Horse & Large Animal Medicine

Head for the hills of beautiful Belize when you shadow a working veterinarian as they treat various animals on local farms around San Ignacio.

You can look forward to learning about the basics of farm upkeep, including for horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs. You’ll also assist the vet in providing care to the animals, from giving vaccinations to treating palpitations and monitoring pregnant animals.

Prepare for the future

Large animal medicine is an unsung but vitally important job in protecting the well-being of animals and the human populations that depend on farms for food. During your time in Belize, you can look forward to:
  • Shadowing a working veterinarian as they travel to local farms and treat a wide variety of animals
  • Learning about the cultural importance of farming in Belize, including Maya, Mestizo, Kriol and more
  • Enjoying field visits to the Belize Raptor Center and the Green Iguana Project

By attending Horse & Large Animal Medicine, you can earn up to 40 veterinary hours, a required part of every vet school application.

2024 Program Dates & Tuition

  • 9 Days
  • July 7–15
  • $5,999

What’s Included

Authentic, local meals

Comfortable Accommodations

10:1 Teaching Vet-to-Student Ratio

Up to 40 veterinary hours

Round trip airfare*

*Roundtrip airfare from the designated international airport hub is included. Any travel costs from your location to that hub are not included.

Program Highlights

Large Animal Medicine

You’ll get hands-on practice in your stable-side manner as you learn large animal examination techniques at working ranches and farms around San Ignacio. You’ll learn about caring for horses, cattle, sheep, chickens, and pigs.

Agriculture in Belize

Belize is well known for its animal diversity and ecological progressivity. Many different cultures in Belize have impacted farming approaches, from the Maya to the Mennonite to the Garifuna and Kriol.

Cultural Immersion

You’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Xunantunich Archeological reserve, enjoy a cultural dance and drumming lesson with a local instructor, and learn how to make delicious chocolate.

The Belize Raptor Center

The Belize Raptor Center is dedicated to the conservation of raptors and their natural habitats. This program rescues and rehabilitates these injured or orphaned birds of prey with the goal of releasing the animal back into the wild.

Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1

Arrival in Miami

  • Registration at a hotel nearby the Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Group introductions and welcome dinner

Day 2

Journey to Belize

  • Group flight with chaperone from MIA to Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE)
  • Introduction to teaching veterinary staff
  • Orientation and welcome dinner

Day 3

Orientation to Belize

  • Orientation: Welcome to Belize
  • Lecture: Animal Health in Belize
  • Onsite Practical Rotation: Pigs

Day 4

Belize Raptor Center & Xunantunich Archeological Reserve

  • Tour and discussion with local staff at Belize Raptor Center
  • Hike and guided tour of Xunantunich Archeological Reserve

Day 5

Green Iguana Project

  • On-Site Practical Rotation: Horses
  • Tour of the Green Iguana Project
  • Cultural dance and drumming lesson

Day 6

Dairy Farm Tours

  • Tour of Spanish Lookout Mennonite Community and Western Dairy farms
  • On-Site Practical Rotation: Chickens
  • Agricultural Community Tour

Day 7

Dairy Farm Tours, continued

  • On-Site Practical Rotation: Cattle
  • Chocolate Making Experience

Day 8

Final Practical Rotation

  • On-Site Practical Rotation: Sheep
  • Tour of Barton Creek Cave
  • Farewell Dinner

Day 9

Departure Day

Please Note: The events included on this itinerary are subject to minor changes before your program.

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What some of our students and their parents are saying…

My experience in Costa Rica was eye-opening, insightful, and enriching. I now feel more confident in my future academic ventures.”

Getting to know other people who are wanting to go into the same career as you and getting to work with them” was the most meaningful part of the program.”

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For the safety of students, staff, and animals, not all animals may be touched or handled by participants. The teaching veterinarian and other professional staff members will advise students of the proper time, place, and method to handle animals when it is safe to do so.