Global and Local Reach

The international externship program is intended for current DVM students only.

If you’re interested in the global aspect of veterinary medicine our international program might be the right fit for you. Maybe it’s an externship abroad that gets you excited. Or the ability to work with faculty who are experts in public health and animal medicine. You’ll have these experiences while earning our certificate in international medicine (CIVM).

What is the Certificate in International Veterinary Medicine?

Our interdisciplinary certificate in international veterinary medicine program familiarizes students with issues and opportunities in veterinary medicine on an international level through coursework, lectures, modules and externships.

To complete the certificate, which is conferred at the same time as your DVM degree, you must:

  • Demonstrate the required level of proficiency in a foreign language (at or above the second-semester university course level).
    • Provide an unofficial transcript to show two levels of foreign language was completed at student’s undergraduate institution
    • Test out of two foreign language courses through the University Testing Center
    • Take two levels of courses offered through IVSA’s Spanish Language for Vet Students
  • Take the elective course International Veterinary Medicine (VETM 5201) formerly offered during the spring elective period – applies to the Class of 2026 and earlier OR;
  • Attend 4 International Veterinary Medicine Lectures (IVMLs) approved by Academic Affairs – these lectures may be held at least once a year.
  • Complete 5 Lifestock Lessons from lifestock.orgLesson #3 and Lesson #8 are required, while the remaining lessons are selected by students.
    • Lifestock lessons must include the Lifestock Lessons Approval Form Template as a cover page. The Approval Form Template requires that the submitted Lifestock Lessons content be reviewed and approved by an IVSA club officer.
  • Complete an international externship that lasts a minimum of 3 weeks.
  • Complete a special project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The project must be approved by your faculty mentor and the Academic Affairs Office. For samples of previously submitted special projects, please read the examples below or review submitted projects here.
  • Create a presentation of your experience: capture how you completed the Certificate in International Veterinary Medicine and provide tips to prospective students. For submitted presentations that provide current tips for prospective students, please review here.

What is a Special Project?

With oversight from a faculty mentor, students will create a special project that contributes to the understanding of veterinary medicine. Students must dedicate a minimum of 40 hours on the special project, share knowledge of the special project via a presentation, and provide the Academic Affairs Office a copy of the presentation as a model and guide for prospective international certificate students.

Questions for the Special Project Proposal:

  • What is the tentative title of the project?
  • Who is the faculty mentor? Why did you choose this faculty member to help guide your project?
  • What is the need or concern addressed by the project?
  • What makes this project special or unique?
  • How does this project contribute to the understanding of veterinary medicine?
  • What is the potential level of impact of this project? (Local, state-wide, out-of-state, national, global, etc.)
  • Outside of the student submitting this proposal, who benefits from the outcome(s) of the project?
  • How will this project be presented? (i.e. PPT, Canva, scientific poster, manual, etc.)
  • Where will this project be presented? (i.e. conference, professional association, student club meeting, Open House, radio show, podcast interview, community members who benefit from special project, etc.)

Should the Special Project connect to the International Externship?

While a special project can be directly/indirectly related to a student’s international externship, this is not a requirement of the certificate. Previously approved special projects have been directly linked to the travel experience, loosely linked to the travel experience, and/or unrelated to the travel experience.

When should I do the Special Project?

Some students complete their special project during their international externship while other students wait until they return from travel to complete the special project domestically. Students must dedicate a minimum of 40 hours on the special project.

Examples of Previous Special Projects:

  • Novel Virus Detection project in Vietnam funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – this project was closely related to the international externship
  • Dengue surveillance data project in Brazil funded by EcoHealth Alliance – this project was closely related to the international externship
  • Compare and contrast Japanese veterinary education to North American veterinary education – this project was closely related to the international externship
  • Aquaponics Tank project – this project was loosely related to the international externship
  • Colic in Horses manuscript project for extension agents in Georgia – this project was unrelated to the international externship
  • Half-day pet first-aid program and clinic project – this project was unrelated to the international externship

Approval of Special Project

Prospective students must submit a form to seek approval of the special project from the Academic Affairs Office. This form will include the questions listed above for consideration. The special project must be approved by your faculty mentor via the Faculty Mentor Special Project Approval Form and the Academic Affairs Office via the UGA CVM Special Project Proposal Review Form. Please note: working at a clinic domestically or abroad is NOT a special project. After submission and review, special projects may receive the responses below:

  • Special Project Incomplete
  • Special Project Denied
  • Special Project Deferred for Editions/Corrections
  • Special Project Approved with Editions/Corrections
  • Special Projects Approved

Please note: if a special project is too similar to previously submitted special projects, the project may be denied or deferred for editions/corrections. Our office understands that students may change some of the answers presented in the special project proposal due to expanded or new experiences while completing the special project. If the project experiences minor changes (i.e. the title changed, the presentation medium was altered, the benefited audience was expanded, etc.), students will submit updates to the special project once all requirements are completed. If the project experienced major changes (i.e. the faculty mentor changed, the need or concern of the project changed, the location of where the project will be presented changed,) you must submit major changes via the Special Project Major Changes form and email [email protected] to receive approval of major changes.


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