IPOP Mentors & Participants 2019

International Pre-Orientation Program (IPOP)

Please complete this form as soon as your flight is booked. 

Upside-down world map: Who says north is "up"?

世界上,像一个球,没有顶部。顶部是习惯,风俗和重视的问题。如果你只从一个制高点看世界,你错过了这么多。我们的生活充实当我们从一个不同的角度看问题! (What's up? South! WORLD map)

Planning for IPOP 2020

Grinnell is an international-student-friendly campus and we are eager to meet you! Your success is the primary focus of the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA). We are fluent in the regulatory needs of non-immigrant students and the nuances of cultural sojourn. We will help you navigate these issues so that you can focus on your academic priorities!

Faculty and staff partners support diversity and inclusion in the classroom and throughout campus life. The local community welcomes inter-generational friendship and cross-cultural exchange through Friends of International Students (FIS) and our Cultural Attaché program — both programs offer the opportunity to get to know our town. The International Student Organization (ISO), one of many student-led groups, will invite your participation as they celebrate identity and build community. Grinnellians are engaged in campus life — through varsity or intramural athletics, volunteer service, student government, study abroad, campus employment, etc.

We look forward to getting to know you!

Karen Edwards, Associate Dean & Director of International Student Affairs, PDSO/RO
Brenda Strong, Assistant Director of International Student Affairs, DSO/ARO
Mollie Ullestad, International Student Advisor, DSO

IPOP participants must arrive on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020.

  • If you will arrive before Aug. 16, you must make your own arrangements for lodging and/or transportation. You could stay in Des Moines and meet our IPOP shuttle on Sunday. Late arrivals require advance permission from the OISA. For F visa holders, a late entry can result in a denial at the U.S. Port of Entry.

International students are required to attend IPOP, and U.S. global nomads are also invited. 

  • International students usually secure F-1 student visas to study in the U.S. Most of Grinnell’s international students are degree seeking, and intend to spend four years working toward a bachelor’s degree.
  • Global nomads (sometimes called third culture kids) are individuals who have spent significant parts of their childhood outside of their passport country(s) — often because of a parent’s occupation.

You should fly into the state capital, Des Moines, Iowa, which is 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Grinnell — a one-hour drive.

  • During IPOP, the College only provides transportation from Des Moines International Airport.

On Sunday and Monday, you will move into your room; explore campus; submit required paperwork; open a bank account; and complete your medical check-in. F-1 visa holders must present your immigration documents, and we will also offer shopping shuttles and social programs. Required sessions begin on Tuesday — you will learn about regulatory issues, academic culture, and campus life. Students who apply to participate in Friends of International Students (FIS) get to meet your host! It will be an action-packed week, and New Student Orientation begins on Friday.

All IPOP participants are assigned a mentor (an upper class student leader) and a group of amigos (这是西班牙语“朋友”)。在OISA,f是你的主人,你的导师,和您的朋友都将是重要的合作伙伴,你过渡到格林内尔。 IPOP你的导师将通过@ grinnell.edu您的电子邮件地址,这个夏天与您联系。

Most international students arrive on their own — but if your family travels with you to Grinnell, we hope to meet them! Please confirm their attendance when you complete your IPOP Pre-Arrival Registration & Transportation form. 家庭成员被邀请在几次会议参加上周五,八月。 18 - 包括与工作人员和教师的客人开全体会议,校园参观,和对话。 MOST家人离开上译者: 19。

Please make advance reservations for your family’s lodging and transportation. There is no local taxi service, so please consider distance from campus when you book a room.You can reserve seats for you family on the Aug. 16 IPOP shuttle from Des Moines to Grinnell (billed to your student account) and you can pre-arrange their return airport transportation via Facilities Management 641-269-3300.  If your family plans to rent a car, you should arrange for pick up and drop off at the Des Moines Airport.

  1. Immigration Documents:  Students seeking F-1 status must complete the I-20 Request Form. Upon receiving the I-20, you must submit your SEVIS Fee and initiate the VISA application process.
  2. Explore the IPOP webpage.
    • Friends of International Students: As soon as possible (and before June 1), submit the (FIS) Student Form if you would like to be matched with an FIS host. This opportunity is for IPOP participants only, and most students really enjoy it! FIS hosts are local families and individuals who want to help introduce you to the town, and befriend you throughout your first year at Grinnell (many friendships last longer). The website offers more details and priority is given to students who apply early. FIS students and hosts meet each other at a reception during IPOP.
    • IPOP Registration & Transportation Form: All IPOP participants must submit this form as soon as your flight is booked (and before August 1). It asks about dietary needs and emergency information, as well as your transportation plans.  
      • If you need transportation to campus, use this form to reserve a seat on the IPOP airport shuttle from Des Moines International Airport 500 Internal Server Error

