The University of Iowa

English Language Opportunities for Scholars and Spouses

Opportunities to Improve English Language Skills

Programs exist that are available to J-1 scholars and/or their J-2 spouses to improve English language skills while here at the University of Iowa.


University of Iowa Human Resources - English Language Instruction for Staff

English instruction is free to Merit and Professional and Scientific employees. The goals of the instruction are to help employees communicate more effectively on their jobs, to facilitate cultural awareness and to offer them training that may be necessary for their professional advancement.

Campus Conversation Partners

Campus Conversation Partners is a program sponsored by the University of Iowa ESL Programs that pairs non-native-English-speaking students, scholars, and staff with native or near-native English-speaking members of the University faculty and staff for one-on-one, informal conversation in English.

Iowa Intensive English Program

Located in Iowa City, Iowa, The University of Iowa Intensive English Program (IIEP) provides intensive full-time English instruction and a cultural, social, and academic orientation to the United States. Instruction emphasizes spoken and written English crucial to college and university study in the U.S. Grammar, writing, reading, listening, comprehension, pronunciation, and conversation skills are taught each day at all levels.

ESL Classes for Non-Students

The University of Iowa ESL Programs offers a course on "Communication Skills for Professionals" as well as a free summer program for the spouses and adult family members of University of Iowa students.

Kirkwood English Language Classes

Free non-credit English language classes are available with both morning and evening hours.

International Women’s Club

Informal English classes are available through the International Women’s Club.

The Language Media Center (LMC)

The Media Library has approximately 3000 titles in the instructional materials collection in both analog and digital formats. In addition, the library has print ancillaries in the form of texts, workbooks and transcripts for  some titles.  The collection covers a wide range of subjects including language skills, music, literature, art, cultural history and civilization. The languages represented are American Sign Language, Chinese, Czech, English and English as a Second Language, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, and Zulu. The LMC’s library holdings are cataloged in a computer database, which is updated often and may be searched from the LMC website: It is located in 120 Phillips Hall. The Media Center graciously assists students' spouses who want to use the tapes available there even if the spouse is not a student him/herself. It is necessary, though, that the spouse go when the center is not busy. It is a good idea to visit the Media Center's director or the supervisor on duty to make arrangements.