Wildlife, Conservation, and Veterinary Medicine Internships in Thailand
Each UC Davis Summer Abroad Internship program pairs UC Davis Study Abroad with a partner organization that manages the personalized internship placements; arranges accommodations and excursions; leads onsite orientations and optional social events; and provides 24/7 emergency support. As part of the placement process for Summer Internships, participants will first enroll through UC Davis Study Abroad and then complete a supplemental application for the partner organization associated with their particular Summer Internship program.
Although Study Abroad partners with outside organizations for some aspects of Summer Abroad Internships, the official provider for these programs is UC Davis Study Abroad, and course credit is issued by UC Davis.
Internship Placement Process
After you enroll through UC Davis Study Abroad in this summer internship program, you will receive instructions to complete the Loop Abroad online enrollment and submit the required supplemental documents, which include:
- Brief essay detailing you skills, experience and career goals related to the internship (less than 1 page)
Although these items are not due until after you are enrolled in the program, we recommend that you start preparing the supplemental documents at the same time you are completing the UC Davis Study Abroad online enrollment.
While in Thailand, you will participate in an internship for 35-40 hours per week. You will have the opportunity to live in both city and rural settings in Chiang Mai and at the Elephant Nature Park 60 km north of the city. You will have free weekends while in Chiang Mai but you will work during the at the Elephant Nature Park. All participants should be comfortable working with animals and getting dirty.
Chiang Mai Wildlife/Zoo: For two weeks of your program, you will be working behind-the-scenes with a zoo vet to learn the proper handling and health assessment methods for various birds, reptiles, and mammals, as well as helping to provide them with the necessary healthcare. Your veterinarian will teach you about the anatomy, behavior, and care for these animals, including how ethograms are used for animal research and how to create and assess enrichment projects in a zoo or animal sanctuary setting. You will have weeknight evenings and the weekends free to explore the magical city of Chiang Mai.
Elephant Nature Park: Small Animal Clinic and Elephant Volunteer: For three weeks, you will live at the Elephant Nature Park surrounded by Thai staff, volunteers from around the world, and all kinds of animals that call the park their home. This sanctuary is home to over 80 elephants and approximately 1,000 other animals, including hundreds of cats and dogs, and provides the opportunity to gain an understanding of the intersection of conservation, culture, and development.
For two of those weeks, you will work with a Thai vet and a Loop Abroad facilitator/translator in the small animal clinic to learn and practice clinical skills while providing care throughout the day. This is an excellent, hands-on learning experience while having a lasting positive impact on the animals’ lives.
For the other week at Elephant Nature Park, you will work as an elephant volunteer and learn the history of the elephant sanctuary while helping with husbandry tasks such as preparing elephant food and cleaning enclosures. You get to observe elephants up-close and contribute to their rescue.
Groups of 8- 12 students will rotate through all placements, but the order of rotations may vary.
Note: Students will earn both veterinary and animal experience hours on this program. During the elephant volunteer week, you will earn 35-40 animal experience hours as you will not be working with a veterinarian. More details on the breakdown of hours will be provided soon.
Resume and Cover Letter Resources
We strongly recommend that all students meet with an advisor at the UC Davis Internship and Career Center or the Career Center on their home campus to have their resume and cover letter reviewed prior to submitting these documents to Loop Abroad. The ICC provides many online resources, such as resume, cover letter, and letter of recommendation examples.
Information about UC Davis’ partner for the program
For the Wildlife, Conservation and Veterinary Science in Thailand Summer Internship program, UC Davis Study abroad partners with Loop Abroad, a student travel organization whose mission is to provide the best hands-on study abroad for students pursuing careers working with animals.
Loop Abroad was founded in 2009 and has been providing animal science and pre-veterinary programs to students around the world for over a decade. In 2018, their Thailand Veterinary Service program was selected “Top Rated Study Abroad Program” by GoAbroad.
Students participating in UC Davis Study Abroad Internships are eligible to receive Transcript Notation (TN). Transcript notation documents your academically approved internship on your official UC Davis transcript. By having your experience noted, it provides proof of where and when you participated in an internship. This is especially valuable for international internships that may be difficult for a prospective employer or program to contact.
Transcript Notation is a process you’ll start within the first two weeks of your internship placement through Handshake, the tool UC Davis Internship and Career Center uses to connect students and employers.