Vet Student Internship

Chintsa East, South Africa

vet student program in South Africa

This internship was designed for students who have completed at least 1 year of a veterinary course. The internship structure is an equal mix of small animal, large animal, and wildlife aspects, as in the Vet Experience program, however, the Vet Student Internship has more advanced skills and procedures, a smaller group size, and a full-time, highly qualified mixed-practice South African vet. Vet Student interns work alongside the vet, seeing a wide range of species, working through clinical cases, and participating in focused discussion groups. This internship has a limited number of sessions but vet students are also welcome to join our Vet Experience program!


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USD per session



  • Safe and comfortable accommodation
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week)
  • Monday airport transfers
  • Project-related transportation
  • Wi-fi access
  • Washing facilities
  • Permits & entry fees
  • Pre-departure support
  • Welcome packet with coupons for local establishments
  • Volunteer t-shirt

The program fee also acts as the main support for our non-profit clinic.


Not included:

  • Flights
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Weekend activities and trips

GVE volunteers get discounted rates on flights, travel insurance, and weekend activities through our STA Travel partners!


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2020 Sessions: 

22 June – 13 July

13 July – 3 August

3 August – 24 August

Limited to 6 volunteers / session

Monday: Community Outreach: horses, pigs, goats, sheep, cows, dogs (large & small animal)
Tuesday: Cattle pregnancy testing & vitamin injections (large animal) + Reptile handling (wildlife)
Wednesday: Non-profit small animal clinic (small animal)
Thursday: Dart gun introduction/training + Game capture (wildlife)
Friday: Spay Day (small animal)
Saturday & Sunday: Free time (see Weekend Activities)

*This is itinerary is for example only- activities are planned according to the needs of the community. Weekly schedules are released at the start of each week and are updated daily to account for new opportunities, vet emergencies, and weather.

Small Animal: 

  • Assisting at our non-profit small animal clinic (1-2 days per week)
  • Clinical exams, basic wound care, and treatment
  • Diagnostics
  • Community education
  • Discussion Topics: in-depth clinical case discussion, aggression, tick-borne disease, TVTs

Read more…

Large Animal: 

  • Cattle (beef & dairy): Pregnancy testing, dehorning, routine checks, wound care, treatment
  • Sheep & goats: Pregnancy scanning, tail docking & castrating lambs, routine checks, wound care, treatment
  • Pigs: Artificial insemination, tail docking (piglets), routine checks, wound care, treatment
  • Horses: Lameness exams, dental exams, routine checks, wound care, treatment
  • Discussion topics: in-depth clinical case discussion, abattoirs, disease control

Read more…


  • Game Capture: Vet Students work closely with the wildlife vet and their capture team to locate, immobilize, transport, and release wildlife, a process also known as “Game Capture”. As with the Vet Experience Program, there will be at least 1 game capture per week but working in a smaller, more experienced group you can expect to be more hands-on and more involved in the clinical aspects.
  • Game counts & wildlife identification: Learn about land caring capacity and identify exotic species
  • Parasite control: Darting with parasiticides (firearm handling & safety training provided)
  • Discussion group topics: conservation, hunting, Five Freedoms

. Read more…

  • Animal Experience (hours/week): 30-40
  • Vet Experience (hours/week): 40-50
  • Clinical Experience (hours/week): 20-30
  • Surgical Experience* (hours/week): 0-10


*Animal welfare is the most important factor to consider when allowing students to perform surgery- we cannot guarantee surgical experience in any session on any program, because welfare must be assessed in each case. The estimated number of student surgeries per week is based on past volunteer experiences, however, animal welfare conditions, student experience & confidence, weather, national holidays, and other variables may affect the availability of student surgeries.


Click here for weekend activities in and around Chintsa East.

Chintsa East is the “home base” of the program- Vet Student and Vet Experience volunteers share the volunteer house. The house has 2 bathrooms, 6 bedrooms (2-8 volunteers per room), kitchen, living room, front yard and deck/braai area. Chintsa East is a beach town near many villages, farms and game reserves, which provide access to a wide range of animals and activities. Volunteers stay at one of our Community Project sites 1-2 nights per session. Bedding is provided (sheets, pillows, blankets) and we guarantee safe and comfortable accommodation at all sites.

Meals are simple and nutritious. Breakfast consists of cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, tea, and coffee. Volunteers pack a sandwich lunch at the beginning of each day- options include meat & cheese, peanut butter & jelly, or tuna mayo, along with fruit and juice. Dinner includes a protein, a starch, and at least 1 vegetable. We try to accommodate all dietary preferences- our vegetarian menu has gotten rave reviews!


Vet students


Small Animal, Large Animal, Wildlife


June – August


Chintsa East, South Africa

“Lots of difference and diverse activities were panned. I was really impressed…I expected less community involvement and teaching than there was so pleasant surprise… [I] had a really great and fulfilling time”

– Chris T. (August 2018) 

Volunteer Stories

“Loved it!… Game Capture [was an] amazing learning experience – loved the booklet… Community work – Great hands on, animal handling experience… Pregnancy Diagnosis (Cow) – Very useful… Small groups were great. Vet group of 4 was perfect amount – got adequate time for questions and discussion.”

– Beth E. (August 2018) 

“I learnt so much, love it…. Nikki was an amazing teacher and displayed lots of patience and a strong willingness to learn… I would [recommend this programme] as I learnt a lot and was surrounded by great people.”

– Faye N. (August 2018)