James' Group: Elephant Medicine Thailand

Work with an elephant vet at an elephant sanctuary to care for, learn about, and volunteer with elephants.

Message us on Facebook about this program!

This two-week program put you alongside elephant veterinarians dedicated to teaching you a wealth of knowledge and unique skills while helping animals in need. The full two weeks of the program take place at an elephant sanctuary where you will work with elephant vets to provide medical care to the pachyderms and complete an elephant care course.


• Work in a small group with an elephant vet
• Learn the history of Asian elephants and various management and training methods
• Learn and assist in elephant medical care including diagnostics, treatments, and preventative medicine
• Fun weekend included with waterfalls and cave trip

Who It's For

Students referred by James Burns and currently enrolled at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. This program is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or in any way connected to Ross University.

Each program date can accommodate a maximum of 12 students. Places will be held on a first-come, first-served based, and are held without deposit until September 30. After September 30, we will accept waitlist students for any spaces for which deposits have not been paid. These small groups allow you to learn directly from your veterinarian and have more hands-on elephant interactions.


Program pick-up takes place in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday. Your group will travel to the elephant sanctuary together, where you will stay for 13 nights.

Monday to Friday, your group will work with your US and Thai elephant veterinarians to provide medical care to the elephants at the sanctuary. Your group may assist with a small amount of husbandry chores if needed, but most of your day will be spent learning about elephants, observing elephants with your vet, and providing hands-on upkeep and medical care to the elephants on the property. Every day will have a lecture-style component as well as hands-on learning labs and other opportunities.

There are 20-30 elephants living at the sanctuary who need care, maintenance, and daily upkeep, as well as occasional medical intervention.

Though you will learn about elephants' diet, enrichment, and upkeep, this is not a husbandry program. We will focus on providing you with hands-on and learning experiences that cannot be had elsewhere from experts in elephant medicine.

During the time on-site at the sanctuary, housing and meals are simple. Rooms may be shared (by students of the same gender) and meals are family-style Thai food. Cold running water is available.

On the interim weekend of the program, we will take a break from work and travel to neighboring Kanchanaburi during the day to relax, visit beautiful waterfall and caves, tour the city, and enjoy some time off. We will return to the sanctuary in the evenings.

On the final Saturday, we will depart for Bangkok in the late morning.

Tuition and Dates

2018 Dates:* April 22 - May 4 OR August 19 - 31, 2018.

Tuition: $2,900 USD not including international airfare. This represents a 25% discount on our regular enrollment programs. Tuition is all-inclusive (including housing, meals, activities and transport) during the program. Pickup and drop-off are at the international airport in Bangkok, Thailand.

For the April group: Your deposit of $1,000 is due by September 30 in order to hold your space (your $50 application fee will be credited toward your deposit). The tuition balance of $1,900 is due by January 1, 2018.

For the August group: Your deposit of $1,000 is due by February 1 in order to hold your space (your $50 application fee will be credited toward your deposit.) The tuition balance of $1,900 is due by June 1, 2018.

Not Included: Airfare to and from Bangkok, any independent travel before or after the program, non-water beverages and snacks. Please note that to arrive in Thailand for group pick-up on the posted day, you need to depart the US 1 or 2 days prior. For each program, we will pickup at Bangkok international airport on Sunday at the start of the program and drop-off on Friday at the end of the program.

How to Apply: On the Application for Admission, choose "James' Group: Elephant Medicine Thailand" as your program on your choice of dates. Complete the personal information on the application using your Ross email address. You may leave the essay, transcript, and references blank, although we will ask you to send us a resume before the program begins. You will pay a $50 application fee, upon submission of your application, which is non-refundable but will be credited toward your tuition if you attend.

Apply now.

For More Information

Message us on Facebook, call us at (617) 412-0838, fill out the contact form, or send an email to admissions@loopabroad.com any time!