FAQ's

Students that study abroad have the ability to learn about agriculture and life sciences on a new platform and each experience provides students with the unique opportunity to develop skills that will benefit them personally, professionally and academically. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Study Abroad staff is here to make your travel experience seamless. We can help with everything from advising students on programs based on their interest and areas of study, assist students through the application process and ensure that all students feel comfortable and prepared to enjoy their adventure abroad!

Personal:

  • Become a global citizen while developing your global awareness
  • Gain cross-cultural skills through experiencing new cultures
  • Experience an increased understanding of your own cultural values and biases
  • Make new friends
  • Learn how to become more independent and resourceful
  • Expand your comfort zone
  • Build confidence (whether flying for the first time or meeting new people)

Professional:

  • Spark an interest in a new career direction OR dive deeper into your current goals
  • Learn and apply technical skills related to your field
  • Network with professionals in your field
  • Build your resume
  • Appeal to employers seeking out culturally aware and internationally experienced employees
  • Become exposed to the unlimited career opportunities
  • Build on your soft skills like communication skills, adaptability, being a team player, problem solving and more

Academic:

  • Enhance your academic learning outside of the classroom
  • Learn another language OR gain proficiency in a language
  • Expose yourself to new understandings & discoveries in research
  • Research topics unique to the location
  • Earn credits that count towards your degree/major

Travel Course:

  • 8 days to 6 weeks
  • ISU course with international field trip
  • Travel takes place during school breaks
  • Travel with your faculty and friends, class sizes vary from 8-30 students
  • Enrich your academic learning through field visits, tours and sightseeing

Exchange / Semester Long:

  • One semester, one summer or one year options available
  • Enroll in courses at a university abroad and transfer those credits back to ISU
  • Step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in another culture and place
  • Exchange Cost: Pay ISU tuition and fees
  • Semester Long Cost: Pay a program fee

Individual Opportunities

  • We can support your efforts as you create an individual opportunity that meets your needs and interest
  • Opportunities that students have pursued include internships, service learning and research abroad

Learn more about any of these opportunities by completing an inquire form

What are your goals for your study abroad experience? Make a list of 3 – 5 goals and rank them in order of importance. Bring your list of goals when you visit our office at 0018 Curtiss and we will help you match your goals to the program that is right for you.

Geographic interest: Do you have a specific city, country, region or continent you are interested in going to? Do you prefer a rural or urban setting? Keep in mind that if you go to the southern hemisphere, the seasons are the opposite of the United States (and the academic calendar will be different as well)

Language interest: Have you studied or do you speak another language? Do you have an interest in learning or perfecting another language? There are many programs in countries where English is not the main language but you could take classes in English or work in an English-speaking setting. Would you be comfortable in a country where English is not the primary language?

Tolerance for risk and the unknown: Are you a risk taker or do you have an aversion to risky situations? How comfortable are you with “the unknown”? Are you able to be flexible or do you need a strict and unchanging schedule?

Program cost or financial consideration: Program costs vary for every program based on the location, length of the visit, financial assistance set aside, number of program leaders, etc. These costs can be a huge factor when considering a program, but there are several ways to off-set this cost through scholarships, financial aid, personal savings and much more.

Academic plan: It is important to talk with your academic advisor when choosing a program abroad. Academic advisors can help ensure that course credits and education requirements align correctly with your major and academic goals. 

A TRAVEL COURSE IS FOR YOU IF

  • You've never traveled before
  • You want an introduction to the world
  • You want to travel with your class
  • You want a snapshot of the different lifestyles or career paths in another part of the world

A SEMESTER OR YEAR-LONG PROGRAM IS FOR YOU IF

  • You are tired of being a tourist
  • You want to truly experience another culture (you want to experience an immense cultural immersion)

 Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Semester-Long Program that Works for You

