Iowa State University offers study abroad summer programs for students enrolled in an accredited US veterinary medicine program. The following was copied from their website: ISU Vet Med International Programs

Summer 2010Edit

Cost Estimates (Costs include lodging, airfare, meals, incidentals, passport and visa fees, immunizations and entrance fees. Costs are estimated on the high side for financial aid planning purposes.)

Costa Rica - $2900 + $981 tuition = $3881 total

China - $3150 + $981 tuition = $4131 total

Galapagos - $4000 + $981 tuition + $4981 (cost is slightly higher than originally thought due to airfare)

South Africa - $7100 max* + $981 tuition = $8081 total

  • South Africa program cost varies due to airfare, which can range from $1200 to $2800. Summer '09 airfare averaged $1500, which would lower program costs to $5800 plus tuition.

Jordan - POSTPONED TO 2011 - $3300 + $981 tuition = $4281 total

Summer 2011Edit

Tentative programs for 2011 include:

South Africa - Wildlife Immobilization & Conservation

Costa Rica - Wildlife Rehabilitation & Spanish Classes

Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands - Wildlife Rehabilitation & Endangered Species Observation

Australia and/or New Zealand - focus unsure*

  • If you have an interest in a course in Australia and/or New Zealand, please e-mail Katie at and let her know what you'd like to do. She'll do a site visit and compile an itinerary based on student interests.


Frequently Asked Questions about ISU Vet Med Study Abroad

How do I decide on a course?Edit

Choose a course that suits your veterinary and travel interests. Don't choose a course if the location is attractive but the veterinary portion isn't, or vice versa. We try to provide a wide range of study abroad courses to interest every vet student, regardless of species preference. If we don't have a program that interests you, let us know. Chances are we can create one within a year.

Can I get financial aid to cover my course expenses?Edit

Yes, if you take the course for credit you can apply for summer financial aid and receive an award package that covers most if not all of your course expenses. Simply make sure you check "yes" in the financial aid section of the ISUAbroad application process. This may depend on the total amount of aid you've already received, but if you have concerns, feel free to make an appointment with Clay Gurganus (515-294-2223). If you are a UNL PPVM student, you will be able to get financial aid as well and should call Clay as soon as you've finished your application.

What is included in the program cost?Edit

Program costs include estimates for the following expenses: airfare, lodging, meals, entrance fees, passport & visa processing (if needed), immunizations (if needed), course fees, and incidentals. Program costs do not included tuition.

Do I have to pay tuition? How much is it?Edit

If you are traveling in the summer after your 1st or 2nd year, you will pay tuition for 3 elective credits, but the College will reimburse you for 50% of that amount. If you are traveling after your 3rd year, no additional tuition is paid and the course is taken as a preceptorship rotation.

Can I go on two trips in one summer?Edit

Of course! Provided the trips don't overlap and your schedule works with both. You also may be limited to the total amount of financial aid you qualify for, but in most cases, financial aid would cover most costs of both trips.

Will I need to be able to speak the native language when I travel abroad?Edit

Nope! Although it is always beneficial to know how to say the following: hello, good-bye, please, thank you, and where is the bathroom? You'll find a smile is universal and the friendlier the attitude the higher the patience level. Some pre-departure courses will include a language element, but most will not.

Do I have to fly out of Des Moines?Edit

Nope! We understand that summer is a busy time, so you can fly to your course destination from the airport that is most convenient for you! Airfare costs may be higher, but that cost is factored into your program costs. Just be sure to let Katie know if Des Moines isn't your departure airport of choice.

Do I need to get vaccinations?Edit

It depends on your destination. Some of our programs require immunizations and some don't. This is the topic of discussion at your first pre-departure orientation session and immunization costs are built into your study abroad budget. We recommend scheduling an appointment with the Thielen Student Health Center (515-294-5801) or your family practitioner as soon as you know you are traveling abroad to make sure you are able to get the necessary medications before traveling. For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control website at

Do I need to get additional medical/health insurance?Edit

If the current policy you are under provides international health insurance, then no. If not, we recommend the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). Not only does the card provide emergency medical insurance, it also gives the cardholder dozens of international student discounts and less expensive calling card minutes. To find out more and to get your ISIC online, CLICK HERE!

Are there any specific application requirements?Edit

Again, it depends on your program. All programs require a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and a completed ISUAbroad application. Others may ask for additional application materials, such as one or two letters of reference, a resume and a short essay. It depends on the course requirements the program director chooses to put into place.

Is trip cancellation insurance available?Edit

Trip cancellation insurance will be available for purchase at the time of application in case you are required to cancel after your trip arrangements have been made. We currently do not require that you purchase trip insurance, but we always recommend it . . . Just in case! Without trip insurance, you are responsible for all program costs should you need to cancel your participation in a program, regardless of the justification. The trip cancellation insurance providers we recommend are Travelex Insurance or Travel Guard but you're welcome to go with any provider you choose. Insurance costs start at $132-$305 and range up to $228-$443, depending on the coverage you choose and the total cost of your trip.

How do I sign up?Edit

The new study abroad application process is much improved and requires minimal paperwork. Click here and search for the program that sparks your interest. Login with your University network ID and your password and submit the online application. Once you've completed each piece of the process satisfactorily, your application will be reviewed and you will be sent an electronic acceptance letter. You will then receive e-mails from Katie Davidson with details on your pre-departure course and travel arrangements.

Note - With the South Africa program, you must also e-mail Sue at to get your name on the class list and sign a letter of commitment. This is your first step in the application process, so please do not forget! The Wildlife Immobilization courses fill up quickly, so the sooner you sign up with Brothers Safaris, the better. Once you're on her list, Sue will e-mail Katie at Iowa State to let her know you've committed to a spot.

Do I have to be an Iowa State vet student to apply?Edit

Not necessarily. You must be a veterinary student enrolled at an accredited U.S. institution, but you are still able to get ISU credit for one of our courses. You will have to work out your financial aid with your home institution, but any of these programs are possible, as long as you've completed your first year of vet school!

Are any of these locations dangerous?Edit

There are elements of danger to any type of travel, international or domestic. Several hours of your pre-departure course are devoted to safety and how to avoid country-specific dangers. The course covers local crime, terrorism threats, animal behaviors, and health risks. If the U.S. State department does not advise travel to a country when it is time for the students to go there, then the program does not go at that time. Additional arrangements would be made if that situation occurs.

Have any other questions?Edit

Please direct them to Katie Davidson at or (515) 294-1501. Or visit her in her office in 2270C Vet Med in the Office of Academic & Student Affairs.

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