University of Iowa

Some international students will come to the U.S. from educational systems with different cultural backgrounds and experiences when it comes to academic and other forms of misconduct.  For example, there may be differences in the concept of intellectual property, how or if someone else's work is cited in a paper, or to what degree one can use help from friends.

While International Student and Scholar Services encourages University of Iowa staff and faculty to be cognizant that these differences exist, we also frequently receive questions about how international students are made aware of the expectations in the U.S. and on the UI campus.  International students do receive a considerable amount of exposure to academic expectations, definitions and examples of misconduct, and what can happen as a result at several points, including:

  • Pre-Departure Information - New students receive an introduction to these concepts during in-person or online pre-departure sessions.  Parents are often involved in these sessions and receive the same information.
  • Orientation - ISSS requires all new international students to attend orientation, where further attention is paid to this content.
  • Required Courses - In Fall 2013 ISSS began offering the online class International@Iowa, which was required of all new international undergrad students.  The course contained sections that provided expanded information introduced during orientation, including immigration and other laws, cultural adjustment/diversity in the U.S., mental health help and resources, academic resources, and a large section on academic expectations, including detailed case examples of misconduct situations.  In Fall 2016, international students will begin taking the Success at Iowa course along with domestic students, and misconduct and academic integrity is covered in this course as well.
  • ESL Courses - Many international students are required to take some ESL courses to improve their skills in certain aspects of the English language.  These programs embed cultural learning and academic expectations into the ESL curriculum so that students learn practical information while improving language skills, including academic misconduct issues.
  • Course Syllabus -  All University of Iowa students are provided with standard information in the course syllabus.

Putting the knowledge and concepts into practice may not be easy at first for some students, such as mastering how to properly cite something.  But students should not have reason to claim "no one told me."