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WRITER: ARIANNE NARDO
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 3, 1999

International Women's Club invites new members to first meeting Sept. 8

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The International Women's Club (IWC) will host its first general meeting of the 1999-2000 academic year Wednesday, Sept. 8 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Mennonite Church, 405 Myrtle Street, Iowa City. All family members are invited to participate in the games, welcome activities and have refreshments.

The mission statement running across the top of each welcome brochure says it best: This is a club for women from many countries who want to get to know each other, learn, and enjoy life in Iowa City. For more than 35 years, the International Women's Club has given women from all backgrounds, interests and professions a sense of community. Affiliated with the Office of International Education and Services at the University of Iowa, the IWC is where a mix of faces and a variety of talents converge in one place. From bread making to origami design, women have the chance to socialize, build friendships and learn something new.

The IWC offers social and educational activities such as cooking classes, evening coffee engagements, and English lessons for women who want to improve their conversation skills. Basic and advanced level courses are offered, and childcare is also provided for women on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while classes are in session.

"Quite a few of us know it's hard to make friends, just as it's difficult to not know the language or customs of a country," said Joanne Madsen, IWC treasurer and historian. "It's important to have a group with common interests that crosses all boundaries."

English classes are a popular feature of the IWC, with more than half of the non-English speakers attending. Many of the women who gather at IWC meetings were professionals or career women in their home country, and several have husbands who are either graduate students, visiting professionals or professors at the University of Iowa.

For women like Senada Dabetic, who came to the United States from Bosnia four years ago, the IWC serves as a source of support. "I have found a lot of friends [through the IWC]," Dabetic said. "They are like my family-that's my family."

Members of the group do not have to be directly affiliated with the UI and they do not have to be visitors from other countries, Madsen said. Of the 129 members last year, 20 were American women.

"We are a welcoming group," said Madsen. "We would love to see more American women come; anyone from the community is invited. I think this is the place to meet the most interesting women in the world."

An annual membership fee of $10 is required to be a member. Registration for English classes is an additional $10. Informal English Conversation classes will be Sept. 14 -
Nov. 18 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-11 a.m. Contact Jerry Weir, (319) 338-6976.

For general information about group meetings and times, contact Mary Boes.