If you are anything like me, you have a wild case of wanderlust and a need for adventure. Though you may feel like there aren’t many options for you other than to settle into a practice in your home town, I’m here to tell you about how great of a need there is for veterinary professionals all over the world. Whether you are looking for a couple weeks away or full time travel, there are some incredible avenues to explore.
What can I do for animals overseas?
The list is endless when it comes to helping animals in other parts of the world. While animal welfare may be generally understood in our home countries, this is not the case in some lesser developed parts of the world. Things that seem like second nature to us, are often difficult to obtain in these areas. Our expertise can be of great benefit to so many! Here are a few ways we can help:
- Performing surgeries (veterinarians)
- Mass spay and neuter projects
- Assisting in surgeries/treatment
- Nursing skills
- Many more!
How can I find the places that need my help and start traveling in the veterinary field?
There are so many resources that connect you to organizations that are looking for veterinary professionals. I’ve traveled with a couple of these groups, and can attest for the incredible experience that they provide!
Loop Abroad is an organization dedicated to making the animal world a better place through volunteering, and providing an incredible experience to current or aspiring veterinary professionals. Their programs range from time spent among the elephants at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, to swimming with sea turtles in some of the most beautiful oceans this world has to offer. They have grown so much over the years and have gotten so much recognition, that you can even receive college credits when signing up for their adventures!
Vets Beyond Borders is an organization created for the veterinary professionals with a passion to volunteer! Once you register, you gain access to information on projects around the world that need your help. When you set up your volunteer trips through them, they help to arrange every aspect of your travels. This is especially beneficial to those who may be new to traveling and would appreciate some guidance.
World Vets is an organization dedicated to improving the well-being of animals in every part of the world. This is yet another incredible organization that will help link you to volunteer opportunities, and assist you through the process.
If you are a more seasoned traveler, you may feel confident in traveling without the assistance of a travel organization. If this is the case, I recommend reaching out to any animal rescue organization that interests you! More often than not, these places desperately need assistance. I recently spent a few months working for The Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and it was the most incredible experience of my life. My time spent at PPAWS included treated the strays and pets of Phnom Penh, mass desexing and vaccination missions, fundraising, and living among the incredible Khmer locals. I found them through online research, so it is possible to arrange working opportunities without the assistance of a volunteer group.
Why should I volunteer/work abroad?
If you are a veterinary professional, your love for animals knows no distance. I can guarantee you that your time spent overseas will be some of your most cherished memories, and a learning experience that you couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Aside from the growth it can provide in your career, you will experience a personal growth that just can’t be matched. Having compassion for animals in all parts of the world will help to shape our community into something even more incredible. I urge you to set out and plan your best adventure yet!
If you would like a more in depth description of a veterinary trip abroad, I discussed my time in Cambodia on the Vet Med Radio podcast! You can find them on instagram at @vetmedradio.
If you are interested in broadening your professional perspectives, read the Interview With Andreia Dias Founder of UK Vetmove on our blog.