Vet Student Externship – Wild Sun Externship

Wild Sun Externship

a veterinary externship like no other

Our 4 week vet student externship focuses on the veterinarian’s role in conservation medicine.  Follow our vets as they treat injured wildlife and give support to 2 very different yet interrelated conservation initiatives.  You will participate and learn from a wildlife rescue center and a Scarlet Macaw reintroduction program on the same site.  Our goal is to inspire you to be a voice for conservation and to show you how, as a future veterinarian, you can make a difference in saving wildlife and their habitats in all corners of the world.

We have specialized tracks for 1st & 2nd year vet students and 3rd & 4th year vet students. We also have a Pre-Vet Internship for those preparing to apply to vet school.


Wild Sun Rescue Center

At the rescue center, in addition to practicing animal husbandry and rehabilitation in the ICU, students will assist in necessary surgeries and emergency procedures. Students may practice proper restraint techniques for mammals, birds and reptiles, perform physical exams and hands-off evaluations, identify and treat parasites, administer fluids, perform necropsies, practice syringe and tube feeding techniques as well as suturing, wound care and identifying stages of healing. Patient rounds will be conducted often along with topic discussions and presentations.  There will be onsite labs and demonstrations, evaluation and feedback meetings and execution of specialty projects that could include nutrition research, proper use of medications, or even enclosure design.

Among other things, students will gain a deeper knowledge of what conservation medicine is and how it differs from exotic and zoo medicine, what role a veterinarian plays in conservation, and when and how animals can return to the wild.  Animals that we often have in care are the Mantled Howler Monkey, White Faced Capuchin, Collared Anteater, White-nosed Coati, Kinkajou, Agouti, Lowland Paca, Spotted Skunk, Northern Raccoon, Nine-banded Armadillo, White-tailed Deer, Variegated Squirrel, Mexican Hairy Porcupine, Woolly and Common Opossum, and a variety of  birds. When possible, we will also participate in spay and neuter campaigns to help control the local dog and cat population, which threatens wildlife daily.  These clinics happen 3 times a year.

Vet Students
If you’re a 1st or 2nd year vet student, our program will give you valuable practice and hands-on experience with various and exciting exotic species. For 3rd and 4th year vet students, our 4 week externship will count for out-rotation credit in your college of veterinary medicine.


Scarlet Macaw Reintroduction

As students you will learn how to care for these birds and the process it takes for a species reintroduction program to be carried out.  Among other tasks, when applicable, you will help micro chip and extract blood for DNA testing.   You may even be asked to monitor the health of recently released Macaws.



We’ll also take the time out to take advantage of some of the natural wonders of Costa Rica!  Be they waterfalls, ocean voyages or beautiful sunsets, adventure awaits.  Students will get to visit the Montezuma Waterfalls, Isla Cabuya Cemetery Island, go horseback riding or zip lining through the jungle, dip into a cliffside infinity pool with a swim up bar and view wildlife while hiking Cabo Blanco- Costa Rica’s first national park, amongst other outings.

How It Works

Rolling Admissions for VET STUDENT externships starting all Sundays, November – early April.
From May-September we have set starting dates in 4 week intervals.

Summer Sessions 2020 for vet or pre-vet students:

Session 1 May 17th – June 14th

Session 2 June 14th – July 12th

Session 3 July 12th – August 9th

Session 4 August 9th – September 6th

Program Fee: $5,850 usd

Many of our students receive grants and scholarships to attend from their schools. Please check with your student affairs and study abroad offices for what is available. We also have provided links at the bottom of the page for opportunities outside of your school. ***


  • Poolside Shared Deluxe Accommodations with A/C, private outdoor bath with hot water showers, mini fridge, digital safe, satellite tv, ocean view, and patio with swing chairs. Maximum 3 people per room.

  • Professional Meal Plan including 3 meals a day Sunday through Friday plus breakfast on Saturdays (you have access to a shared kitchen between meals). On Saturdays you may choose to cook for yourself, participate in pot lucks or go out to one of the many delicious restaurants in Cabuya, Montezuma or Santa Teresa.

