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Volunteering Abroad with Animals

Follow your passion for wildlife by volunteering abroad with animals
  • Role: Assisting professional vets and staff at clinics with routine treatments and caring for animals at specialized centers by helping with feeding, cleaning, maintenance, and behavior observation.
  • Requirements: None for Argentina, Bolivia, China, Ghana, Mexico (Falconry), Romania, and South Africa.
    Some related education for Mexico (Veterinary Medicine)
    Interns need to be aged 18 and above for Jamaica.
Project Info

If you have a passion for working with animals, either in the field of veterinary medicine or in a more general animal care oriented role, you can choose volunteering abroad with animals as the perfect way to gain knowledge and put your skills to practice in the developing world.

Internships are suitable for anyone interested in interning abroad in veterinary medicine; this includes college students, those taking a gap year, or career breakers. No matter what your age or experience, we have an internship for you!

Interning or Volunteering Abroad with Animals

Attitudes towards animals in the developing world are different from those that exist in the developed world.

In poorer societies a great deal of dependence is placed on many types of animals for the completion of necessary tasks, particularly farming, where people do not benefit from the labor saving devices that are taken for granted in many developed countries. Working animals are therefore valued in terms of their strength and speed, and livelihoods depend on them being fit and healthy.

Attitudes towards other types of animals are also often very different. A dog might be "man’s best friend" and considered another member of the family in the West, but it is hard to feel affection and empathy for such an animal when you live below the poverty line and struggle to feed your children. In many developing countries there is a much higher rate of animal neglect.

Care Work in Veterinary Medicine Abroad

While volunteering abroad with animals, this intern cared for domestic animals at a care centre

By working as an intern on a Veterinary Medicine or Animal Care internship with Projects Abroad, you will gain fantastic insight that would not be possible in your own country. You are likely to see many exciting types of animals like snakes, big cats or even elephants! Interns will also get to see cases that have been virtually eliminated in the developed world, such as rabies, and you will develop a better understanding of the problems people are faced with in both urban and rural areas of the third world.

Whether you work as a Veterinary Medicine or an Animal Care intern, you will be given an internship supervisor who is responsible for giving you a full and varied introduction to the kinds of work done by people in this field. You will shadow local professionals and, depending on your certification and educational background, may be able gain hands-on experience. You will be able to ask questions and learn from your local colleagues.

You may work in a hospital or an animal centre depending on where you volunteer and your work is likely to involve going out on visits in the local community. Whether you are rehabilitating an injured falcon in Mexico or rescuing African penguins in South Africa, you will gain some fantastic experience and make a big difference to the lives of the animals and people you work with.

Group Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care Projects for High School Students

For teen volunteers, Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care projects are available as Animal Care High School Special programs. High School Specials are designed for volunteers aged 16-19 to join a group of their peers working together under the guidance of our local staff.

Volunteering Abroad as a Professional on a Veterinary Medicine Project

If you are a professional and want to put your skills to use on a Veterinary Medicine project, Projects Abroad has a skilled and qualified arm called Projects Abroad PRO. Our main focus is to match your skills with our partner organizations' needs. Please visit the Veterinary Medicine Projects for Professionals section for more information.

Animal Welfare Policy

We are committed to ensuring that all our international projects are thoroughly vetted and researched to guarantee that they are not connected to animal cruelty in any form. Our Animal Welfare Policy, which applies to both wild and domestic animals, can be read in full here.

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