Loop Abroad - College Veterinary Service Program

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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 Dog Rescue Clinic 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.

  • Gain hands-on experience practicing clinical skills in a companion animal shelter
  • Observe and provide care for rescued elephants at a local sanctuary
  • Explore city life in Chiang Mai, including visits to local temples and markets

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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


based on 36 reviews
  • Academics 8.9
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 31 - 36 of 36
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When in Thai

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Once in a lifetime experience.

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Best Experience of My Life

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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College Vet Trip

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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It truly is the experience of your life!

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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A Once in a Lifetime Experience

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!!!
Yes, I recommend this program


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About Loop Abroad

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...