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        (不要通过设施管理注册)。我们会尽量无论您的抵达时间为您提供帮助。因为我们容纳大量到货,您可能需要在机场等候。如果您的航班更改,电话或 email the OISA at 641-269-3703. Your student account will be billed $30 per seat, and you may also reserve seats for family members. Shuttle riders receive your room key and IPOP packet en route to Grinnell.
      • If you do not need a seat on the IPOP shuttle, we still ask for your travel arrangements to help us plan. Upon arrival, you will need to visit the OISA to get your room key and IPOP packet on the first floor of the HSSC, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Aug. 16 or 17. (If you notify us about an after-hours arrival on Aug. 16, we can arrange to leave your key and packet at Campus Safety.)
  3. Once you gain access to your @grinnell.edu account 500 Internal Server Error

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  4. You may order linens (sheets & towels) online via the Pioneer Bookshop & Dorm Co.  If you order prior to July 15, your items will be delivered to your residence hall room prior to your arrival. 
  • Address: Your Name, Grinnell College, 1115 8th Avenue, Grinnell, Iowa 50112 (OISA phone: 641-269-3703) 
  • If you order late or purchase items through a different vendor, consider that private packages are only available in the College mail room during business hours (Monday- Friday, 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.).
  • Grinnell’s student beds are sized 36 inches by 81 inches ‘extra-long twin.’
  1. Please bring 15 small gift items (a favorite snack or souvenir from home).  Inexpensive pre-packaged items are preferred. On the final day of IPOP, there will be a gift exchange among your new Amigos! A small gift for your FIS host is welcome, but not expected.
  2. Contact Disability Resources if you or a family member need accommodation during IPOP or during the school year.
  3. Please “like” Grinnell College OISA on Facebook!

If you already hold F-1 status 由于您目前就读于美国的中学,请联系OISA尽快商讨释放你的记录格林内尔的过程SEVIS上大学,和你的考虑目前的F-1签证的有效性。

If you will pursue an F-1 visa to enter the U.S.:

  • Present your name exactly as it appears on your Passport.
  • Your Grinnell contact: Karen Klopp Edwards, Associate Dean & Director of International Student Affairs PDSO/RO, 1226 Park Street, Grinnell College, 641-269-3705.
  • Your U.S. residential address: 1115 8th Avenue, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112.
  • Canadian citizens do not need an F-1 visa, but you do need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee, and you will need to present your I-20 and the SEVIS I-901 Payment Confirmation at the Port of Entry in order to secure F-1 status.
  1.  Pay your I-901 SEVIS FEE
    • After your I-20 has been issued, you must submit the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVIS) Fee. The SEVIS fee is $350.00 for F-1 visa applicants, and it must be submitted before you can proceed with the student visa application process. The I-901 SEVIS I-901 Payment Confirmation is required evidence to present during your F-1 visa interview. It is also wise to retain this document for presentation at the U.S. Port of Entry.
  2.  Apply for your F-1 STUDENT VISA at a U.S. Consulate

Tips for your F-1 VISA Interview

When you visit the U.S. Consulate for your visa interview, bring your: DS-160 Visa Application Confirmation; Passport; Form I-20 (signed in blue ink); I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Confirmation; Grinnell College Letter of Admission; financial documents; and secondary school completion documents.

  • The U.S. Department of State supports hundreds of advising centers around the world. EducationUSA centers offer free advice about the visa application process in your region, as well as information sessions about other pre-departure topics. Locate your nearest EducationUSA.

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  • Your primary purpose for coming to the U.S. is to study. While some students may receive special permission to work off-campus, such employment is rare and incidental to the main purpose of completing a degree.
  • 面试将在英语进行,表明你“准备好成为一个全职的学生 - 在英语。为什么你重视文科教育准备好解释为什么要在美国,你为什么选择AG超玩会电子学习,和。
  • The F-1 visa requires ‘non-immigrant intent,’ which means that you do not plan to immigrate to the U.S. permanently. Be prepared to articulate this intention. Ties to home might include relationships with family and friends, financial prospects and investments, and/or career prospects at home after you graduate.
  • 签证申请会询问你的社交媒体参与度和你的数字足迹可通过领事官员和边防人员进行审查。社交媒体帖子和搜索的文件或照片会影响你的签证资格和/或你的入行经历端口。
  • The officer needs assurance that you have the ability to afford your education. They want to know that you won’t drop out of school or take a job illegally. Your chances are improved if your parents are sponsoring you. If anyone else is sponsoring you, be prepared to explain why they are willing to commit thousands of dollars towards your education. You may need to provide evidence of your funding — confirming liquid access to the funds required for year one, and a reasonable expectation that the funding can be sustained over four years.
  • 从国家的申请者有严重的经济问题,还是紧张的关系与美国,可以有更多的困难,确保签证。需要特别准备传达您的意图,以追求和资助你的学习,毕业后回家乡自己的生活和事业。
  • You might bring transcripts, exam results, or anything else that demonstrates your academic commitment — but, the content and the context of supporting documents should be clear at first glance.
  • Maintain a positive attitude, and never engage the officer in an argument or a lie.
  • If your visa is denied, request the reason in writing and ask for a list of documents they suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal. Contact the OISA 让我们知道您的情况,并为第二签证面谈预约。收集信息,以解决不足 - 因为你必须为了证明复议信息带来新的第二次面试。

