Internship details

As an applicant to the ISU DI, you may apply to the following locations to complete your supervised practice:

Iowa based

Iowa based with option for international rotation

Nationwide

Nationwide with option for international rotation

Iowa-based

  • Up to 15 applicants are matched per session.
  • You complete your supervised practice in facilities within the state of Iowa (such as Ames, Des Moines, Pella) or surrounding states (Omaha, NE; Rock Island, IL)
  • ISU instructors identify the preceptors and arrange placement of interns.
  • Interns are required to live in the internship location area regardless of where the intern resides at the time of the application. (For example, an applicant who resides in California would be required to move to Pella, Iowa if placed there for supervised practice.)
  • Estimated total cost can be found in the Dietetic Internship Handbook

Nationwide

  • Up to 65 applicants are matched per session.
  • You complete your supervised practice at facilities you identify (minimum requirements apply) anywhere in the United States. 
  • You identify and contact the preceptors and facilities in the area where you live or wish to work.
  • Your application must include a complete rotation schedule and a preceptor commitment form for each preceptor identified. This will assure the application reviewers that appropriate professionals have been identified and are willing to supervise you if you match to the ISU DI. There is insufficient time after the match acceptance date to locate preceptors.
  • Estimated total cost can be found in the Dietetic Internship Handbook

Planning your schedule

  • Plan your internship using the following guide to see how the program is divided across the 6-months and the recommended duration for the different rotations. Your schedule will vary if you are granted credit for prior assessed learning.
  • Click on the “Facility Search” link to your right to search facilities where previous interns have successfully completed their supervised practice experiences.
  • Complete this rotation schedule application form with your facility information. Do not modify the structure of this form. You must include the name of the preceptor and practice sites/facilities for every week except intern option week. For each facility, please enter daily number of beds/clients served. i.e. average daily census.
  • Submit the final rotation schedule online in part one of the DI Online Application.

Selecting sites and preceptors

A preceptor is an expert or specialist, such as a Registered Dietitian, who provides practical experience and training to you during your internship. Other examples of experts or specialists include Registered Nurses (RN), certified dietary managers, Nutrition and Dietetic Technicians, Registered and food service directors.

The practice site/facility is an organization or business that provides you the opportunity to complete supervised practice. Practice site/facilities may include a hospital, public health agency, university dining center, school food service, or long-term care facility.

Contacting potential preceptors

Some tips as you contact potential preceptors:   

  • Use the Facility Search to find facilities organized by state. These supervised practice sites have existing affiliation agreements with ISU.

OR

  • If you are a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can search the preceptor database.
  • Start with contacts that you may currently have.
  • Have you worked or volunteered in a facility that has one or more RDs? Typically, the people for whom you have worked have a favorable impression of your ability and commitment to succeeding in a DI. 
  • Have you attended any meetings with RDs? Network with these individuals in your quest to find qualified RD preceptors.
  • Have there been RD guest speakers in any of your classes?
  • Once you have decided which dietitians to contact, call their offices and make an appointment to talk with them. Since you will be discussing the application materials and forms required after matching, a face-to-face meeting is best.
  • Even if these contacts do not agree to be your preceptors, they may know someone else whom you might approach.
  • The RDs who have agreed to serve as your preceptors should be able to guide you in approaching hospital administrators and agency directors if needed.

As you begin contacting potential preceptors, you may wish to use something like this sample letter (PDF).

Your preceptors must complete an online commitment form stating their willingness to precept you and the dates of your rotations with them. The online form will automatically copy the ISU DI. Inform each preceptor that additional documentation may be required should you match to our program.

Affiliation agreements

If you match to our program, affiliation agreements will be required between ISU and the practice site/facility before your rotations begin

These agreements will be completed between ISU legal counsel and the practice site/facility after match.  ISU cannot guarantee that all affiliation agreements will be successfully negotiated. In the event we are unable to negotiate an affiliation agreement, it will be your responsibility to find another site and preceptor to complete your supervised practice.

Colorado residents – we have found that a law in Colorado can make it difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach legal agreement with facilities there. We will still review applications for Colorado, but be aware that alternative plans may need to be made.

We recommended that you secure three to five different facilities for your supervised practice experiences:

  • Acute-care facility (like a hospital)
  • WIC facility
  • Community project site (could be completed at the WIC facility)
  • MGMT facility (could be completed at MNT site, LTC facility, or a school)
  • K-12 public school that participates in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs

International location

Up to 20 to 30 interns per session from either the Iowa-based and/or nationwide will complete up to 200 hours (four weeks) of COM (community nutrition) and/or MGMT in an international setting. Currently, we offer international rotations in:

Ghana

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Ghana

Tour the University of Ghana, Korle Bu Hospital and Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital in Accra.

France

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France

Visit Versailles, Notre Dame, Louvre, a vineyard, dairy farm, and a chocolate maker.

If you wish to complete a portion of your internship in an international location, apply for the Iowa-based with international and/or nationwide with international location. Make sure this matches in all three of the required application steps.

Submit international essay

You must complete and submit all requirements for either the Iowa-based and/or nationwide location(s) and the essay for the international rotation of your choice. Upload the essay as part of the DI online application.

If you are applying for the January class, you may apply for both international locations but participation is limited to one location only.

You may be selected for a phone interview. Refer to the Sample Questions (PDF).


Ghana

  • Complete and submit the Ghana Essay (PDF)
  • Offered during both January and June cohorts
  • 200 hours of COM rotation are completed in the Accra and Asesewa region
  • ISU interns will be partnering with interns from the University of Ghana, sharing lodging with an intern of the same gender from a different culture.

