IVM Program: Summer Session 7

Jul 11-18, 2018
  • Trip Type:
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Livestock
  • Training



The International Veterinary Medicine (IVM) Program will not be taking place in Nicaragua this summer. See US State Department travel advisory for Nicaragua.

Due to safety concerns in Nicaragua, we have moved the summer IVM program to the charming city of Otavalo, Ecuador where we have a decade of 10history providing veterinary services to local animals in need.  Participants will experience the same great IVM program but in this new location known for its indigenous people who care greatly about their animals.

The International Veterinary Medicine (IVM) Program is World Vets student program. It provides international students with an opportunity to gain practical veterinary experience. Students will receive one 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 training 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.

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. Credit cards and money orders are also accepted forms of payment. Your remaining balance is due within  5 – 7 business days from the date of your 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 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, 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 where we provide field medicine and treatments for dogs, cats, and whatever else may show 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.

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. Tours are optional and you are free to choose other activities to arrange on your own.

A few special notes:

  • Patient care and comfort has always been and remains our number one priority.
  • Participants are responsible for obtaining any travel documentation required of them to enter/exit Ecuador (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.
  • 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 


Day 1 (Wednesday, July 11): Official Arrival Day

Today marks the official arrival day of the program. Arrive at Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Airport Code: UIO.  Up to two airport transfers will be organized. In general, this is how they will be scheduled (though they will be based on the arrival information of the majority):

Shuttle #1: Anyone arriving before 7:00 PM

Shuttle #2: Anyone arriving between 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM

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.orgWe require your flight information 3-5 business days after your registration (if you wish to be included on World Vets provided airport transfers).

If you plan to arrive earlier, you will automatically be included on shuttle #1 for pick up/transfer to Otavalo.

Day 2 (Thursday, July 12 ): Group Activity & Orientation

This morning you will take part in a group activity followed by orientation in the afternoon. 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, July 13): Clinic Day

Today students and instructors will work out of a local veterinary clinic. 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).

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


Day 4 (Saturday, July 14): Clinic Day

Today students and instructors will continue to work out of a local veterinary clinic. 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).

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


Day 5 (Sunday, July 15): 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 16): 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.

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


Day 7 (Tuesday, July 17): Clinic Day

Today students and instructors will return to work at a local veterinary clinic 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 18): 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 late afternoon & evening departures (i.e. 5 PM onward)

*Please note that this transfer will depart as early as 2:00 am or 3:00am. 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 IVM Program participants will stay at a beautiful and cozy lodge located within the town of Otavalo and within walking distance to local markets, restaurants and shops. It is equipped with hot showers, WiFi internet access, gardens, an outdoor patio and lounge area with fireplace. The team will also enjoy breakfast (included with accommodations) each morning at its very own restaurant located on site. Accommodations will be shared.


General Packing List

*NOTE:  This is a general packing list.
Please research your project's forecast information for weather permitting items.


  • Shoes (anything comfortable w/ covered toes for clinic days)
  • World Vets scrub top (required during clinic days)
  • Scrub pants (optional)
  • Pants
  • T-shirts (weather permitting)
  • Shorts (weather permitting - shorts are ok for surgery)
  • Bandana/hat
  • Swimsuit (weather permitting)
  • Sweatshirt (weather permitting)
  • Light jacket (weather permitting)
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (highly recommended)
  • Headlamp (highly recommended)
  • Camera
  • Tote bag
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter meds (Tylenol, Imodium, cold meds etc)
  • Personal bottle of hand sanitizer (highly recommended)
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen (highly recommended)
  • Bug spray (DEET) (highly recommended)
  • Brush
  • Band-Aids
  • Glasses/contact lenses
  • Beach Towel (if applicable)
  • Ear Plugs
  • Flip Flops/Shower shoes/Water shoes