Getting involved on campus or in the community is a great way to find your home away from home while at the University of Iowa.
UI students who are engaged report greater feelings of connection to fellow students, faculty, staff, and others in the university community. Involved students also tend to be more successful in the classroom and learn valuable job skills that future employers are looking for in college graduates. Best of all, by getting involved students can increase their self-confidence while also meeting new people and developing lifelong connections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Iowa has a lot of opportunities to be involved, so it can be hard to know where to start when you first get to campus. Once you have been on campus for a while, it can also be good to explore new opportunities for involvement, especially if you are changing your goals. Below are some of the questions students often ask when wondering where and how to get involved.
Whether you are still defining your goals or already have them set, there are a variety of different resources available on campus. Iowa has advising for student engagement, career development, research, study abroad, and volunteering or service. You can also meet with your academic advisor to help build a plan where your co-curricular activities complement your coursework.
You can apply classroom concepts through a multitude of co-curricular activities. Professional development opportunities like internships and on campus jobs can be a great way to see how classroom concepts apply in the workplace. Research can also demonstrate the practical application of things you’ve learned in class. You can also apply things you’ve learned while studying or interning abroad and while volunteering.
Making friends is a huge part of the college experience, but it can be a challenge. Luckily, the University of Iowa has tons of social groups, like sport clubs, service organizations, fraternity and sorority life, and student organizations. If you want help figuring out what organizations might be best for you, make an appointment with an engagement advisor!
The Office of Leadership, Service and Civic Engagement has a variety of resources on how to get engaged in community service on campus and in Iowa City. Check out their list of local service opportunities or make an appointment with a volunteering advisor to see what options might be best for you.
Making sure you have enough time in your schedule to complete and excel in your coursework as well as actively participate in your co-curricular activities is important. You can make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss your course load and determine how much time you will have for engagement and experiential learning opportunities. An engagement advisor can also help you reflect on what level of commitment to your co-curricular activities is best for you. Tutor Iowa is also a great resource for support in classes and with study skills.
Your well-being is always a priority. Although classes and co-curricular activities are important and fun, consider what is reasonable for you to take on. Remember to set limits for yourself to ensure you get enough rest and downtime. You will not be able to join every club, participate in every internship, or enroll in every program of interest, so consider which things are most important to you and most align with your goals; pursue those first. For more mental health support, look at some of the resources offered by University Counseling Service.