Internships can help aspiring veterinarians further their education, gain work experience, and foster connections within the field of veterinary medicine. Fortunately, students and recent graduates have many internship opportunities to choose from. Deciding what you want to get out of your internship is the first step to selecting a program that will help you advance in your career. Here are four things you can do when you sign up for a veterinary internship:

1. Intern while you study

Some internships only accept applicants who have already completed their veterinary training. However, there are other internships that are specifically designed for student participation. Veterinary students need hands-on training in order to become competent veterinarians. In addition to the experience that you gain from your classes, an internship can help you practice what you learn. Participating in a veterinary internship during summer or winter break can help you hone your skills before you even complete your degree.

2. Treat a variety of animals

Most veterinarians will choose a specialty to focus their study on. However, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with many different types of animals during your education. As an intern, you can gain experience working with livestock, exotic animals, large animals, domestic animals, and more.

3. Complete some or all of your internship online

Online internships may be a good fit for aspiring veterinarians who are still in school or those who work other jobs. Online internships can be completed on a work-from-home basis, which allows interns to cut down on their commute times. If you accept an online veterinary internship, you may be asked to help with administrative work. Many vet clinics need online support, which interns can provide. Some potential interns may not want to participate in a fully online internship due to concerns about missing out on a valuable experience. In that case, you can accept an internship that is only partially remote. Hybrid internships have a physical component that can help you get valuable hands-on training.

4. Participate in an internship abroad

You may want to participate in a veterinary internship overseas. Traveling abroad to complete an internship can allow you to experience other cultures. You can also gain valuable insight into the way veterinarians in other countries treat animals. Developing your skills in an international arena can help you become a better vet. Interning abroad is an especially good experience for people who plan to work internationally when they become veterinarians.