The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Orientation helps new international students prepare for life at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Several hundred incoming University of Iowa students will not only be new to the university and to the state of Iowa, but will also be new to the United States. The UI Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) expects about 325 new international students to arrive on campus this week and has planned a series of informational programs and social activities designed to help them adjust to life on an American campus.

The orientation runs from Thursday, August 13 through Wednesday, August 26 and begins with a free lunch for all new international students at noon on August 13 in the International Center courtyard. Following the lunch, Gary Fethke, dean of the College of Business, will give a brief welcome address in which he will offer his thoughts on how to have a successful academic career at the UI. Gary Althen, OISS director, will continue the afternoon's presentations with a discussion about adjusting to a new culture.

Other events planned for the orientation include an "Iowa City Food Sampler"; an orientation fair with information and representatives from a variety of university and community organizations; a picnic; a hoe-down; a bus trip to the Iowa State Fair; information sessions on immigration regulations and health care and insurance in the U.S.; an immunization clinic; tours of the Main Library and Weeg computing center; and a reception with UI President Mary Sue Coleman.

"Our goal is to give new international students the information and support they need to feel comfortable in this new environment," said John Rogers, OISS international student adviser. "We try to teach some 'survival skills' for the first weeks of classes and inform students about services available on campus as well as in the Iowa City community. We also try to provide opportunities for new students to mingle with other students and members of the community so they can begin to develop a network of friends."

The UI enrolls approximately 1,600 international students each year from nearly 100 countries ranging from Brazil to China to Romania. An additional 400 international scholars annually conduct research or teach at the UI.

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.

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

Thursday, August 13

12-1:30 p.m.: Free lunch hosted by First National Bank in the International Center Lounge.

5:30-7 p.m.: "An Iowa City Food Sampler" hosted by Iowa State Bank with a variety of foods available from local restaurants.

Friday, August 14

3:30-5 p.m.: Orientation Fair, with booths and representatives from 23 university and community organizations including Community Coordinated Child Care, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City Recreation Center, Crisis Center, Student Legal Services, Hancher Auditorium, Office of Student Life, and Student Health Service.

5-6:30 p.m.: Picnic in the International Center courtyard, hosted by Hills Bank.

6:30-9:30 p.m.: Hoe-down in the International Center Lounge. International students will learn a variety of traditional American square dances.

Sunday, August 16

8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.: International Programs staff will escort a group of new international students on a bus trip to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

Wednesday, August 26

4-5:30 p.m.: President's Reception in the South Room of the Iowa Memorial Union. UI President Mary Sue Coleman hosts a reception to officially welcome new international students. Students are invited to bring their cameras and have their pictures taken with President Coleman.

A complete calendar of events is available from the Office of International Students and Scholars, (319) 335-0335.