Animal Experience International provides students with exceptional international placements. At AEI we understand how important practical field placements are for students. These experiences help students develop and solidify their clinical skills and widen the scope of their education, while learning about new species, new countries and different cultures. All of AEI’s placements are animal-related. We work with animal sanctuaries, wildlife rescue centres, wildlife rehabilitation hospitals, conservation projects and spay-neuter-vaccination programs in over 10 countries around the world. Each placement has been visited by AEI staff to assess the quality of the programs and establish the level of veterinary care provided. Students can confidently select their placement based on the project, the species involved, and the extent of the medical programs available.

Students gain real-life experience in their field of interest.

Practical experience is invaluable, and AEI provides the opportunity for students to gain this experience while contributing to important animal projects. Benefits to the participants are many fold:

  • Students can apply their knowledge, learn new skills, and gain experience with exciting new species.

  • Make connections and discover opportunities for career development.

  • Travel to new places and experience different cultures.

  • Discover the rewards of volunteering.

In addition to helping the animals, students who participate in AEI placements are always amazed at how the experience changes them personally, contributing to their own growth and helping to focus their career goals.

AEI placements are worry free.

Providing placements that are as safe and worry-free as possible is something that is important – to us at AEI, to educators and program coordinators, to parents of the students, and to the students themselves. At AEI we aim to provide the best experience possible for everyone involved. AEI takes the guess work out of international volunteering. AEI staff have personally travelled to, and worked with, all of our placement partners. We know exactly what our volunteers should expect, where they will be staying, what they will be eating, who they will be working with, and in what activities they will participate. All of our partners run international volunteer programs, which means English is spoken at all of the placements – although many volunteers welcome the opportunity to practice another language. AEI placements include airport pick-up from the closest airport, accommodation, meals (unless specified), on-site training, an AEI Travel Manual, emergency support and health and travel insurance. Volunteer fees do not include airfare, travel visas or immunizations, but are otherwise all-inclusive experiences. AEI completes all of the necessary paperwork and agreements with the placement partners, and takes care of all the international correspondence. We do all the worrying about international payments, money conversion, language differences and time zone hassles so you don’t have to! Students participating in an AEI placement will have the opportunity to discuss their expectations with AEI’s Volunteer Coordinator. This is an important step towards ensuring that the placement is a success. Participants will have a clear idea of what to expect on their placement, and will be able to ensure their learning objectives will be fulfilled and that the match will be rewarding for all involved. Are you nervous about travel and your safety? It's okay, travelling and volunteering can be overwhelming, that is why we exist! To help you travel safe, volunteer smartly and get back home in one piece. To read more about how we help you stay safe, please read our Guide to Safety.

AEI placements meet your educational requirements.

AEI works closely with colleges and universities throughout North America to provide placements for students.

  • AEI works with students to ensure the placement meets their educational objectives.

  • AEI and its Placement Partners complete all required student evaluations.

  • Placement times are flexible, based on the student’s schedule and expectations.

Each program is unique, with specific requirements for student placements. At AEI we work to provide educators and students with the best experience possible and ensure that all educational requirements are satisfied by our placements.

To see a list of recommended vet tech Experiences please visit our Veterinary Technician and Nursing Page.
To see a list of all our animal care Experiences please visit our Serious Page.

Some schools have decided to highlight the best practicum and co-op placements for their schools. Interested in learning more about a partnership with AEI, please contact us!

Norwalk College Veterinary Technology Program

Georgian College Veterinary Technician Program

Ridgewater College Veterinary Technologist Program

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Program

Volunteer fees – why there is a cost to volunteer.

Volunteer fees are an important part of sustainable international volunteer programs. The reality is that there is a cost associated with volunteering. Training, food, equipment and accommodation all have a price. In recognition of this, AEI’s ensures that in addition to contributing the enthusiasm and skills that make such a difference to these groups, our volunteers also cover their own costs. Ethical travel and ethical “voluntourism” are important parts of AEI’s business model. AEI carbon balances the travel of each volunteer, and makes a donation to its partners for each volunteer that they host, helping to support the important work these groups accomplish. AEI keeps its volunteer fees low by working closely with our Placement Partners to find accommodation and other services in the community. Despite these efforts, we recognize that for some students the volunteer fees may present a financial barrier. That is why we dedicate the time to assist our volunteers with their fundraising initiatives. A well-run fundraising effort can make a significant impact for the volunteer. For more information on fundraising assistance visit our fundraising page.

Resources for Educators

The following presentations (also found on YouTube) are provided for Educators wishing to inform students about AEI’s placement programs. AEI’s electronic flyer and poster have also been made available for your use. Just click any thumbnail to download and share with your students.