Meredith's Group: Thailand VSV

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

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This program is organized by Meredith Tompkins, Loop Abroad alum and a student at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. It is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Tufts.

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

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Who It's For

Students age 20 or older who are currently enrolled in veterinary school or have been admitted to vet school and will attend in fall 2018. Individuals of any nationality may apply. Fluency in English is required.

Applicants should be comfortable working with animals and getting their hands, and everything else, dirty. This program can accommodate a maximum of 12 students per session.


Arrival in Bangkok is 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 from Bangkok.

Tuition and Dates

2018 Dates:* June 30 - July 16, 2018.

Tuition: $3,200 USD not including international airfare. Tuition is all-inclusive (including housing, meals, activities and transport) during the program. No additional financial aid, referral bonuses, or discounts are available. A group flight will be arranged from either Boston or New York to Bangkok, Thailand. Airfare on the group flight is estimated at $1,700 including taxes and fees.

Payment Schedule: Deposit ($1,000 non-refundable deposit, credited toward your tuition) is due by November 30, 2017. Balance of your tuition is due by February 1, 2018. Interest-free payment plans are available.

Not Included: Medical insurance, snacks and non-water drinks, laundry, international airfare (must be purchased on group flight).

Applying: As a Tufts vet school student, you may simply enroll in this program through a simplified application process. This guarantees your admission and makes your application fee creditable toward your tuition. On the application page:

  • Choose "Meredith's Group: Thailand Vet School Veterinary Service" as your program
  • Choose not to add a Bonus Week. You may add another program if you'd like to attend two back-to-back programs.
  • You may leave the essay blank
  • You may leave the transcript blank
  • You may leave the references blank. Because the email field is required, simply enter your own email address
  • Submit your application and pay the $50 application fee. Application fee is non-refundable but will be credited toward your tuition if you attend.
  • Apply Now!

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