Best (Exotic) Places for Vet Tech Externships

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The opportunities for Vet Tech Externships in some exotic, overseas, and remote locations are countless. This is a great chance for any vet student that wants to learn a bit more about exotic and wildlife species and spend some time abroad.

Are you a vet tech student? Have you been accepted into veterinary school and are looking for some work experience before starting your career? You’re in luck. There are many exotic places where vet tech students can find internships abroad, some of which include the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, and Botswana.

These locations offer unique experiences that will make you a more well-rounded animal professional when it comes time to start working back home. So what are you waiting for? Start clicking through today’s post to get all the details on these great internship opportunities!

vet tech externships

What Does it Mean to Extern at an Exotic Location?

If you take on such adventure it basically means that you will take a trip a couple of thousand miles away from home and work in a wildlife conservation center or clinic that takes care of exotic animals common for the region.

Primarily, students choose an externship program that will allow them to explore the biology of species they are most interested in. This can include marine species, primates, insects, large game mammals, etc.

The decision of where to go depends highly on the projected cost of the externship. The best-case scenario is taking on a paid program with provided food, housing, and transport, or some sort of stipend.

But keep in mind that a handful of programs don’t offer as many material benefits and require higher expenses, especially airfare costs for remote locations (ex. Nepal, Madagascar). If you want to get food and housing covered, put your focus on programs that offer externships in rural areas rather than urban.

Thirdly, the decision regarding location can be based upon the political stability of the country. Active wars and conflicts are still an issue in most exotic countries and your own security and well-being must come first.

Counting the pros and the cons of each region and location, the following are the most common places where veterinary students go on externship.

Best (Exotic) Places for Vet Tech Externships

small shark swimming at bottom of ocean floor
Best (Exotic) Places for Vet Tech Externships I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Students

South Africa

The first place we will talk about is South Africa. With an externship in South Africa, you can work with big cats like lions and leopards at the Big Cat Rescue Centre or help out at African Animal Welfare Trust which rescues animals from all over Africa.

South Africa is rather a safe place to take residence in when you use common sense. English is an official language so it’s quite easy to get around. The country offers a vast variety of species to work with.

The first option is marine animals (ex. white sharks) and large game animals (ex. rehabilitation centers for lions) are the second.

sea turtle swimming just below the water surface
Best (Exotic) Places for Vet Tech Externships I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Students

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located between South America and North America. It’s easily accessible, especially by USA citizens. With neotropical climate, the wildlife diversity is enormous. Students can attend aid in rainforest conservation programs or work with marine animals (ex. sea turtles).

The country is generally safe to live in and Spanish is the official language. Belize is a nearby English-speaking country which is a good alternative.

mother koala climbing tree with baby koala on her back
Best (Exotic) Places for Vet Tech Externships I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Students


Australia enjoys a huge spectrum of ecosystems and is one of the safest countries to live in. The people are polite, helpful, and tolerant. Here, you can choose to work with whatever comes to your mind.

Kangaroos, koalas, 50 types of marine mammals, 800 bird species, and 4.000 species of fish, you name it. The field of veterinary medicine is quite developed and there is a lot you can learn by taking on an externship program.

bear catching a fish in a river
Best (Exotic) Places for Vet Tech Externships I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Students


Maybe it belongs in the USA, but it’s so far away that it can be treated as a desolate location. The options aren’t that colorful, but if you are interested in working with wolves, bears, bald eagles, or salmon, then Alaska is the place for you.

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