International Student Orientation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Do I have to attend the entire ISSS orientation program?
All orientation sessions are required.
Q. What should I do if my department has an orientation that is at the same time as the ISSS program?
Please discuss the conflicts with an ISSS advisor. You may call ISSS at 319-335-0335, email us at email@example.com or visit our office at 1111 University Capitol Centre.
Q. How do I register for the SPEAK test (only for students who have been offered a teaching assistantship)?
All students to be tested must first register for the ESPA test through their departments. When a department offers (or is thinking about offering) a teaching assistantship to a student who has never before been a TA at the University, the department submits an online Request for Evaluation form via the Self-Service page (Administration → Forms → ESL TA Certification). The ESL Office sends the student (via the department) a letter indicating the time and place of the appropriate ESPA testing. This letter is e-mailed to departments to distribute to student mailboxes; it is not sent directly to students. Those who succeed in the ESPA test will be given information about a subsequent test called the ELPT (English Language Performance Test), which is given about two days after the SPEAK test. The ELPT test also requires about 30 minutes.
Academic Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. How do I register for my classes?
First, you must obtain approval from your academic advisor. You may then use your HawkID to register on ISIS, the computer system. New undergraduate students will complete the first registration as part of the Undergraduate Academic Orientation and Registration program.
Q. Who is my academic advisor?
Undergraduates: You are assigned an academic advisor during the Undergraduate Academic Orientation and Registration program.
Graduate students: You are assigned an advisor by your academic department.
Q. Why am I blocked from registration?
You may be blocked from registration until specific requirements are met. Go to ISIS to determine if your registration is restricted. If so, ISIS will provide a phone number of the appropriate office for you to contact. The most common registration holds for new students include:
LACKS ISSS CHECK-IN
(ISSS Orientation/Check-In and Other Issues)
NEEDS ENGLISH EVALUATION
(English Proficiency Evaluation)
(Immunizations and TB Testing)
ESL REQUIREMENT UNSATISFIED
(Official TOEFL Score)
Q. Where do I go to view the General Catalog, Academic Deadlines?
You can go to the Office of the Registrar's website to view this information.
Q. How do I get a letter stating that I am a student here?
The Transcripts Desk, Registrar's Office, bottom floor, Room 17, Calvin Hall, issues routine certification letters (about being enrolled at the UI, how much it costs to attend the UI, etc.).
Q. How can I change my major?
Undergraduates: Changing majors is relatively easy. As a new student, you may request a change of major after you are on campus and meeting with your academic advisor. If you are requesting a college change, you should request an appointment with an evaluator in Undergraduate Admissions, Room 108 Calvin Hall, 319-335-1549.
Graduate students: "Changing majors" really means being admitted to a different academic department at the UI. For more information, go to Graduate & Professional Admissions, Room 115, Calvin Hall.
Employment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Where can I look for an on-campus job?
The Office of Student Financial Aid lists job openings for students. In addition, you may also review job openings on the University Human Resources website. Please note that international students are not eligible for work study positions; for off campus positions; or for positions requiring you to work more than 20 hours per week (50% appointment).
Q. Who can apply for a social security number?
Only students who receive an offer to work on-campus for the University of Iowa may apply for a Social Security Number.
Tuition and Billing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. How much is my tuition?
For information on current tuition and fees at the University of Iowa, visit the Office of the Registrar.
Q. When do I pay my tuition (and other contracted items)?
For information on paying your university bill, go to the Cashier’s Office website.
Q. Where can I find information about financial aid available for international students?
The Office of Student Financial Aid has a web site that gives this information.
Health and Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Where should I go if I need to see a doctor prior to the first day of the semester?
You may schedule an appointment at Student Health Service by calling 335-8394. Health information, advice, and assistance are also provided by calling 335-9704 (Nurse Line). Leave a message after listening to the recording and a nurse will return your call. Nurse Line can help you decide if you should see a doctor, instruct you how to take self-care measures, give information on prescriptions or medications and much more. Nurse Line is available during clinic hours. Messages left after hours will be returned the following day.
Q. Where should I go if Student Health Service is not open and I think I need to see a doctor?
Call UI Health Access at 319-384-8442 or 800-777-8442.
Q. Where should I go if I have a medical emergency (assuming I am in the Iowa City/Coralville vicinity)?
If you have the SHIP health insurance policy offered through the University of Iowa, we recommend you go to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Emergency Treatment Center to receive the greatest financial benefit from your insurance policy. If you have the UIGRAD Care health insurance policy offered through the University of Iowa, you must go to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Emergency Treatment Center. Please note that a medical emergency is generally considered a medical condition that could cause death or serious complications if not treated immediately.
Q. How do I sign up for health insurance? and How do I obtain a waiver (exemption) from the UI student health insurance?
See Health Insurance for more information.
Q. Where can I learn more about the two health insurance policies offered through the University of Iowa?
- SHIP Plan
- UIGRADCare Plan
ISSS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Who is my international student advisor?
There are several international student advisors in International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Students are not assigned to a specific international student advisor, so you may ask any of the advisors to respond to your questions or concerns. If you would like to email us, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. How can I meet with an international student advisor?
The ISSS has walk-in times scheduled each week. Please call 335-0335 or review the ISSS website to find current walk-in advising hours.
Q. What is the ISSS Update/Listserv? How do I subscribe to this listserve?
The ISSS Weekly Update/Listserv educates and informs international students regarding immigration regulations, upcoming events, financial assistance, and news from the ISSS. You are strongly encouraged to subscribe to the listserv. Subscribe and follow the instructions on the page. When subscribing, please use your general University of Iowa e-mail account. This account, which generally will appear as follows: email@example.com, will be the only e-mail account used by ISSS for all correspondence on your immigration status. You can set this e-mail account to forward to another e-mail address (such as a departmental address) if you wish.