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International Exchange Opportunities for Veterinary Students

SAVMA Member Organization of the International Veterinary Student Association

Get Involved | What is the IVSA? | Upcoming IVSA Events

Get Involved


The International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA) is the largest globally recognized veterinary student association. With representation in 6 continents, and over 60 countries, IVSA truly aims to elevate and advance veterinary students across the board. IVSA has standing committees and working groups that assist the organization in their day to day workings. Any IVSA member can apply to be a part of any committee that attracts their interest, while the chairs of each committee or working group are selected during the summer congressional meeting.
The committees and working groups design and implement projects that will improve the knowledge of IVSA members in their respective areas. Many of the committees and working groups collaborate with globally acclaimed veterinary organizations to provide the highest quality of information to the members of IVSA.
Our Vision
The mission of IVSA is “To benefit the animals and people of the world by harnessing the potential and dedication of veterinary students to promote the international application of veterinary skills, education, and knowledge.” IVSA helps to expand the worldwide collaboration of over 30,000 students, enriching their student experience and improving their skills as future veterinary professionals. The way in which this is achieved is by arranging annual meetings (Congresses and Symposia), facilitating exchanges between our members and establishing many projects and educational opportunities focusing on animal welfare, One Health, education, soft skills, and wellness.

Individual Exchanges
Students apply for an International Exchange opportunity by submitting an application to the SAVMA International Exchange Officer (IEO), who arranges veterinary opportunities and housing with the host country's International Exchange Officer. The student provides airfare and spending money. Applications must be submitted 6 months prior to time of travel.

Group Exchanges
Students can arrange group exchanges with other veterinary colleges around the world. Contact the SAVMA International Exchange Officer for more information.

Summer Congress and Winter Symposium
Congress and Symposium are held annually at different countries. IVSA members from all over the world gather to participate in cultural events, tours, lectures, wet labs, talent shows, and camaraderie.

Journal: The International Veterinary Student
The IVSA publishes a journal written and published by students and focuses on worldwide veterinary issues. IVSA also has meeting minutes and position statements published online.

IVSA Development Fund
A Development Fund was established in 1981 to aid veterinary schools in disadvantaged countries. Annually, monies from the IVSA Development Fund supplies equipment to select veterinary schools. The Development Fund income depends on donations, silent auctions, and individual IVSA chapter fundraising. For more information, contact the IVSA Development Fund Officer.

IVSA Silent Auction
An annual silent auction is held at the SAVMA Symposium to benefit the IVSA Development Fund. Contact your SAVMA Delegate to donate items for next year's Silent Auction.

Participate in IVSA Leadership
There are many opportunities for leadership within the IVSA. There are positions available on the IVSA Executive Committee (ExCo), as well as in SAVMA. The ExCo consists of a President, Secretary General, Treasurer, Member Organization Director, Development Aid Director, Committee Coordinator, External Relations Officer and Publication Relations Coordinator. ExCo members participate in quarterly meetings and preside over IVSA General Assembly meetings at the IVSA Congress and Symposium. Please read more about these positions on the IVSA website ( In the U.S., there are two International Exchange Officers (IEO's) that serve on the SAVMA Executive Board. The IEO and IEO-elect are responsible for organizing exchanges for U.S. and international students. They attend the national SAVMA meetings and the biannual IVSA meetings. Many schools also have an IVSA club, which provides another avenue for leadership positions in the IVSA at a local level.

An International Veterinary Exchange Committee (IVEC) is comprised of 5 SAVMA Delegates and the two International Exchange Officers. They are dedicated to helping promote IVSA opportunities. They select four annual scholarships at the annual SAVMA Symposium in the spring. Two scholarships are given to U.S. IVSA Chapters, and two are given to SAVMA members for international veterinary externships. For more information on scholarships visit the IVEC Committee website.