"Plan and expect the worst. Hope for the best."
REMEMBER: Students are required to take UP TO ONE 50 LB BAG OF CLINIC SUPPLIES – you won’t have a ton of room for other stuff.  Most airlines now only give you 1 free piece of checked baggage, so plan accordingly. 


NB 1: Experience from years past tells us there are certain things that will make this clinic so much easier for you and everyone else!  Some items sound weird, but we promise there’s a reason.  If you don't have something, you don't necessarily have to buy long as most people have one of whatever it is.

NB 2: You should have these items color coded, stickered or OTHERWISE LABELED AS YOUR OWN!!! (Nail polish dot of the same color, colored tape like they use on the student teaching packs, other sweet labels, paint pens / sharpies with your initials, engraver for pocket knives / bandage scissors (borrow from Terri Clark). Others??? Items left out may be picked up by local children or distracted vet students.

Clinic Items: 

  • Writing utensils: 5 pens, 5 pencils, 2 sharpies
  • 1 leatherman / pocket knife / etc
  • 1 or more headlamps with extra batteries
  • 1 small flashlight
  • 1 pocket calculator if you have one (IVSA has about 5)
  • Thermometer!
  • 1 clip board (IVSA has some down there, but they sure are handy)
  • 1 small pair of scissors and/or bandage scissors
  • Stethoscope (with name tag!)
  • Watch w/ second hand
  • FANNY PACK!  (We have some down there you can borrow if you aren’t hip enough to have your own…but you’ll probably want one after you experience the convenience of having one!)


Personal Items:

  • Comfortable shoes for working/traveling
  • Towel! (camping type save space)
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal medications (aspirin, allergy meds, anti-malaria meds, cold meds, diarrhea meds, etc.)



Although it is HOT in the day in September, the evenings get cool, especially if you go swimming or get rain-soaked. Bring a fleece or long-underwear top or hoodie.  There is a sink, laundry soap, and clothes line available all the time for laundry – note:  things do not tend to dry very well under high humidity (may mean soggy underwear if you don’t pack enough…)

  • Clinicwear – 3+ prs of scrubs (wash on day off) – at least enough to be clean for surgery days
  • Partywear – might want 1 or 2 party outfits for the beach…
  • Swimwear – remember?  Ometépe is an ISLAND.  In a lake full of sharks.
  • Rainwear – coat for sure, pants wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Sept = RAINY SEASON!
  • Footwear – rain boots may be a good idea for farm calls (cheap, light ones), sandals, old sneakers for hiking / around the clinic?
  • Badasswear – your IVSA T-Shirt.  (Will be distributed later).



  • Bedsheets (if you're scared of hostel beds; HM is very clean and provides you with sheets).
  • Money for personal expenses
  • Money pouch
  • Snacks (if you need food btwn meals, cliff bars, etc, might be a good idea)
  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Hand Sanitizer (we will buy a bunch of this to have around the clinic, too)
  • Reading materials, pocket notebook
  • Camera
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen (we will have a big thing of cheap sunscreen)
  • Mosquito bed net (Permethrin impregnated if possible) - especially at the beach? 

PREPARATION - Before we go:

-      All participants must read and sign the IVSA travel waiver.  In doing so, you are agreeing to release Oregon State University, IVSA, trip organizers and leaders, and the supervising veterinarians from liability for injuries that may occur during the trip or while traveling to/from the site.  

-      All students must have evacuation / travel insurance

-      All students are strongly encouraged to visit the student health travel clinic 

-      All students must have an inventoried, packed bag of group equipment in their possession!


It is recommended that all students have the following vaccinations prior to travel. Vaccinations should be completed 4-6 weeks before traveling. If there is less than 4 weeks, vaccinations should still be considered. Please, consult Student Health Services or your health care provider for more information.

  • Routine (MMR, DPT, etc.)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Malaria Prophylaxis?

We recommend that all students have previous vaccination for rabies and a titer check within the past two years.  It is the responsibility of the student to have this done.