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Summer Internships in Costa Rica - Placements

Wildlife, Conservation, and Veterinary Medicine

Each UC Davis Summer Abroad Internship program pairs UC Davis Study Abroad with a partner organization or university that manages the personalized internship placements; arranges accommodations and excursions; leads onsite orientations; and provides 24/7 emergency support. As part of the placement process for Summer Internships, participants will first enroll through UC Davis Study Abroad and then complete a supplemental application for the partner organization associated with their particular Summer Internship program.

Although Study Abroad partners with outside organizations for some aspects of Summer Abroad Internships, the official provider for these programs is UC Davis Study Abroad, and course credit is issued by UC Davis.

Internship Placement Process

After you enroll through UC Davis Study Abroad in this summer internship program, you will receive instructions to complete the Loop Abroad online enrollment and submit the required supplemental documents, which include:   

  • Resume
  • Brief essay detailing your skills, experience and career goals related to the internship (less than 1 page)

Although these items are not due until after you are enrolled in the program, we recommend that you start preparing the supplemental documents at the same time you are completing the UC Davis Study Abroad online enrollment.

Internship Rotations

While in Costa Rica you will participate in a full-time internship, spending approximately two weeks each at Kids Saving the Rainforest and a animal clinic near Quepos. All participants should be comfortable working with animals and getting dirty. 

Kids Saving the Rainforest: This portion of the program will provide the opportunity to observe and learn wildlife medicine in a rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. The site has veterinarian staff, emergency veterinary clinic on site, classroom space, lab space, and is home to birds, primates, sloths, and other small mammals.

Small Animal Clinic (PAWS): PAWS is home to approximately 100 cats and dogs. It offers a veterinary clinic that provides spay-neuter surgeries twice a week and sees small animal patients for routine and emergency visits, as well as providing care for abandoned and rescued animals.

Students will have the opportunity to shadow veterinarians and also learn from the facility staff at each location, along with participating in supplementary labs and interactive lectures supporting what they are learning. You can expect to work 30-35 hours per week. 

Groups will include 8-12 students and the order of the rotations will vary. Each group of 8-12 students will have a teaching veterinarian assigned to their group whose job is to teach those students, which allows interns to get the most out of their on-site experience, ask questions, and form a strong relationship with a teaching veterinarian.

Note: Students will earn both veterinary and animal experience hours on this program. More details on the breakdown of hours will be provided soon.

Resume and Cover Letter Resources

We strongly recommend that all students meet with an advisor at the UC Davis Internship and Career Center or the Career Center on their home campus to have their resume and cover letter reviewed prior to submitting these documents to Loop Abroad. The ICC provides many online resources, such as résumé, cover letter, and letter of recommendation examples.

Our Program Partner

For the Wildlife, Conservation and Veterinary Science in Costa Rica Summer Internship program, UC Davis Study abroad partners with Loop Abroad, a student travel organization whose mission is to provide the best hands-on study abroad for students pursuing careers working with animals.

Transcript Notation

Students participating in UC Davis Study Abroad Internships are eligible to receive Transcript Notation (TN). Transcript notation documents your academically approved internship on your official UC Davis transcript. By having your experience noted, it provides proof of where and when you participated in an internship. This is especially valuable for international internships that may be difficult for a prospective employer or program to contact.

Transcript Notation is a process you’ll start within the first two weeks of your internship placement through Handshake, the tool UC Davis Internship and Career Center uses to connect students and employers.