel while simoltaniously helping me persue my dream of becoming a veterinarian. It was so hands on with animals during the day and then at night you were emerged into the Thai culture. This honestly is a once in a life time experience and anyone that has a chance needs to take it. I was able to learn how to draw blood, learn the basics of a general check up, how to administer shots and many other veterinary basics. I spent a great deal of my time growing up volunteering at my hometown zoo and I was a very active member of FFA but Loop Abroad gave me a chance to really work one on one with animals. I came home with veterinary experience but even more important I was able to meet two girls who became my best friends and enough stories to last a lifetime.

Taylor
Female
23 years old
Boone, North Carolina
Appalachian State University

Best Experience of My Life

10/10

To this day, I still claim that the two weeks I spent in Thailand were by far the best two weeks of my life. I had never traveled overseas by myself before so having all of us meet in New York and fly out together to Thailand was very helpful. I believe it also gives us a chance to socialize with one another before we get there. Once you arrive in Thailand, the hospitality begins from the start. I think that is one of the most significant things about Loop Abroad. They make you feel at home when you are thousands of miles away from the U.S. The dynamic duo of Spicy Thai and Loop Abroad makes your trip abroad a welcoming experience.

The first week, we volunteered at the ARK Shelter under the supervision of a veterinarian. Throughout the week, you are getting hands on experience every day. You have surgery days, blood drawing days, and a special day to visit the cats at another shelter. Not to mention, everyday spent in Chiang Mai you get some kind of cultural experience. You visit in town for lunch, dinner, and shopping in the markets.

The second week was spent at the ENP where elephants roam freely within the parameters of the sanctuary. There are special feeding times as well as bathing times for the elephants that you can partake in. Throughout the week, we switched off with helping out at the dog shelter on campus and learning medical knowledge from the elephant veterinarian. I can not explain the feeling of being so close to the elephants every day. They are gentle giants and it gives you a sense of ease when you are able to work with something so beautiful and so up close. Over the week, you begin to pick out your favorite elephants and, later, find it hard to leave them behind.

Rachel
Female
23 years old
Georgia
University of Georgia

College Vet Trip

10/10

My trip with loop was by far the best summer of my life! I attended the summer in between my Junior and senior year of college, the year I was applying for vet school. Elephants have been my favorite animals for as long as I can remember, so when I found out that I was going to spend the summer with them, it was a dream come true. In the city the mornings start off with a quick instructional lesson of what we'll be doing for the day, vax, blood draws, parasite testing, spay/neuter etc. Then you spend the afternoon actually practicing and doing what you just learned alongside some great vets. I easily god 200 hours of supervised experience! Almost every evening we went to a different market and really got to experience the true culture of Thailand. While at the markets we got to break up into small groups and explore on our own, never once did I feel as though I was in an unsafe situation and we were provided with cell phones to call the staff if we had any concerns (which we never did).

At ENP we worked alongside the American vet we had been working with the whole trip but also the Indian and Thai vets that are on staff at ENP. I was expecting to 'look but not touch' and boy was I wrong! We worked with the vets developing diets, administering medications, performing treatments, cleaning wounds, and helping to diagnose problems with these gentle giants. We got to meet the founder of ENP Lek and spend lots of time with her learning about her dreams and visions for this park. While at ENP we got to treat and learn about a large variety of animals, not just elephants. At the park they have cows, water buffalo, bunnies, monkeys, birds, and a small animal shelter, we definitely had our hands full! However, it wasn't all work, we enjoyed tubing down the river, playing in the monsoon rains and bathing the elephants, which almost always turned into a water fight.
Our weekends were full of sight seeing trips to temples, mountains, waterfalls, a butterfly garden, and even a tiger park where we got to bottle feed baby tigers!

The trip was fantastic, however, the staff made Thailand feel like a home away from home. Our program director helped me edit my personal statement for my VMCAS application and the vet we worked with all summer even wrote me a rec letter. Noom and Aum, the staff and the hostel we stayed at were so great! They taught us so much about thai culture, they were pretty much like walking text books to us! They probably got so tired of hearing us ask...well how do you say this in thai. I became fast friends with all of the staff and the people on my trip, and I stay connected with them on a daily basis thanks to social media!

If you're looking for experience before vet school, a pre vet student, interested in vet med, or just an animal lover, this is definitely the trip to go on!

Saíra
Female
23 years old
Puerto Rico
Universidad Metropolitana

It truly is the experience of your life!

