Supporting International Student Internships

The CALS Study Abroad Office supports efforts for student participation in international internships, service learning and research abroad opportunities. Below are the requirements for faculty and staff that connect an undergraduate student with an international partner and the student travel is supported in any way by someone at Iowa State University.

Who is impacted:

Any undergraduate whose international travel is supported in any way by someone at ISU. Examples of this include, but are not limited to:

  • ISU professor/staff connects a student to an international partner (even if the student works on their own with the partner to secure an opportunity)
  • ISU financially supports the student either by scholarship or paying on behalf of the student
  • Student earning credits for their international experience


  • Undergraduate students must register their travel with the university through the ISUAbroad registration system. There are multiple registration options depending on whether or not the student is earning credit. If you think you will have students completing this opportunity every year, our staff could work with you to develop your own application – this would allow you to track the students who you are supporting for international internships
  • Undergraduate students traveling internationally must have the international health and medical coverage insurance offered by the university’s contracted agency. Today that agency is On Call International. Students will be enrolled in this insurance through their travel registration mentioned in the first bullet. Students are responsible to pay for the costs of the medical and health insurance.
  • Undergraduate students supported by ISU may NOT travel to locations listed with US Department of State level 3 “reconsider travel” or level 4 “do not travel” advisories. Generally, these advisories are country-wide, but there are some countries where the country in general is fine but specific regions within a country are not. That information can be found here
  • Undergraduate students must have some pre-departure orientation specific to their situation. The CALS Study Abroad staff is able to provide support or assistance with the orientation. Best practices would indicate the orientation cover at a minimum the following topics:
    • General
      • International travel 101 (travel documents like passports; immunizations; traveling through international airports including passport control and customs; packing considerations; being a good ambassador of ISU and the US; general safety; spending money internationally and carrying/accessing money safely)
    • Health – students must make an appointment with the ISU Student Travel Health clinic to make sure they are well enough to travel, make sure they know what the health risks/preventative measures are for the location they are going and have a plan for managing their health where they are going
    • Specific to the location and situation
      • Logistics
        • Visas
          • Several countries require visas to enter the country which often need to be applied for several weeks or days (depending on the location) before travel. 
        • currency considerations
        • safe lodging and transportation
        • communication; language
      • Personal safety (risks specific to their travel location; local laws they need to know; developing an emergency plan including emergency contacts in-country and emergency contacts at ISU)
      • Professional expectations and culture (what are the cultural differences and how can they complete a successful internship in a culturally appropriate way)

Additional Resources: