The University of Iowa

Student Spotlight: Allison Kim

November 12th, 2019

As part of International Education Week 2019, Allison Kim is one of seven University of Iowa students chosen by a committee of students to be recognized for their leadership and engagement in international education on campus and abroad

Allison Kim has been active on campus in activities related to bringing international and domestic students together and advocating for international students. She has been a part of the Organization for the Active Support of International Students (OASIS) since spring of 2016 and has been on OASIS's executive board as the public relations director for the 2017-2018 academic year. She joined the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) and since Fall 2018 has been serving on ISAB's leadership team. Working as ISAB's communications director last year, she initiated a Global Roundtable to bring together leaders from international and multicultural student organizations to get to know each other and identify opportunities for collaboration. She is serving as the chair of ISAB's Undergraduate Board this year and continues to put in effort to build infrastructure for ISAB and cultivating leaders who can bring people from various backgrounds together. She is a shining example of a quiet leader who always tries to provide support for others and talented in creating space to put ideas into action. 

“It’s okay to take that step forward, and it’s okay to be afraid of it. It could take some time, but along the way you’ll get to meet and interact with many people who are different, yet similar, to you.”

Name: Allison Kim
Field of study: health informatics major, computer science & ancient civilization minors
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN & Seoul, South Korea

What experiences/organizations/programs have you contributed to your international education?

Organization and Active Support of International Students (OASIS), public relations director

International Student Advisory Board (ISAB), communications director

Summer intern at the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA)

GIS student intern at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History Collection Department

Iowa City Public Library (ICPL), library assistant

Fall 2018 Job & Internship Fair, volunteer

Enrolled in summer classes at Seoul National University

Hillcrest Marketplace, dining helper

Member of International Student Outdoor Recreation Association (ISORA)

Member of University of Iowa Ski & Snowboarding Club (UISSC)

What is the most valuable thing that you have learned through your international education experiences?

I learned that regardless of all the different backgrounds, cultures, childhoods and values we have, there is a common motivation that gathers people to make things happen. When coming up with ideas to have better communication or updates among the organizations, I find out that multiple people in the past had thought the same thing and had tried to do it. While communicating with leaders and talking with them at the Global Roundtable, I realized that all had the same idea to unite this community. Despite all our differences, the motivation and the will that wants to bring everyone together and make a better future for our current and incoming students are the same and are there to unite us.

If you had one message to pass on your fellow classmates about international education, what would it be? 

It’s okay to take that step forward, and it’s okay to be afraid of that. But there are people out here in this community who have the same thoughts as you and want to help as well, so it’s okay You could find what you are looking for right away, or it could take some time, but either way, it’s okay and on the way, you’ll get to meet and interact with many people who are different, yet similar to you. I guarantee you that all these experiences will help you find yourself and also let you learn about many things that will prepare you for the world out there.