International Vet Tech Opportunities: Resources to Find the Perfect Position Abroad
April 1, 2015
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For recent graduates from veterinary technology programs looking to find a job beyond American borders, there are countless vet tech opportunities located around the world. In many countries, vet techs are referred to as veterinary nurses, and there may be varying levels of certification required. Among the opportunities for international work are volunteer opportunities, conservation work and traditional employment.
Volunteer Opportunities Abroad
Most opportunities to volunteer abroad are presented in the form of humanitarian work. As a technician, you might find yourself traveling to a foreign country such as Uganda, Peru or Cambodia. Technicians and nurses are often asked to provide veterinary care in remote areas with basic facilities. Some also provide care for people in an effort to reduce the transmission and effects of diseases passed between animals and humans. A few organizations even work to teach proper husbandry and care of animals in remote villages in an effort to provide them with more sustainable food and resources. The American Veterinary Medical Association has a list of these organizations available online.
Many international vet tech opportunities are found in conservation work. Vet techs may work with sea turtles in Costa Rica, conservation of wildlife in Kenya or dogs in Nepal. These technicians are not typically paid, but housing is usually offered and a small stipend could be provided. Most programs give vet techs time to explore the local areas. For technicians interested in the care and conservation of wildlife, these experiences are worth the effort it takes to get there. Check out Animal Experience International for a list of international conservation opportunities.
Some international opportunities for vet techs come in the form of temporary traditional employment or an internship. These positions are not easily found, but they offer traveling vet techs the chance to immerse themselves in the culture of a country for a few weeks, months or even a year. They will also find themselves working with different tools and techniques, working alongside different doctors and physicians and learning about foreign diseases and treatments.
If you are interested in working in other countries, a good place to start is with the International Veterinary Nurses and Technicians Association. It recommends consulting the embassy of the country you are interested in before you plan to travel and work there. In some countries, licensure and registration is required, and you must meet their standards to work in a professional situation there.
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