Internship Abroad Greece: Veterinary Medicine Animal Welfare
Are you a veterinary student, an apprentice veterinary nurse or a university student of animal studies or non-profit management studies?
If so, our animal welfare internships are the perfect place for you to gain work experience in your field. You will be based at a cat rescue shelter in Greece, where you will not only improve your foreign language skills and strengthen your intercultural and social competence, but you will also broaden your understanding of veterinary and shelter medicine, build on your practical animal care skills, and gain first-hand experience in the management of a non-profit organisation. Our work experience programme in Greece is the perfect opportunity to develop your professional network and receive hands-on training from skilled professionals in the field of animal welfare, all while immersing yourself in a community of interns and volunteers from around the world.
Whether you’re just starting your degree or about to enter the world of work, an animal welfare internship can help you refine your skills and boost your CV. Go abroad, gain unique hands-on experience and put what you’ve learned at university into practice!
- Join one of our three programmes tailored to your qualifications
- Take part in a unique cat rescue project working side by side with volunteers, interns, veterinarian students and animal care professionals
- Experience animal shelter management from a new perspective
- Provide quality care for animals to aid them in finding their forever home
- Work in an inspiring environment with passionate professionals
- Support Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) efforts as a solution to reduce stray cat populations
Plan your trip
Included in the programme fee
- Placement in the programme
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Assistance with selecting travel insurance
- Assistance with booking flights
- Risk coverage certificate
Meghan, your travel expert for Greece
Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to learn more about this journey! I answer all of your questions and assist you before, during and after your adventure abroad.
Acquire international work experience in animal welfare
Prospective veterinarians, veterinary nurses, and students of animal science or non-profit management can join one of three programmes fitting their field of study to gain experience in their chosen career path. Get an in-depth insight into an animal sanctuary’s day-to-day operations and receive guidance from professionals.
Arrival and orientation in Greece
To get to the project site, we ask that you book a flight to Athens-Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in the Greek capital, arriving between 9 am and 9 pm. You will be met at the airport by a staff member and taken to the animal welfare organisation’s shelter in Attica. This drive takes approximately 15 minutes. Once on-site, you will be able to settle into your room, meet your team, and get a tour of the shelter. You will receive a printed overview of the programme and your schedule for the coming week (you will also receive this by email before arrival). Depending on your arrival time, you will start your work on the same day or the following day.
Internship structure in Greece
Although you will be assigned to a specific programme depending on your training, the basic structure of all placements is the same. In a typical week, you will work five days and have two days off (including an organized activity day). The intern schedule is prepared on a weekly basis, and you will receive your program via email prior to the beginning of a new week. When training with veterinarians, partner shelters, and other animal rescue organisations, your day will be organized in accordance with their program (scheduled surgeries/treatments, etc.). When assigned to work in the shelter, your day will split into two shifts (9 am – 2 pm and 3 pm – 9 pm).
One day of the work week will be spent helping out at the local donkey sanctuary and dog rescue shelter, where you will receive a brief orientation and then assist the staff with animal care (feeding, cleaning, walking, brushing, and administering basic medical care under staff supervision). Every week you will be asked to fill out a feedback form regarding your programme’s activities, accommodation, food etc., to make sure that you are enjoying your time, and that adjustments are made as needed.
In all three programmes, interns will be introduced to shelter animal care, vet clinics, animal rescue organisations, Trap- Neuter-Return (TNR) fieldwork, international pet adoptions, and non-profit management, but the practical tasks in these areas will differ. All interns, regardless of their field of study, will assist with the daily operations of the shelter that they are based at. This includes feeding, litter box cleaning, indoor and outdoor cleaning, and playing with the cats.
Programme for veterinary students
Apply your academic knowledge and practical skills to help solve animal welfare challenges. Depending on your year of study, you may perform vet check-ups, administer medications, give vaccinations, process medical records, attend examinations, and assist the vet with sterilizations, procedures, and operations. You will be working with all types of animal care professionals, from veterinarians and animal behavioural experts to holistic animal caretakers and those working at shelters, wildlife rescue centres and rehabilitation facilities.
