Past Programs

Global Kilimanjaro Bowl

IMG_1348In May 2011, IRIS partnered with Drake University, CONADEIP, and Global Football for an international endeavor of epic proportions.


The two football teams traveled to the country of Tanzania to play the first collegiate American football game ever on African soil! The game was held in Arusha, Tanzania.


Prior to the Global Kilimanjaro Bowl, the student-athletes hosted two days of youth sports clinics, where nearly 1,000 Tanzanian youth were taught the sport of “American football.” The children were also given their own American footballs to keep.

IMG_1426Following the historic game, the teams traveled to Moshi and spent three days volunteering at area schools and orphanages.


By the end of the three days of volunteering, the more than 150 athletes and coaches had built two new classrooms, one orphanage dormitory, repaired and painted classrooms in four schools, built four different recreational facilities (soccer, netball, volleyball and basketball), and planted more than 500 trees.


The project’s final component was for the teams to climb and summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, in a true display of international unity.

Women in Nigeria (WiN)

Initiated in 2007, WiN was a two-year professional exchange program made possible by a U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs open competition grant.


Titled “Responsible Citizenship: Strengthening the Role of Women in Nigeria,” the program consisted of six major components and emphasized building democracy and increasing public participation of women in the political and governing processes.


The project aimed to answer the question posed by former First Lady Laura Bush in Abuja, Nigeria, in January 2006: ‘How do we nurture the development of the next generation of women leaders in Africa and worldwide?’

Three groups of Iowa women and three groups of Nigerian women made the exchange during the course of the two-year project. In all, 12 women leaders from Iowa traveled to Africa, and 12 Nigerian women visited the U.S.


The program focused on Northern Nigeria, where there is more poverty, fewer educational opportunities, and more cultural and religious restrictions on women than in the South. Specific states covered in this project were Kaduna, Bauchi, Plateau, Sokoto, and Kebbi.

South Africa Youth Ambassadors in Action

In the summer of 2008, the United States Diplomatic Mission sent two groups of South African students to Iowa on a highly engaging and interactive civic and cultural immersion program. The goal of the program was to build their leadership and community engagement capacity through paired activities with U.S. peers in their age groups as well as group workshops and activities. 
During the program, the students attended the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference at Iowa State University, volunteered with Iowa youth at a school for disabled children, and learned how to use social media to build community engagement toward civic action. The high school group visited Chicago, IL, and the university group was able to travel to Atlanta, GA. Both groups met together in Washington, D.C. to celebrate Independence Day together. While not involved in cultural trips, individuals from each group stayed with Iowa host families. 
This program was made possible by funding from the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa.
Learn More

Study Iowa

IRIS is part of a consortium of Iowa colleges, universities and other partners known as Study Iowa. This group’s responsibility is to stimulate and sustain cooperative efforts to promote Iowa as a premier destination for education and training for students from all nations.  For more information, visit

Study Iowa membership is open to two-year, four-year, graduate or professional-level regionally accredited colleges, universities, companies, agencies, and/or individuals in Iowa that support the mission of the Consortium. Currently there are twenty one members.

Get Social With Us

Subscribe to our newsletter