10/10

I know you are probably thinking, "this is a scam, it is not real, my kid is going to get kidnapped!", because how can something as amazing as Loop Abroad be real? Well, let me tell you, it is. Once in Thailand, it took a lot of pinches of my arm, for me to believe it was all true. I will tell you a little bit of my experience but the truth is that words will never be able to fully describe what I lived there.
First things first, you want to be a veterinarian? Apply. You feel confused about whether you want to be a veterinarian? Apply. This program is fully designed for students that want to develop in the animal field somehow. My only and biggest challenge of this program was finding a way to manage the cost. But, guess what? Loop Abroad not only will help you in anything you need for fundraising but it will also give you financial aid, isn't that cool? Jane Cassie, the amazing and hilarious program director, will help you in anything you need and I mean literally in anything you need. In my case I wanted to advertise Loop Abroad and give people information about what I was going to be doing. Jane sent me a big box full of brochures, pictures, calendars, cards, and all sort of things to help me, and let me add, for free because she is cool like that.
You really just want to hear about what happens once you are in Thailand so let's cut the chase and get to it. The program consists of two weeks of working alongside a vet in the Animal Rescue Kingdom(ARK) and at the Elephant Nature Park (ENP). At ARK you will learn how to do a proper physical examination on a dog, how to identify specific health problems and how to treat them and, hold on this is good, actually do surgery. I don't mean "observe while the vet does surgery", I mean "You will actually grab a scalpel, castrate a dog and stitch up." You will also be doing the same thing with cats which is fabulous because it is, probably, the most easy, fast, fun surgery to do in the animal health world. This, for me, was the best part of the trip. Just getting your hands in everything and actually being able to do hands on work with animals. Trust me when I say that vet school will seem completely unnecessary and overrated after this program because you will come being a vet out of it.
For my group, our first week started in Chiang Mai city working at ARK and the second one at the ENP. This turned out to be very convenient because everything I learned at ARK, I applied at the dog shelter in the ENP. I got to draw more blood, vaccinate and treat serious wounds (I know, and it just keeps getting better, hold on). At the ENP you get to work alongside the vet for large animals, treat wounds, bathe, and prepare meals and medication for all the elephants.
If this is not enough already, you will get to love and play with these big and sweet giants, tube down the river and my favorite part-meet the founder of the ENP, Lek Chailert. This amazing woman will sit and talk to you, answer any question and if you ask, prepare you her special green tea. You must make this a part of your trip, I am not even joking a little bit here.
When in Chiang Mai city you will get to visit different markets every night and shop your heart away with very little money (watch out for Sunday market and those pot stickers, they are truly amazing). This brings me to your next question, “Oh my god, what about the food?” I will “oh my God” tell you that it is amazing. If there is something I miss about Thailand is Thai food. Your weekends are perfectly well planned so you can get a taste of what Chiang Mai has to offer. Feeding baby tigers and cuddling with not so baby ones will melt your heart away and the temple, caves and waterfall will take your breath away.
The staff is truly amazing, from the director to the driver, you will actually get attached to these people. I truly miss Noom and Aum, and coming down for breakfast to chat with Jane. Let’s see, what else… Oh, HA! Security. This will be the least of your worries because like Hannah the vet always said when asked “Will I die?” my answer, like hers, is “you might, but you won’t”. Everything is perfectly organized and arranged so you can have a blast, learn and not worry about anything but how to properly suture a dog.
Loop Abroad is amazing and if I had it my way I would be there this summer again. I encourage you to apply to this program or any other. They are all equally amazing. All you need is a suitcase full of willingness to learn, work, initiative and curiosity. You will not come back the same from this trip. Loop Abroad did not only help me expand my knowledge in veterinary medicine but also in myself. Working at the ARK dog shelter and living at the Elephant Nature Park and helping these amazing, neglected creatures touched a part of my soul that I did not know existed. Through this incredible, hands-on experience I realized that caring, loving and helping animals is what I want to dedicate myself too.If you still have doubts about reading this or any other review, feel free to ask Jane for my e-mail for more specific questions or Facebook so you can see more pictures from my trip.

How can this program be improved?

No program is perfect, but this one is. I would not change anything about it. I loved and enjoyed every second of it.

