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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 11, 2003

Orientation Helps New International Students Adjust To Campus, Community

Everything from a health care session to a hoe-down will be part of orientation activities designed for new international students arriving at the University of Iowa this fall. The UI Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) expects an estimated 350 new international students on campus this August. To help these students adjust to life on an American campus, the OISS has planned a comprehensive orientation program, including informational sessions and social activities.

The orientation runs from Aug. 13-24. International student orientation is part of the official UI Weeks of Welcome (WOW), with many of the events being held in the Iowa Memorial Union, and others being held in the International Center on the UI campus.

"The orientation program is an opportunity for the students to make those connections that will allow them to be successful, not only in their academics, but as members of the local community," said Becky Zama, an OISS international student adviser who is the main organizer of the orientation activities.

Required check-ins begin Wednesday, Aug. 13 in the IMU Main Lounge, followed by an immunization clinic, a bus tour and an international reception that evening at Iowa State Bank & Trust, featuring live entertainment, a "Taste of Iowa City" food sampler and prizes.

The main welcoming ceremony will be Thursday, Aug. 14, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the IMU Main Lounge, with remarks from OISS Director Scott King, followed by an adjustment session lead by Helen Jameson, international student program coordinator.

International students will have an opportunity to learn more about campus and community resources at a getting involved fair from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., where more than 16 booths will feature everything from banking services to campus and community organizations. A picnic will be from 5 to 6 p.m. in the International Center Courtyard, and a hoe-down follows from 6 to 9 p.m. in the International Center Lounge where international students can learn how to "do-si-do."

King says that his office anticipates fewer students arriving on campus this year due to the weakened global economy as well as visa complications stemming from changes in immigration law and the implementation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

"It is vital that new international students attend orientation so that they understand all of these changes and how important it is to remain in status," King said. "We want them to have as positive an experience as possible, and we recognize how much our community is enriched by their involvement here."

Other orientation events include information sessions on immigration regulations and health care and insurance in the U.S.; tours of the Main Library and the Information Technology Services (ITS) computing center; and panel presentations featuring on-campus and community resources.

The UI enrolls approximately 1,900 international students each year from nearly 100 countries ranging from Albania and Argentina to Vietnam and Zimbabwe. An additional 400 international scholars annually conduct research or teach at the UI.

Following are several highlights for feature and photo opportunities:

Wednesday, Aug. 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. - Iowa State Bank & Trust Company will host the 2003 International Reception featuring live entertainment, a "Taste of Iowa City" foods and prizes at the downtown office - main lobby, 102 S. Clinton St. Other hosts include Real Life Matters(tm) and The Daily Iowan.

Thursday, Aug. 14, from 1 to 4:30 .m. - Welcoming remarks, new culture adjustment session, and Getting Involved Fair - IMU Main Lounge.

Thursday, Aug. 14, from 5 to 6 p.m. - Picnic in the International Center Courtyard.

Thursday, Aug. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. - Hoedown in the International Center Lounge.

OISS is part of UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

A complete calendar of international student orientation events is available from Lois Gray at 335-2026. If you would like to arrange an interview with new international students, call Gray at 335-2026.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu Program: Becky Zama, 319-335-0335, becky-zama@uiowa.edu