- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: Australia, Thailand
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Session Start: June, July
- Session Length: Two Weeks, Four Weeks
- Entering Grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Career Exploration
- Sub-Categories: Pre-Med, Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Conservation
- Selective: No
- Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- Minimum Cost: > $3,000
- Career Clusters: Health Science
Work alongside veterinarians and help animals in need! This is for you if you want to learn clinical skills at a dog shelter and spend a week volunteering hands-on with rescued elephants in Thailand or venture “down under” to volunteer at the Walkabout Wildlife Park in Australia getting hands-on with koalas, kangaroos, and more!
Choose between two amazing High School Veterinary Service programs or combine both for a one-month adventure abroad!
>> Thailand High School Veterinary Service
This two-week program puts you alongside a veterinarian whose job is to teach you while helping animals in need. At a dog clinic, learn clinical skills including blood draws, suturing, skin scrapes, and assisting in spay and neuter surgeries. Spend one week living with and caring for rescued elephants. Evenings and weekends in the city are filled with fun activities such as zip-lining and exploring street markets.
Care for rescued elephants Assist in dog neuter surgeries Learn and practice small animal clinical skills Discover what it’s like to be a vet in the tropics
During one of your weeks on this program, you'll get to work alongside vets helping to care for cats and dogs at a rescue clinic outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Each day will have a lecture-style portion at the clinic and a chance to put the skills learned into practice helping animals in need, culminating in two surgery days at the end of the week.
The other week is spent living and volunteering with elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in a specially-tailored volunteer program. This week grants the unique opportunity to get up close with elephants as you help to prepare their food, clean their homes, and provide overall care for them while also learning about elephant anatomy and physiology, and assisting the elephant vet with providing medical care.
But it's not all work! Outside of your time spent volunteering, you'll get to enjoy the beauty of Chiang Mai through a number of fun activities, including a Chiang Mai city tour, visiting local street markets and Doi Suthep temple, learning some Thai, and a choice between ziplining in the jungle or participating in an outdoor cooking class!
Courses and Hours:
Beyond the rich cultural immersion and chance to enhance your veterinary skills, you'll also be able to earn hours for your VMCAS and earn course credit. Plus, throughout the program you'll get to know your vet and they will get to know you! If you participate to the best of your ability, you will be well-positioned to ask for a recommendation letter at the end of the program.
>> Australia High School Veterinary Service
This two-week adventure “down under” takes you to Walkabout Wildlife Park in Calga Springs outside Sydney, Australia where you'll get to study zoo medicine in a unique setting. Get hands-on with koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, wallabies, and all kinds of other Australian wildlife.
Assist in treatment rounds with Australian wildlife Health check kangaroos and koalas Examine pythons and echidnas Handle and assess possums and bandicoots Walk an alpaca Create enrichments for everyone from dingos to cockatoos Perform veterinary labs such as marsupial necropsies Enjoy two days exploring Sydney
This immersive experience focuses on learning about, enriching, supporting, and caring for the animals at Walkabout. By the end of the program, you'll walk away knowing how to properly handle, maintain, and care for wild animals in a zoo or sanctuary setting. These two weeks abroad will give you unique opportunities to observe, interact with, and learn about Australian mammals, reptiles, and birds – practice that can be hugely valuable in future studies or career opportunities.
A typical day varies as the course is presented through lecture, necropsies and labs, textbook and journal article readings, group work, video, observation, and handling, so don’t be surprised if you find a parrot or a giant snake in the classroom with you!
Outside of your time spent volunteering, you’ll have a chance to explore the Aboriginal sites on the property, practice your hand at throwing a boomerang, and do some stargazing in the Southern sky to learn how stars are still used today in telling Aboriginal stories. Plus, you'll get to spend time at the famous Taronga zoo and visit the nearby town of Terrigal to enjoy a beautiful beach, do a little shopping and relaxing, and take in the 360-degree views from atop the skillion, where you can sometimes spot whales or dolphins.
Hours and Credit:
By completing this program, you'll not only gain an incredible experience abroad and learn new skills, but also have the chance to earn course credit and veterinary and research hours that can be applied toward VMCAS or other applications.