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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 9, 2004

UI Offers Services, Activities To Help International Students Acclimate

Photo: Friends of International Students (FIS) participants enjoy conversation and food at a fall picnic.

An estimated 325 new international students arriving on the University of Iowa campus this fall semester will be welcomed with a diverse array of services and support, ranging from a comprehensive orientation to social activities such as a hoe-down, hiking sessions and opportunities to learn American idioms and slang.

The UI Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) and affiliated community organizations are sponsoring these activities to help international students and scholars adjust to life on an American campus.

"It is encouraging that in spite of increasing government regulation and often long waits for visas, we are still finding that outstanding international students want to study at the University of Iowa," said Scott King, OISS director. "The presence of international students on our campus adds to the educational and cultural experiences of our entire community: students, faculty and staff."

The new students will bring the total number of international students and scholars to approximately 2,300 or six percent of the overall UI student population, similar to fall 2003. While Chinese, Korean and Indian students make up the largest representation of UI international students, more than 100 countries are represented, ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe.

The top areas of study pursued by UI international students include the MBA program followed by chemistry, the PH.D. in pharmacy and computer science. Eighty-four percent of international students are graduate or professional students and 16 percent are undergraduates.

"Our programs and activities provide opportunities for the students to make those connections that will allow them to be successful, not only in their academics, but as members of the local community," said Becky Zama, an OISS international student adviser who organizes the orientation activities along with Helen Jameson, OISS assistant director for programming.

For more information or a comprehensive schedule of activities, resources and programs, visit the OISS web site at:

Following are some of the highlights:

* International student orientation, Aug. 11-20: UI Provost Michael Hogan and UI Student Government President Lindsay Schutte will welcome the students starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, in the IMU Main Lounge, followed by remarks from OISS Director Scott King and sessions led by other OISS staff. The orientation is part of UI Weeks of Welcome (WOW), with a range of events including health care and immigration sessions, bus tours, picnics and a hoedown held at the Iowa Memorial Union or the International Center.

* Life in Iowa, August through December 2004: Organized by OISS, the series is designed to assist international students as they adjust to living and studying in Iowa. Activities include an ice cream social, a session focusing on American idioms and slang, what is "legally being drunk?" managing your money and your time, and relationships: American style. For a complete schedule, visit: bridging.htm and click on Life in Iowa or call Jameson at 319-335-0335.

* The Friends of International Students (FIS): A non-profit community organization affiliated with OISS, FIS matches individual students with local families for a mutual exchange of friendship and ideas. New friends are always needed for students, especially in the fall. An FIS picnic will be Saturday, Aug. 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Shelter #6 City Park, rain or shine. Anyone interested in helping new international students feel welcome is invited to attend and should bring a dish to share. For more information, call Scott King, OISS liaison to FIS, at 319-335-0335 or e-mail

* The Organization for the Active Support of International Students (OASIS): This UI student organization gives voice to the rich diversity of international students present on the UI campus. For more information, visit, call OISS at 319-335-0335 or email Jameson

* International Women's Club: This community organization is open to women from many countries -- including the United States -- who want to get to know each other, learn and enjoy life together in Iowa City. A variety of ongoing activities are planned, including coffees, arts and crafts sessions, English classes and much more. An opening meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 9, starting at 7 p.m. at the First Mennonite Church, 405 Myrtle Avenue, in Iowa City. For more information, visit or call president Sheila Hayreh at 319-337-5760. IWC English classes start Sept. 14. For more information on the classes, call Becky Sato at 319-337-2589.

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 for academic programs and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

A complete calendar of international student orientation events is available from Lois Gray at 319-335-2026. If you would like to arrange an interview with new international students, call Gray at 319-335-2026.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Becky Zama or Helen-Jameson, 319-335-0335,,