The University of Iowa

Frequently Asked Questions

On Iowa! is an immersion experience for all new first-year and transrer students. On Iowa! will provide a comprehensive introduction to University life, including the skills necessary to be a successful University of Iowa student within and beyond the classroom. During On Iowa!, you will build connections with new and current students, learn about University history and traditions and become familiar with the expectations of The IOWA Challenge. You’ll learn about what to expect academically, the differences between high school and college, and getting engaged on campus will also be emphasized.

The On Iowa! program runs from Monday - Sunday, August 16 - August 22. New students are expected to attend the Hawkeye Welcome small groups at their assigned time (which you will receive at check-in) and the other core events: Kickoff at Kinnick, Convocation, and the President's Block Party. All other On Iowa! events are optional. The many optional and late night activities offered allow you to explore the University and Iowa City communities.

All new first-year and transfer students (coming from another institution) are highly encouraged and expected to participate in the On Iowa! program.

The On Iowa! program is an introduction to the resources and skills you’ll need for a successful college experience within and beyond the classroom.

If you have a conflict that may prevent you from attending any of the components of On Iowa!, contact the On Iowa! program ( so we may discuss an alternative plan and steps you will need to take as a University student. Reasonable conflicts might include, but are not limited to, medical need, dependent child care, severe illness, unexpected family emergencies, or active military duty.

During Orientation, students meet with an academic advisor, register for first semester classes, and get introduced to campus resources. On Iowa! focuses on getting to know other students and becoming a part of the campus community. It also introduces important academic success skills, teaches Iowa traditions, and connects students with opportunities to get involved on campus. 

First things first: Get settled into your residence hall room or apartment. Then head to the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) to check-in for On Iowa!

Check-in for On Iowa! in the Second Floor Ballroom, Iowa Memorial Union is available during the following dates and times and takes about 5-10 minutes.

  • Monday, August 16 (12:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
  • Tuesday, August 17 (9:00 am - 5:00 pm)
  • Wednesday, August 18  (9 am - 5:00 pm)
  • Thursday, August 19 (9 am - 5:00 pm)
  • Friday, August 20 (9 am - 5:00 pm)  

Student check-in is required. All students must check in for On Iowa! to receive their personalized itinerary and On Iowa! bag

There is no cost to attend anything in On Iowa!

On Iowa! is for all first-year and new transfer students, including those living off campus.

Students living off-campus may request free parking to attend On Iowa! activities.  Contact the On Iowa! program ( if you need a parking permit. Please include include your name, dates you are planning to use the permit, and which day you are planning to check-in to the On Iowa! program. We will have your permit ready for you when you check-in to the On Iowa! program.


  • Walking: You will be walking a lot during the program (see Disability & Mobility Accommodations if you need assistance). Be sure to wear appropriate footwear.
  • Cambus: The University’s free bus service will be operating on its regular service schedule beginning the Wednesday of On Iowa!. There will be special shuttles provided to certain events. Take a look at the On Iowa Transportation page  for more information.
  • Driving: Students living off-campus may request free parking to attend On Iowa! activities. Contact the On Iowa! program ( if you need a parking permit. Please include your name, dates you are planning to use the permit, and which day you are planning to check-in to the On Iowa! program. We will have your permit ready for you when you check-in to the On Iowa! program. 

We want to be sure that you’re able to participate fully in On Iowa! If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the On Iowa program ( prior to your move-in date.

Yourself and a great attitude! At On Iowa! program check-in you’ll get a swag bag with freebies and your On Iowa! itinerary. You should plan on bringing your student ID with you to all On Iowa! events.

We highly encourage participants to carry a refillable water bottle in order to keep hydrated throughout On Iowa!

Food is provided at some of the events, but otherwise, meals are not provided. 

Family members are encouraged to help their students get settled into their new living spaces, and perhaps make a trip to the store to pick up any last minute items or grab a bite to eat. After that, it’s time to say good-bye. We know, it's hard! Families, you can leave campus knowing that University and On Iowa! staff are working hard to support your students as they make the transition to college life.

As part of the transition into the university family, transfer students are welcome (and highly encouraged) to attend the On Iowa! program. Transfer students are already bringing some academic experience from a former institution. On Iowa! will provide a chance to connect with other transfer students, learn about University of Iowa traditions and resources, and explore activities and student organizations on campus.

See On Iowa! for transfer students for additional information.

Contact Orientation Services at or call 319-335-1497.