Think carefully as you pack for this adventure. Contact the airline to find out the weight limitations. The more you bring, the more you have to haul through the airport, load onto the bus to Grinnell, and carry up the stairs to your residence hall room!  Student rooms are equipped with a study desk, chair, chest of drawers and a bed.  Items like a study lamp, wastebasket, or school supplies, will be easier to buy here after you arrive.  

The College does not offer pre-arrival storage. If needed, you may contact C & K Storage at 641-236-3418 (this local company coordinates summer storage for students). If you need to ship items, you can mail them to yourself, but the package may not arrive prior to Aug. 10. 

In August you’ll be able to access your personal campus mail box number and combination via GrinnellShare. Your address will be:  Your name & box #, Grinnell College, 1115 8th Avenue, Grinnell, IA 50112 U.S.A.

Items that you should bring from home include:

  • Academic Documents: If you intend to request credit for College level work from another institution, you must submit official documents (certificates, transcripts, results, etc.) prior to fall registration.
  • Adapter: Electrical outlets in the U.S. provide 110-volt alternating current (AC) at 60 cycles. It may be easier and more cost effective to purchase new electrical equipment here.
  • Clothing: Bring clothes you enjoy wearing! Students usually dress casual, so jeans and a T-shirt are appropriate. You might also want one or two semiformal outfits, since students do dress up for special events. If you are coming from a warm climate, carry a light sweater to use as you acclimate. You will have time to buy winter clothing later in the fall.
  • International Driver’s License: If you plan to drive in the U.S. you will need an Iowa license. It is helpful if you secure an International License in advance.
  • Cultural Items and Family Mementos:  There will be many occasions for you to share your culture on-campus and in the local community. We hope you will bring traditional clothing, photographs, music, recipes, and other mementos to share. These items can also be helpful for personal reasons — especially if you become homesick or nostalgic as you adjust to your new environment. 
  • Learn how to cook before you leave home: Most meals will be taken in the dining hall, but students often become homesick for familiar food. You will have access to cooking facilities here, and if you stay on-campus during winter or spring break, you will need to cook for yourself! Bring recipes and favorite pre-packaged spices or snacks that recipe will come in handy when you are invited to cook a dish from home for the International Student Organization’s annual Food Bazaar!
  • Money: We recommend that you carry approximately $800-$900, since you will need to buy your books and equip your room. Few banks can exchange foreign currency within 24 hours, and it will take a few days to get your local bank account settled (there will be time for this during IPOP). Carry a combination of traveler's checks, cash, and/or bank checks in U.S. currency. 
  • Pack your positive attitude, too. This is going to be an amazing adventure!

Each day, millions of people pass through U.S. borders to conduct business, study, or travel as tourists. Department of Homeland Security requirements will affect your entry experience, so be prepared to approach it with a positive attitude. The F-1 visa allows you to enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the start date listed on your I-20. You must enter the U.S. on or before your start date, and a late entry is likely to be denied.

You will need to present the following documents to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer:

  • Passport and F-1 Visa;
  • Form I-20 (all 3 pages, signed in blue)
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Confirmation
  • [Financial documentation may also be requested]

Claim your luggage and pass through U.S. CBP procedures. If the inspecting officer asks why you wish to enter the U.S. you may inform them that you will be an undergraduate student at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. They will take your photo and fingerprints. If the officer has additional questions, you might be re-directed to “secondary inspection.” This is standard procedure. In some cases, the officer will ask for your Grinnell College contact (the Office of International Student Affairs). In other cases, they might issue Form I-515A, which allows temporary entry and requires immediate follow-up with the OISA. If you don’t have the required documents, or if the officer is not satisfied with your case, they do have the discretion to deny your admission. We predict, however, that you will experience a successful entry!

当检查完毕,有关人员将放置承认邮票在您的护照,以反映类的录取:“F-1,d / S”(状态持续时间)。一旦您已进入美国您将能够访问和打印 I-94 arrival/departure record (we will help you do this during IPOP). The I-94 is updated electronically every time that you exit and re-enter the country, so we will advise you to maintain printed copies of each entry.

  • This process is slightly different if you enter the U.S. through a land border.

