IVM Program: Summer Session 5

Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2018
  • Trip Type:
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Equine
  • Training

15732072_10208196851105433_8075752167400749006_oThe International Veterinary Medicine (IVM) Program is World Vets student program. Operating out of our Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua, it provides international students with an opportunity to gain practical veterinary experience. Students will receive World Vets 2016 Voluntariadoone on one instruction in relation to the preparation, execution and recovery of patients from spay and neuter surgery. Students stand to benefit from this multi – disciplinary 10training and cultural experience as it will enhance their education and give them a broader understanding of international veterinary medicine.

As part of the IVM Program we offer a high-quality, low-stress, hands on experience. The teaching facility is also equipped with up to date medical, surgical, anesthetic and monitoring equipment. We can even perform basic laboratory diagnostics including blood and tissue smears, fecal flotations, PCV/TP and urinalysis.

Read more about the student experience

This program is open to English speaking international students who wish to receive one on one instruction from certified veterinarians and technicians.

How much will it cost?


The IVM Program fee for this session for pre – veterinary, veterinary and veterinary technology students is $1650 USD, however, we will only require a deposit of $400 USD at the time of registration. The remaining amount ($1250 USD) should be paid via a personal check made out to World Vets and be payable in US currency by April 6th, 2018. Credit cards and money orders are also accepted forms of payment.  If you register after this date, we will require the remaining balance within  5 – 7 business days from the date of your original registration.

What’s Included for students:

World Vets scrub top, volunteer kit, pre – trip planning and coordination per the program itinerary, accommodations for 7 nights, breakfast provided at accommodations, lunches on clinic and outreach days, airport transfers per established meeting times on official arrival/departure days, ground transportation on outreach day, one on one instruction, a group activity (carriage ride and boat tour) as well as all supplies and full participation.

What’s NOT included for students:

Airfare, optional excursions, travel and/or health insurance, World Vets membership fee, dinner and snacks, Nicaraguan tourist visa ($10 USD paid upon arrival), personal equipment necessary for the course (i.e watch, stethoscope, water bottle), incidentals and anything not specifically outlined as included.

DVM & LVT/RVT Instructors:

The IVM Program fee for this 8 day session for DVM and/or LVT instructors is $250 USD and is due at the time of registration.

Licensed veterinarians and technicians must have at least one year of clinical experience to qualify for an instructor position, however, prior teaching experience is not a prerequisite. If you would like to be considered for an instructor position, please send a copy of your current CV and DVM and/or LVT/RVT license to info@worldvets.org. This is a low cost volunteer opportunity.

  • Read more about the DVM experience and the costs you will incur here
  • Read more about the LVT/RVT experience and the costs you will incur here

What will I be doing?

Veterinary Students

Veterinary students have the unique opportunity to receive one on one guided training with a qualified DVM instructor. We accept students from all levels and guide them through basic surgical skills on to completing spay and neuter surgeries. Every student develops at their own pace so this is why we encourage learning in a low stress environment where training can be directed to your own needs. The veterinary instructor is there to guide and encourage you to complete surgeries as safely and efficiently as possible. You may also assist pre – veterinary and technician students with pre – operative and post-operative procedures on your patients.

Pre – Veterinary and Technician Students

You will work under the guidance of licensed technician and veterinary instructors. You will learn how to prepare patients for surgery, such as performing complete physical exams, administering pre-anesthetic medications, catheter and endotracheal tube placement, bladder expression, anesthetic induction, and monitoring of patients while under anesthesia. You will also assist with post-operative recovery of patients. This program is targeted at students who do not have significant clinical experience and have not worked extensively in a veterinary clinical setting. If you already have extensive experience with the above mentioned procedures, this program is probably not going to fulfill your needs. You should instead look toward volunteering on one of our regular international field service projects.

DVM Instructors

You will work one-on-one with veterinary students to teach spay and neuter surgery.  We would like for you to teach students your technique so that they are exposed to several different approaches.  No prior teaching experience is required although you must be comfortable performing and teaching basic spay and neuter surgery.

LVT/RVT Instructors

You will work one-on-one with pre veterinary and technician students to teach them basic clinical skills such as preparation of patients for surgery (pre-med, placing catheters, intubation etc.), performing physical exams, basic anesthesia concepts and patient recovery.  No prior teaching experience is required, although you must be comfortable performing and teaching basic patient surgical preparation, monitoring and recovery.

Will I have the opportunity to perform other types of veterinary procedures?

