Surgical Training Courses - Goa, India 2021


Every year, the Hicks ITC (International Training Centre) runs surgical training courses specifically for recent vet graduates and veterinary students (who are in their final two years of training) from across the globe. This specially designed course is perfect for international participants looking to gain hands-on practical skills.

Course participants will learn about the importance of surgical dog population control and gain practical skills in performing spay and neuter surgeries. The ABC-surgery course includes practical surgery sessions in the operating theatre as well as theoretical lessons in the classroom.

The focus of the course is best practice techniques that are relevant for the high volume ABC-clinics and programmes in developing countries, where huge stray dog population is a problem. The ITC ABC-surgery course is a great opportunity for those wishing to gain more confidence in routine soft tissue surgery, as well as for those who plan to work in ABC-programmes or in other animal health, welfare & development programmes in developing countries in the future.

Full supervision from experienced vets will ensure that students have the backup and support needed to make the most of this unique learning experience.

Participants should take practical and comfortable clothes to work in e.g. scrubs. If you would like to purchase a WVS scrub top, please contact the WVS UK office. We also recommend that you take wet weather gear as well as ensuring that you have warm clothing for the evenings. Towels, surgical kit and instruments are all provided at the ITC.

All dates below include travel days. Courses will run throughout the year in two week blocks in 2021.

The country this project is based in is listed as a high risk of Zika virus on the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) website. Please follow the advice on their website when considering participating in this project.

Participants from India, Bangladesh Nepal and Sri Lanka please apply to Dr Karllette in Goa e mail

What have others had to say?

"I've never been in such a supportive, friendly atmosphere when performing surgery at any point in my veterinary medicine degree. I felt comfortable to perform tasks not only with supervision but also with the confidence to act on what I had learnt in my time there – a huge moment for me! No undergraduate gets that much practical experience whilst in college so it’s an amazing opportunity to perform surgery in a safe environment."

"I learnt so much working with WVS. The course is so hands-on for both surgery and anaesthesia, making this an incredible opportunity for veterinary students and recent graduates. The course leaders are so passionate about animal welfare and improving veterinary education, which really shows in this course and I truly felt welcomed into the WVS family during my stay. I’d love to work with WVS again in the future, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the course to anyone!"

"The course was well structured, including everything I'd hoped for and more!"


12 days


Spaces available



  • + Flights
  • + Vaccinations


12 days


Spaces available



  • + Flights
  • + Vaccinations






Start date
End date

Any questions?

+44 1725 557225

Based in Assagao, North Goa, students will arrive on a Sunday to begin their training Monday morning. The course will run from Monday to Friday for two weeks. With a focus on practical surgical techniques alongside some small group lectures incorporating the strategic implementation of One Health programmes, students will benefit from a hands on experience geared to enhance veterinary education.

  • Your two weeks will be split between the Hicks International Training Centre and our Northern Goa field clinic. Opportunities to go out with our animal catching and vaccination teams with our sister charity Mission Rabies will be available for one day of the week.
  • The weekend break will enable you to experience a diving safari, a trip to old Goa as well as some chill out time on the famous Goan beaches.
  • Finishing on the second Friday, you will be awarded your training certificates and be able to return on the Saturday morning fired up, energised and confident in some of the key skills you will have learnt.

Available to veterinary students in or about to enter their final two years of study, recently graduated vets or vets looking to improve their surgical skills.

Included as standard

Airport transfers and in-country travel



Not included as standard



What to pack

Volunteers should take practical / comfortable clothes to work in e.g (scrubs). If you would like to purchase a WVS scrub top please contact the office or visit our online shop.

  • Practical / comfortable clothes to work in (eg. scrubs)
  • Wet weather gear and warm clothing for the evenings
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Ear plugs and eye mask
  • Headlamp
  • Toiletries
  • Prescriptions & over-the-counter medication (eg. Imodium, Paracetemol etc)

The project may be extremely short on certain supplies and would likely be very grateful for donations. Please get in touch with us to find out if there is anything in particular that would be helpful to bring with you. If you have any spare room in your bag on the outbound flight, it would be highly appreciated if you are able to bring some spare supplies to use during your trip. This is at your discretion and entirely optional.

Travel Insurance

It is essential that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance for this project which also covers you for veterinary work. We recommend Go Walkabout who offer tailor made travel insurance policies for WVS volunteers. Please note that fully paid members of WVS also receive a 10% discount on Go Walkabout policies.

Health & Vaccinations

This information should be used as a guide only. For up to date information on immunisations please consult your doctor. You will need to allow plenty of time before travelling for your immunisations to be effective. DO NOT LEAVE THIS UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. As you will be working with animals the Rabies and Tetanus vaccines are essential. We have provided links below to websites with useful information on immunisations and travel advice which we highly recommend that you visit.


​UK passport holders are required to obtain a visa before travelling. Please visit the Foreign Commonwealth Office website for further details: All WVS volunteers are required to organise their own visas.