2013

First American Christmas

This winter break will be different for me — it will be the first time I’ll spend it in the United States. Because of this, I suddenly realized it would also be my first American Christmas, and I have no idea what to expect. In China, we also celebrate Christmas but not like how most Americans celebrate.

Iowa’s invisible wives

Anna Kolpakova has turned baking into a hobby since she moved to Iowa City in June with her Czech husband David Pisa, who is completing postdoctoral research in physics at the University of Iowa. She spends at least one afternoon a week making cakes, having started baking “just for fun” and to alleviate boredom, she said. The boredom comes with her status as the dependent of a visiting scholar, and other temporary Iowans at the state’s public universities are dealing the same problem.

Another Great Wall of China

Social networks play a large role in the life of a college student. For me specifically, I have found my kindergarten friends through Chinese social networks, researched information on universities through Twitter, and even found an apartment through Facebook. On American social networks, people can say what they want and share opinions on various topics without being constrained. But in China, not all words can be said because the government controls our freedom of speech.

Times changing for Chinese females

In 1885, Jin Yunmei, a young woman from China, received her medical degree from the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary, becoming the first female Chinese on record to have a U.S. education. It was a time when few Chinese men had the opportunity to study abroad, while the overwhelming majority of women remained uneducated. China is now the world’s second largest economy. Its students now count for the largest population of international students in America. Plus, there are far more Chinese females on U.S. campuses.

Int’l students ponder break; remain in IC or travel home

University of Iowa junior Xinran Gu hasn’t spent time with her parents since June, and the idea of seeing them over winter break helps her push through finals week. “I feel very excited because they have never traveled to America, and this will be their first time,” she said. “They have a lot of questions … and they want to explore more.”

UI students building bridges, changing lives around the world

This article takes a look at three UI student experiences through Continental Crossings, an organization that was formed in 2006 by a group of UI civil engineering students who wanted to combine academics with a desire to assist communities in developing countries. With the help of a nonprofit organization called Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), the student group designs and builds pedestrian bridges, the first of which was constructed in 2007 in Peru. UI was the first of several universities to partner with Bridges to Prosperity.

It's all about the journey

If you’ve studied abroad through the University of Iowa sometime in the past 30 years, there’s a good chance you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Maria Hope. She’s been with Study Abroad at the UI since its inception in the early 1980s, first in a clerical position and eventually as the university’s first, and for many years only, study abroad advisor. Hope recently retired from the UI after more than three decades of helping students identify and achieve their study abroad goals. In this article she reflects on her career and gives advice to future students on getting the most out of their international experience.

Not Your Average Thanksgiving

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break? Did you eat well, rest well, and study well? For most American students, it seemed as if all of you went back home to your families to enjoy the annual feast, with turkey, mashed potatoes, and delicious pies. But most international students, including me, prefer to travel around the United States, even some of the world, because a 12-hour flight back home is kind of expensive.

Changing teaching styles to match how people learn

Innovation has been a hallmark of American education since at least the time of Thomas Jefferson. The nature of that education, including who had access to it, has changed significantly during the last two centuries and continues to evolve today. The definition and achievement of educational excellence in higher education is on the cusp of potentially dramatic transformation, and the University of Iowa has become a leader in creating and assessing a number of innovative approaches to undergraduate teaching and learning.

Annual ESG conference Dec. 6-7 is titled ‘Bridging European Divides’

The fifth-annual European Studies Conference at the University of Iowa “Bridging European Divides” will be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, 2013, in 315 Phillips Hall. This year’s open title suggests that the conference will feature diverse perspectives from many areas of scholarship in a range of disciplines on any topic, time period, situation or concept that may have bearing on modern Europe.

Passion for fashion

My initial impression of American fashion came from the television show “Gossip Girl.” I used to watch the series during high school when I was in China, and I was immediately attracted to the fashion. I thought everyone in the U.S. would dress this way and that fashion was everywhere. But when I arrived here, the fashion wasn’t exactly what I dreamed. I was disappointed by what I observed because fashion is, in fact, not everywhere. Instead, it is full of casual shirts, sweatpants, and slippers. As I’ve gradually begun to experience more of the United States, my mind has changed toward fashion, especially when comparing it with China.

Teaching innovation the topic of December 6 WorldCanvass

On the next WorldCanvass, host Joan Kjaer and her guests will discuss teaching innovation with a focus on creative and high-impact ways teachers are engaging the minds of University of Iowa students, contributing to both student academic success and faculty professional development. The live event takes place on Friday, December 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Senate Chamber of Old Capitol Museum.

Study abroad increases numbers

Studying abroad, both to the United States and overseas, has increased nationally and locally — which some University of Iowa officials say is due to a more interconnected world. “The world is getting smaller,” said Georgina Dodge, the UI chief diversity officer and an associate vice president. “It is becoming easier to travel abroad … [and more] information has traveled between countries.”