Sample OPI Questions on Easier, More Familiar Topics

  1. How do you think the international student situation at Iowa State could be improved?
  2. What do you wish you would have known about Iowa State or the U.S. before you came here?
  3. What is one thing you wish you had brought from home when you came, but didn’t?
  4. What is your favorite memory from elementary school?
  5. Tell me a little about your background.
  6. Why did you choose your major?
  7. What do you think of Iowa State?
  8. What places have you visited in the U.S. so far?
  9. What was your most recent travel experience like?
  10. What are your plans for this summer?
  11. What is your dream job?
  12. What is one day you’ll never forget?
  13. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
  14. If you were offered a free plane ticket to any destination in the world, where would you go?
  15. If you were to recommend one place in your country that tourists should definitely visit, what would it be?
  16. Some people believe it’s very important to get a job that allows you to make large amounts of money whereas others think it’s more important to get a job you really enjoy. Which do you think is most important?
  17. Some people are attracted to jobs that include a great deal of travel. Other people prefer jobs that allow them to return to their homes every evening. Which type of job opportunity would you prefer and why?
  18. Some students like to live in on-campus housing. Others prefer to live off-campus. Which living situation do you think is better?
  19. Some people enjoy living in a location that has a warm climate all year, but others like to live in a place where the seasons change. Which type of climate do you prefer and why?
  20. Some people like to watch the news on television, some like to read it in newspapers or magazines, and others like to find out what’s going on online. Which do you prefer and why?
  21. Some people like to communicate by email and voicemail. Others like to communicate by telephone or face-to-face. Which type of communication do you prefer and why?
  22. Some people think that it is better to travel as part of a tour group when they are visiting a foreign country. Others prefer to travel independently. What is your preference and why?
  23. Think about a book you’ve enjoyed reading. Why did you like it?
  24. If you were asked to choose one movie that has influenced your thinking, which one would you choose? Why? What was especially impressive about the movie?
  25. How are your dreams for the future influenced by your past experiences?
  26. What would you say are the characteristics of an outstanding teacher?
  27. What would you say are the characteristics of a good boss?
  28. Describe an ideal marriage partner. What qualities do you think are most important in a spouse?
  29. In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a good son or daughter?
  30. At what age do you think parents should allow children to make their own decisions?
  31. How much pressure do you think should be put on children to do well in school, to excel in sports and the arts, etc.?
  32. Who is one person who has greatly impacted who you are today?
  33. Some students like to take courses online while others prefer to study in traditional classrooms. What do you think are the pros and cons of each option?
  34. What do you think can be done to prevent the problem of air pollution caused by cars?

Many of the above questions are from (or adapted from):


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