Yes, each IVM session includes one community outreach day. We will a visit a community outside of Granada where we provide field medicine and treatments for dogs, cats, horses, and whatever else shows up! Every outreach day is unique and offers an experience to witness common tropical diseases such as ehrlichiosis, transmissible venereal tumor (TVT), malnutrition/parasitism, distemper and more. This is primarily a student run clinic which gives you plenty of opportunity to interact with the friendly community members. Veterinarians and technicians will support students with communication, physical exams, diagnostics and procedural treatments.

During outreach days we will also have the opportunity to treat the working horses of Nicaragua. Horses are greatly relied upon for transportation and draft and are often in need of dental work, hoof care, castration, wound care, and general treatments.

Will I have free time to explore the area?

Yes. There is one additional day with no scheduled activities. World Vets can help arrange tours based on interest but activities typically include exploring markets, hiking volcanoes, ziplining, horse back riding, and/or relaxing at Laguna de Apoyo. Tours are optional and you are free to choose other activities to arrange on your own. Some other options include San Juan del Sur beaches or getting pampered at one of the many day spas in Granada.

A few special notes:

  • Patient care and comfort has always been and remains our number one priority. Although there are many free roaming dogs and cats in Nicaragua, most of them have owners. It is our mandate to provide free spay and neuter services to Nicaraguan citizens who are otherwise not able to afford care. Additional medical treatments are also provided at no cost for patients.
  • Participants are responsible for obtaining any travel documentation required of them to enter/exit Nicaragua (i.e. a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the initial date of departure, special visa if applicable).
  • Participants are responsible for obtaining any health requirements and/or precautions (i.e. vaccinations) prior to departure and its associated cost. World Vets is not able to provide medical advice. Participants are encouraged to consult with their family physician, nearest travel clinic and/or center for disease control regarding recommended immunizations and/or health precautions prior to the trip. We require all volunteers to have some form of health insurance.
  • We understand that sometimes unexpected things can happen to stop a volunteer being able to participate in a project. For that reason, we highly recommend that you obtain some form of insurance for your trip.  Affordable travelers insurance can be found here, which can also cover trip cancellation in some circumstances and covered reasons. You must read the policy wording to ensure the policy is a fit for your needs. World Vets project fees are non-refundable and non-transferable (to another person or to another project).  We encourage volunteers to make sure the dates of our projects do not conflict with any prior engagements before signing up.
  • World Vets is able to accommodate vegetarians on this program. However, we will notable to accommodate any specialty diets such as vegan, kosher and/or gluten free etc. Those who have strict dietary restrictions will need to bring their own supplements and/or snacks for the program. Nevertheless, there are many restaurant options in Granada for vegetarians, vegans etc.
  • The gloves provided as part of this program are made with latex. If you have a latex allergy, you will need to supply your own gloves for this program.
  • The International Veterinary Medicine (IVM) Program is for instructors and students respectfully. We are not able to accommodate any children (under the age of 18) of instructors should they not be participating in the capacity of student.

Please read and make sure you understand World Vets Terms & Conditions.

World Vets is not liable for lost and/or stolen items a program housing and/or training center facility


Day 1 (Wednesday, June 27): Official Arrival Day

Today marks the official arrival day of the program. Arrive at Augusto C Sandino International Airport located in Managua, Nicaragua.  Airport code: MGA.  Please plan to arrive no later than 9:30 pm – this will be when the last World Vets shuttle will operate to Granada (~1 hour drive south). There will be multiple shuttles operating for airport picks up. In general this is how they will be scheduled:

Shuttle #1: Anyone arriving before 12:00 PM

Shuttle #2: Anyone arriving between 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Shuttle #3: Anyone arriving between 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Once you have booked your flight, please send your flight information (i.e. arrival/departure date and time, airline carrier, flight numbers) to info@worldvets.org. We require your flight information no later than May 7th, 2018 (if you wish to be included on World Vets provided airport transfers).

Anyone arriving before the official arrival day will be responsible for their own transportation to Granada. Similarly anyone arriving after 9:30 PM on the official arrival day will need to make their own transfer arrangements.

Day 2 (Thursday, June 28 ): Group Activity & Orientation

This morning you will take part in a group activity followed by orientation at the training center in the afternoon. After breakfast provided at your accommodations, participants will hop in a horse drawn carriage for a tour of the city. These horses are recipients of free veterinary services as a result of World Vets equine welfare project in the city. You will then be taken to Lake Nicaragua and get on a boat for a tour of Las Isletas (“Little Islands”). Once the tour is complete you will lunch at the training center followed by orientation. The evening is free for participants to explore.

