The typical U.S. campus has a large number of student activities available for students who are seeking extracurricular involvement. Activities include professional associations that are organized in various academic departments, intramural sports, student government, hobby clubs, and political organizations.
- Community Connections
- International Student and Scholar Services
- International Programs
- Division of Student Life
- Other Campus-Wide Activities and Events
International Women's Club
The International Women’s Club (IWC) is a group of women from around the world who meet to share activities that promote intercultural friendships and understanding. Founded over fifty years ago, group activities include: English classes, coffees, cooking classes, and craft sessions; excursions to local cultural events; and special group holiday celebrations. If you are interested in joining the club, please contact Joanne Madsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Shelagh Hayreh at email@example.com for more information.
Friends of International Students (FIS)
Friends of International Students (FIS) is a non-profit organization comprised of Iowa City residents interested in meeting and helping international students at the University of Iowa. FIS is affiliated with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at the University of Iowa and is organized by community volunteers.
The FIS organization would like every UI international student to have the opportunity to meet an American and share a valuable intercultural friendship. For the student, an FIS friend may give them the chance to learn about American lifestyles and culture. Students are far from home and often struggling with the English language and/or dealing with the demands of a difficult academic program. They appreciate FIS friends who are neither teacher nor parent to offer company, support, warmth and friendship.
Membership is open to all international undergraduate and graduate students, single, married, with or without families. All Iowa City and surrounding area citizens are also welcome to join FIS as friends. FIS is a flexible program with no set activities or time commitments. Once a friend and student are matched, they can decide what they would like to do together. Friends are expected to be in touch with their students at least once a month, and invite them for major holidays and FIS activities. Students should also take pride in inviting their Friends to their activities. For more information download the FIS brochure.
If you are genuinely interested in international exchanges on a personal level, please fill out an application and send via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or postal service to:
Friends of International Students (FIS)
PO Box 145
Iowa City, IA 52244-0145
Friends Without Borders
Friends Without Borders is newer program to campus that pairs incoming international student arrivals with current U.S. undergraduates interested in making international student connections. It's a great opportunity to make friends while also helping to create a more dynamic and integrated campus. Since this is only the second year of the program, there are a limited number of spaces available so all new international students are encouraged sign up soon.
This program connects new international students and their U.S. matches by email during the summer. After meeting your US student match at the first large-group event during the first few weeks of classes, student pairs are encouraged to keep up the connection by getting together regularly. As the year proceeds, there will be a calendar of smaller events, email newsletters with info and activity suggestions, and updates on optional events and ongoing contests in which pairs can compete for prizes.
Friends Without Borders is not designed to require a high level of commitment from students but, rather, offers a light structure of events and resources upon which to grow initial acquaintances into friendships that may go well beyond the one year for which this program is designed.
Organization for the Active Support of International Students (OASIS)
Organization for the Active Support of International Students (OASIS) is a University of Iowa student organization, which gives voice to the rich diversity of international students present on the UI campus. Goals of this organization include: helping students develop a sense of belonging, facilitating collaboration between the various nationality groups on campus, and increasing communication between UI administration and the international student body at large.
Global Buddies is a program that is meant to bring together international exchange students (J-1) and domestic in pairs in order to give the exchange students the opportunity make friends and receive a fuller experience of life here in Iowa and in the US. Buddies are paired based on common interests, language, and fields of study. Buddies are expected to meet a minimum of 2-3 times a month excluding whole group activities.
Bridging Domestic and Global Diversity
Bridging Domestic and Global Diversity is a diversity and leadership training program designed to educate students to adapt to cultural differences. It enhances understanding and connecting through diversity by acceptance and genuine appreciation.
The program fosters student intercultural initiatives by bringing together underrepresented domestic groups (African Americans, Asian Americans, Latina/o Americans, Native Americans, and Allies) and international students at the University of Iowa. Students selected to participate in the Bridge program will be one of approximately 25 UI students identified to receive intercultural and diversity training, actively plan the Bridge Open Forum - an intercultural program planned and facilitated by the participants to educate the campus community about intercultural issues, and receive mentoring from Bridge alumni of the program.
International Classroom Journey
Offered through International Programs at the University of Iowa, the International Classroom Journey (ICJ) matches elementary and secondary classes with volunteer cultural ambassadors. The volunteers are primarily UI international students, scholars, UI study abroad returnees as well as international residents of the community. Trained to give interactive presentations, the programs is beneficial to K-12 students, educators, and speakers as cultural knowledge and international experiences are shared.
International Education Week
A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week celebrates the many ways international education and exchange opportunities prepare citizens for community building in both national and international settings. During International Education Week, International Program is collaborating with other campus partners to offer activities and programs to celebrate this week on the UI campus.
The Division of Student Life fosters student success by creating and promoting inclusive educationally purposeful services and activities within and beyond the classroom. It sponsors and facilitates over 500 student organizations that create opportunities for leadership development, volunteerism, and engagement within the Hawkeye community. It is also passionate about improving our culture, and strive to maintain a safe and supportive community for the University of Iowa.
The DSL advises and supports many programs, student groups and activities. Its purposes are to develop leadership among students, promote interactions among students with differing backgrounds, and support an array of social, educational, and cultural activities on the campus. Major programs include On Iowa, Pick One, Student Involvement & Leadership, etc.
Center for Student Involvement & Leadership (CSIL)
The Center for Student Involvement & Leadership is committed to the leadership development of all UI students. It provides diverse social, cultural, recreational, and educational programs and activities for the University of Iowa community.
