International Veterinary Student’s Association (IVSA) hosted a lunch presentation last week promoting international veterinary travel. Three students, all from the class of 2013, shared three different experiences they had traveling and working in the veterinary field over the summer.
The first presentation was by Kathleen Kraska. Kathleen traveled to the Galapagos Islands and spent one week volunteering for Animal Balance, a nonprofit organization that promotes humane sterilization of cats and dogs on island nations. Animal Balance strives to work closely with the local community and governmental agencies where the clinics are held. Kathleen was one of 35 total volunteers, including veterinarians, technicians, and assistants. Duties included transporting the supplies and setting up the clinic, inventorying supplies, performing physical exams and assisting in surgery and recovery of the animals. More information can be found at animalbalance.net.
The second presentation was by Brian Toncray, who spent the majority of his summer in the Cook Islands working for the Esther Honey Foundation. EHF is a non-profit organization that is located on the island of Rarotonga and provides spay and neuter opportunities to students. Brian was able to perform cat neuters, gained lots of experience doing physical exams, and also saw many interesting cases that presented at the clinic. In addition, he gained valuable travel experience and was able to meet people from all over the world. More information can be found at estherhoney.org.
The last presentation was by Sean Brady. Sean spent seven weeks with Envirovet, an organization that provides lectures, and both laboratory and field experiences to veterinarians, veterinary students, and wildlife biologists. The institute takes place in 4 different locations: the White Oak Conservation Center in Jacksonville, Florida; St. Catherine’s Island, which is an island off the coast of Georgia; Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Florida; and lastly, in Tanzania, Africa. In addition, Envirovet works closely with other organizations and companies, such as the San Diego zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Veterinary Mountain Gorilla Project and many others.
In addition to attending many lectures and gaining valuable laboratory experiences, Sean had the opportunity to participate in many field activities, including lemur tracking, physical exams on giraffes and zebras, moving sea turtle nests, blood draws on invertebrates, and necropsies on a sperm whale, manatee and dolphin. More information can be found at envirovet.org.
One of IVSA’s goals is to promote the importance of international travel and exploring the broader aspects of veterinary medicine. If you are interested in learning more about international veterinary opportunities, please contact IVSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leslie Dunham, Class of 2013