What is mentoring? 

Mentoring is intentionally focused on the growth and development of an individual (Mentor@Iowa).  

Overview of 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 in the first semester and personal development, as well as to empower them to become leaders on campus. 

The iPeer Mentorship Program is working with the GradLife Peer-to-Peer Program to support and empower graduate students across campus. All graduate mentor pairs are welcome to participate in any and all activities associated with either program.

2024-2025 Application

Undergraduate students: Apply here

Required undergraduate training date: Friday, April 26, 2 – 4 p.m., 1117 UCC

Graduate students: Apply here (through GradLife Peer-to-Peer application)

iPeer members at the 2022 kickoff standing in front of screen that says iPeer Kickoff


The iPeer Mentorship Program Commitments 

The program lasts for 5 months for each cycle (August – December, January – May). Mentors will be selected based on recommendation and a selection process. Before the start of the program, mentors will go through training to understand mentoring, relationship building, and familiarization of campus resources.  

Mentors and mentees are required to attend a kick-off event and a closing event and have a monthly check-in conversation during the semester. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to attend events together to explore Iowa, and to have conversations about important topics such as cultural adjustment, personal and career development, leadership, and more.   

Spring 2024 iPeer Presents Mentor/Mentee Training

This iPeer Presents series is offered to anyone who is currently in a mentorship relationship, and/or is hoping to participate in a mentorship relationship in the future to gain awareness, knowledge, and skill sets on various topics regarding mentorship.

Cross-cultural Mentorship

Friday, February 16, 2:30 – 4 p.m. | 1117 University Capitol Centre (UCC)

Description: In this interactive session, you will learn about cross-cultural mentorship and its challenges and benefits. You will have the chance to practice discussing differences in mentorship relationships.

Participants who attend this session will be able to:

  • Understand the benefits and challenges of cross-cultural mentorship
  • Practice conversing about cultural differences (on expectations, between mentor/mentee, about cultural adjustment/cultures, etc.)
  • Identify opportunities and areas of improvement for developing awareness, knowledge, and skills for effective cross-cultural mentorship
  • Understand how personal background and experience can influence their mentorship experience

Personal Development/self-care

Wednesday, March 20, 3:30 – 5 p.m. | 1117 University Capitol Centre (UCC)

Description: This training session is designed to help individuals improve their overall well-being in a mentorship. It will include engaging activities and strategies aimed at enhancing self-awareness, self-care practices, and personal growth.

Participants who attend this session will:

  • Understand the importance of prioritizing self-care and personal health in one’s profession
  • Learn the importance of goal setting to create balance and attain a certain goal at a particular time
  • Learn the importance of self-awareness and reflection
  • Learn to enhance their mental, emotional, and physical health

Interpersonal Communication/ Relationship

Wednesday, April 3, 3:30 – 5 p.m. | 1117 University Capitol Centre (UCC)

Description: This engaging session will delve into the learning process that can assist mentors and mentees in developing and improving their communication skills, emotional intelligence, and understanding of others. The focus will also be on how to nurture healthier relationships by acquiring skills on how to express ourselves clearly and build stronger connections.

Participants who attend this session will:

  • Learn the skills and knowledge required to build good and effective communication skills in a multicultural setting
  • Learn to build stronger personal and professional relationships among mentors and mentees
  • Learn to create personal boundaries and observe people’s boundaries


Mentor Expectations 

  • Actively support assigned mentees (1-2 students) with their goals during their transition process throughout the fall semester, including attending training and events, as well as conducting a monthly check-in  
  • Share knowledge, respect the needs and opinions of your mentees   
  • Empower your mentees to grow and develop skills to navigate the campus and their journey as international students at UI 
  • One semester commitment

Mentee Expectations 

  • Actively engage in conversations with your assigned mentors, including attending kick-off and closing events, as well as monthly check-in  
  • Be responsible for your growth and learning, and encourage the growth of others  
  • Be respectful of your mentor’s time and boundaries  
  • One semester commitment 

About Mentor/Mentee Matching 

The program will try our best to match you with a mentor/mentee based on your preference and available mentors/mentees. For graduate students specifically, because many academic programs have their own mentorship/buddy programs and you will have plenty opportunities to interact with others in your own department, we find it beneficial to match you with someone outside of your direct department, so that your support network can be broadened. 

iPeer in the News

Frankline Matanji

Q&A with Frankline Matanji

Friday, October 21, 2022

Program History 

In Fall 2020, a project group was formed within the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB), including two undergraduate members (Yangyi “Edward” Luo and Zephyr Xiao) and two graduate members (Jeff Lai and Alaa Albashayreh), to discuss the development of a peer mentorship program. Some of the initial goals of the program included connecting a new student with an experienced international student prior to their arrival to help answer questions related to arrival, provide informal advice on academic, career exploration, and connect the new students to campus resources and opportunities once the new students arrive on campus. Additional feedback was gathered from all 2020 – 2021 ISAB members. In Spring 2021, a pilot program was run by the project group members. By the end of Spring 2021, the mentorship program was officially named iPeer Mentorship Program, and the operation of the program was transitioned out of ISAB. 

The Importance of the iPeer Mentorship Program 

While numerous mentorship programs exist on campus, iPeer is currently the only peer-to-peer mentorship program designed specifically for international students. The shared experience from an international student mentor can help normalize transition and adjustment concerns due to language and cultural differences. Furthermore, mentors are carefully selected and trained so that they can connect their mentees to campus resources and opportunities. 

Program Name 

The mentorship program name, iPeer, was selected in spring 2021. “I” stands for “international” and “Iowa.” “Peer” emphasizes the peer connection.