Programme for veterinary nurses
Are you in your final year of veterinary nursing school and looking for an internship? Then this is your chance to gain real work experience in an international animal care setting. Observe and assist with examinations and veterinary surgeries; help with overall animal care and check-ups; maintain treatment records; and feed and administer medicine to the cats. You will also be assisting with vet visits, setting up treatment protocols, and helping with adoptions of shelter cats by coordinating microchipping, pet passports, and travel documents.
Programme for students of other animal-related studies and business administration
Have you picked animal-related studies such as animal science, animal behaviour, or biology? Do you want to pursue a career in the management of animal shelters or non-profit organisations? We have an internship designed particularly for these students to explore animal care from a diverse perspective and familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of shelter and non-profit management and administration.
You will learn from animal behavior specialists, partner rescue facilities, animal welfare organisations and rehabilitation centers. You will have a chance to learn about stray management, help with feeding, provide care to the strays, and participate in TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) missions. You will learn about management and administration work of the cat shelter, as well as fundraising, marketing, charity events, community involvement, and working with local authorities as part of a non-profit organization.
Accommodation in Attica
The cat rescue shelter where you will live and work is located in a somewhat remote area of the Attica region. Nestled among olive groves and surrounded by mountains, the comfortable two-storey villa houses not only the interns, volunteers, and shelter team but also the shelter’s friendly cat residents. On the ground floor are a large living room, a fully equipped kitchen, and a small single bedroom with a private bathroom, while upstairs is a master bedroom (with a private bathroom), a double bedroom and bunk bedroom, with a shared bathroom for volunteers and interns.
Additionally, there is a roof terrace that is also accessible to the cats. There is also a private bedroom in a ground floor apartment with a shared bathroom with one of the shelter managers. There is a washing machine, WiFi is available, each room is equipped with a TV, and the outside seating area offers a great place to relax. Groceries are provided for your meals, which must be prepared by the project participants either communally or individually.
Living with free-roaming cats in a feline paradise of a home is not only a fun experience for you but also allows the cats to receive the best possible care and socialisation. This unique method of helping cats adjust to life in a private home has been very successful, according to feedback from adopters. If necessary, a cat can be isolated in one of the bedrooms if it has special medical needs or to help it adjust to its new environment.
Leisure time as an intern in Greece
On your days off, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sightsee and relax. Explore the beautiful beaches, architecture, and historical sites that Athens has to offer. To ensure interns have a good work-life balance, our partner is keen to plan activities together. Each week, our partners will invite you out on a planned excursion to relax and get to explore a bit more of the beauty and history that surround you.
You should be aware that the accommodation is relatively remote. The shelter has four bicycles that can be borrowed to explore the area, and Athens can be reached by taxi. Depending on the managers’ schedule, the interns can be picked up at the nearby suburban railway station or the airport (connected with the city center by an express bus) when heading to or from Athen’s centre.
How to get to Attica
Animal welfare organisation in Greece - a typical working day
Sample of the weekly program
Time to head home!
FAQ – Learn more about this trip
The Attica region is located on the eastern edge of Central Greece and covers an area of more than 3,800 km².
Attica is characterised by an incredible coastline with beautiful beaches, fascinating historical sites, monuments of cultural heritage, lush mountain forests and picturesque vineyards. Attica is where you will find places like Greece’s vibrant city of Athens or the ancient port city of Piraeus. The region offers a wonderful mix of historical and modern elements and leaves each visitor with enchanting memories of Southeast Europe.
Background on our partner organisation
Our project partner is driven by the motto: “think globally, act locally” to raise awareness and standards of animal rights, welfare, and medical care. They are based in New York City and have an international campaign in Greece, which is a registered animal welfare charity. They are also deeply inspired by the quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
This international team of dynamic and open-minded professionals and animal lovers in Greece strives to implement modern, consistent, and sustainable best practices in animal welfare. With compassion and commitment, they run the cat rescue shelter in the Attica region, supported by a global volunteer programme to help animals in need. Their own adoption programme helps find loving, permanent homes for these abandoned and stray cats. As a preventative measure, they organise community outreach events and educational programmes to raise awareness. Rounding off this holistic approach is a sterilisation programme to reduce the stray population, as well as community feeding stations and medical assistance programmes to take social responsibility for the existing stray population.
Are you ready to work hard to make a difference in animal welfare while developing yourself professionally and academically? Then join the team as an intern, and learn from animal care professionals in a new and dynamic setting while contributing to a valuable cause.
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