University of Iowa

International Student and Scholar Services

International Student and Scholar Services

The official source of information and support for international students and scholars at the University of Iowa.

To read the most current information from University of Iowa on the coronavirus, please go to

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the coronavirus for our community of international students and scholars can be found here.

ISSS Announcements

Responding to the 2020 Census will be easier than ever for University of Iowa students and other internet users, who will be able to respond online for the first time in Census history.

Up to five invitations to respond to the 2020 Census will be mailed to all addresses beginning in mid-March. The invitations will include information about the different ways to respond to the census, which include online, by phone, or by mail.

When responding, UI students should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time as of April 1, 2020. For most students, that means in their college town, not their hometown with their parents.

Citizens of foreign countries who are living in the United States, including members of the diplomatic community, should be counted at the U.S. residence where they live and sleep most of time as of April 1, 2020.
For more information, visit the U.S. 2020 Census website.

What happens with your response:

  • Responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law.
  • Answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against a person in any way.
  • No law enforcement agency (including DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use personal information at any time.
  • Answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine eligibility for government benefits.
  • By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept confidential.

The Graduate College has received notice that earlier this week numerous provincial governments in China announced a Level One Public Health Emergency Response to the coronavirus, which calls for measures to contain the spread of the virus at all public venues, including test centers.  As a result, all IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT exams scheduled for the rest of February and all of March have been cancelled.
All testing organizations will fully refund test-takers; however, in addition to providing you this update, the purpose of this message is to provide you with a campus resource for assisting affected applicants, who may now have trouble meeting your application requirements and deadlines.  The UI Director of International Admissions, Andrew Wade ( is available to respond to departmental inquiries about obtaining test results for applicants and/or other options for individual test takers trying to meet your application deadlines.  We hope that you will reach out to him if you need support assisting applicants during this national health emergency in China. 

Our Mission

International Student and Scholar Services of the University of Iowa provides leadership in international education and intercultural learning through services to international students and scholars, their dependents, the University, and the surrounding community.  We enhance the academic, cultural, and social pursuits of our students and scholars through exceptional immigration and personal advising as well as outstanding cross-cultural programming and training.


ISSS is more than the "immigration" office.  Although helping international students and scholars in F, M, and J status with immigration issues is a significant part of our work, with nearly 9000 in-person visits to advisors each year and thousands of electronic forms processed, we are also heavily involved in intercultural and adjustment programming for students and scholars, providing cultural competency and intercultural awareness training for staff and faculty, and supporting the Iowa City area community to be a welcoming place for international visitors.

Learn more about the programs and services we offer:


"You can literally gain everything from this place: professional development, academic success, lifetime friendships and valuable social connections, leadership improvement, and a better sense of global awareness and civic engagement and so much more." 

- Zhiting "Jack" Feng, double majored in biochemistry and ethics & public policy 


Walk-In Hours

Walk-in appointments are suspended for the Spring 2020 semester, but ISSS will continue to advise students remotely.

To reach an ISSS advisor, please call 319-335-0335 or e-mail

Quick Links

Hanxi Tang on the U of Iowa campus

Hanxi Tang, international student from China, on the transition to online learning

In an effort to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, the University of Iowa transitioned to online teaching for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. As a result, all UI students shifted to virtual instruction on March 30. We checked in with Hanxi Tang, international student from Beijing, China, about her transition to online courses.

Hanxi Tang, international student from China, contributes to UI efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus

As an aspiring physician, Tang is inspired by what she sees at UI Hospitals & Clinics—particularly during this unprecedented pandemic. “I see healthcare professionals that work hard and long shifts and yet always display a positive attitude. Compared to what other healthcare professionals are doing around the world at this time, what I am doing is really little, but I am happy to make a small contribution to the global effort to prevent the spread of the virus.”
Can Zhang and Rich McCarty, adjunct lecturer, University of iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

A Hawkeye in Wuhan

Since the COVID-19 lockdown in Wuhan, China, Can Zhang (BBA economics ’14, BBA management ’14), the owner of a local driver training business that he took over from his family in late 2017, has been conducting online meetings with his management team on a regular basis. During a recent online meeting, he decided the company would benefit from implementing a conservative strategy to reduce costs and build a cash surplus in 2020. “The COVID-19 outbreak is really hurting small and medium-sized enterprises. During this crisis, some companies went bankrupt because they didn’t have enough cash flow. My company is facing a similar problem. I am not going to start any new projects or make any aggressive investments this year. The impact of COVID-19 is likely to be repercussive, and a long-term conservative strategy might be needed for my business,” Zhang said.