*Breakfast and lunch included for both students and instructors
**Everyone is responsible for their own dinner tonight


Day 3 (Friday, June 29): Training Center Clinic Day

Today students and instructors will work out of World Vets veterinary training center. Be prepared to start at 8:00 AM and end by 5:00 PM. Bring your water bottle, World Vets scrub top, comfortable shoes and any other personal items (i.e. stethoscope, watch). Purified water will be available for you to refill your bottle.

Students will receive one on one instruction and have the opportunity to work with the following equipment; central oxygen, pulse oximeters, fluid pumps and an autoclave. There may also exist the opportunity to perform basic diagnostic tests such as blood and tissue smears, fecal flotations, PCV/TP, and urinalysis. Read more details under the project description (first page).

*Breakfast and lunch included for both students and instructors
**Everyone is responsible for their own dinner tonight


Day 4 (Saturday, June 30): Training Center Clinic Day

Today students and instructors will continue to work out of World Vets veterinary training center. Be prepared to start at 8:00 AM and end by 5:00 PM. Bring your water bottle, World Vets scrub top, comfortable shoes and any other personal items (i.e. stethoscope, watch). Purified water will be available for you to refill your bottle.

*Breakfast and lunch included for both students and instructors
**Everyone is responsible for their own dinner tonight


Day 5 (Sunday, July 1): Free Time | Leisure Day

Take advantage of your day off and explore the area! World Vets will have activities that we can arrange and you can sign up for upon your arrival.  All other activities you will need to make your own arrangements for. Any and all activities you take part in  today will will be at your own expense.

*Breakfast included for both students and instructors
**Everyone is responsible for their own lunch and dinner today


Day 6 (Monday, July 2): Community Outreach Day

Today will be dedicated to providing a community outreach clinic. Students and instructors will be involved in assisting with health consultations and administering vaccines and preventative health medicines to cats and dogs. We will also be attending horses that show up allowing students to assist with administering vaccines and preventative health medicines to horses as well as cleaning and treating wounds and abrasions.

*Breakfast and lunch included for both students and instructors
**Everyone is responsible for their own dinner tonight


Day 7 (Tuesday, July 3): Training Center Clinic Day

Today students and instructors will return to work at World Vets veterinary training center for one final day of clinic before departure.

*Breakfast and lunch included for both students and instructors
**Everyone is responsible for their own dinner tonight


Day 8 (Wednesday, July 4): Official Departure

Today marks the official end/departure day of the program. There will be two shuttles operating for return airport shuttles. In general, this is how they will be scheduled:

Shuttle #1 for early morning departures* (i.e. 6 AM, 7:45 AM)

Shuttle #2 for early – late afternoon departures (i.e. 12 PM, 2 PM)

*Please note that this transfer will depart as early as 3:30am/4:00am. If you do not wish to get up this early, we advise that you schedule your departure flight for later in the day

For participants who wish to extend their stay, this is something that is not included in the program fee. Also, please know that if you stay past the official end date of the program, you will then be responsible for your return transportation to the airport.


All registered program participants will stay at a colonial style home with beautiful gardens located just a few blocks from the center of town and within walking distance to restaurants, shops and World Vets veterinary training center. The property features WiFi, an outdoor pool, common/lounge areas and ceiling fans throughout. Rooms have air conditioning. Accommodations and living quarters will be shared. Students can expect to room with at least two or three other students. When the roster is at full capacity, instructors can expect to room with one other instructor. Breakfast is cooked and served each morning at the house.

A special note: Granada is a vibrant and lively city that comes alive early in the morning with the sound of church bells, school children and horse drawn carriages making their way down the cobblestone streets.  The lovely accommodations are right in the heart of the city so if you think the noise will bother you, we recommend that you bring ear plugs for better sleep.


General Packing List

*This packing list is geared towards our regular field service opportunities to tropical destinations


  • Shoes (Keen, Teva, tennis shoes, anything comfortable, preferably washable and w/ covered toes)
  • T-shirts/Short sleeved shirts
  • Shorts (shorts are ok for surgery)
  • Scrub Pants (optional)
  • World Vets scrub top
  • Swimsuit
  • Light Jacket or sweatshirt
  • Bandana/hat
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Headlamp (Highly recommended for vets and students, optional but recommended for others)
  • Camera (w/ extra batteries and memory card)
  • Daypack or tote
  • Travel Alarm
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  •  Shampoo
  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter meds (Tylenol, Imodium, cold meds etc)
  • Comb/brush
  • Soap
  • Band-Aids
  • Glasses/contact lenses
  • Beach Towel
  • Ear Plugs
  • Flip Flops/Shower shoes
  • Small travel flashlight
  • Laptop (most destinations have WiFi although not very reliable)

Air Mattress (If applicable)

The 10 Rules of Packing