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Gaining a Global Perspective

MHS Student Travels to Thailand with Veterinary Service Program

It’s a trip Milton Hershey School student Marijke Ijff will certainly never forget. The soon-to-be high school senior spent part of her summer in Thailand rescuing animals with the veterinary service group Loop Abroad.

“It was definitely an experience of a lifetime,” Marijke said. “The trip has taken my experiences from off the farm and into the greater world.”Marijke posing with an elephant

Marijke gained a global perspective during her travels in Thailand by learning how to care for stray cats and dogs at a local shelter performing “vet rounds” and supporting the veterinarians with basic procedures like cleaning teeth, administering vaccines and collecting samples for research projects. Marijke also spent a week caring for rescued elephants at an elephant sanctuary.

“The experiences I had on the trip were eye-opening and elevated the knowledge I’ve cultivated at Milton Hershey School,” Marijke said.

At MHS, Marijke is exposed to advanced agricultural classes within the school’s Agricultural and Environmental Education program. She also will represent the school as this year’s Future Farmers of America chapter president and will continue to serve as an animal intern caring for livestock, including sheep, goats, cattle, rabbits, and other small animals all on the MHS campus.

Between Marijke’s studies at MHS, her animal center internship and her recent trip to Thailand, she is able to gain valuable skills to pursue a future career as a veterinarian.

“The knowledge I have learned at MHS was relevant to the experiences I had in Thailand, and it will help me reach my future goals,” Marijke said.

International service learning and global awareness is an initiative for all MHS students to complete during their high school years. The goal is to empower students with worldly experiences to gain a better understanding of different cultures.