News Release

UMN Crookston Student, Hana DeMartelaere, Moves To Thailand to Study Animals

By Cassandra Morthera on
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

News Release submitted by Jane Stine, Managing Director from Loop Abroad 

This fall, Hana DeMartelaere, 22, of Fergus Falls, MN, spent three months in Thailand helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian. Traveling on the selective Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad hosted by study-abroad organization Loop Abroad, Hana was part of a small team that learned alongside veterinarians from around the globe while volunteering with elephants, sea turtles and other marine life, zoo animals, and shelter dogs. Hana D

The Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad program brings together undergraduate students from across the US and Canada to move their studies to Thailand for a semester so that they can work in small groups with veterinarians who specialize in different fields. Students are based in Chiang Mai, Thailand but travel through the country to see different shelters and sanctuaries, learn from local vets and scientists, and volunteer with a variety of species in need.

While they learned about veterinary medicine, conservation, and Thailand, Hana and her team also helped by volunteering their time and skills. From hauling elephant food to monitoring anesthesia in dog surgeries, they helped to support and care for the animals of Thailand while improving their own skills so that they can help more animals in the future.

Some of Hana’s most interesting projects were volunteering at an elephant sanctuary and helping provide medical care for elephants, creating enrichment projects for zoo animals, and living on the island of Koh Tao for three weeks studying marine biology and helping to restore coral reefs and protect sea turtles. She also participated in an externship at a small animal hospital and helped care for dogs and cats in need at an animal shelter and clinic on an elephant sanctuary outside of Chiang Mai.

Hana and her team also participated in a spay and neuter clinic for dogs in the rural villages in the mountains of Northern Thailand.

Admission to the Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad is competitive and requires a demonstrated interest in animals, a solid academic transcript, an essay, academic references, and completion of college-level biology. Veterinary Semester Abroad students receive course credit through Iowa Wesleyan University. Hana was chosen as one of eight students to participate.

Hana DLoop Abroad has study abroad programs for students and young adults age 14 to 30, and offers financial aid and fundraising assistance. Their pre-veterinary programs in Asia, Africa, South America and Australia support ethical animal treatment while helping students learn in an in-depth and hands-on way. In addition to the Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad, Loop also offers a Global Veterinary Semester Abroad that takes place in South Africa, Thailand, and Ecuador, and two-week programs throughout the summer. Interested participants can inquire or apply at

Hana is a senior at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

About UMN Crookston

One of five campuses that comprise the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 35 bachelor's degree programs and 25 minors on campus as well as 16 degree programs entirely online. These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. Visit

About UMN

The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota.


Cassandra Morthera 

University Relations