Community Connections

International Women's Club

The International Women’s Club, founded over 60 years ago, is a group of women from around the world who meet to share activities that promote intercultural friendships and understanding. IWC’s 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 us at

Friends of International Students

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.

If you are genuinely interested in international exchanges on a personal level, please fill out an application and send via e-mail to or postal service to:

Friends of International Students (FIS)
PO Box 145
Iowa City, IA 52244-0145

International Student and Scholar Services

Friends Without Borders

Friends Without Borders pairs undergraduate international and domestic students interested in developing friendships and doing fun activities together. It's a great opportunity to make friends while also helping to create a more dynamic and integrated campus.

Friends Without Borders is not designed to require a high level of commitment from students, rather it 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.

iPeer Mentorship Program

The iPeer Mentorship Program pairs new international students (mentees) with returning international students (mentor). The main goals of the iPeer Mentorship Program are to provide support to new international students for their transition and personal development, as well as to empower them to become leaders on campus. Mentors and mentees will connect prior to mentee’s arrival to Iowa, assisting the mentees’ pre-arrival preparation and transition to Iowa. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to attend events and have conversations to explore topics around academics, campus resources, cultural adjustment, career and other important topics together.

International Student Advisory Board (ISAB)

Associated with the University of Iowa Student Government and the Graduate and Professional Student Government, the International Student Advisory Board is made up of both international and domestic student members from the undergraduate and graduate student populations on campus. ISAB seeks to advocate for international student needs, to voice international student concerns, to improve international student experience, and to advocate for a more inclusive campus environment for international students.

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

Global Buddies is a program that is meant to bring together short-term international exchange students and domestic students in pairs in order to give the exchange students the opportunity to make friends and receive a fuller, accelerated 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 large group activities.

Bridging Domestic and Global Diversity

Bridging Domestic and Global Diversity is a diversity and leadership training program designed to increase intercultural awareness and skills. It enhances understanding and connections through diversity by focusing on self-awareness while building intercultural leadership skills.

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 Programs

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.

Division of Student Life

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 strives 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.

LeaderShape Iowa

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. 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 students selected from hundreds of qualified Hawkeyes who apply. The honor of being chosen to participate is undeniable and the experience will be unforgettable.

Student Organizations

See a comprehensive list of student organizations at the University of Iowa, which help students connect to the campus, develop leadership skills, and have fun.

Undergraduate Student Government (USG)

The Undergraduate 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.

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.

Dance Marathon

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.