Orientation Preparation: What You Need to Know

Hi, future Hawkeyes! We are just a few months away from the start of the 2016-2017 school year, which means it’s time for you to take your first steps into student life at the University of Iowa with Orientation. Orientation is two days of participating in activities, gaining information, and ultimately registering for classes! As a student, I would like to share my 7 tips for making the most out of your Orientation experience:

  1. Come prepared.

No one wants to come to Orientation unprepared. Here are a few things to check off your to-do list before Orientation:

  • Upload your Iowa One Card photo on MyUI so you’re able to easily pick up your student ID at Orientation.
  • Don’t forget to complete Part 1 of Success at Iowa on ICON.
  • Take any necessary Placement Tests to keep your academic advisers happy.
  1. Bring your parents with you.

Sometimes your family can be just as curious as you are. Bring your family to Orientation to participate in the Family and Guest Program. During this program, your family will receive important information about being a Hawkeye student, and will have a chance to ask any questions they may have.

  1. Get to know your new classmates and Hawkeye Guide.

Orientation is an awesome opportunity to meet your new classmates and connect with current Hawkeyes. To make the most of your experience, I encourage you to be open to meeting new people and taking a step outside of your comfort zone. Also, get to know your Hawkeye Guide during your program. Hawkeye Guides know what it is like to be a student on campus and are more than happy to share their experiences and knowledge with you. Plus, your Hawkeye Guide will be a familiar face on campus in August. Smile and wave if you see your guide after Orientation. They will love it, I promise!

  1. Explore Campus if you have a chance.

If you have free time during your two days, walk around and explore the campus and Iowa City. Across the street from our campus, you will find the downtown area filled with a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and much more. Our city is beautiful and we love it!

  1. Share your experience.

Want to show your friends and family how much fun you’re having on campus? Social media is the perfect place to do this. Use the hashtag #UIOrientation on your posts. If you have the best social media post in your program, you will receive a gift card to the Iowa Hawk Shop from Orientation Services. Get ready to post!

  1. Ask questions.

Transitioning to college can come with a lot of uncertainty and questions. Orientation is a great place to have some of these questions answered before classes begin.

  1. Have fun!

Orientation is designed to be helpful and informative, but also really fun. Take advantage of the opportunities you’ll have in Orientation to enjoy yourself and be silly. Start your University of Iowa experience off on a positive note!

Being able to call yourself a Hawkeye is awesome, and I hope Orientation will get you excited to be on campus in the fall!

Paige Compton26468683812_dffccf15e4_z
Social Media Coordinator, Orientation Services
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions



It Was Just Like Yesterday

So, it seems like just yesterday my wife and I had two little girls; making sure we were doing all the right things to help them succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Now, with one a junior in college and the other finishing her senior year of high school, I look back and wonder where the time flew!

Although I’ve worked in college admissions for more than twenty-five years (which by the way, freaked my daughters out when they were looking at colleges), it still came down to some basic factors for them to find the “right fit” – and the “right feel.”

Here’s what I learned being the parent in the college search process –

  • Start talking about college early. Late in middle school seemed about the right time for our family. Make sure your student is on the path to take all the college-required courses…and more to help provide a well-rounded academic and extra-curricular experience.
  • Stop by a few campuses of different types and sizes during family trips before planning the official campus tour circuit.
  • Encourage your student to keep track of their activities, honors and awards during high school; create an activities and awards resume. This will help later when applying for admissions and scholarships; even for internships during college.
  • Help your student think about their interests, what careers might line-up with those interests, and what majors would be most helpful to land a job in those fields or to get into an appropriate graduate school program. There are many online career and college interest tools. A good one to consider is Big Future on The College Board’s website – https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/make-a-plan or ACT Profile at http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/act-profile/about-act-profile.html.
  • When it’s time to visit college campuses with your student during junior year of high school (or sooner), keep track of important details and impressions of each visit. We found creating an Excel spreadsheet kept things organized, including: dates and details for our visits; deadlines for application, housing, scholarships and financial aid; major(s); costs of attendance; scholarships and other financial assistance offered along with actual out-of-pocket costs per year; etc. All of this information became invaluable in April of the senior year in high school when a final decision of where to attend needed to be made.

One great way to check out college campuses early, is to encourage your student to attend a summer youth program. The University of Iowa has many opportunities for all ages; learn more at http://admissions.uiowa.edu/parents-family/youth-pre-college-programs. Many other resources to help you and your student in the college search process are located on our website at http://admissions.uiowa.edu/parents-family.

So, start early, be encouraging, get organized, and let the search for that “right fit” begin!


John Laverty
Senior Associate Director:
Search & Prospect Development
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions

An amazing opportunity for Iowa’s current students

The Pomerantz Career Center is a wonderful resource for current students who are looking for some guidance on how to prepare for their future careers. The Career Center provides a range of services including assistance with cover letter and resume writing and helps connect employers to students seeking a job or internship.Mark - professional

Participating in an internship is a great opportunity to ‘test drive’ a career to see if it’s a good fit; it will help you network with individuals in that field, you could earn possible college credit and develop new skills in the ‘real world’. The Career Center has over 1,000 internships listed on their website alone not to mention the internships that you can go out and search!

