Enhancing my love for animals on a Veterinarian internship in Spain, Intern Abroad HQ

Veterinary internships in Valencia, Spain, allow students and recent graduates to deepen their skills, develop confidence, and step outside their comfort zones. Learn more about Megan’s experience with Intern Abroad HQ and discover how she explored her passion for animals by collaborating alongside professional vets in the day-to-day provision of animal care.

Hi Megan! Tell us, how did you find your first week in Valencia?

My first week in Valencia was exciting but sometimes a little challenging. There were moments when the language barrier and cultural differences made me homesick. Still, after going out for dinner with other interns from my orientation, I realized that the whole point of this experience was to push myself out of my comfort zone. I needed to admit that I may get homesick and scared occasionally, but that was all part of the experience. After that dinner, things clicked. I bonded with my host family, explored the city, met new people, and dove into my internship!

What similarities between your hometown and Valencia did you find?

I noticed a great love for the outdoors in Spain. Coming from Minnesota, where I embraced being outside year-round, partaking in activities every season, I love how walkable everything was. From the beach to the market, my internship, and my friends’ places, it was fantastic to be outside in the hot weather all the time. I also enjoyed the sense of community in Valencia, with frequent festivals and events always happening in the city center. I was constantly meeting new people everywhere I went. I also had a fantastic experience with my host family. It felt like I genuinely stepped into their world, and they made every effort to make me feel comfortable and welcome.

What did your Veterinary internship tasks involve?

During my internship, I shadowed qualified Veterinarians for over 50 hours, observing diagnostic and treatment procedures for canine, feline, and leporine medicine. The internship allowed me to expand my surgical knowledge, help maintain professionalism with the veterinarians and clients, and improve my Spanish. I gained a deeper understanding of veterinary surgical procedures by shadowing mass removals, feline and canine spays, neuters, and dentistries. I provided versatile support, tackling small tasks, contributing to projects, and ensuring a clean workspace. Beyond observation, I actively assisted with tracheal intubation, administered injections, performed nail trims, and aided in laboratory testing with proper documentation.

Enhancing my love for animals on a Veterinarian internship in Spain, Intern Abroad HQ

How has your internship contributed towards your long-term career goals?

My internship experience has contributed to my long-term goal of being a well-rounded person and Veterinarian. I constantly want to learn new things for my personal and professional development. Throughout my internship, I learned different veterinary skills like blood draws, placing trachea tubes, and giving injections. I also approached many cultural and language barriers, thus improving my Spanish and interacting more comfortably with new people in a new city. I have gained more independence, learned about different cultures, and met many different people from around the world, all from choosing to intern abroad.

What were some of your biggest takeaways from the internship?

I learned a lot about having a good work-life balance. I will miss not having a siesta in the middle of the day. It helped me take time to enjoy my lunch, the nice weather, and the beautiful city. I think we can often get caught up in a ‘hustle’ culture, where It feels like everyone’s on a nonstop grind, and there’s little time to appreciate life outside of work. Our jobs should contribute to our lives, not consume them. I brought this mindset back home with me. I can find fulfillment in my career beyond just the paycheck. Money isn’t what drives me. It’s the genuine passion I have for helping animals that makes me love my job.

What advice would you give to others considering an internship abroad?

I realized soon after my arrival that I would be uncomfortable and confused at points, and the best way to approach those situations was with patience, persistence, and a willingness to learn. This experience has taught me the value of starting with a strong foundation. Some advice to future interns would be to be aware that it may take longer to be given greater responsibilities in an internship. Be prepared for an initial period of observation and gradual skill development. Internships are designed to build your knowledge and competence before entrusting you with greater responsibilities.

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