The IEP offers many opportunities to introduce students to life in the U.S. In addition to learning in the classroom, students also experience American culture through a variety of social activities and field trips. Activities include dinners, picnics, rodeos, ice-skating, and out-of-town trips.
IEP students may also take advantage of many different campus activities, including concerts, sports events, guest speakers, movies, and international cultural events. They may use all of the University sports facilities, such as tennis courts, swimming pools, basketball and volleyball courts, table tennis equipment, weight room, exercise room, indoor running tracks and soccer fields. There are many MU clubs and organizations (international, recreational, social, and religious) which IEP students are encouraged to join. In addition, the Columbia area provides many restaurants, movie theaters, shopping areas, and parks with facilities for picnics, bicycling, and hiking.
The IEP Conversation Partners Program encourages students to meet Americans outside of class to practice their English language skills and learn about American culture. Most IEP students participate in the program and tell us that they really enjoyed the experience and recommend it to all new IEP students. They enjoy being paired with American students at MU because it gives them an opportunity to practice speaking English, to share information about their cultures, and to participate in different kinds of activities. Conversation partners typically meet one or two hours each week, but they can meet more frequently if they want. Many IEP students develop long-lasting friendships with their conversation partners. There is no charge for IEP students to participate in the program.