Volunteer in Veterinary Science Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Veterinary Medicine

Volunteering abroad in veterinary science is a great way to help animals in need while also traveling somewhere you’ve always wanted to see. If you’re interested in veterinary medicine or just have a passion for animals, there is a placement for you! Programs vary, but many veterinary volunteering placements abroad focus on helping street animals, assisting with wildlife conservation and management, and working in veterinary clinics. Volunteers are needed in animal shelters, sanctuaries, and rehabilitation centers all over the world too.

Why Volunteer Abroad

If you’re interested in contributing to a worthy cause, consider veterinary volunteering abroad. Animal organizations around the globe offer an array of rewarding opportunities to volunteer abroad in veterinary medicine. Many countries lack the funds and resources needed to help domestic and wild animals in their communities, thus the need for volunteers is high.

While helping needy animals is reason enough for most animal lovers, volunteering abroad also benefits volunteers who hope to become vets gain real-world experience in the field of veterinary science. Therefore, volunteering in veterinary medicine abroad is a great way to build your resume and possibly earn academic credit, not to mention it is a great way to travel, have fun, and make new friends!


While animals in every country are in need of love and care, there are some places where animals are more vulnerable for a myriad of reasons and therefore have the greatest need for veterinary volunteer work. Lack of resources and funding make providing the necessary services for animals very difficult in the developing world, so Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central America are the three most common regions for volunteering abroad in veterinary medicine. 

Southeast Asia is rampant with street dogs that blur the lines between pet and stray. Many are not officially owned but are tolerated by locals. However, these dogs do not receive proper veterinary care when needed. In addition to carrying disease and suffering from malnutrition, street dogs also risk being hit by motorbikes and cars on busy city streets or sold into the dog meat trade. Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of tasks, from spaying and neutering street dogs to administering vaccinations and other medications. Southeast Asia’s wild animal population is also suffering from things like deforestation and animal tourism, so volunteers are needed not only to help with street animals, but wild animals as well. 

Africa is also good location for volunteers interested in wildlife conservation and management. The continent has seen a major decline in wild animal populations due to habitat loss and poaching recently. Threatened and endangered animals in Africa include the mountain gorilla, pygmy hippopotamus, black rhinoceros, cheetah, Africa lion, African penguin, African elephant, and more. Due to these issues, wildlife sanctuaries provide opportunities for volunteers to get close to these amazing creatures and help reduce the threat of extinction.

Central America is a popular destination for ecotourism, and therefore the perfect spot to get involved in veterinary volunteering abroad. Sea turtles are one of the most endangered species in the region, for example. As a volunteer abroad in veterinary medicine you will be able to help with protection, conservation, education, and rehabilitation of various wildlife species.

Veterinary Volunteer Placements

There really is something for everyone when it comes to volunteering abroad in veterinary medicine. Whether you’re studying to become a vet or simply enjoy working with animals, there is a veterinary volunteer placement that will meet your needs. Some of the more common placements for volunteering in veterinary medicine abroad include helping street animals, assisting with wildlife conservation and management, and working in veterinary clinics.

Street Animals are common in developing countries, and fortunately there are several shelters and animal organizations around the world working to care for these animals. The shelters provide basic services such as spaying and neutering, administering vaccines and other medications, and general first aid, which are all great services for aspiring vets to get experience with.

Wildlife Conservation & Management programs often focus on both veterinary care and protection. Volunteers typically work in wildlife sanctuaries helping with everything from cleaning to food preparation and rehabilitation. 

Veterinary Clinics around the world provide much needed services for animals and need volunteers to help keep them running. Whether you’re working on your vet degree or already have an established veterinary skill set, this type of veterinary volunteer placement is a great resume builder. Volunteers who work in veterinary clinics typically work with dogs, cats, horses, birds, and other domesticated animals.

Individuals can volunteer abroad in veterinary medicine for anywhere from five weeks to six months. Many volunteer programs do not require you to be a fully licensed veterinarian, but a love for animals is a must.


Animals around the world, from stray street dogs to endangered wild elephants, suffer from a lack of proper veterinary care. Volunteering in veterinary medicine is a great way to make a difference and contribute to positive change for these animals. Veterinary students and animal lovers alike will benefit tremendously. Students will gain invaluable work experience and more academic training than any classroom could ever provide, while animal lovers will get the chance of a lifetime to work directly with the animals they are so passionate about.

Read More
Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Volunteering Abroad in Veterinary Medicine


 Find Veterinary Science Volunteer Programs Abroad Now


This listing has been saved 38 times

GoEco – Provide veterinary care for animals!

There is never a shortage of opportunities when it comes to your veterinary skills! If your passion is working with animals, then consider participating in one of veterinary programs. Assist experienced veterinarians with medical and surgical needs at a shelter or a clinic. This is your chance to improve your skills with animals that need your care!


This listing has been saved 7 times

Incredible Volunteering in Guatemala: Costs from USD 275

Volunteers are required NOW through International Volunteer HQ's partner organization in Guatemala! With a wide range of volunteering placements available, volunteers can choose from teaching English, childcare and orphanage work, medical placements, work with elderly, animal care and animal rights, and construction and renovation work in Guatemala. * Teaching English The ability to speak E...