Travel Tips

  • Carry your immigration documents on your person.
  • Carry contact information for OISA (641-269-3703) and Campus Safety (641-269-4600). 
  • Most airlines forbid items like pocket knives, nail clippers, or fluids over 3 oz. in your carry-on luggage, and they will be confiscated.
  • Electronic devices, online activity, and social media posts are subject to search by visa and border officials.
  • Dress for comfort! A light sweater and a neck pillow are a good idea.
  • Secure U.S. currency before you travel, or in the first U.S. airport. 

OISA staff are fluent in the regulatory issues facing students and exchange visitors who don’t hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. Immigration status impacts access to opportunities, services, and benefits, and all international Grinnellians are invited to bring questions our way. You will be treated with respect and privacy. If your regulatory needs exceed our purview or expertise, we will encourage you to pursue legal counsel outside of the College.

Most international Grinnellians hold an F-1 visa. The OISA is responsible for the institution’s compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor System(SEVIS), and we will teach you about your F-1 documents and your responsibilities, limitations, and benefits. We will also offer advice about managing paperwork and keeping good records.

A few examples of F-1 responsibilities, limitations, and benefits, include:

  • You must maintain full-time enrollment (12 credits minimum), with limited exceptions.
  • You may work on-campus up to 20 hrs/wk while school is in session, and up to 40 hs/wk during breaks.
  • Many F-1 students participate in off-campus study, course embedded travel, and/or internships — but there are unique visa challenges so advanced planning is very important.
  • The OISA provides travel and re-entry advice as it relates to your status and maintaining date-valid documents. Re-entry, for example, requires a date valid travel endorsement. Regulations require that you carry valid documents during domestic travel as well.
  • You may enroll in summer courses on another campus as a transient student, maintaining your SEVIS record with Grinnell, but you cannot work on that other campus.
  • When you declare your major the OISA reports it in SEVIS and issues a new I-20. Access to U.S. based internships or employment, paid or unpaid, is limited to work that is “directly related to your major”
  • You will have access to Curricular Practical Training (for off-campus engagement that is curricular) and Optional Practical Training (12 months per degree, to use immediately after you graduate). Students with S.T.E.M. majors (Biology; Biochemistry; Chemistry; Computer Science; Economics; General Science; Mathematics; Physics; Psychology) have access to 24 additional months of practical training.
  • You must have an offer of employment before you can apply for a U.S. Social Security Card. We will extend an offer upon your arrival, and the OISA coordinates transportation during IPOP to Social Security Administration in Des Moines. We also encourage you to secure a REAL ID 500 Internal Server Error

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  • You are required to file a U.S. Federal Tax Return 500 Internal Server Error

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  • An arrest, even for misdemeanor charges, can have very negative consequences for non-immigrants.
  • You must make normal progress toward your degree completion. A program extension (beyond 8 semesters) requires pre-approval through the OISA.
  • Upon graduation,F-1签证的学生有资格通常为:1)继续深造; 2)任选的实际训练中使用授权;或3)离开美国学生选择选择或茎保持F-1学生身份,并继续通过OISA报告。
  • OISA handouts are posted on GrinnellShare (login required).

Academic Advising, Tutorial, & Course Registration

In June you will receive an email from the Academic Advising Office asking you to state preferences for your First-Year Tutorial course, which is a course required of all first-year students. You need to enter your choices online by the end of June, and you will be notified about your tutorial placement before you arrive. Rather than being a class to teach you mastery of material (subject matter), this class emphasizes the development of skills you need to be a successful Grinnell student (critical reading, writing, discussion and oral presentation skills).

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Read more about new student planning.


Grinnell College is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III (NCAA DIII) and offers twenty “varsity” sports, in which one-third of the student body participates. For DIII athletes, academics remain the primary focus. Grinnell students are also involved in club sports (like Frisbee and Water Polo); intramural sports (like Badminton; Cricket; or Ping Pong).  In addition, the College’s impressive athletic facilities (including a natatorium, exercise room, indoor track, dance studio, etc.) are open to all students at no extra cost.

If you have questions about athletics at Grinnell, feel free to email coaches directly, contact International Athletes and Allies at , or visit the Pioneers website.

Disability Resources and Assistive Technology Services

Grinnell College strives to create an environment that allows people of all abilities to do their best work. While the word “disability” can imply various conditions and may be subject to stigmas or negative stereotypes, in the U.S. and around the world, it is important to acknowledge your right to request and receive reasonable accommodation for your functional limitations (e.g. physical/sensory/psychiatric disabilities, chronic illnesses, mental illnesses, and temporary injuries). An accommodation is any adjustment, modification, or service that allows an individual to experience fuller access to an environment. This may mean additional time for an exam or written notes for a student with a documented learning disability, a room on a first floor for a student in a wheelchair, or the use of an assistive learning technology such as Read and Write Gold for reading text on a computer. 

