U. of Iowa Tippie College starts program for foreign students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

U. of Iowa Tippie College starts program for foreign students

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In an effort to bridge the gap between U.S. and international students on campus, the University of Iowa's business school has started a program that pairs the students for one semester.

International students at the university's Tippie College of Business represented nearly a quarter of last year's freshmen class, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

The program, called International Buddies at Tippie, started last spring and groups business and pre-business undergraduates with the goal of helping international students assimilate into campus life.

Of Tippie's international freshmen undergraduates, about 80 percent were from China, with the next largest group of students from South Korea and Malaysia.

"I think this is a really unique opportunity to expose those students to something totally different and to help them understand that the world is complicated and they're going to have to work with people very different than themselves," said Jennifer Blair, the assistant director of global community engagement for Tippie's undergraduate programs.

The university also has other programs that attempt to foster friendships between U.S.-born and international students, such as its Global Buddies program.

Yijun Huang is an accounting and finance student who has participated in the Tippie buddy program. She plans to graduate in May.

"I think the biggest part of it is that you actually have a buddy with you and you can always reach her, by phone or by email, and you have someone you can talk to," Huang said.

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