The University of Iowa

In the news: Webinars help international students acclimate to Iowa before they leave home

July 9th, 2019

The University of Iowa’s International Programs office produces a series of 10 pre-arrival webinars for incoming students that provide information about being successful at UI and life in Iowa City and the U.S. Photo by Tim Schoon.

By Tom Snee, Iowa Now

Emily Gumal wants to be a writer. She didn’t have to do much research to learn that the University of Iowa was the place for her.

But anxiety started to set in as the day approached when she would leave her hometown of Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, for far-off Iowa City.

“I was nervous about coming to Iowa, so I wanted to get as well acquainted as I could before I left home,” says Gumal, a second-year creative writing and English major.

To better prepare for the experience, Gumal tuned in to a series of pre-arrival webinars produced specifically for international students by UI’s International Programs office. The webinars provide incoming international students with information about being successful at Iowa and about life in Iowa City and the U.S.

“It’s important to prepare students culturally and academically so they understand as soon as possible what’s expected of them to succeed at the university and what they can expect while living in the United States and in Iowa City,” says webinar coordinator Andrea Siebenmann, an international student and scholar advisor in International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). “The webinars introduce various academic and culture-related topics so students have a chance to process them early in their preparation and then better absorb the information during on-campus orientation when they arrive.”