Mark - IowaI had the pleasure to speak with recent alumnus, Mark Summerside ’15, who is currently employed by The Washington Center, a program and internship opportunity that has been working with the University of Iowa for years. The Washington Center offers semester and summer-long internships to students from around the nation and world to gain experience in our nation’s capital.

The Washington Center interns are placed in internships based on their career goals and interests. When Mark was a student here at Iowa he participated in the Political Media internship.

Mark in DC“This is not a cliché internship,” says Mark. “Students are given tasks that current employees would complete.”
Students also have the opportunity to attend all Washington Forum seminars and events. Participating in this semester long internship does not push back your graduation time line as you receive college credit!

Learn about other internships offered to University of Iowa students on the Career Center website. And don’t hesitate to contact Mark at mark.summerside@twc.edu or info@twc.edu to learn more about the wonderful opportunities that The Washington Center can offer you!




Kelsey Anderson
Assistant Director for Prospect Development
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions


So You Want to Study Abroad…

In today’s blog, I’ll be talking with Aubree Compton, an Advisor & Program Coordinator from the University of Iowa’s Study Abroad office who will be giving us the “inside scoop” on the benefits of going abroad, places you can study, and how to make it affordable!

Madison Voss Quote
Madison studied abroad on the IA Regents Exchange program in Newcastle, Australia

Most first-year students show up to campus bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager to tackle a new adventure with all the new-found freedom that college offers.

From the moment you step on campus, you’ll realize there are SO many opportunities available to students looking to try something new.

However, some opportunities require more planning and thought than others. It doesn’t take too much effort to sit in on a student organization meeting or check out an event that’s within walking distance of your dorm, but what about studying abroad?

Studying abroad is a big commitment, but with the proper guidance and planning, you can make your study abroad dreams a reality.

Why should I study abroad?

There are many reasons why you should look into this once in a lifetime opportunity, according to Aubree.

“Aside from an amazing educational opportunity, students develop skills which are attractive to employers – such as working with people from diverse backgrounds, handling ambiguous situations, and gaining self-confidence as well as interpersonal skills,” she says.

Where can I go?

There are quite a few options on where to go, what to study, how long and when to go. Aubrey tells us that the most popular programs include Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and India. Students can study over their winter break, an entire academic year, over the summer, or either semesters.

The UI is home to the #1 study abroad program in India
The UI has the #1 study abroad program in India

Iowa offers 168 sponsored programs around the world for students to study. Check out the Study Abroad Office’s interactive database to explore programs based on location and major interest.

If there’s a specific university where you’d like to study and Iowa doesn’t currently offer a program there, the UI Study Abroad Office will work with you to make sure your classes transfer appropriately.

This is partially why students should meet with someone like Aubree in advance to talk about options and necessary steps.

What about scholarships?

If a student studies abroad through an Iowa-sponsored program, any merit-based scholarships will still be applied and deducted from their University Bill which helps studying abroad more affordable. There are also a number of specific study abroad scholarships for which students can apply! Studying abroad has become more and more popular not only at the University of Iowa, but across the country for students.

SO, long story short: no matter which school you end up attending it’s always a good idea to look into the opportunities that you have as a student. Learn about Iowa’s study abroad programs on their website before becoming a student! And although I’d love to study abroad now, I doubt my boss will let me take three months off from work to vacation overseas!

Where can I find more information?

International Programs

Student Blogs

Contact someone directly in the Study Abroad Office

Kelsey Anderson
Assistant Director for Prospect Development
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions

A Home Away from Home: Cultural Centers

The four UI Cultural and LGBTQ Resource Centers provide a “Home Away From Home” for many students. Regardless of  sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, or religion, students find that each center is an open and welcoming space for studying, attending events, or just relaxing and meeting new people!

The mission of each resource center is to provide intra- and cross-cultural education for all students. Functionally, the cultural centers provide ample space, computer access, and additional resource materials and libraries.

They provide welcoming all-inclusive social and meeting rooms, kitchens, and dining areas year-round. Such programs provide all students with a chance to celebrate and stretch themselves to think about local and global topics. They foster an environment for students to connect within their familiar communities and learn about new cultures.

Our current cultural and resource centers include:

In addition to the Cultural and LGBTQ Resource Centers, there are over 50 multicultural student organizations at the University of Iowa that provide programming, service, educational programs, and cultural experiences to the campus community.

I challenge all students to move beyond first impressions and to discover the diversity around them.


Sauvik Goswami
Senior Counselor, Diversity Outreach
The University of Iowa
Office of Admissions

Hello future Hawkeyes and families!

The University of Iowa Office of Admissions looks forward to using this blog as a way to provide accurate and timely information to prospective students and their families throughout each stage of the college search and selection process.

We’ll cover topics ranging from finances and admission criteria to academics and student life through the perspectives of various University of Iowa staff both in the Office of Admissions and relevant departments across campus.

We hope you find the information provided relevant and useful!

To view past blog posts written by admissions staff, view blogs from Kelsey, Sauvik, and Adam.

Questions or future blog post suggestions? Include them in the comments section below each post!

On Iowa & Go Hawks!

– Office of Admissions
   University of Iowa