The Summer Institute at the University of Iowa is a new immersive two-week creative writing and cultural exchange program held in Iowa City, Iowa, U.S., a UNESCO City of Literature. Students from all disciplines – the arts, humanities, sciences, and everything in between – can apply. This program is free for selected participants, and will focus on creative writing and the power of narrative.


The Summer Institute’s innovative, inclusive, cross-cultural approach will empower future thought-leaders and help forge new lines of understanding, promote social justice, and foreground diversity, empathy, and community. Participants will come to see writing as a form of action – a personally-empowering skill that can be employed for social change.


  • Students from 18-22 years of age.
  • Furthermore, the students should be from Pakistan, India, and the U.S.
  • Possession of a valid passport is a requirement for participation in this program for students from India and Pakistan. However, passports and/or copies of passports should not be included in the materials submitted with your application. Those selected to participate in the Summer Institute will be asked for a digital copy of their passport.

Application Process:

In order to be a participant, you need to complete and submit the Summer Institute Online Application. In addition, you need to submit the following:

  • Creative work in English (6-8 pages)
  •  Prompt #1: 3-5 pages in response to the following:

In our daily lives, we navigate many different roles—student, sibling, daughter, son, peer. We negotiate family, friends, religious groups, as well as class, gender, race, country, and so many other groups, adjusting the way we speak or behave to fit the demands of each encounter. As we move through the day, we work through how and why we occupy each particular role. What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member of (or be seen as a member of) a particular group? In what way does your identity influence you as a creative writer and reader?

  • Prompt #2: 2-3 pages on the following:

Conflict is a part of the human condition, and oftentimes is unavoidable. How have you been shaped by conflict (interpersonal, generational, national, international, or another), personally or vicariously? Describe the impact of this conflict on, for example, your worldview, your values, how you relate to others, your growth as a person. Finally, in a few sentences, please share how, if at all, the historical and contemporary India-Pakistan conflict affects you.


April 1, 2019

Apply Now!