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CIT Vet Nursing Students Take Their Skills Abroad

Published: 16 Nov 2015

Alexandra Gould and Tash Wilson
CIT students Alexandra Gould and Tash Wilson will put their veterinary nursing skills to the test in Thailand and Indonesia respectively.

Eighteen CIT veterinary nursing students will benefit from a government-funded international study placement which will see them head to East Kalimantan, Indonesia, (formerly Borneo) and Thailand from 12 August in an expanded international study component for 2015.

For the first time, nine CIT students will benefit from a study experience rehabilitating increasingly rare Bornean orangutans and sun bears in partnership with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) from 12 August.

For the second year running, a contingent of CIT veterinary nursing students will also be putting their learning to the test working with rescue elephants in the Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park, Thailand, in September.

CIT animal studies teacher Jackie Trotter says the opportunities, funded by the Australian Government Department of Education's VET Outbound Mobility program, offer the students a unique cultural immersion experience and chance to participate in critical international animal rehabilitation and rescue efforts, broadening their hands-on study experience.

"CIT's animal studies and veterinary nursing courses are very practical, but being able to offer international placements for many of our students really enriches our programs and the overall experience for the student.

"It gives them a chance to live and work very closely with a species of animal facing particular environmental threats and issues that they may never otherwise get a chance to do," Ms Trotter says.

The CIT students will spend two weeks on their international placement in close partnership with the local community.

"Being immersed in the environment and community, the students will gain an understanding of real global issues and the many ways they can use their skills and knowledge as veterinary nurses and their education generally to benefit both animals and people."

Last year's participants who worked at the Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park benefited from a holistic experience, which will be replicated this year.

"The students spent a few days in a remote Karen village, living and eating with the community, helping to teach the children English, vaccinating and worming the village dogs and helping the second ever pair of elephant twins. It was more than they expected!" Ms Trotter said.

"Our hope this year is that the students gain a deeper compassion for animals and people through their unique experiences, and passion for the global animal care industry."

The students leave for East Kalimantan, Indonesia, on 12 August, and Thailand on 4 September. Follow their experience at