handh02

Law of the Wild
10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2007
20
0
Hong Kong
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I'm taking the scenic route to vet school, although I do plan to go in a few years, maybe class 2010 in Australia. But I heard about a volunteer-ship in Costa Rica and Nicaragua with a program called VIDA (Volunteers for Intercultural and Definitive Adventures, www.vidavolunteertravel.org) that offers Medical, Dental, and Veterinary volunteer trips.

Obviously I'm interested in the Veterinary one, but has anyone ever done one of these? Any kind of feedback? Just trying to find out if it's worth the money, (and the effort since I'm currently working in Hong Kong and Central America is kinda the other side of the world).
 

greenie53

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2008
155
0
Chicago (but grew up in Phoenix)
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I do not have experience with VIDA, I think it looks ok. It's always hard to tell with these companies that sell the trips. I've been on two international trips with different companies. My first experience was a medical trip (I used to be pre-med) with International Service Learning and it was amazing. They also have veterinary trips and I would assume they'd be great too. The website is: http://www.islonline.org

I also went to South Africa with Vets in the Wild where we essentially got credit for a wildlife management class. I learned some cool things, but we really didn't get to do much at all. The game capture portion was pretty bad because apparently no game needed capturing when we were there... :(. Supposedly the trip after us was good, but I still felt like it was too much lecture and not enough hands on personally.

I'd recommend looking into International Service learning. I checked their website and saw that they still have at least 2 veterinary trip open for this summer. They were such nice people and at the medical trip we got a ton of experience (I gave injections - big deal for human med- , did pap smears, pregnancy examination, prescribed meds...). Anyways, check it out!
 
OP
handh02

handh02

Law of the Wild
10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2007
20
0
Hong Kong
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Thanks, I'll check it out.:D Anything to help my chances of getting into vet school.
 

pennylane29

10+ Year Member
May 1, 2008
2
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hello, I have had experience with the people who founded VIDA (Volunteers for International and Definitive Adventures), they have been organizing and putting together trips for many years and have many great contacts in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. VIDA is a secular, non political non-profit organization that collaborates with many other nonprofit organizations in Central America on a grass roots level. VIDA guarantees maximum hands on volunteer experience with an emphasis on small animal castrations, interesting large animal work with Artificial Insemination, and exotics.
I have been on 2 trips with them before and am about to embark on my third trip on May 14th. I have to say it is very organized and the experience you get is amazing. We travel to many poverish villages and provided free veterinary care to their animals. We were able to perform castration (from start to finish, with the supervision of licensed veterinarians), injected many cattle with vitamins and dewormer, participated in a rodeo, assisted in artificial insemination, and we got to work with sloths at the Sloth Rescue Center (www.slothrescue.org). If you go for a 3 week trip you gain 120 hour of experience (65 hours for a 2 week trip) with animals for your vet school application. The people down there are very kind and grateful for the services provided. You will not regret traveling half way around the world, I checked and there are open trips in July and August. Let me know if you have any questions, I would be glad to send you my email. It really was a great experience, I just can’t stay away!
 

cwazy cat lady

Slave to Felines
10+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2007
185
1
La-La Land
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hello, I have had experience with the people who founded VIDA (Volunteers for International and Definitive Adventures), they have been organizing and putting together trips for many years and have many great contacts in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. VIDA is a secular, non political non-profit organization that collaborates with many other nonprofit organizations in Central America on a grass roots level. VIDA guarantees maximum hands on volunteer experience with an emphasis on small animal castrations, interesting large animal work with Artificial Insemination, and exotics.
I have been on 2 trips with them before and am about to embark on my third trip on May 14th. I have to say it is very organized and the experience you get is amazing. We travel to many poverish villages and provided free veterinary care to their animals. We were able to perform castration (from start to finish, with the supervision of licensed veterinarians), injected many cattle with vitamins and dewormer, participated in a rodeo, assisted in artificial insemination, and we got to work with sloths at the Sloth Rescue Center (www.slothrescue.org). If you go for a 3 week trip you gain 120 hour of experience (65 hours for a 2 week trip) with animals for your vet school application. The people down there are very kind and grateful for the services provided. You will not regret traveling half way around the world, I checked and there are open trips in July and August. Let me know if you have any questions, I would be glad to send you my email. It really was a great experience, I just can’t stay away!
Thanks, Pennylane, I was thinking about doing a VIDA trip, too.

And thanks to the OP for asking the question. Great idea!
 

Mandyluv11

Mandyluv11
10+ Year Member
May 1, 2008
1
0
Omaha, NE
Status
Pre-Veterinary
How much does the entire trip cost on average? I would love to do something like that. It is for such a good cause and I would get tons of experience.
 

CRVet

10+ Year Member
May 12, 2008
1
0
Status
Veterinarian
HI I am a veterinarian from Costa Rica and I´ve worked with ISL and VIDA, in my opinion VIDA is more organized and has a better vet plan. I think is a great experience for vet students, so my advise to you is to check out the vet plans and choose the one you think is better, if you have a chance to come I will garantee you won´t regreat it!!! Good luck and if you have any questions I will be happy to help you.........
 

pennylane29

10+ Year Member
May 1, 2008
2
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
It costs $1695 for a two week trip. The cost includes ground transportation, veterinarian staff, translators, hotels, medications/medical supplies, 2 meals a day on clinic days and one meal a day on non clinic days. The airfare, excursions, other meals, and tuition are not included. Airfare really isnt that bad though, if you watch it (Spirit airlines round trip tickets were about 350$). Since its nonprofit there are also fundraising opprotunities with donation letters. My first year going I fundraised my entire trip by sending everyone I knew a letter. I think there is still room on the August 12-24th and the Dec 27th trips if youre interested, check out the website: www.vidavolunteertravel.org
 
OP
handh02

handh02

Law of the Wild
10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2007
20
0
Hong Kong
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Has anyone done any trips like this in my part of the world? I'm living in Hong Kong, so anything in Asia or Oceania would be a lot cheaper for me to travel to. I really like the VIDA idea, but would hate to spend my entire savings to travel to get there!