The Pre-Arrival Webinar Series is an optional orientation resource. The webinar series is provided to new international students before they arrive on campus in Iowa City. The Pre-arrival Webinar Series will help new international students to:

  • Arrange their travel to, and adapt to living in Iowa City
  • Understand and meet orientation expectations and responsibilities
  • Transition successfully to student and academic life at the University of Iowa

How to Join a Webinar

  1. Download Zoom from the download center web page.
    Users in mainland China need to use a virtual private network (VPN) to access Zoom.
  2. Register for the webinar in advance following the registration links below.
    NEW: If you use the Webinar ID to access the webinar, please retrieve a password from the confirmation email that will be sent to you. You will have to use this password to enter the webinar along with the Webinar ID. This is not required when web link is used.
  3. Mark your calendar for the webinar date and start time in YOUR TIME ZONE.
  4. Wait to receive registration confirmation email from ISSS (24-36 hours before the webinar date).** The confirmation message will contain webinar access information so please do not ignore it.
  5. Connect to the webinar 5-10 minutes prior to the webinar start time. We will be testing audio 5 minutes before the start time.
  6. Each webinar is 1 hour long which includes presentation and 10-15 minutes for live Questions and Answer (Q&A) time. Please plan accordingly.
  7. Ask questions during the webinar using Zoom Q&A function.
  8. We welcome your feedback about the webinar(s) you attended during this particular series - thank you! The survey link will also be shared at the close of each webinar.
  9. Learn more about how to join a webinar.
  10. Each live webinar will be recorded. Links to the recordings will be posted next to the broadcast date below, and after the recordings have been edited and captioned (subtitles). This can take approx. two to three weeks after the broadcast date.

** Depending on the number of participants who sign into a particular webinar session, ISSS will use its discretion and may operatively cancel the webinar within 15 minutes of the start time to respect presenters' time and effort. We regret any inconvenience and will refer interested students to the recordings.

Student participant testimonials

"Really appreciate the information that is being put through these webinars series. It has helped me a lot in visualizing my life on campus."

"It was very helpful to have people address problems which internationals might have specifically. The Q&A session was a particularly good idea because individual questions were answered too!"

"Initial presentation slides explained every aspect in detailed and Q&A session explained most of the questions I had regarding University environment, extra curricular events, certificate courses available etc. Feedback/answers from few people gave more insight and broad explanation."

"I really appreciate the fact that the school is putting the time and effort to help students settle in well. It is helpful and thank you a lot!"

Fall 2023 Schedule and Session Description

Webinars will be presented live between the hours of 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM US Central Time. Below are examples of the range of times when webinars will be presented in various world time zones. 

08:00 a.m. U.S. Central Time 

07:00 Mexico, 10:00 Brazil, 13:00 UK, 14:00 Nigeria/Continental Europe, 16:00 Kenya, 18:30 India (New Delhi)/ Sri Lanka, 20:00 Vietnam, 21:00 China/ Malaysia, 22:00 South Korea       

12:00 p.m. U.S. Central Time 

11:00 Mexico, 14:00 Brazil, 17:00 UK, 18:00 Nigeria/Continental Europe, 20:00 Kenya/Saudi Arabia, 22:30 India (New Delhi)/ Sri Lanka

Please be reminded that we do not guarantee admission to the live webinar if your registration comes in 2-5 minutes before, or anytime after its start time. Registration requires that we process it in Zoom and you receive the access details via email. The webinars are recorded and cannot be interrupted. We will do our best to approve your registration as soon as the webinar logistics permit.  If you registered and have received  the webinar access details, you are fine to enter the webinar anytime.

1. Getting Started and  Making Travel Arrangements

Date of broadcast: Friday, April 14

Recording Here

Content Experts/Presenters:  International Student and Scholar Services

Session Description:  Participants will learn about iHawk and MyUI – two systems that international students will use to start preparing for arrival to the University of Iowa. Presenters will also review in detail the Pre-arrival Checklist. The webinar session will also offer some helpful tips and recommendations for preparing for your travel to the United States and the University of Iowa. Participants will have an opportunity to ask live questions.

2. Achieving Success: On-campus Involvement and Cultural Adjustment (undergraduate students)

Date of broadcast: TBA


Content Experts/Presenters:  MISSE & ISSS

Session Description:  Participants will learn about the benefits and the opportunities to get involved on campus, and how involvement can help with cultural adjustment. Current international students will share their involvement experience on campus and highlight how this supported their adjustment. Participants will have an opportunity to ask live questions at the end of the webinar.

3. Graduate Student Professionalization and Support

Date of broadcast: TBA


Session Description:   Graduate students will learn about campus opportunities for professionalization and support. Presenters will give an overview of how and why to use UI professional development offices and introduce you to specialists that will support your efforts. Highlighted areas will include: writing and speaking about your research, grant writing (including travel grants), teaching support, and career development. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions live at the end of the webinar.

4. Understanding Orientation Expectations, Responsibilities, and Placement Tests (graduate students)


Date of broadcast: TBA

Content Experts/Presenters: Graduate College, International Student and Scholar Services, English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

Session Description: Participants will learn about how to successfully participate in international graduate student orientation and university-wide new student orientation programs that help students find campus resources, meet other students, and work out the logistics of being international graduate students. Participants will also hear about the English Proficiency Exam (EPE), English Speaking Proficiency Assessment (ESPA), and Teaching Assistant Preparation in English (TAPE). There will be opportunities for questions at the end of the webinar.

5. On-campus Housing Assignments and Move-in Tips (undergraduate students)

Date of broadcast: TBA


Content Experts/Presenters: University Housing & Dining

Session Description:  Participants will learn about on-campus housing application deadlines, how housing assignments work, about on-campus housing options at UI, and how you can select the housing appropriate for your needs. We will also go over the move-in process and tips applicable to international students. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the webinar.

6. Student Employment

Date of broadcast: TBA


Session Description:  Participants will learn about finding employment opportunities both on- and off-campus. Participants will learn what authorization, if any, is needed to be employed as a student in the United States.

7. Money Matters - University Billing

Date of broadcast: TBA

Content Experts/Presenters: University Billing Office

Session Description:  Participants will learn about University Bill (U-Bill), payment options, creating a guest account, and international student tax information.  Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the webinar.