International Students and Scholars Office

Cultural Mentor Program

The Cultural Mentor program provides individual attention to new international students and helps them transition to UNI’s academic culture and life in Iowa/ U.S. The mentor has many roles to play that include conversation partner, problem solver, adviser, friend, listener, teacher, supporter, good model, feedback provider, network agent. At the beginning of each semester, the mentor is paired with a new international student and spends an hour per week with that student for at least the first six weeks of the semester.  

Mentors can benefit immensely from volunteering for this mentor/mentee relationship. They can develop leadership skills, add to their interpersonal and intercultural communication skills, understand people better and develop skills in how to motivate them, contribute to UNI by sharing their time, ideas, talent, and expertise, strengthen their resume, expand problem-solving skills, gain references for future job prospects, and above all - have tones of fun getting to know people from around the world!

Pairing of cultural mentors and new international students takes places in August and January.  Please complete and submit the ISSO Cultural Mentor Application Form if you would like to be paired with a new international student.