Monique
Female
23 years old
Merced, CA
University of California- Merced

A Once in a Lifetime Experience

10/10

Sawasdee Ka (Hello in Thai) I first found Loop Abroad through a suggested post on Facebook, and my first thought was "there's no way this can be legit or real" but the more I looked into their website, the more I knew I had to go on this trip. I was a second year college student at the time and I want to go to veterinary school after I finish undergrad. What immediately drew me to this program was the itinerary and all the experiences I will receive just by going on this two week trip.
For starters, my mom is extremely strict and protective, to the point where I wasn't allowed to sleep over at good friend's houses when I was younger, so I knew getting her onboard for this trip was not going to be easy. Jane, the director, was absolutely AMAZING because my mom probably emailed her nonstop asking all different types of questions about safety and Jane took the time to answer each and every one. She also gave us the option of video chatting moms and their children who have previously gone on the trip to prove that the trip is in fact safe. With Jane's help, my mom was convinced to let me go on the trip! Usually everyone accepted into the program fly to JFK airport to meet before they all fly together to Thailand, but coming from California, my mom didn't want to spend more money flying me to NY, so instead I flew to Thailand on my own from SFO. Jane was completely understanding and she coordinated with my mom to make sure that I was taken care of. I was originally going to arrive a day early and Jane was ready to accommodate me, but instead my flight was delayed and I only showed up a couple hours before the other girls arrived. Jane was at the airport waiting for me to make sure that I was not lost when I first showed up in Thailand. Also at the end of the trip, instead of flying back to NY with the other girls, I left a day early to meet my mom in Singapore. Jane and Addam were both very helpful and made sure I got to the airport on time and to my terminal safe and sound before they sent me off.
Overall the staff is absolutely amazing. Noom and Aum were basically our caretakers for the entire trip and I have never met more kind and considerate people in my life. They always made sure that we were comfortable and had what we needed. There was a time where my earring broke and Aum offered to go to 7/11 at 11pm at night to get superglue, which is so incredibly considerate of him. They made sure that if we didn't enjoy the food or have enough to eat, they would give us something we would enjoy. I felt completely at home with them, and Noom's lovely wife would cook us breakfast every morning. The accommodations at Spicy Thai Hostel in Chiang Mai are great!! Air conditioned, nice beds, wifi, tons of furniture, and it felt like home. I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to talk to family and friends back home, but the wifi in the Hostel was great and there was sometimes random parts in town that had wifi, but it was nice to not be on our phones the whole time and to just take in the experience. The showers felt outdoorsy and there were some geckos that would join us, but there was hot/warm water for the majority.
What was really great was that the group of girls I was in only had 10 girls, which made it easier to get close and have more experiences since we are a small group. All the girls were incredible and I miss them all to death!! I still talk to a couple of them on the regular, pretty much daily and they have become my best friends. I'm actually visiting one this summer, so from this trip, you can make life long friends. All the girls are interested in the veterinary field so it wasn't hard to get along with everyone, and since we all came from different parts of the states and even Puerto Rico, everyone had a different story and it was so awesome to get to know a different culture.
I am an extremely picky eater, and that was the one thing I was most worried about when coming to Thailand, but every night I found something that I enjoyed. Noom and Aum make sure that they take us to good restaurants with yummy food that everyone will enjoy, and they accommodate vegetarians and such. The food was SO GOOD. I also made sure to pack snacks from the US because I was so afraid that I wouldn't like anything, but I ended up sharing the snacks with everyone because I knew I wouldn't finish them.
The actual hands on work at the ARK was extremely beneficial to my learning. I had no veterinary experience prior to the trip, so I felt as if I was going to know nothing, but I wasn't the only one. Hannah, our veterinarian, is so great! She's down to earth and you can tell she really loves her job. Being able to go from giving a dog a physical to helping neuter a dog is absolutely amazing and wonderful experience.
Besides working at the ARK during the day, there was lots of downtime at night, sometimes we went to awesome night markets and shopped around. We were always in groups of at least 3-4 people and we had cell phones with Jane, Addam, Noom, Aum, and Hannah's numbers in case we had to call them. There was not one time where I felt in danger when walking around with a couple of girls from my group in the night market. Jane sets specific times where we are supposed to check in when we are separated for short periods of time and there are consequences if one shows up late, so everyone made sure to show up on time.
During the second week we went to ENP, and it was an experience of its own. Waking up to elephant calls and having meals with elephants wandering around in the background is so incredible. We did so many hands on things, my favorites were bathing the elephants and tubing down the river. There was one guy named Toby and our vet Hannah who took care of us there and we learned so much during that short week. There were two elephant vets that we worked alongside and it was so cool to see how different vets work in different cultures. Being so close to elephants let alone touching them and helping clean their wounds is something that you can't just do anywhere. The cabins we stayed in didn't have a closed roof so we did sleep in beds with mosquito nets and the bathrooms were outside, but thats the fun of going to a new place with new experiences. There were times that we had to take bucket showers, which I actually enjoyed after a hot day of working, so its kind of like a fancy camping! During our time at ENP, we went to a local school and got to play with the kids and it was so interesting to see schools from different cultures!
Jane and Addam make sure that we have a wonderful itinerary, from climbing a mountain to visit a sacred temple, to cutting down a cornfield with machetes, to seeing the lady boys on the last day (which I sadly had to miss out on), but this trip wasn't just a "veterinary trip", it gave us a glimpse of Thailand and the awesome things that we can do. We even hung out with baby tigers and bigger tigers at the Tiger Kingdom!! I legit cuddled a tiger!!!
I can never stop talking about this trip even though I went almost a year ago. I loved it so so so much!!!!! I wish I could go every year, and I most definitely would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a dip into the culture of Thailand and also get awesome veterinary experience. We calculated it and we got 80 hours of experience under a direct vet, which looks awesome on your application and resume! This is seriously a once in a lifetime experience but I am planning on making it happen again!!!! It was SO much fun, and seriously one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
Kòp kun ka for this experience Loop!! (Thank you!) &&
Chăn rák kun ka Loop Abroad! (I love you!)

How can this program be improved?

I know my group was the first ever group to go on the college veterinary trip, and I think Jane and Addam did an amazing job! There wasn't a moment where I felt as if they didn't know what they were doing or Hannah felt uncomfortable or anything. I know this isn't really an improvement, but I would want the trip to be longer!!!

About The Provider

This is Loop Abroad's 8th year offering exciting animal and teaching programs in Asia and Africa. We offer summer and semester programs for people who love animals, travel, adventure, and authentic experiences. Each program is an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with greatly respected organizations, helping animals and children in a real way.

Related Programs to Explore