  • Academic materials

  • Excursions, outings and tours mentioned above

Not Included:

  • Flights

  • Transportation from San Jose to Cabuya

  • Saturday lunch and dinner

  • Extra transportation such as taxis to Montezuma and ATV rentals

All photos courtesy of Wild Sun Rescue.
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Volunteer role: Veterinary Advisor

Photo Source VSO

Volunteer role: Veterinary Advisor

Type of Role: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Location: Uganda
Application Closing Date: 29 Oct 2019
Interview Date: TBD
Start Date: TBD

VSO is the world’s leading international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. Working in 24 countries around the world, our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations where their skills can have the greatest impact. As a VSO volunteer you’ll live and work in some of the world’s poorest communities. By sharing your unique skills and experience you’ll help generate new ideas and new ways of doing things, helping the communities you work in lift themselves out of poverty. We’re not about delivering quick fixes, but instead we focus on long-lasting, sustainable change, that will impact generations to come. Join us as a VSO volunteer and help us work towards our vision of a world without poverty.

Role overview

The overall purpose of the job is to support the further growth of livestock farmers by improving the economic viability of dairy farmers by appropriately increasing productivity of dairy cattle, improved fertility management and appropriate genetic improvement; animal breeding, feeding and extension service delivery models

Skills, qualifications and experience

Competencies and Behaviour

Veterinarian Degree
• Large Animal Practitioner
• Animal fertility work experience and familiar with Artificial Insemination

At VSO we believe progress is only possible by working together. Whether you want to join us as an employee, or as a volunteer working in your own country, overseas or online, our selection process includes an assessment based on these core competencies:

• Ability to be open minded and respectful
• Ability to be resilient and adaptive to new situations
• Ability to facilitate positive change and build sustainable working relationships
• Ability to seek and share knowledge

Equal Opportunities

VSO promotes equal opportunities and values a diverse workforce.


As a VSO volunteer, you will be sharing your skills with local communities on a full time basis. VSO will cover your travel, vaccinations, accommodation, and medical insurance costs, along with a local living allowance which will be paid in local currency. This allowance meets reasonable living expenses in country, but will not be enough to send money home. You will also receive some financial support to contribute to your on-going expenses at home.


VSO works with some of the poorest communities in the world which means accommodation varies and will be basic.

Some background about VSO

Much has changed since VSO started 60 years ago. We’ve gone from being a UK charity to a truly global development organisation. In 2016/2017 alone, we worked with over 7,000 volunteers from all over the world and from all backgrounds to deliver services that had an impact on the lives of almost 2.6 million people in the 24 countries where we work. Our programmes focus on the areas of health, education and livelihoods, with an increasing emphasis on resilience building, social accountability, gender and social inclusion. We believe progress is only possible when we work together and that strong partnerships are crucial to delivering positive change. That’s why we work with over 500 partner organisations, from local and national governments, to businesses, NGOs, funders, charities and community groups. Currently, over 30% of our people are recruited from within the country in which they work, and we continue to grow the share of community and national volunteers involved in our programmes. We also send increasing numbers of volunteers from one developing country to another. However, our vision has remained the same; to build a world without poverty.

If you’re interested in applying for this role, please download the job description for more information.

To submit your application, click on ‘Make an application’ and complete all relevant fields on the online application form.


Photo Source VSO

Photo Source VSO

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Recognising superheroes – New RVC awards for cat and dog blood donors

Photo Source RVC

Recognising superheroes – New RVC awards for cat and dog blood donors

They say cats have nine lives, but the real superheroes are the animals who  provide blood donations.

Photo Source RVC – “Bertie”, a nine-year old golden retriever – “Canine Donor of the Year”

Cats and dogs attending the Royal Veterinary College’s (RVC) Blood Donor Programme have helped hundreds of animals involved in serious accidents, surgeries or suffering from serious diseases.

The RVC is celebrating these unsung heroes by awarding ‘Blood Donor of the Year’ awards to two of its regular donors, Bertie and Atticus. These awards recognise the amazing contribution Bertie and Atticus have made in helping  to save countless lives and will be presented to them and their owners on 14th June –  World Blood Donor Day.

