Welcome to the spring semester!
Things have gotten off to an exciting start here in International Programs and we have much news to share. We’d especially like to draw your attention to our 2022 Annual Report. Among other things, the report contains features about internationalization on campus, study abroad, international student and scholar services, alumni engagement, faculty and student research, and community outreach. The report underscores the reach of International Programs both at home and overseas and represents our unit’s sustained comeback from the pandemic. Of particular note is the layout, which reveals the human impact of the UI’s global engagement in both words and images. Our emphasis, as always, is on people and the difference they make in ensuring Iowa’s place as a leader in international education. Special thanks go to our Communications and Relations team, in particular Amy Brewster, Katie Ron, and Ben Partridge, for allowing us to relive this past year in such a vibrant and meaningful way.
Pride in our Annual Report is matched by pride in the successful completion of our winter break Study Abroad programs. This past winter saw nearly 230 UI students depart for a variety of global experiences. Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South Asia were popular destinations, and many of these programs were led by UI faculty members. Disciplines included public health, law, medicine, transportation studies, business, literary criticism, language study, as well as the ceramic arts. We are indebted to our faculty and students for their renewed sense of adventure, and to our diligent study abroad advising team who spent much of the fall semester preparing instructors and students for their time overseas. The depth, breadth, and volume of participation in this year’s winter break programming matches pre-pandemic levels, confirming the reality that we are indeed back!
Inbound student mobility serves as the perfect complement to the outbound student movement represented by study abroad. This spring is no different in that the University of Iowa welcomed over 40 new international students during orientation week in early January. Our International Student and Scholar Services unit works very closely with current international students and our Communications and Relations team to provide information to these new arrivals. The feature, entitled, “5 tips on navigating campus and community from international students,” gives ready-made, practical advice to international students who have just set foot on campus.
We are always delighted to receive students and scholars from all over the world and strive continuously to make them feel at home. Social events are a large part of fostering a culture of hospitality, with a prime example that of our International Coffee Hour that began last semester and will continue through the end of April this semester. We hope to see you there!!
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful reception IP held for our dear friend Cathy Zaharis in mid-January. The purpose was to inaugurate the Leona Zaharis Scholarship, which Cathy founded in honor of her mother. The purpose of the scholarship is to expand study abroad opportunities for students who otherwise might have difficulty accessing an international education experience. The reception was attended by Cathy’s colleagues, friends, and family from the UI community and beyond. We are deeply grateful for her generosity and are excited by the possibilities that lie ahead for our students.
With all best wishes for the new term,
International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement. IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.