If you have or suspect that you have a disability and would like to learn more and/or seek accommodation options, please contact John Hirschman, coordinator of student disability Resources, or visit Disability Resources on GrinnellShare..


You will need to buy or rent the text books that are required for each of your coursesStudents should budget at least $450 for books each semester. Textbooks are costly, but you can save money by purchasing used books or by renting them from the Pioneer Bookshop. Many students purchase or rent books through online providers at a lower cost. Some students purchase e-books to read from their lap top or Kindle. There is also a well stocked lending library, located in the Center for Religious Spirituality and Social Justice (CRSSJ).

Campus Employment

F-1 students are assigned a campus job upon arrival, which has the added bonus of helping facilitate your access to a U.S. Social Security Number. It is realistic for students to work 8-12 hours per week.  It is possible to work as many as 20 hours per week, but that might not be wise since Grinnell’s academic program is so rigorous. Most initial job assignments are in Dining Services, where the starting wage is $10.00 per hour, with bonuses available for working steadily from semester to semester. You are encouraged to accept this position, but you will also have the option to pursue other positions on campus. Open campus positions are posted online through the Handshake system on the Careers, Life and Service website.  If you plan to remain on campus during winter or summer break, it would be wise to look for a campus job that also hires students during breaks.

Cell Phones

校园宿舍有一个固定电话在每个楼层,用于紧急用途,但也不再是单一的电话分机学生的房间。大多数学生使用的服务,如Skype或Viber的,和/或通常保护他们 personal cell phone. There is no hurry to purchase a working cell phone, since there is Wi-Fi on campus.  Grinnell has stores in town for U.S. Cellular, Verizon & Cricket. There is also good cellular service for Sprint or AT&T in Grinnell, but we do not have a local provider (there is an AT&T store in Ankeny, about one hour drive from Grinnell). Students offer mixed reviews about the quality of local cellular coverage through T-Mobile — service in the Midwest is limited.

You must be 18 years old to purchase a monthly phone plan, and most plans require a U.S. SSN (which takes about three weeks, upon submitting your application during IPOP). Alternately, some students purchase pre-paid plans which are available to anyone.  You can, for example, purchase a pre-paid phone plan through large carries (like Verizon, Cricket or U.S. Cellular), or you can purchase pre-paid phones (like Straight-talk, Netphone, or Tracfone) online or at our local Wal-Mart. Some current students advise new students to avoid using a phone from home with a U.S. SIM card, due to poor service and high cost.  It is wise to research this on your own, or to consult with your IPOP Mentor, or with staff in Grinnell’s office of Information Technology Services.

Computer Access


Information Technology Services: 641-269-4901; email the technology services desk

Financial Aid

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Need based aid does not fluctuate based on academic achievement, but recipients of merit based awards must maintain at least a 2.75 GPA to remain eligible for the award. Of course all students must maintain satisfactory academic progress according to standards prescribed by the college.

  • U.S. Citizens apply for and receive financial aid based on CSS Profile and FAFSA guidelines.

Health Insurance & Health Care

The U.S. health care system offers excellent care, but the system can be challenging and costly to navigate. You will receive specific guidance from Student Health & Wellness (SHAW), and there will be sessions about health care and health insurance during IPOP and NSO.

Grinnell College requires all enrolled students to carry health insurance. You will be automatically enrolled in a Student Health Insurance plan through Arthur J. Gallagher & CO.

  • If you already carry health insurance through another U.S. provider it is possible 经过严格的审查程序,免收大学计划,以确认您的保单涵盖媲美的好处。如果你确保高校计划的放弃,需要为基础的金融援助可能会减少。联系与问题的财政援助办公室。
  • Grinnell College does not benefit financially from your enrollment in the Student Health Insurance plan.

Benefits and detailed plan information is available. This plan offers year-round coverage, worldwide. The premium for 2019–20 is $1,774. The 2020–21 premium should be determined by June 1, 2020. The cost will be billed on your fall statement. Questions about health insurance may be directed to Jim Mulholland, Director of Compensation and Risk Management (641-269-4818); or Dustin Smith, Ramsey-Weeks, Inc. (641-236-3141, 715 5th Ave.). Grinnell students also have the option to purchase Dental Insurance through Delta Dental of Iowa. You will receive more information about health insurance and the dental insurance option with your tuition bills.