Selection criteria

You must be able to tolerate a variety of living conditions including (but not limited to):

Interns stand outside Ghana facility

  • limited access to running water and electricity
  • heat and humidity
  • physical labor of walking to rural community sites
  • working with people of diverse backgrounds to create a productive team
  • limited access to  communication
  • limited variety of foods in this rural setting

Activities

You will focus on implementing the nutrition care process in the rural communities. Each internship class will continue to focus on the previous group’s work, strengthening the intervention while allowing for monitoring and evaluation of projects.

  • Perform the nutrition care process in the rural under-served Ghanaian communities of the Upper Manyu Krobo district.
  • Enhance your professional skills through practicing nutritional assessment, diagnosis, intervention, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Improve your cultural understanding through shared experiences with Ghanaian dietetic interns
  • Understand and demonstrate your ability to support existing heath care and community systems through nutrition-related activities.
  • Visits to markets, local hospitals, and community organizations are planned.
  • Weekend excursion to a local site of cultural interest.
  • Tours of the University of Ghana, Korle Bu Hospital and Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital in Accra
  • Travel itinerary - note the additional travel requirements for Ghana (PDF)
  • Once in Accra, the ISU interns will join the internship group at the airport.
  • Week 1 will be spent in Legon at the University of Ghana in the Accra region.
  • Week 2 interns will travel to the rural Asesewa region to meet their community and partners and to visit Nutrition and Research Center.
  • Weeks 2 and 3 will have weekdays in Asesewa, traveling back to Accra for the weekends.

Travel itinerary

  • Once in Accra, the ISU interns will join the internship group at the airport.
    • Week 1 will be spent in Legon at the University of Ghana in the Accra region.
    • Week 2 interns will travel to the rural Asesewa region to meet their community and partners and to visit Nutrition and Research Center.
    • Weeks 2 and 3 will have weekdays in Asesewa, traveling back to Accra for the weekends.
    • Week 4 will consist of wrapping up the intervention, monitoring, and evaluation components with group presentations at the University of Ghana on the Friday before departure.

Total cost

Entire ISU internship (Dietetic Internship Tuition and Fees) + Ghana travel abroad experience (Ghana Fee and out of pocket expenses) = $15,084 - $16,084

  • Tuition reimbursement scholarships are available for up to $800.  Additional international scholarships of $400 - $1000 are also available.
  • Ghana Fee: $3150 (includes on-site transportation, University of Ghana administrative fees, support staff, group meals, housing, and mandatory international health and emergency insurance coverage through CISI)
  • Out of pocket expenses: Ranges from $2000 - $3000 depending on health insurance coverage (includes airfare, some ground transportation, passport, Visa, weekend lodging, some meals, incidentals, and vaccinations)
  • ISU Dietetic Internship Tuition & Fees$9619
  • Tuition scholarships are available through the College of Human Sciences International Programs.

France

  • Complete and submit the France Essay (PDF)
  • 100 hours of MGMT/COM completed in Paris and surrounding regions
  • Available for January session only
  • Selection criteria: Interns must be open to other cultures and be an ACTIVE participant in the program.
  • ISU DI interns will be traveling in conjunction with other ISU study abroad students; which may include a combination of Junior and Senior undergraduates as well as other graduate students

Activities

Interns visit Eiffel Tower
Interns Visit Eiffel Tower
  • Interns will be visiting a dairy farm, vineyard, traditional bread bakery, cheese maker, chocolate maker, local farmers’ market wine museum and several significant cultural sites.
  • Be paired with other study abroad students from Iowa State University in the Production and Processing of Sustainable, Safe and Nutritious Food course.
  • Learn about the issues surrounding the development of sustainable systems to produce food.
  • Study the processing of raw commodities into food products and their subsequent sale.
  • Obtain different perspectives in terms of diet, food production and the major role of food in the French culture.

Travel itinerary

  • Day 1 Departure from Ames to Paris
  • Day 2 Arrival in Paris - Discovery of the city, metro system, Eiffel Tower
  • Day 3 Dairy farm visit - all day; evening reflection discussion with students
  • Day 4 Vineyard visit - all day; evening reflection discussion with students
  • Day 5 Visit traditional bread bakery and cheese maker - evening reflection discussion with students
  • Day 6 Versailles-all day
  • Day 7 Musee du Louvre - all day; Jardin Tulleries; evening cruise on River Seine
  • Day 8 Notre Dame; Saint Chapelle; Place de la Concorde; Basilique du Sacre Couer du Montemarte; Montemarte district
  • Day 9 Free day to explore city; shopping
  • Day 10 Palais Garnier; Basillica St. Denis
  • Day 11 Visit chocolate maker; Abbey St. Germeain de Pres; evening reflection with students
  • Day 12 Wine Museum; farmers market
  • Day 13 Perfume Museum; Arc de Triumphe; Jardin du Luxembourg
  • Day 14 Return to Ames

Total cost

Entire ISU internship (Dietetic Internship Tuition and Fees) + France travel abroad experience (France fee and out of pocket expenses = $13,862  

  • France Fee:$4860 (includes airfare, lodging, some meals, transportation, health and emergency insurance, entrance fees and program coordination)
  • Out of pocket expenses: $210 for meals, $200 for incidentals, $135 for a passport if you do not have one.
  • ISU Dietetic Internship Tuition & Fees$9619
  • Tuition scholarships are available through the College of Human Sciences International Programs.

ISU Study Abroad

For general information about study abroad, visit the Iowa State University’s Study Abroad Center.

 

Ghana

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Ghana

Tour the University of Ghana, Korle Bu Hospital and Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital in Accra.

France

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France

Visit Versailles, Notre Dame, Louvre, a vineyard, dairy farm, and a chocolate maker.