ISSS blog

Yasir Mohsin
Three years after his arrival, Yasir Mohsin is fully integrated into the University of Iowa's substantial Iraqi community, 23 graduate and post-doctorate scholars in fields from geology to dentistry, along with their families. Some have made families here; most are sponsored by an Iraqi government initiative that pays for students' educations under the strict terms that they return to Iraq upon completion of their degrees. The students started arriving in 2011, as U.S. troops marked their official exit from Iraq, under improved security conditions, on Dec. 21, 2011. Most Iraqis anticipated returning with their degrees to a safer, more peaceful country.

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International Student and Scholar Services has been very fortunate to work with some wonderful students over the years who devote much of their time outside the classroom to building a strong community for international students. Dr. Evans Ochola is one of those students who remains a friend to ISSS long after finishing his degree programs at the University of Iowa.

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shachi and her local FIS family
Shachi Vyas, an international student from Ahmedabad, India, originally studied law in her home country before transferring to the UI to pursue a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in finance and accounting from the Tippie College of Business. Read on to learn more about her process of adjusting to an American university and other cultural barriers, as well as her advice to other international students.

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lin and yuhao
A report released by the International Student and Scholar Services shows that since 2007, the university’s international student population has more than doubled. The population is currently at 4,360, the highest it’s been in the university’s history, and of that number, roughly 60 percent are undergraduates. Seven years earlier, there were 2,153 international students.

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Chinese flag
The United States and Chinese governments have agreed to increase visa lengths for business, tourism, and students. Student and student exchange visas were extended from the previous one-year limit to five years. Business and tourism visas increased to a length of 10 years.

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Our spotlight on current students falls on a graduate student new to the University of Iowa, but not new to the state: Anastasios “Tasos” Papachristoudis. Tasos is from Thessaloniki, Greece, and spent the last few years studying in Iowa as a undergraduate before coming to the University of Iowa for graduate studies.

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Lu Shen
Lu Shen was interested in journalism long before she enrolled at the University of Iowa as a double major in Journalism and Mass Communication and Art. Shen, an undergraduate student from Hangzhou, China, studied for two years before making the decision to come to the U.S. She was encouraged by a favorite professor at home to take on the challenge of studying journalism in a U.S. university, and her parents also supported her decision.

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Adair Gallo Junior
Adair Gallo Junior, University of Iowa College of Engineering international scholar from Brazil, was ready to engage in the classroom and Iowa City community as a result of being selected as a Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) scholar. The BSMP selects Brazilian students to study in the United States for one year, as part of the Brazilian government’s initiative to give Brazilian university students the opportunity to study at some of the best colleges and universities in the world.

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Natalie Gilkison, a UI international studies alumna from Davenport, Iowa, spent time in China and here in Iowa working with international students during her undergraduate education. Natalie’s focus on international issues remained true during her time in law school, and she hopes to work with international students or in international education in her future.

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In light of the announcement by the Iowa City Police Department regarding the tragic death of Ms. Shao Tong, an international student at Iowa State University in Ames, International Student and Scholar Services wishes to reach out to all international students here at the University of Iowa. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Shao, the Iowa State University community, and all international students impacted by this.

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