As an enrolled student, you will have easy access to SHAW, which is located in the center of our campus. SHAW staff includes registered nurses and counselors who provide health and counseling services to Grinnell students. With the exception of modest, at-cost fees for a few medical tests and supplies, these services are delivered free of charge. Read more information about these services, support for after hours care, and medical providers in the local community

  • All students are required to submit health and immunization records to SHAW. This ensures the College that you and your peers are properly vaccinated, and it assists us in coordinating the care of those who become ill or experience health related emergencies. You will receive instructions this spring and you will need to complete the required forms by the July 15 deadline, including:
    • Student Health History and Immunization History
      If you have not had all of the required immunizations, it is wise to get them before you leave home. They are very expensive in the U.S. and the Student Health Insurance might not cover the full cost.
    • Medical Provider Report of Health Evaluation
      Print this for your physician to complete and sign.
    • Consent for Treatment of a Minor
      This is required if you will be under the age of 18 when you arrive.
    • Tuberculosis Screening
      If you answer yes to any of the screening questions, you must download and print the TB Screening Form and take it to your physician to complete. Please review the form with your physician so that they clearly understand what is accepted for this requirement. A negative chest x-ray alone does not meet the requirements for the TB screening. If you need to have TB testing, you are encouraged to do this at home before traveling to the U.S.  If testing is not available in your home country, SHAW can arrange for a Grinnell physician to give you the blood test at a cost to you of approximately $100.00. If the confirming blood test is positive, you will be required to have a chest x-ray (also at your expense, at an approximated cost of $100.00) to rule out active TB, and treatment for latent TB exposure would be provided by the state of Iowa at no cost to you.   

Questions may be directed to Deb Shill, Director of Health Services.

International Student Organization (ISO) and Other Student Groups

ISO is one of the largest student groups on campus. The ISO Cabinet, which is elected by the membership, works to build community across cultures, and they organize special events that celebrate your presence on campus. They look forward to welcoming you to campus, and they invite you to participate! 

Student life on a residential campus is driven by YOUR engagement. The Student Government Association is very active in policy decisions and campus social life, and international students are invited to participate and lead. There are many additional student organizations that focus on anything from a specific cultural or religious affinity, to unique hobbies or special interests. Getting involved with student clubs and organizations is a great way to meet new friends, contribute to our active campus life, and gain practical leadership skills.

Other active student groups have included the African & Caribbean Student Union (ACSU); App Dev; Badminton; Chalutzim; Chinese Student Association (CSA); Cricket Club; Frisbee Club; International Soccer Club (ISC); Friend of Slavs; Muslim Student Association (MSA); Model UN; Student Organization for Latinos/Latinas (SOL); South Asia Student Organization (SASO); and many more.

Living on Campus

Grinnell’s residential community fosters social and personal development, encourages self-governance, and compliments your academic goals. All students are required to live on-campus, with limited exceptions for seniors and rising third-year students. On arrival, you meet your residence life coordinator (RLC), community adviser (CA), and community adviser mentor (CAM). RLCs are professional staff who live in the halls and support community life. CAs & CAMs are trained peer leaders.

New students are assigned a residence hall room and matched with your future roommate(s) based on the information you provide on the online Roommate Form. Answer all questions on the form honestly — to ensure the best possible room/roommate match! Your roommate and hall assignment will be available in late July through GrinnellShare. When assignments are final, students receive an email from the Office of Residence Life that provides instructions on how to obtain your room and roommate information. Most first year students are paired with one roommate and assigned a double room; some are assigned to triples or quads. 

During academic year breaks, you might choose to travel with friends or participate in break programs through the College. That said, Grinnell allows international students to remain in your campus residence room during these breaks at no extra charge. Registration, via the OISA, is required for winter break. Many campus services remain open with limited hours (library, athletic facilities, Student Health and Wellness, etc.). Campus Safety remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The dining hall is not open over winter or spring break, so students typically cook (there are modest kitchens). The OISA also offers some social programming during winter break.

Students who stay in Grinnell during the summer can apply for campus jobs or research opportunities. You can secure on-campus housing for a fee, or you might choose to rent or sublet a local apartment. Students can face challenges at the start and the end of a term when trying to store belongings, or book affordable flights while abiding by residence hall exit and entry policies — let alone getting to and from the airport. There are resources to help you meet these needs, but you need to plan ahead! The same open and closing dates and times apply to all students.

Five-Year Planning Calendar

Shops and Services in Grinnell, Iowa

Grinnell’s quaint downtown area is located just three blocks from campus — and there is a lot to offer considering our rural location. You’ll find Hotel Grinnell; Bikes To You (selling used and new quality bikes and merchandise); The Strand Movie Theatre; The Pioneer Bookshop; a variety of local restaurants and food/drink establishments; an active Community Arts Center, and numerous other businesses (Brown’s Shoe Company; Anna Kayte’s Clothing Boutique; Ace Hardware; etc.). There are also several second hand clothing stores in town that supply clean, used clothing at a reasonable cost, like Phase 2 Consignments; Goodwill; and Second Mile - 一个选项,许多学生利用这的。也有一个折扣店(沃尔玛)南部的镇,附近的几个服务。此外,偶尔学院还提供班车前往购物周末和得梅因衣阿华城市。

Tuition Payments for Students

College fees are due in the Office of Student Accounts by July 27, 2020.  In late June you will be billed the amount for the fall semester only.  Your account will be available through GrinnellShare.  If mailing your fees to arrive on time in July is difficult, we encourage you to use our online international payment options through flywire. Checks are also accepted, if they are drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars, payable to Grinnell College.

