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International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026

Release: Immediate

EDITORS NOTE: This release includes a partial listing of international student orientation events that may provide feature or photo/video opportunities. For a complete calendar, or if you would like to interview one or more of the new students, call Lois Gray at (319) 335-2026.

Orientation helps new international students adjust to U.S. life

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- To help an estimated 300 new University of Iowa international students adjust to U.S. culture and academic life, the UI Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will organize a series of orientation events from Wednesday, Aug. 13, through Tuesday, Aug. 26. Classes begin Aug. 25.

Included in the schedule are social events such as an international hoe-down, picnic, bank reception, information sessions on immigration regulations and health care in the U.S., an immunization clinic, an orientation fair, a bus tour of the local community and a reception with UI President Mary Sue Coleman.

"Our goal is to give new international students the information and support they need to get a successful start on their studies," says OISS international student adviser John Rogers. "We try to teach some 'survival skills' for the first weeks of classes, and inform new students about the services available to them on campus. We also try to make them feel welcome here by encouraging new students to meet socially with members of the university and Iowa City community."

This year's group brings the UI international student enrollment to an estimated 1,650, approximately 6 percent of the UI student population. An additional 400 international scholars annually conduct research or teach at the UI, according to Gary Althen, OISS director. Overall, international students and scholars at the UI annually represent approximately 100 countries.

OISS is part of UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

The OISS is located in the International Center, at the end of Ferson Avenue, off of Park Road.

Following is a partial listing of international student orientation events that may be of interest:

- Fourteen area restaurants sponsor a free lunch for new international students, noon to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 14th, International Center Lounge. Those restaurants donating food include: China Garden, Country Kitchen, Ding Hao, Domino's Pizza, Easy Place, Golden Corral, Hunan, IMU Food Service, Cancun Mexican Restaurant, Long John Silver, Masala, Perkins, Pizza Hut and Taste of China.

- A welcome to new international students will be Thursday, Aug. 14, starting at 1:30 p.m. in the International Center Lounge. UI Director of Admissions Michael Barron will make welcoming remarks, followed by an introduction to orientation and an adjustment session lead by Gary Althen, director of the UI Office of International Students and Scholars. Following are area businesses that donated door prizes for this segment: Burger King, Campus Theaters, Diamond Dave's, Freshens, Hancher Auditorium, Iowa Book and Supply, Iowa Memorial Union Book Store, UI Women's Athletics, New Pioneer Co-op, Panchero's, Staples, Target and Wal-Mart.

- Thursday Aug. 14, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Iowa State Bank and Trust will sponsor "An Iowa City Food Sampler" at the main bank, 102 S. Clinton St., for all new international students and scholars. Bank officials will welcome the students, along with city officials.

- Friday, Aug. 15, 3 to 5 p.m., there will be an orientation fair in the International Center Lounge featuring representatives of 27 different UI offices and departments as well as some Iowa City businesses, to acquaint students with local services and resources.

- Friday, Aug. 16, 5 to 7 p.m., First National Bank will sponsor a picnic for new international students in the International Center Courtyard.

- Friday, Aug. 16, 7 to 9 p.m., an international hoe-down will be held in the International Center Lounge.

- Sunday, Aug. 18, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., International Programs officials will escort an estimated 50 new international students to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Between 15 to 20 different countries will be represented in the group. During their visit, students can view the traditional displays of livestock and produce, and see a 2,000-pound pig and a tomato as big as their heads.

- Tuesday, Aug. 26, 4 to 6 p.m., the president's reception for new international students will be held in the North Room, First Floor, of the UI Iowa Memorial Union. UI President Mary Sue Coleman will officially welcome new international students.

A complete calendar of events can be obtained by calling Lois Gray, UI International Programs, at 335-2026.