AN INDEPENDENT PROGRAM IS FOR YOU IF

  • You are an experienced traveler
  • You want a program made just for you
  • You want an independent experience
  • You want an outstanding reference on your resume
  • Talk with your Academic Adviser
    • Discuss your academic goals, graduation requirements and study abroad aspirations with your adviser to ensure and see how you can successfully fit study abroad into your academic plan.
  • Research Program Opportunities
    • Visit the CALS Study Abroad Website (www.agstudyabroad.iastate.edu) to review all of the travel opportunities through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Feel free to email our Study Abroad Adviser, Rachel Pierce (rapierce@iastate.edu) with any questions you may have or to schedule a meeting.
  • Visit Our Study Abroad Office (0018 Curtiss)
    • Talk with our Student Travel Consultants or Study Abroad Adviser to discuss more and get answers for any questions you may have. Many students and staff have personally traveled abroad and would love to share their experiences. Our office can also get you in touch with students that have previously traveled on any of the trips that you are inquiring about for more information.
  • Research Funding Opportunities
    • Every study abroad program will have its own expense, but you should be diligent to determine how much your program will cost you. Scholarships and financial aid can help offset the cost. Learn more about our scholarship programs and other financial assistance online or stop by our CALS Study Abroad Office (0018 Curtiss).
  • Choose and Apply for a Program
    • There are many things to consider when choosing a study abroad program, but once you have selected the program that best suites you, all you have to do is apply! The program application can be found by searching on ISUAbroad or click “Apply Now” on the program page on our website.
  • Apply for Your Passport
    • If you are a student in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and you have applied for a study abroad program, you are eligible for a scholarship that will reimburse you for the cost of your first passport. Bring your new passport to 0018 Curtiss to claim your scholarship.
  • Prepare for Your Adventure

Get ready for a life changing experience with study abroad and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences!

  • Visit CALS Study Abroad website
  • Review the CALS Study Abroad Events Calendar – List of events include; program informational meetings, study abroad fairs, deadlines, etc.
  • Drop by 0018 Curtiss and talk to a Student Travel Consultant or study abroad staff to help you identify the program that is right for you.
  • Search ISU Abroad for programs
  • Talk to your academic adviser, professors, classmates and friends about their study abroad experiences

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Travel Course Steps:

  1. Visit: www.agstudyabroad.iastate.edu
  2. Click “Programs” and then click on the desired travel course
  3. Follow the link “Apply Now!” to the ISUAbroad application website
  4. Click “Apply Now”
  5. Sign in with your Net ID and password
  6. Select the appropriate term and “Apply”

You have officially started your pre-decision application. Now click each of the links on the right-hand side and complete the tasks described to get all of the boxes checked off.

Wait to hear about your acceptance to your desired program and if you are accepted, log back in, click COMMIT, and complete your post decision application. (New checkboxes will appear for you to complete.)

Exchanges and Internships Steps:

  1. Stop by our office (0018 Curtiss) or contact the appropriate program director (listed on each program page) to determine what program is right for you!
  2. Follow and complete the same application listed above under ‘Travel Course Steps’.

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) sponsored scholarships: When applying for any study abroad program through ISU Abroad, as a CALS student, you will automatically be served information and the link in the ‘learning content’ section. You will be considered for all study abroad sponsorships through this one application.

CALS passport scholarship: If you are a student in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and you have applied for a study abroad program, you are eligible for a scholarship that will reimburse you for the cost of your passport. Bring your new passport to 0018 Curtiss to claim your scholarship.  Please note: This is only for first time travelers, not for passport renewals, only first passports.

Step by Step Guide for Passport Reimbursement

ISU scholarships beyond the college: Check with your academic department or adviser for study abroad-focused scholarships through your department.

Application deadlines vary for each specific program depending on the departure term and dates.

Scholarship deadlines:

  • March 1 (summer programs)
  • May 1 (fall programs)
  • November 1 (spring programs)
  • Student Advising
    • Advise students individually and in groups
    • Assist with study abroad program selection
    • Guide students through ISUAbroad application process
    • Coordinate pre-departure orientation sessions
    • Register students for travel courses and exchange programs
  • Financial Support
    • Coordinate CALS study abroad scholarship applications and disbursement program
    • Connect students and program leaders with funding resources
    • Manage program accounts
    • Process program payments
    • Bill and credit student participation
  • New Program Development
    • Program Types: short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs, exchange programs, service-learning programs and internships.
    • Advise on program creating and development
    • Funding support for new program development
    • Facilitate travel logistics
    • Provide guidance on program proposal and approval process
    • Review existing CALS and ISU relationships for collaborative opportunities
    • Develop and manage exchange programs
  • Program Coordination
    • Program Portfolio: faculty-led short-term study abroad programs, student exchanges, and internships.
    • Facilitate travel arrangements and in-country logistics
    • Advise on visa applications and requirements
    • Manage program evaluations
    • Present safety and travel tips at pre-departure orientations
    • Manage CALS study abroad student scholarships
    • Create online program information brochures and budget sheets
    • Manage online application process
    • Share application status with program directors
  • Risk Management
    • Monitor safety and health issues at program locations
    • Coordinate with ISU Office of Risk Management on 24/7 emergency response
    • Distribute emergency contact and response documentation
    • Facilitate CISI insurance and enrollment
  • Faculty Support
    • Prepare and train program leaders
    • Provide guidance on policy and procedures
    • Coordinate financial processes
    • Coordinate travel processes and logistics
  • Marketing and Outreach
    • Share student experiences abroad via social media
    • Host annual CALS Study Abroad Fair
    • Participate in ISU Study Abroad Fairs
    • Present in classes about study abroad opportunities
    • Participate in CALS Career Fairs
    • Present at Junior visit days
    • Coordinate recruiting efforts with study abroad alumni
    • Meet with prospective students interested in study abroad opportunities
    • Invited presentations for departments and student organizations

