UI International Programs chosen to host Fulbright Gateway Orientation

By Lois Gray, University News Services

The University of Iowa has once again been selected as one of only eight institutions in the U.S. to host Fulbright students from around the world for the Fulbright Gateway Orientation. Gateway students will go on to pursue graduate degrees in various subjects at institutions across the United States and the orientation prepares these students for all facets of their American experience.

The 44 participants from 29 countries will arrive on the UI campus Monday, Aug. 30, to attend an orientation hosted by the UI International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS). The orientation is a benefit made available by the U.S. Department of State, which aims to instill a Fulbright identity among students while providing an overview of Fulbright goals and traditions. Students will leave the UI on Friday, Sept. 3.

“We are quite honored to be selected to offer this program for a second year,” said Scott King, director of the International Student & Scholar Services. “Fulbright students become leaders within their nations and, while these students will be studying at other institutions, their initial impressions of the United States and our country’s values will be coming from the University of Iowa. I feel this is validation of the quality of programming we provide to our own international students.”

Other institutions providing Fulbright Gateway Orientation programs are Lincoln University, Miami Dade College, Portland State University, the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Nebraska and Vanderbilt University. Additional schools provide English language training.

The orientation provides sessions on survival skills for graduate study and an understanding of current issues in U.S. society. It’s goal is to assist students with developing an understanding of U.S. social values for successful inter-cultural communication in their host communities.

The three main components to the orientation are academic skills, graduate student life and cross-cultural awareness. Academic skills will include sessions on the U.S. academic system, academic integrity and research skills. Graduate student life will focus on topics essential to graduate student adjustment such as stress management, legal rights as a noncitizen and getting settled, including tips on banking and housing. Cross-cultural awareness will consist of a workshop that focuses on understanding both academic and American culture.

“We are excited to be hosting this talented group of Fulbright students from around the world,” said Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs. “Multicultural perspectives and global competencies go hand in hand, and provide new perspectives on what is most familiar to us. We feel it is important to offer international visitors a taste of Iowa, and a reason perhaps to come back again in the future.”

In addition to the formal sessions, ISSS will host a number of social events including a dinner cruise on the Mississippi River, a reception hosted by the Iowa Fulbright Association and a reception hosted by the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities. Current or former Fulbright students are invited to participate in the orientation program. Interested persons should contact Timothy Barker at ip-fulbright@uiowa.edu. ISSS is part of International Programs at the UI.

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