University of Iowa

Community, Academic & Cultural Resources and Training

This section of our website is meant to serve as a reference guide for international students and scholars at the University of Iowa.

Student Life and Activities

This page includes information on how to make connections with campus and community groups such as Friends of International Students, the International Women's Club (also available to J-1 scholars and their spouses), join ISSS programs such as Friends Without Borders or the Bridging Domestic and Global Diversity leadership program, learn about numerous student organizations and ways to get involved both on and off campus.

Intercultural Training Opportunities with ISSS

ISSS offers several workshops and programs for students, staff, and faculty that help increase intercultural awareness and skill building, improve recognition of the ways in which culture impacts behaviors, values, beliefs, and our interactions in and out of the classroom, and the experiences international students and scholars frequently have while in the U.S.  Custom workshops can also be created for departments and organizations upon request.

Programs and Resources to help adjust to living in the U.S.

The Guide to Living in Iowa City covers more detailed but often confusing information on topics such as banking, driver's license, transportation systems, communication services, housing, safety, information for families, and Iowa weather to name a few.

Our page on Cultural Adjustment includes useful information on American values, dealing with culture shock, nonverbal communication, relationships with Americans, religion, and communication suggestions.

The Life in Iowa program is an extended "orientation" series throughout the year that provides workshops on academics, cultural events, career information, social events, and other useful topics.

Photo of the Mittal family

International Parents of the Year 2017 - Meenu and Suresh Mittal

International Student and Scholar Services is happy to announce the recipients of the 2017 International Parents of the Year award, Meenu and Suresh Mittal of India. The Mittals were nominated by their son, Sanjay, who previously received his Master of Business Administration with distinction in 2015 and is now a graduate student in the Master of Accountancy program in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa.
UI student Wen Ying Lee and her family

International Student Parent Spotlight: Lea Kien Pua and Chee Kwan Lee (Singapore)

A thirst for international education may be learned from one’s parents. University of Iowa student Wen Ying Lee from Singapore described her parents who supported her decision of studying literature in a UNESCO City of Literature, as “the two people who inspire me the most.” She wrote that her parents have studied in four countries, strongly believing that one learns the most when one is far from home.

International Student Parent Spotlight: Mohammad Shamsul Alam and Shamsun Naher Nilu (Bangladesh)

International student parents Mohammad Shamsul Alam and Shamsun Naher Nilu are further proof that we can work hard and make our children’s lives better than our own. Asif Mahmood Alam is an international graduate student at the University of Iowa working on his MBA. His parents believe the American dream is obtainable, and can be reached through sacrifice, hard work and support.
Soon Dohkgoh (mother) Jeongsik Ko (father)

International Student Parent Spotlight: Soon Dohkgoh and Jeongsik Ko (South Korea)

It isn’t being taught how to study that’s important, it’s being directed to understand why. This is a virtue that goes undiscovered by many, but it’s apparent in University of Iowa international student Hyun Jin Ko of South Korea. Ko describes the many virtues of her parents and they are quite impressive. Ko’s father, Jeongsik Ko, is a professor at Pai Chai University in South Korea and a former visiting research scientist at the University of Iowa. Her mother, Soon Dohkgoh, is a senior research engineer for the Korean Institute of Defense Analysis (KIDA).
Amin Bagheri and his parents, Jamshid Bagheri and Afsaneh Ghavamnasiri

International Student Parent Spotlight: Jamshid Bagheri and Afsaneh Ghavamnasiri (Iran)

Amin Bagheri is a current UI student majoring in history and philosophy. Amin’s parents are also alumni of Iowa. Jamshid Bagheri (father) received his MA in aesthetic dentistry and Afsaneh Ghavamnasiri (mother) studied linguistics. Mr. Bagheri was awarded best dentist in Mashhad, Iran and Mrs. Ghavamnasiri takes time to care for at least one orphan in her hometown.
2016 International Parents of the Year award:  Dr. Khalid Joudi and Dr. Maysoon Yasin

International Parents of the Year 2016 - Dr. Khalid Joudi and Dr. Maysoon Yasin

International Student and Scholar Services is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 International Parents of the Year award: Dr. Khalid Joudi and Dr. Maysoon Yasin. They are the parents of recent University of Iowa grad Dr. Kawther Khalid Ahmed, who just received her Ph.D. in pharmaceutics in August. Dr. Ahmed is now a post-doctoral scholar here at the University of Iowa while her husband, Ali Al-Jumaili, finishes his own program. They have two daughters and a little boy here with them in Iowa City.

Confucius Institute to host symposium on linguistics, April 22-23

The Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa will host a symposium on April 22 and 23 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the University Capitol Centre. This event will serve as a platform for researchers on Chinese applied linguistics around the world to generate ideas, cross disciplinary boundaries, and disseminate research about issues and concerns in the learning and teaching of Chinese as a non-primary language (including heritage language learning) across different acquisition stages in different settings. Topics will include Chinese as a second language processes and development, data-driven pedagogy and discourse analysis and grammar.