All US citizens must have a passport to travel internationally.  The US Department of State is the US government agency that issues passports for US citizens. Visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html/ and follow the instructions to apply for your passport book (not card).

Processing times vary but are usually around 4 – 6 weeks. You will need to prove your US citizenship, submit an application, prove your identity with a government-issued ID and pay a fee for your passport. Your passport will be valid for 10 years.

ISU students traveling on University programs may have their passport photo taken in the Study Abroad Center (6563 Memorial Union) from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. each weekday.  The cost is $15 charged to your U-bill.

If you are a student in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, have applied for a study abroad program and are getting a passport for the first time, you are eligible for a scholarship that will reimburse you for the cost of your passport. Bring your new passport to 0018 Curtiss to claim your scholarship.

Step-By-Step Guide to Obtaining a Passport and Passport Reimbursement (CALS students only)

 

Each government in the world has rules about who can visit their country and why. If required, a ‘visa’ (typically a stamp or certificate placed directly in your passport) is the method of authorization a government will give for non-citizens to enter and temporarily remain within a country. You may need a visa for your study abroad program depending on the country you visit, the length of time and the purpose of the visit. You should check with the embassy website of the country you will visit to check for visa requirements and types for your study abroad program. If required, application requirements and fees will vary by country and visa type.

Acceptance rates are extremely high for students in good academic standing who choose a study abroad program that match their academic interests and course backgrounds. However, some programs fill quickly so apply early.

Emergency Contacts

  • Shelley Taylor mobile +1515-708-3367
  • CISI Emergency Insurance
  • ISU Global Emergency: +1515-294-7700

Every student studying abroad is automatically enrolled in CISI (Cultural Insurance Services International) during their time abroad. In addition to covering 100% of approved expenses without requiring a deductible, CISI will cover medical evacuation and repatriation as well as security evacuations should they become necessary due to natural disasters or political unrest.

Meet our Staff

There are ample ways to find money to help pay for your study abroad costs. Scholarships are available through Iowa State University that can be at the department, college and university levels. All you will need to do is apply by the deadline. Please note that we are only able to award scholarships when a student is actively enrolled in coursework and are receiving some type of credit.

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) sponsored scholarships:  Students in CALS have many options for scholarships for studying abroad through a variety of college-sponsored scholarships with a wide range of eligibility requirements. When you apply for any study abroad program through ISU Abroad, as a CALS student, you should automatically receive a prompt in your ‘learning content’ with a link to the application. You will be considered for all college-sponsored scholarships for study abroad through this one application.

Scholarship Deadlines:

  • Spring Programs: November 1
  • Summer Programs: March 1
  • Fall Programs: May 1

Click here for a complete list of CALS Undergraduate Scholarships.

CALS passport scholarship:  If you are a student in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and you have applied for a study abroad program, you are eligible for a scholarship that will reimburse you for the cost of your passport. Bring your new passport to 0018 Curtiss to claim your scholarship.  Please note: this is only for first time travelers, not for passport renewals, only first passports.

Step by Step Guide for Passport Reimbursement

ISU scholarships beyond the college:  Check with your academic department or adviser for study abroad-focused scholarships through your department. Check the university-wide Study Abroad Center for other funding opportunities https://www.studyabroad.iastate.edu/costs-financing/scholarships

Iowa State University Financial Aid Scholarships Available 

Yes, there are scholarship opportunities for graduate students through the CALS Study Abroad office and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Available through the CALS Study Abroad Office:

Available through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:

Iowa State University Study Abroad Office

For more information on financial assistance for graduate students, visit Global Programs Funding

Every study abroad program will have its own expense but you should be diligent to determine how much your program will cost you. Start budgeting for expenses in the following three categories:

  1. Program fees. These will vary depending on a wide-variety of factors. Check the advertised fee for your program and make sure you are clear what is and is not covered in the program fee for the program you pick.
  2. Tuition and fees. Most programs are academic programs abroad and those therefore have a cost for the credits you are earning.
  3. Out-of-pocket expenses. Includes costs incurred before travel (like immunizations, passport, visas and supplies), during travel (like meals or activities not covered in the program fee, souvenirs and spending money) and after travel (like printing pictures and follow up medical care).