If you have not paid this bill by registration, you will not be allowed to enroll.  Since students are not allowed to register if their fees have not been paid, notify the Office of Student Accounts, 641-269-4100, in advance if you will be bringing your payment with you. This office is located in the Admission and Student Financial Services building (ASFS). Learn more about international back transfers..

Weather in the Midwest

temperature scale shows comparison of celcius to fahrenheit


  • It will be hot when you arrive in August, and most students will wear shorts/skirts, t-shirts, and sandals at that time.
  • In September it can be warm during the day and cool at night.
  • It grows gradually colder in October and November, and your clothing will transition to jeans and a sweatshirt, with a hat and light jacket.
  • By mid-November, you will need a winter coat, boots, hat & gloves.
  • The coldest time is typically in January and February, and the cold begins to subside in late March or early April.

If you come from an area where the weather is temperate, you should include funds in your first semester's budget to purchase winter clothes.

2020 IPOP Mentors

  • Rachael Arkell

    Rachael Arkell ’22

    Rachael is a French major with a linguistics concentration from Winchester, U.K. Before coming to Grinnell, she attended Alton College in the U.K., and can speak English, French, and small amounts of many other languages. As a Grinnellian, Rachael has participated in course-embedded travel to Washington, D.C., and Virginia, and hopes to study abroad in Paris next spring. Her favorite place she has traveled to is the island city of Le Mont Saint Michel in France: “The architecture is magical, its narrow, winding streets crammed with bustling shops (which inspired Diagon Alley in Harry Potter), leads steeply up to the abbey at the top.” Rachael enjoys arts and crafts with friends and keeping up with world news, and is involved in the Oratorio Society and Friends of International Students (FIS) at Grinnell, stating that her host family has “widened my experience of Grinnell from the college bubble to the community.”

  • Justin Chen

    Justin Chen ’21

    Justin is an anthropology major from Hsinchu, Taiwan (ROC), where he attended Hsinchu American School for secondary school. He speaks Mandarin and English, and considers Auburn, Alabama, to be his favorite place he has lived because of the college football games there. Justin loves to swim and is a member of the Swim and Dive team at Grinnell. He also has a host family through the Friends of International Students (FIS) program. His favorite quote is: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart” — Helen Keller.

  • Momi Fukushima

    Momiji Fukushima ’22

    Momiji (Momi) is an intended chemistry major from Ishinomaki, Japan. She attended secondary school in São Paulo, Brazil before coming to Grinnell, and speaks Japanese and English and is learning Portuguese and Korean. She has lived in six different countries! In her spare time, Momi likes collecting earrings and cooking Japanese food with her friends, as well as sharing Japanese culture with the Grinnell community. She is co-president of the Japanese Cultural Association (JCA) and has been a part of the Cultural Attaché Program. Momi’s favorite place in the world is her hometown of Ishinomaki: “It is next to the sea, and the seafood is very good there! Also, because it's a small town, the people are very warm and kind.”

  • Fitsum Getahun

    Fitsum Getahun ’21

    Fitsum (Fit) is a biology and history double major with a neuroscience concentration from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He speaks Amharic and English, and attended secondary school at Saint Joseph School in Addis Ababa. Fit’s favorite place he has traveled to is Betre Maryam Island, Buffalo River, Doha, and he enjoys cooking, cinema, and traveling. At Grinnell, he is a student researcher, Leadership Council member, and a part of the African and Caribbean Student Union (ACSU). Fit also has a Friends of International Students (FIS) host family: “They have both been an important part of my Grinnell experience, taking me to various locations around town, guiding me through my class selection process during my first semester, hosting me for various American holidays, cooking with me to try and add more Ethiopian flavor to their diet. They are an amazing host family and have made my stay here all the more enjoyable.” Fit also challenges anyone to hold a conversation longer than him using only song lyrics!

