WorldCanvass: African December

WorldCanvass received a few interesting things to broadcast for the holidays this year: a talking drum, internet in a box and a childrens’ book about HIV/AIDS. This can only mean one thing: a trip to Africa!

The new International Programs public programming initiative explores topics that are international in scope and central to our understanding of ourselves as part of the global landscape.

80 hours

Last weekend’s marathon was an example of the extraordinary international activity at the University.  Sometimes, with so many things going on (not to mention classes and research and day-to-day business), it seems that campus events compete with each other for more-or-less the same audience, making it difficult to gather more than a handful of people in the room even for special guest speakers.  But last weekend, despite the high level of activity, there were groups of 40 to 50 or more at many of the events we sponsored!


Those of you who are familiar with Cliff Missen’s WiderNet project will not be surprised that its eGranary Digital Library (sometimes known as “internet in a box”) has made a difference to many adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other parts of the world. For those of you who are not familiar with the eGranary project, you might be interested to see a short clip that highlights the difference it has made to a small school in Nigeria and to the children whose lives have been impacted by the resources to which they now have access.

Study Abroad and Student Success

Thinking about the majority of students who stay on campus during their years at the University, it is intriguing to consider what leads those nearly 20% of UI undergraduates who study abroad to make that decision and to stick to it. Our own Mark Salisbury has been exploring the factors that shape intent to study abroad for some time. One of the findings of Mark’s research is that women are much more likely to study abroad than men because of gender differences in how students respond to interactions with their peers and to the academic environment.

International Students / Study Abroad

The annual Open Doors Report is published today by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The report shows that international student enrollment at the University of Iowa continues to grow in line with national trends, but is substantially ahead in areas such as international undergraduate student enrollment. While international student enrollment grew by 8% nationally, at the University of Iowa we saw an increase of 10.5% last fall, with an impressive increase of about 40% at the undergraduate level.

Asia in Iowa

As President Obama visits China for the first time today, it is an opportune time to remember that the University of Iowa has strong ties to China in areas ranging from the research activities of our Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS) and our Confucius Institute, led ably by Professor Chuanren Ke, to the undergraduate education we are currently providing well over 600 students from China.