This listing has been saved 4 times

Antelope Park Lion Breeding & Rehabilitation Project in Zimbabwe

Volunteer in a lion breeding and rehabilitation project in Antelope Park, Zimbabwe, with Kaya Responsible Travel. The project, supported by some of the world's leading ecologists, has three stages: pre-release, release, and post-release. First, lions are taught survival and instinctive skills they need in the wild. Next, lions are released into a semi-wild environment to hone their hunting skil...


This listing has been saved 7 times

African Conservation Experience - Shadow wildlife vets

The Shimongwe Wildlife Veterinary Project offers volunteers an African Conservation Experience to work closely with a wildlife veterinarian. The project is based in some of the most prolific wildlife areas in Southern Africa. Volunteers will work with a number of veterinarians, all of whom are well established. Volunteers will join the practice and day-to-day activities of an experienced wildli...


This listing has been saved 297 times

Make a REAL difference with Love Volunteers – From US$175!

Love Volunteers' participants will have the chance to travel abroad and experience new cultures all while providing essential support to communities in real need. Join us now! Participate in Love Volunteers' Veterinary-based voluntary service projects and have a truly exciting experience volunteering abroad. Check out our exciting program options!


This listing has been saved 41 times

Wildlife Research Expedition in South Africa

Play a hands-on role in the long-term conservation of African wildlife on this expedition. Enjoy first-class wildlife viewing and live on a game reserve in the heart of Southern Africa. This conservation expedition gives you the opportunity to participate in wildlife monitoring projects. You will learn how to radio track, and possibly get involved with the darting and fitting of radio tracking ...


This listing has been saved 68 times

Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs | Starting USD200 only!

Volunteering Solutions provides volunteering opportunities in 20 different countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin/Central America. Our main aim is to provide affordable and meaningful volunteer abroad opportunities across all countries. Our programs include both short-term (two weeks) and long-term (up to six months) placements in every country, as well as our programs, are open throug...


This listing has been saved 23 times

Shark Conservation in Fiji with Projects Abroad

The Shark Conservation project in Fiji from Projects Abroad gives volunteers the opportunity to work on pioneering shark protection projects with respected scientists and shark research experts. Volunteers get directly involved in scientific shark research and share data with local and international marine conservation organizations. Previous diving or shark research experience is not required,...


This listing has been saved 33 times

Hands-On Lion Conservation Volunteering at Antelope Park

The African lion population has diminished by 80 - 90% in the past 40 years. The aim of the Lion Rehabilitation Program, African Impacts own pilot project, is to release and therefore restore lion populations through a 4 stage program. The project has been designed that it will also provide social benefits to surrounding communities. Volunteers are involved in research of lion behaviour an...


This listing has been saved 289 times

Conservation, Community and Adventure Placements from $255

With more than 400 projects worldwide and with 25 years experience of providing ethical travel placements, Frontier can find you the perfect adventure whatever you want to achieve. We offer placements in more than 50 countries including Costa Rica, Madagascar, Fiji and loads more. Here are just some of the options available: Marine Conservation and Diving Travel to beach paradises, scuba...


This listing has been saved 7 times

Volunteer in Shanghai with Connect-123!

Work as a volunteer with one of the organizations in our networks of non-profits, clinics, hospitals and schools throughout Shanghai and you'll have the opportunity to change the lives of locals through a range of activities. Areas of opportunity include education, conservation, health care, microfinance and community development - and it doesn't stop there... Tell us your main area of interest...


This listing has been saved 9 times

Horse Rescue in Argentina

Help out at a horse refuge run by a family dedicated to equine care for the past 20 years. Volunteers will help feed the animals, clean their stalls and offer general help with running the refuge. Are you interested in caring for other kinds of animals? Tell us which ones and our partners in Argentina can try to match you with an organization looking for animal lovers with big hearts and helpin...


This listing has been saved 8 times

Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteering in Ecuador

Ecuador is one of South America’s greatest undiscovered countries. With a friendly and welcoming culture, beautiful food and incredible environmental diversity, it is the most wonderful place to visit for those looking for something off the beaten track. This beautiful sanctuary is located on the edge of the Amazon rainforest and is home to over 200 animals. You will be helping to care for a...


This listing has been saved 10 times

Live and Work among the Elephants of Northeast Thailand

This is a very special opportunity to live and work in a genuine Thai community that's home to around 35 elephants. Your placement here helps to ensure these incredible animals receive the best care, support and lifestyle that is available to them. If you've ever wondered how Thailand's elephants survive away from their natural habitat and wanted to assist in their well-being, this is the pl...


This listing has been saved 6 times

ISA Service-Learning in Cusco, Peru

Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru, in the Andes Mountains. Cusco is home to the palace of the Inca, the Temple of the Sun, and the famous Machu Picchu. Cusco attracts tourists from all over the world, due to the amazing archaeological sites, architecture, and colorful Peruvian dress. The people of Cusco still use traditional dress of polleras, play zampoñas, and raise llamas. Service opport...