Welcome to Iowa International Center

What We Offer

Programs & Services
Go to Request an interpreter

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.

Go to Take English Classes

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.

Go to Meet delegates

Meet delegates

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.

Go to Attend our gala

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.

Join our next Touring Dinner Club. Find out more by contacting ctran@iowainternationalcenter.org

About Us

Our History
As a leader in international understanding and civic diplomacy, it is our mission to enrich lives and build pathways to prosperity.

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.


Patricia Grote

Executive Director
Fund Development, Strategic Leadership, Board Collaboration, Staff Training and Passport to Prosperity

Catherine Tran

Director of Development
Fund Development, Marketing, Communications, Monthly Dialogues, Passport to Prosperity

Janet Norton

International Programs, Intern & Volunteer Manager
Community Connections, International Visitor Leadership Program, Interns and Volunteers

Dawn Voelker

International Language Program Manager
Interpretation and Translation Services, 24/7 Emergency Interpretation Hotline and Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable

Shams Babikir

Accounting Manager
Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable

Your gift to the Iowa International Center creates change here at home and around the world

Latest news