International Visiting Students

Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine offers clinical rotations in small animal medicine & surgery; food animal medicine, surgery & field services; equine medicine, surgery, reproduction & field services; and swine production. Each rotation is two weeks long and is taught only in English. Opportunity to join ISU clinical rotations is only available to students from ISU CVM partner institutions

Rotations not available to visiting students: VDPAM 451 Embryo Transfer; VCS 460 Radiology; VCS 466 Anesthesia; VCS 481 Equine Dentistry; VCS 484x Diverse Community. 

International students from ISU CVM partner institutions must be nominated to participate in ISU clinical rotations. The faculty or staff representative from the home university is responsible for making sure the student elected complies with all the requirements included in the memorandum of agreement between institutions. The nominated students need to be in their senior clinical rotation year and have an English proficiency equivalent to TOEFL score of 80-90, or IELTS 6.5. 

Nominated visiting students should follow below steps to apply for an externship at ISU CVM. Please also review the entry requirements listed on the U.S. Department of State website when planning for your visit.

In an effort to reduce the risk of introducing foreign animal or zoonotic disease to the patients at the Iowa State University Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center, visitors who traveled from outside the United States or Canada and were on a farm, zoo, other animal housing facility, handled animal products (tissues, blood, milk), or had physical contact with livestock (all cloven hooved animals, horses, birds), non-human primates or small mammals (excluding dogs or cats), must wait a minimum of five days before being allowed to have direct animal contact at the ISU hospitals, or on farms serviced by field services. Visiting students are encouraged to arrange their clinical rotations at home institutions accordingly or arrive in the U.S. early to satisfy this quarantine requirement.  

STEP 1: Complete Application 
Students who want to participate in clinical rotations at ISU must complete the online application. Start this application at least 5 months before the intended start date. You will be asked to provide your rotation interest, CV, recommendation letter, passport information, etc. Any changes to your intended travel plans and any personal schedule change that might affect your travel plans must be communicated to CVM International Programs ( as soon as possible. A lack of communication can lead to failure to be placed in rotations of your choice.     

STEP 2: Wait for Confirmation by Email from CVM International Programs
CVM International Programs will contact you once we have verified your information, confirmed that our faculty is able to host you, and received all necessary signatures of approval. This process can take up to 3 weeks to complete.

STEP 3: Apply for the B-1 Visa or the Visa Waiver Program
CVM International Programs will supply you with a letter of invitation once we have confirmed your visit. You can use this letter for verification when applying for your visa. Make sure to print out the invitation letter and bring it with you for the immigration officer when entering U.S. customs. 

STEP 4: Explore Housing Options

  • ISU DVM students might have extra bedrooms for rent. CVM International Programs can help connect the visiting student with local students
  • ISU has guest housing on the main campus. For more information, please check the ISU housing website 
  • The visiting student can look for short-term housing on his/her own. Websites for hosting rentals include Airbnb, craigslist, Facebook Marketplace. 

STEP 5: Check-In Upon Arrival
Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
International Programs
1800 Christensen Drive,
Veterinary Medicine Administration, Room 2270B
Ames, Iowa, 50011-1134
Ph: 515-294-1501

Academic expectations for visiting international students joining ISU clinical rotations:

Visiting students will not be earning credits from Iowa State University and are expected to return to their home institutions after the completion of the externship. Visiting students are not expected to complete ICU on-call shifts. Visiting students will initially be in an “observational” role and might be given direct patient care duties, after-hour duties, or handle cases independently, at the discretion of the rotation instructor.