Zoology and wildlife sciences is a deeply diverse field, with specialties in everything from veterinary medicine and conservation to rainforest ecology and marine sciences. Unique to this field is the intimate and meaningful connection to local environments and ecological systems. Wildlife study abroad programs are offered all over the world, from the tropical canopies of Central America to the windswept Siberian tundra. Studying abroad in this discipline allows students to expand their understanding on a global level, while gaining hands-on experience with a variety of plant and animal life exclusive to their region of choice.
Why Study Zoology Abroad
Studying wildlife and zoology abroad is ideal since every region in the world has its own local species of plant and animal life; by studying abroad, students gain invaluable hands-on experience with the world’s most unique habitats. Wildlife studies abroad allow students to draw connections between local and global ecological systems, and gain knowledge about subjects related to their degree. Students who choose to study abroad will be able to delve into the biology of tropical birds or see firsthand the effects of ocean pollution on coral reef networks, in addition to the actual adventure of traveling and living abroad.
Wildlife study abroad programs are typically offered through host colleges and universities throughout the world. Some program providers or academic institutions also focus on providing internship opportunities for students in the field, which provide the students with both work experience and academic credit abroad.
Tropical nations with a great deal of access to the ocean offer some of the best places to study zoology and wildlife sciences abroad, because they tend to be geographically diverse with a variety of ecosystems and unique forms of life. Some of the most popular locations for studying wildlife sciences abroad include Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, although there are also tons of islands in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean that also offer incredible wildlife study abroad programs.
Africa is also one of the most popular and unique places to study wildlife sciences abroad. It is truly the only region in the world that offers specialties like safari guide courses and game ranger training, not to mention that Africa has some of the most impressive plant and animal life on the planet. For out of this world study abroad programs in Africa, zoology students should look to South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.
Whether it’s rainforest research in Brazil, working on farms and ranches in Argentina, field study in ecology in Ecuador, or sustainability in Belize, Central and South America are also rife with opportunities for studying wildlife abroad.
Courses & Programs
The diversity of course instruction for this field of zoology and wildlife sciences is remarkable at home, let alone abroad.
Natural Conservation & Sustainability. Wildlife study abroad programs often focus on the areas of public awareness and improving sustainable practices, as well as field-work and observation for all types of habitats, like rainforests, and smaller wildlife, such as insects. Students will get a more comprehensive understanding of individual ecological systems, how they interact with each other, and how humans have contributed to both the decline and preservation of these systems through courses in these subjects.
Wildlife Conservation & Biology. Zoology study abroad programs include lots of field studies and preservation of animal populations and reef environments. You can specialize in subjects, like aviary biology, coral reef biology, or wildlife management, where you can learn about trapping and GPS tracking. Students can also work in zoos to help rescue and rehabilitate wildlife.
Veterinary Medicine. This is a more specific specialty for those interested in being veterinarians. Students can work with large animal vet practices, learn about animal agriculture, husbandry, genetic breeding, waste management, and even observe surgeries. Often times students will work with local farms and ranches, or sometimes zoos and national parks.
Context: Location of these types of programs will determine the type of specialties offered. Through studying abroad, students can gain experience in ecosystems and with wildlife that is simply not available in their home country, such as coral reef biology or rainforest ecology.
Availability & Variety: With so much going on in the world of plants and animals, there are few other fields that can compare in degree of availability and variety. Students can literally choose almost anywhere in the world to study zoology and wildlife sciences. The almost overwhelming list of courses to choose from provides students with the freedom to choose where and what they study.
Career Benefits: By studying zoology and wildlife sciences abroad, students gain a more global comprehension of ecological systems with hands-on experience in a variety of habitats and wildlife. If you’re looking to step into the professional world of zoology and wildlife, this kind of initiative makes an impression. It also allows you to network while studying abroad, and perhaps land an interview after graduation.
Deciding on a Specialization: The more experience you have, the more you will come to know your true interests. Studying abroad is immersive, and allows you to get a taste of the different specialties available in the fields of wildlife and zoology. Maybe you find that you love rehabilitating a certain kind of species, or maybe you find that aviary biology is not for you. Either way, that is valuable knowledge that will help you refine your expertise in the future.