The University of Iowa

Dean's Message: A Busy Spring Semester

February 1st, 2021
Iowa t-shirt
A mock-up of the t-shirts sent to international students

Dear All,

Welcome to 2021 and to the spring semester! We start the new term with cautious optimism now that vaccines have been approved and distribution has started. While we are disappointed to cancel student international travel prior to August 1, we are confident that the world is turning a corner with regard to COVID. Our patience and persistence has gotten us this far, and if we can maintain our bearing for the next few months, we can look toward a return to normality in the late summer and early fall. In the interim, please know that we will do everything we can to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy. 

As the semester begins, we are very pleased to welcome a new group of international students, many of whom are taking courses online in their home countries. International Programs is delighted that these students have chosen the University of Iowa and we are here to support them in anticipation of their arrival in Iowa City this fall. 

IP is sending Iowa T-shirts and welcome messages to international students who are remaining in their home countries this term. We are also assisting the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Student Government in providing textbooks to these students. It is only fitting that international students who have committed to the University of Iowa be shown the same level of commitment by the UI.  Standing in solidarity with our international students has forged a sense of unity despite our distance, and it is this dedication to community that will get us through this difficult moment.

In this vein, we hosted a (virtual) holiday cookie baking event in December. Its goal was to encourage interaction between international students and scholars, domestic students, community members, as well as UI staff and faculty. 

Some of the events we are working on this semester include 

  • a Lunar New Year celebration on February 11;
  • a new Global Education Lecture Series on February 18 titled From Pandemic to Promise: Rebuilding International Education in the Wake of COVID-19; 
  • a February 24 WorldCanvass program featuring interviews with authors Yaa Gyasi and D.K. Nnuro, alumni of the UI Writers’ Workshop;
  • a symposium hosted by UI ESL Programs and International Programs called Language Lessons Near and Far: Students and Teachers Adapt to a Changing World, on February 26.

You can see all upcoming events on our website. 

Finally, if you haven’t read the UI International Programs 2020 Annual Report, please do.  The report offers a glimpse into the many ways in which the UI continues to innovate as we internationalize our campus despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic.  

With thanks, as always, for your support,

Russ Ganim signature