Travel Resources


Health Resources


  • Always review your routine (childhood) vaccination record.
  • If you are going to Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Antarctica - No special vaccinations are typically needed.
  • If you have an existing medical condition, see your regular doctor to plan for your time abroad.
  • If you are going to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central or South America, Africa, Asia - consult with recommendations listed on the website under "Travelers' Health".


If possible, take enough medication to last the entire program duration. Take an original written prescription, preferably written for a generic version of your medication. Prescription medications MUST remain in the original containers with your name on it. If you wear glasses or contacts, take along a spare pair and take your lens prescription with you. If you take a controlled substance, take more than two medications, or take medication by injection, take a letter from your physician that describes your medical condition and the need to carry these items with you. Check with the local embassy to make sure that your medication is legal to carry into the country.

You MUST take all prescriptions in your carry-on bag. Bring basic health/medical supplies in your checked bags (condoms, feminine supplies, etc.) Consider using compression socks for your flight. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Be prepared for jet lag.

Health Insurance

The ISU International Health and Safety Insurance provide international travelers basic and emergency medical insurance, security evacuation services, emergency travel assistance, and destination-specific safety and security information. This plan is not available for personal international travel.

Obtain Insurance for International Travel

  • All students participating in clinical rotations/internships abroad must register their experience with the university to be covered by the International Health Insurance.
  • Register for for-credit experience.
  • Register for non-for-credit experience.
  • After submitting a complete registration, insurance information will be emailed to you roughly a month prior to your travel.
  • For expedited processing for a visa application or trip departing within a week, please call the international risk manager at 515-294-6916.

Proof of Health Insurance Letter

If you require proof of coverage for visa applications or other consular requirements, you may submit a Proof of Insurance Request Form. More information on visa requirements for U.S. citizens traveling abroad.

Liability Insurance

The ISU Student Professional Liability Insurance provide professional liability coverage to students participating in domestic or international preceptorships. The policy is for veterinary students who plan to work in a clinical setting. When accepted for coverage, this policy will protect students against professional liability claims and may facilitate employers’ willingness to provide internships or cooperative education programs. The policy has a $250 deductible, which each individual obtaining the coverage will be responsible to pay in the event of a claim. This is intended to offer coverage for students who do not currently have professional licenses.

Obtain Liability Insurance

Apply online for Professional Liability Insurance for Vet Med Internships/Preceptorships

Proof of Liability Insurance

If you need a certificate of liability insurance, please email


Student Responsibilities

Iowa State encourages students to take responsibility for their own safety and well-being by carefully reading the information, advice, and resources provided, including the following websites:

Students should also do the following:

  • Blend in
  • Use the buddy system
  • Use a neck pouch or money belt
  • Carry your insurance card
  • Know the local equivalent of 911 for your location
  • Store an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number on your cell phone so that emergency/medical personnel can contact your family
  • Register with the U.S. State Department through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
  • List current emergency contact information in ISUAbroad

Special Safety Note: The major cause of student injury or death in overseas programs is traffic accidents. According to the U.S. State Department, road travel is the greatest risk to healthy Americans abroad. This does not refer to driving but as a pedestrian. Learn as much as you can about road signs, customs, and driving behaviors in all locations you plan to travel to. Most importantly, be very aware of all traffic around you at all times (including mopeds)!


Getting ready for your adventure abroad involves many moving parts. Here is a pre-departure checklist you can use to help plan for your travel. Below is a summary of common travel considerations. 

  • Wondering if you need a credit card and if you need a bank account abroad? Tips for managing your funds while abroad: Money matters
  • Above all else – pack light! How to pack light, while making certain to bring essential items, like medication: Packing. Here is a general Packing Checklist that you can use . 
  • Do you know the best day to buy your plane tickets? What about the best route to take? Find out more here: Travel
  • Getting used to your new home away from home will take a little time (as will being back home, once you are done.) Find out tips to minimize homesickness and become immersed in your new environment more quickly: Cultural Adjustment
  • Do you have your passport? Passports are a required item for any study/volunteer/intern experience outside of the United States: How to Apply for a Passport