  • Vidush Goswami

    Vidush Goswami ’21

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    New Delhi, India, and Rotorua, New Zealand, and speaks Hindi and English. At Grinnell, Vidush is involved in the Cultural Attaché Program, Student Government Association (SGA), South Asian Student Organization (SASO), and will be the 2020–21 International Student Organization (ISO) secretary. He enjoys organizing cultural events on campus, drumming in the Freesound room, singing, pretending to know how to dance, and meeting every dog that comes his way. Vidush also had an exciting externship during his first year in Los Angeles, Calif., with a Grinnell alum working for Amazon Studios! Growing up, he lived in a diverse range of places all over India, but feels the most impactful was living in a remote village in Kashmir, surrounded by the mountains in a tiny village community. Another favorite is his current home, Rotorua, New Zealand: “It's a beautiful little town on a lake, and New Zealand is essentially a giant postcard.”

  • Shirley Jwa

    Shirley Jwa ’22

    Shirley is a biochemistry major, and considers both Seoul, South Korea, and Bellevue, Washington, U.S., as her home. She attended Newport High School in Washington, U.S. for secondary school, and speaks Korean, English, and some Mandarin and Spanish. In her free time, Shirley enjoys playing the piano, singing karaoke, and traveling. At Grinnell, she is the current president of the Korean Student Association (KSA), plays water polo, and is a part of the Cultural Attaché Program. Shirley’s favorite places that she has lived or visited include Seoul and Yeosu in South Korea, Hanoi, Vietnam, Kyoto, Japan, and San Diego, California, U.S. A quote that she loves is: “Even when you think it’s too late, it is the best time to start.”

  • Sriyash Kadiyala

    Sriyash Kadiyala ’21

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  • Saule Keliauskaite

    Saule Keliauskaite ’23

    Saule is an intended economics major from Vilnius, Lithuania, and speaks Lithuanian, German, English, and beginner Russian. For secondary school, she attended Vilnius Lyceum, and is currently a part of the Global Learning Program (GLP) at Grinnell College. Also at Grinnell, Saule is involved in the Debate Union, representing the College in tournaments throughout the U.S., as well as the Pioneer Investment Club and Iowa Caucus Economy tour. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, cycling outdoors, hiking, and visiting art exhibitions and museums. Saule’s favorite place in the world is her hometown, Vilnius. However, she has also enjoyed traveling to Paris, Barcelona, Rome, and Worthing in Europe, and Seattle, Chicago, and New York City in the U.S. Saule’s favorite quote is: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all” Oscar Wilde.

  • Letícia do Valle Amaral Monteiro

    Letícia do Valle Amaral Monteiro ’23

    Letícia is an intended theatre and dance and gender, women’s and sexuality studies double major from São Paulo, Brazil. She speaks Portuguese, English, and beginner Spanish, and attended Colégio São Luís, São Paulo for secondary school. Letícia’s favorite place in the world is Maresias, a beach located on São Paulo’s northern coastline: “I could spend hours swimming in the ocean, eating açaí under cloudless skies, and nestling my feet into the warm sand.” At Grinnell, she is currently a part of the Global Learning Program (GLP) and has been extremely involved in theatre. In the 2019–20 season, she played Tiresias in The Burial at Thebes and Zuzu in Dance Nation. Letícia is also a member of the Student Organization of Latinxs (SOL) and Friends of International Students (FIS). When speaking of her FIS host family, she says: “They are one of the best things that happened to me at Grinnell; I could not be more grateful for having such loving, joyful people as my FIS host family.”

  • Puravi Nath

    Puravi Nath ’21

    Puravi is a psychology major from Kolkata and Bangalore, India. She attended The Heritage School in Kolkata for secondary school, and speaks Hindi, English, and some Bengali and Punjabi. Puravi loves going to the beach, and lists Bali and Mauritius as some of her favorite places she has visited. Her hobbies include doodling, singing, makeup, dog videos, and portrait photography. She also has a passion for food from around the world. At Grinnell, Puravi has been involved in Friends of International Students (FIS), the Cultural Attaché Program, the South Asian Student Organization (SASO), and the International Student Organization (ISO). She will serve as ISO president this year! Puravi was also the international admissions intern 2019–20 and has been a student senator. Her favorite quote is: “Whatever energy you give will come back to you. What you wish to have, cause another to have. The Universe, by the law, always finds the best way to give back energy. It is a magical process.” David Cameron Gikandi.

  • Antonella Diaz Rodriguez

    Antonella Diaz Rodriguez ’23

    Antonella is an undecided major from Quito, Ecuador 500 Internal Server Error

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  • Austin Yu

    Xinmiao “Austin” Yu ’23

    Austin is an intended physics and computer science double major from Guangzhou, China. He attended the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University for secondary school, and speaks Mandarin and English. At Grinnell, Austin is involved in the Chinese Student Association (CSA), Outdoor Recreation Club, and Friends of International Students (FIS). He also enjoys photography, specializing in landscape and portrait. Two of his favorite places in the world are Chongqing, China and his hometown of Guangzhou. Austin’s favorite quote is: “Pure pragmatism cannot imagine a bold future. Pure idealism cannot get anything done” Richard M. Nixon.


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