There is this incredible company that I learnt about from going to many conferences for continuing education that I am obsessed with. It is called Vet Nurses in the Wild. It is pretty self-explanatory. The organize trips to locations where animal health care is not provided. They take volunteers to go assist in the projects. Sometimes you don't even need to be in the veterinary profession to go! They are willing to train anyone. It is volunteer only, they provide accommodation and meals, you just need to pay for the flight. They have projects all over the world. From Canada to the States, to overseas in Africa, and Costa Rica.
I want to go on one of these trips! SO BAD. The only issue I have is that they are usually longer than 1 week and I have to work. I am only allotted 1 week of vacation so booking time off for a long period of time will be extremely difficult. Plus since its volunteer i wouldn't be making money to pay for my bills back home. BUT one day down the road I will go. Eventually I will have enough seniority at work to take off a large amount of time without getting fired, and by then should be financially stable to go without work for a few weeks.
(surgery on a lion)
Anyways, you should check out all the cool trips/projects they have. A few of my favourite are the lion breeding programs, panda rehabilitation, and rain forest wildlife conservation. Some of these experiences are amazing. You can work with turtles, lions, cheetahs, pandas, monkeys, elephants, anything! I would prefer to be in a setting where I get to do surgeries and medical treatments on these exotic animals, but even general husbandry would be beyond my imagination.
There is the link to the independent options, basically anytime of the year sign up and go, they don't need to meet a quota and there isn't assigned dates. Plus there are plenty of options. Down side to the independent projects is that the itinerary is a bit random depending on time of the year and what they need help with. and usually your boarding is with a family who has offered up a room in their home (not bad but some people are shy, like me.)
(collecting a blood sample)
They also have group projects which are once a year at a select location and the agenda is down to a T. Usually your accommodation is in a hotel and its all inclusive. You also get a tour guide for your leisure days so you get to experience all they can offer. There is a fee but its including everything and seems to be discounted compared to the independent. BUT that is because they gather a group and it doesn't work unless the group is full. Likely more hard to get accepted for these as they are more in demand. But again, SO COOL. They have a south Africa, Kenya and Costa Rica group right now. MY favourite is the Costa Rica - here is the link.
I also wouldn't mind a buddy to go along with, so I need to find someone who is also interested! Let me know what you think of this great company, and what your favourite trip would be!