Your ISU financial aid may be used to fund your study abroad experience as long as you are earning academic credits for your study abroad program. Contact the office of Student Financial Aid to make an appointment with a financial aid advisor to see how your aid package can support your study abroad opportunity studyabroadaid@iastate.edu or 515-294-2223.

Click here for a pamphlet on financial aid for study abroad.

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) sponsored scholarships: When applying for any study abroad program through ISU Abroad, as a CALS student, you will automatically be served information and the link in the ‘learning content’ section. You will be considered for all study abroad sponsorships through this one application. Please note that we are only able to award scholarships when a student is actively enrolled in coursework and are receiving some type of credit.

CALS passport scholarship: If you are a student in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and you have applied for a study abroad program, you are eligible for a scholarship that will reimburse you for the cost of your passport. Bring your new passport to 0018 Curtiss to claim your scholarship.  Please note: This is only for first time travelers, not for passport renewals, only first passports.

Step by Step Guide for Passport Reimbursement

ISU scholarships beyond the college:  Check with your academic department or adviser for study abroad-focused scholarships through your department. Check the university-wide Study Abroad Center for other funding opportunities https://www.studyabroad.iastate.edu/costs-financing/scholarships

Iowa State University Financial Aid Scholarships Available 

A.F.F.O.R.D.A.B.L.E

Apply for scholarships

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has a number of scholarships available for graduate and undergraduate students in the college. Scholarship applications are due November 1 for spring programs, March 1 for summer programs, and May 1 for fall programs. There are also scholarships and grants available through Iowa State University as well as other outside sources (research these opportunities on your own).

Find financial aid

Most financial aid can be applied to the cost of a study abroad program. Financial aid received may help cover the costs of the program fee and tuition applied to your University bill. For more information, contact the Student Financial Aid office, 0210 Beardshear Hall. Phone: (515) 294-2223; or email studyabroadaid@iastate.edu

Focus on saving

Just SAVE your money! A common tip for saving in general is to set aside 10% of your paycheck, so try to do this to save money for your study abroad trip.

Organize your priorities

Put off buying that new car or flat screen TV for a year and put that money towards your study abroad trip. Sure having new things is nice, but nothing can replace the experiences you have in another country!

Request funding from local businesses and organizations

Spend an hour or two writing a letter to businesses and organizations in your hometown to ask them to support your study abroad trip. Be sure to include how this trip applies to your area of study and what you expect to learn from it. Follow-up by sending postcards while you are abroad and providing presentations after you return. Consider writing letters to your local bank, civic groups (Rotary, Lions, or Kiwanis), church, extension office, insurance agent, and any other business that your family frequently works with.

Do without birthday and holiday gifts

Instead of asking mom and dad or grandpa and grandma for new clothes or a new smart phone or tablet, consider just asking for money so that you can set this aside for your trip.

Ask neighbors and relatives for support

Let your neighbors and relatives know that you are planning on studying abroad and see if they are interested in helping sponsor your trip. Once again, follow-up by sending postcards from abroad or bringing them back a small gift.

Be creative!

Host a bake sale, wash cars, rake leaves, paint houses- find any odd jobs you can on the weekends to help raise money for your trip!

Look on the Internet

There are numerous scholarship and grant opportunities online for international trips so spend a few hours browsing the web!

Exclude unnecessary purchases

Instead of eating out or making trips to the mall, try to set aside money each week for your trip. Put $15 a week that you spend on pizza in a separate savings account and by the time you take-off you will have money saved to spend on your trip! Or put the $100 a month that you spend on unnecessary purchases at Target, Walmart or the mall in a separate account and you will have even more saved to help cover the cost of you trip!

Created by Melissa (Nasers) Norby

Yes, you should be enrolled in at least one credit or “R” credit to receive a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences study abroad scholarship.

Due to international quarantine restrictions service animals cannot be accommodated on our study abroad programs. For more information, please contact the Iowa State University Student Accessibility Services Office.