Bertie, a nine-year-old golden retriever, has been a vital part of the RVC’s Blood Donor Programme for the last eight years. He has a similar blood type to 60% of dogs in the UK (type DEA 1 Positive), and has kindly donated over 22 units to the RVC’s small animal referral hospital. Blood provided by Bertie and other canine donors has been used for over 600 blood transfusions  each year at the RVC. Bertie is retiring this year and to note his contribution he has been awarded the ‘Canine Donor of the Year’ for his important efforts.

Bertie’s owner, Chris reveals: “I’ve always been a blood donor myself, so I really wanted my dog to help others like I do. I was around when Bertie was born, and he’s always been very calm. I think that helps make him such a good donor.”

Atticus, a four-year- old cat, has also played an important role in the RVC’s Blood Donor Programme since joining in 2016. The nine units of blood supplied by Atticus is blood type A, which is similar to 75% of cats in the UK. The RVC administers over 130 feline blood transfusions per year. In recognition, Atticus will be supplied with a ‘Feline Donor of the Year’ award.

Atticus’ owner, Olivia commented: “My first involvement with animal blood donations was through my work with Peaceful Pets – a charity for retired greyhounds. I got to know the RVC hospital team and then I brought Atticus along to donate after they explained how important feline blood donations are to their work. He becomes extra affectionate after each donation – I love it!”

Photo Source RVC – “Atticus”, a four-year old cat – “Feline Donor of the Year”

On this global awareness day, the RVC, which   currently runs Europe’s busiest animal   hospital blood donor programme, also thanks   the hundreds of other animals who have   provided blood that has saved  lives. They also   encourage more cat and dog donors to come   forward.

The RVC created its programme in 2005 in   response to high levels of demand for dog and   cat blood. This demand, which continually   increases year on year, is particularly important given the variety and complexities of the treatments offered at the RVC. For example,  treatments range from open-heart surgery to emergency and critical care, and from spinal surgery to cancer treatment.

Dominic Barfield, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care at the RVC, said: “Blood saves lives, literally. We are indebted to the kindness and generosity of those wonder dogs and super cats and the fabulous people that look after them, as their gift of a blood donation means that other pets can live. We cannot thank them enough and our RVC blood donor team who make it all possible.”

The RVC would also like to thank the generosity of its supporters, who contribute towards the operational costs of the Blood Donor Programme. For example, Burns Pet Food, whose Founder, John Burns, said: “As a Veterinary Surgeon and advocate of animal welfare, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be able to support a cause as worthy as the RVC blood transfusion service. I hope our donation will help many animals in need and this contribution will be the start of a great relationship.”

Notes to Editors

For more information please contact:

About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK’s largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London.
  • The RVC is ranked as the world’s number one veterinary school in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
  • The College offers undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
  • The RVC was the first veterinary school in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC, and currently holds full accreditation from RCVS, AVBC and AVMA and conditional from EAEVE.
  • In 2017, the RVC received a Gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest rating a university can receive.
  • A research-led institution, the RVC maintained its position as the top veterinary institution in the Research Excellence Framework (2014), with 79% of its submission being rated as world-class or internationally excellent.
  • The College also provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals: the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital, in central London, and the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (Europe’s largest small animal referral centre) and Equine Referral Hospital, both located at the Hertfordshire campus.

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The Commonwealth Chief Veterinary Officer’s Scholarship

Photo Source The University of Sydney

The Commonwealth Chief Veterinary Officer’s Scholarship

A postgraduate coursework scholarship
This scholarship encourages veterinarians to undertake postgraduate training in veterinary public health.


Value Eligibility Open date Close date
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Registered to practice veterinary science
  • Plan to study the veterinary public health management program
September 2019 October 2019

How to apply

Apply here.

For more information, please refer to the terms and conditions.


This scholarship is valued at up to $10,000 (for two years).

Who’s eligible

You must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • be registered to practice veterinary science in Australia
  • plan to study the veterinary public health management program
  • not be in receipt of any other scholarships or financial support to do the program


This scholarship was established in 2003 by a donation to the Faculty of Veterinary Science by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia. The purpose of the donation was to encourage veterinarians who demonstrate a commitment to working for the benefit of Australian livestock producers at the national level to undertake postgraduate training in veterinary public health.

