Chinese teachers with the Confucius Institute of the University of Iowa visited the Ceramics II class at Muscatine High School Friday to teach students about tea ceremony in the Chinese culture. After the presentation, students brewed tea in pots they made and shared it with classmates.
Universities are some of the most diverse places in the United States. The fact that at the University of Iowa, there are more than 4,000 international students proves that point. The UI is helping its students take the lead in breaking cultural barriers.
I remember the first time I needed to pay an additional fee for a checked bag on the airplane. I was on a return flight to Iowa City when I was asked to pay $25 for my checked baggage. In China, this had never happened to me before, and the experience reminded me of the many differences between Chinese and American transportation.
The upcoming Oscars are a reminder that whether you call them movies, films or cinema, motion pictures have always been a mix of industry and art. This week, Iowa Citians have a unique opportunity to see a documentary whose focus is a recent test-case of conditions affecting free speech in contemporary China.
Pictures of a Maserati car in town have been widely posted on social media platforms. People bet the owner is Asian, and that could be true. In Iowa City, it has become a phenomenon, if not a fact, that the drivers of those Mercedes, BMW and Audi luxury cars are mostly international students from Asia — mainly from China — currently, more than half of the international students enrolled at the UI are from Mainland China.
The cultural segregation between Chinese and domestic students is one of the emerging issues and tensions that both international students and their domestic counterparts are facing on an increasingly diverse UI campus. In hopes of addressing those issues and identifying others, the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies next week will lead a first-ever U.S.-China student workshop on the undergraduate experience at Iowa.
Filmmaker Steve Maing is coming to UI February 20–21 to screen his award-winning documentary High Tech, Low Life about two of China’s first and most daring citizen reporters who challenge the status quo by reporting on censored news stories.
The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, allows both the country I’m from (China) and the country I currently live in (United States) to compete against each other in many different sports. But outside of this event, I have learned from personal experience the differences between Chinese and American sports.
Suyun Ma, who was recently hired as UI International Programs’ first external global relations coordinator, uses Chinese social media platforms to communicate and cultivate stronger relationships with prospective Chinese students and their parents as well as UI’s growing alumni base in Asia.
UI alumna Jacqueline Klein, who received her Ph.D. from the College of Education in 2007, left a job as director of academic advising and learning development at NYU’s College of Nursing in New York to be part of the new endeavor. She is now assistant dean of academic and global affairs at NYU Shanghai.
UI senior Yikun Chen hails from Beijing. While snow isn’t a new experience for the accounting major, Iowa weather’s deadly combination of snow and bitter cold has been less than inviting. “It just feels like a thousand needles punching me in the face,” Chen said. “I enjoy the snow, but I don’t enjoy the cold.
Before I came to the United States, I hadn't experienced the freezing cold temperatures as I recently have at Iowa. When I go outside, I have to wear three tops, three trousers, and even very thick socks to make sure I stay warm. During my three and a half years here, I've gradually become comfortable with the severe weather conditions. But in China, the weather is completely different, so it's taken a lot to get used to Iowa.
Across the United States, the growing presence of students and scholars from East, Southeast, and South Asia has become an important feature of the academic landscape. A logical outcome of our shrinking world, heralded as promoting values of diversity, tolerance, and global understanding, this trend that greatly enriches our intellectual and social environment also has created new challenges. An upcoming workshop at the UI will bring together 50 Chinese and U.S. undergraduate students to address key issues arising in this changing educational environment and produce recommendations for the campus community.
The basis of a future anti-cancer drug could be found in a sponge from more than 1,600 feet under the sea and the bulb of an African flower. Zhendong Jin, a University of Iowa associate professor of medicinal and natural products chemistry, replicates the anti-cancer compounds found in Côte d’Ivoire and a sea sponge to, hopefully, find the most affective cancer drug available.
The Chinese New Year is the most important Chinese holiday. The exact date depends on the traditional Chinese calendar — the Lunar Calendar, Nong Li — which was set by the 24 Solar Terms. These Terms help farmers know when it is best to plant their corps. The Chinese New Year is also called Spring Festival or Lunar New Year.