Students can enroll in for credit academic leadership classes to discover more about leadership and the skills necessary for effective leadership. Students can learn about leadership models and develop a personal philosophy of leadership. Student leaders are encouraged to take part in many leadership activities throughout each semester. The Leadership Development Series and Student Leadership Institute are great ways for campus leaders to network, share ideas, and work to create positive change at the University of Iowa. Student organizations also mold students into leaders as they learn and discover multiple new skills.
Studies show that involved students have higher success rates. Pick One encourages students to connect to campus, build friendships, build a resume, develop leadership skills, meet people, and have fun. The categories for Pick One include academic/honors, employment, fraternities & sororities, intramurals & sports clubs, leadership, multicultural activities, performing arts, student organizations, and volunteering.
The MY IOWA Multicultural and International Student Leadership Summit is an overnight retreat. Open to all UI students, MY IOWA will give participants a chance to build connections and leadership skills with a diverse group of people who want to make the university a place where all feel welcome. This is a fun and exciting way to start your semester off, and build strong relationships throughout your time at Iowa! The curriculum has strong connections with The National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) model and other leadership development experiences. This year, MY IOWA will occur on September 13-14, 2013, with 45 student spots available. The event will be held at Camp Wyoming in Wyoming, Iowa, with transportation and meals being provided for all participants, free of charge.
After the MY IOWA retreat, participants will be invited to several events, and dialogues throughout the year to build upon the relationships formed, and also to help connect these leaders to campus resources, administrators, faculty, staff, and fellow students.
Please contact Lindsay Jarratt in The Chief Diversity Office (319-353-2388) or Paul Minter in the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership (319-335-3059) if you have any questions.
The LeaderShape Iowa Institute is an interactive, energizing, and unique experience that builds leadership skills no other program can match. It is six days in January of non-stop self-discovery and learning from practical experiences that build your leadership concepts and abilities.
LeaderShape occurs the week before spring semester classes begin in January. The 2014 session will occur January 13-18 in Washington, Iowa. Students will spend six days off-campus engaging in an intensive leadership experience that includes a highly interactive and energizing leadership enhancement program. The program provides participants with the tools necessary to become visionary leaders.
There is NO COST to attend LeaderShape if you are selected courtesy of the University of Iowa Student Government and the Executive Council of Graduate & Professional Students. However, a $50 deposit is required if you are selected to attend. The check will be returned to you if you do participate in the program. It is a great honor to be one of the 54 students selected from hundreds of qualified Hawkeyes who apply. The honor of being chosen to participate is undeniable and the experience will be unforgettable.
Students are notified to apply for LeaderShape via a campus-wide email sent in September of the fall semester and will be notified no later than Wednesday, October 30th. Students have the opportunity to attend informational meetings regarding the program during the fall semester as well to learn more about the program.
If you have questions regarding LeaderShape Iowa please contact Paul Mintner via email at email@example.com.
Multicultural Student Organizations
See a comprehensive list of multicultural student organizations at the University of Iowa, which help students connect to the campus, develop leadership skills, and have fun.
University of Iowa Student Government (UISG)
The University of Iowa Student Government, at its core, exists to empower students. One of the most notable roles of UISG is to allocate approximately $1.7 million from the student activity fee to fund student organizations, leadership development, and student services. By challenging ourselves and the University we seek to ensure a student-centered environment through education and advocacy. UISG consists of three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
The Graduate & Professional Student Government (GPSG)
The Graduate & Professional Student Government is the student government for graduate and professional students at the University of Iowa. GPSG represent UI’s nearly 10,000 graduate and professional students and advocate on their behalf to university administrators, the Board of Regents, and state and federal legislators. The mission of GPSG is to improve the experience of graduate and professional students at the University of Iowa.
The University of Iowa Dance Marathon is a student organization that provides year-round support to youth cancer victims and their families. The Big Event is a 24-hour Dance Marathon where students assemble to celebrate the children survivors and remember the children who have passed away throughout the year. At the Big Event, Dancers remain standing for the full 24 hours with no caffeine allowed! Live entertainment and a DJ help pass the time along with performances by local bands, University Dance and Theatre groups, and speeches given by many of the Dance Marathon families. The primary goal of these activities is to raise additional money for children with cancer and to educate the community about the struggles and triumphs of these little warriors.
Walk It Out
This Multi-Cultural Fashion Show emphasizes diversity and cultural fusion. The goal is to display the unique attire of different cultures as well as to unite them in a single showcase event. We recognize that the University is privileged enough to have such a collection of distinctive cultures, and it naturally follows that the next step is to utilize that diversity in order to benefit our students, faculty, and community. The show is typically held during the spring semester.
Homecoming is the tradition of welcoming back alumni of University of Iowa. It is a tradition in many universities, colleges and high schools in the United States. It usually includes activities for students and alumni, such as sports and culture events and a parade through the streets of the city. Here at UI, we celebrate Hawkeye spirit during Homecoming with many traditions, events and activities ending with a great game at historic Kinnick Stadium. Events include parade, United Way 5K, Concerts, Iowa Shout and Sports Night, etc.
Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival (CCDF)
Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival is an annual event that celebrates the different cultures that make up the University of Iowa and its surrounding communities. This year CCDF is celebrating its 23rd year of educating the community while honoring the many cultures in the area. Members of the community are invited to enjoy the fun atmosphere and learn about their peers through food, games, dance, music, literature, and much more.