Established in 2003 by a donation to the Faculty of Veterinary Science by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia. The purpose of the donation was to encourage veterinarians who demonstrate a commitment to working for the benefit of Australian livestock producers at the national level to undertake postgraduate training in veterinary public health. This will be achieved through the establishment of a scholarship to be known as The Commonwealth Chief Veterinary Officer’s Scholarship.

The scholarship shall be awarded under the following conditions:

1. The scholarship may be awarded at the postgraduate level and shall be tenable at the University of Sydney only.

2. The scholarship shall be awarded to a veterinarian registered (or eligible for registration) to practice veterinary science in Australia.

3. The scholarship shall be awarded to an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

4. The scholarship recipient shall not be in receipt of any other scholarships or financial support to do the Program, including employer-sponsored payment of course fees.

5. The scholarship shall be awarded on the basis of academic merit, based on transcripts of previous tertiary study; a written application that describes the applicant’s background, commitment to the livestock industries in Australia, or how he or she plans to further this in the future; commitment to working in a team and willingness to become part of a national/global team supporting the livestock industries; career goals; and the reports of three referees.

6. The postgraduate scholarship may only be awarded to an applicant who is admitted to the Veterinary Public Health Management Program and who enrols accordingly.

7. The value of the scholarship will cover annual unit of study fees for each year the student is enrolled in the Veterinary Public Health Management Program; to a maximum of $10,000 for each year the student is enrolled in the Program.

8. The scholarship shall be tenable for two years, subject to satisfactory progress.

9. If the annual donation by the funding body exceeds the fees for eight units of study the additional funds will be used for the benefit of the scholarship recipient.

10. The scholarship shall be awarded by the Faculty of Veterinary Science Board of Postgraduate Studies on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, the Chair in Farm Animal Health and Production, the Academic Program Manager for the Veterinary Public Health Management Program and the Chief Veterinary Officer of Australia, or their nominees.

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Udderly unreal cows to help train vet students

Photo Source The Queensland University

Udderly unreal cows to help train vet students

A life-size simulated cow and calf are enhancing veterinary students’ learning experience at The University of Queensland’s Gatton Campus.

UQ’s School of Veterinary Science senior lecturer Dr Gry Boe-Hansen is excited to welcome the state-of-the-art Canadian Holstein breed model cow and her calf to class.

“Born, bred and purchased from Veterinary Simulator Industries in Canada, our models will be used as teaching tools across a minimum of ten courses in the Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Technology programs,” she said.

“The cow and her calf have a number of applications to help students gain essential practical skills.

“These include a complex understanding of the bovine female reproductive tract, as well as diagnosing and managing complexities during pregnancy.”

In addition to accessing the models during class, students can also use them for self-directed learning as an extension of the School’s Student Clinical Skills Hub.

Photo Source The Queensland University

“Simulators are an innovative teaching tool to enhance learning experiences, as they allow veterinary students to become proficient in diagnostic and practical skills, building confidence in technical skills, improving the learning outcomes and reducing the impact on the live animals,” Dr Boe-Hansen said.

The School launched a competition to name the new additions, with anatomy lecturer Dr John  Wright given the prestigious honour of naming the model cow and calf.

“The cow has been named Mrs O’Leary and the calf is Charlene Mooken or ‘Moo’ for short, after two history making cows from the USA,” Dr Boe-Hansen said.

“Mrs O’Leary is the famous cow of Catherine O’Leary, blamed for causing the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 after kicking over a lantern in her stable.

“While the fire did start in the O’Leary’s barn, investigators never determined the true cause of the fire, and it was later revealed that the cow story was ‘fake news’ made up by a journalist.

“I’m hoping this Mrs O’Leary will be just as famous but for the right reasons – helping our vet students thrive and learn critical new skills.”

The calf has been named after a fugitive cow that gained fame in 2002 when she leaped over a fence at an abattoir in Cincinnati and spent 11 days on the run before she was rounded up and lived out the rest of her days on a farm.

The Holstein cow and calf simulator model was purchased as part of a teaching and learning grant, awarded in 2018 by UQ’s Faculty of Science.

Image above: Fourth year Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) students improving their skills with cow simulator, Mrs O’Leary.

Media: Dr Gry, +61 7 5460 1857; Dominic Jarvis,, +61 413 334 924.

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