I recently completed a 5-day field study to Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and Bratislava, Slovakia. What an amazing way to learn about the different cultures. Here are some highlights form Budapest and Bratislava.
Today I finished my Responding to Climate Change course. I took a final exam, turned in an 8-page paper and presented on the paper with PowerPoint. Whew. All done. When I passed around Belgium waffle cookies and chocolate crisps after we (all 2 of us students) turned everything in and completed our presentations, the professor said, “I hope this is not corruption.”
Study Abroad blogger Kelsey Morfitt takes us through her first few days of her study abroad program in Prague: "I'm still recovering from jet lag, but Prague is beautiful. Two orientations down, one to go. So far, we've covered a lot of the city on foot and by tram, bus, and the metro (not to mention four flights of cement spiral stairs to our apartment). I was the only student without a suitcase, instead I had a travel pack on my back (35 lbs), and a backpack in the front (15 lbs) which certainly came in handy going up the stairs and over cobblestone roads."
Kaleb Taylor was the first UI Master of Accountancy student to participate in the new Rotterdam exchange program. He spent six months enrolled in classes and absorbed the culture of Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands and home to the largest European port.
Quinn Hejlik, a UI junior from Omaha, Neb., recently returned from studying abroad in Prague through the USAC program, which offered him an opportunity to learn Czech without any prior knowledge of the language. Quinn’s adventure began when he started learning Czech a week before his study abroad program. He understood that the Eastern European language would be difficult to learn, but he also knew it would be fascinating.
The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) was viewed with suspicion by Iron Curtain countries during the depths of the Cold War. The Eastern European writers who were allowed to participate could expect to be taken into custody immediately upon their return home, for debriefing to determine if their thinking had been polluted by contact with the decadent West.
Other writers were simply denied permission to depart for Iowa City. Among the writers from the Communist bloc who were prevented from attending, one stood out, although not immediately. The world is now mourning the Dec. 18 passing of Vaclav Havel, the widely honored first president of a democratic Czech Republic whose plans to attend the IWP were derailed 43 years ago.