What We Offer
Request an interpreter
With interpreters fluent in over 60 languages and dialects, we help facilitate appointments to medical clinics, government agencies, schools, non-profit organizations, businesses.
Take English Classes
IIC offers free English Language Learner ELL classes at a variety of locations. We offer daytime and night classes, and classes occur throughout the week.
IIC hosts international groups year-round. Our professional hosts get to share their expertise with people from all over the world; our home hosts share dinner and conversation with visitors.
Attend our gala
Celebrate with us on September 21, 2019 at our annual Passport to Prosperity gala. We look forward to honoring the economic, social, and cultural contributions of new Iowans to our community, and to highlight the work of our organization.
Founded in 1938, the Iowa International Center began by welcoming and providing safety for refugees fleeing Germany and Poland. Since that time, the Iowa International Center has been providing personal and professional opportunities linking Iowans with people from around the world. The Iowa International Center was formed by a group of volunteers to assist immigrants fleeing the war in Europe. In 1941, the Center partnered with a group of community organizations to sponsor a Panamanian student’s trip to Iowa -a venture that led to the formation of the Pan American Board of Education. In the 1940s, this organization sponsored 150 college students from Panama and changed its name to the Iowa Children’s Institute of Language and Culture. Elinor Robson was hired as director. Over time, the name of the organization, its staff, volunteers and locations have experienced changes the essential goal – connecting people and changing lives – has remained unchanged. A focus of the Iowa International Center is to provide access to important educational and cultural resources to Iowans, new Iowans, and international visitors in Iowa. The overarching impact of our work provides economic and cultural leadership resulting in Iowa being a more inclusive and welcoming place to live, work and raise a family.
through an ever increasing number of languages, with currently more than 60 languages and dialects and a network of 150 professional interpreters.
facilitated by ICC with the U.S. Department of State and USAID
a monthly public forum featuring experts on relevant international issues and topics.
in 220 languages to assist non-English speakers and first responders dealing with crisis situations.
Your gift to the Iowa International Center creates change here at home and around the world
“Everyone should have to attend classes like these!” said Rachael, an Iowa International Center interpreter, after finishing interpreting for a financial literacy class at Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity. One of the benefits of being involved in the class is that interpreters share in the excitement about what they learn. And now she wants other Read more about IIC Interpreters: Using Language to Build Trust and Homes[…]
Ten special education professionals from Belarus will visit Des Moines, Iowa from April 11 through May 2, 2018. As part of the Community Connections Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the goal of this experience is to strengthen their professional development around special education. By seeing different educational Read more about Our CCP International Visitors From Belarus Are Here[…]
Are you interested in helping refugees and immigrants get out of poverty? If yes, please consider applying to be our AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Iowa International Center. We need a program coordinator for our English Language Learning (ELL) program. Currently, we serve about 75 adult students annually from a variety of backgrounds, including Somalia, Read more about Iowa International Center Seeks AmeriCorps VISTA[…]
Here at the Iowa International Center we believe in the concept that every individual has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape U.S. foreign relations, “one handshake at a time.” Now in my third month as executive director, I love reflecting on the numerous handshakes I’ve already shared and the promise of so many Read more about The Many Faces of Citizen Diplomacy[…]
By Janet Norton, International Visitor Programs Manager, Iowa International Center February 2016 – The Iowa International Center is one of 92 organizations nationally that welcome emerging global leaders as part of the IVLP (International Visitor Leadership Program). Last year, we were honored to be able to show 165 professionals representing more than 79 countries Read more about #IAmDiplomacy[…]