2014

Reaching across borders

International students arriving on campus for the first time this fall should feel more welcome than ever before. Friends Without Borders is a new program for the University of Iowa’s upcoming 2014-15 academic year that pairs returning domestic students with incoming international students.

Two Weeks Notice

Well, scratch whatever I have said before about being in panic mode, because now I am actually panicking. About everything possible. Money, trips, sights to see, things to do and see around Florence, so many restaurants I still want to try, literally everything; you name it, I’m panicking about it. I can’t believe that I only have fifteen days to do ALL of these things.

Reindeer husbandry in the land of Sámi

“I wonder if U.S. customs will let me bring one back?” This was the question that kept running through my mind as I stared with awe and googly eyes at the reindeer and their calves all morning. It was finally the moment I had been waiting for, to conduct research in Northern Sweden in a Sámi, reindeer herding community. When I received my first call to attend the tagging of the reindeer calves, I was both nervous and excited. My thoughts were racing. Would they accept me?

UI alum reflects on Fulbright experience, offers advice to students applying

As I now prepare for the launch of my debut novel, A Thread of Sky, it’s a bit unnerving to remember that if I hadn’t received a Fulbright grant, my novel might not exist today. Seven years ago, I was facing my last months as an MFA student and struggling to write a story set in China from my sunlit desk in Iowa. When a friend suggested that I apply for a Fulbright, it seemed a far-fetched notion...

The challenges of study abroad

Living in another country is definitely an experience that plummets you into the unknown. Everything you’re used to is completely turned upside down. It’s a scary, yet freeing feeling that creates independence at a whole new level. Nevertheless, adapting can sometimes be overwhelming when everywhere you look is unfamiliar. Here is my take on a few of the biggest challenges of living abroad from my experiences this summer.

When in Rome: Exploring Italia

Well, I’ve passed the halfway mark and I am officially in panic mode. I finished my first class, took the final, got to spend ten days with my mom while she visited, have started class #2, and now only have 23 days left of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. I feel like a broken record… but WHERE is the time going? Cheesy, but time really does fly when you’re having fun. Here's a summary of my trip through Florence, Rome, and the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany.

Top 10 tips for a successful study abroad

Though I certainly do feel little pangs of sadness when reminiscing on my favorite UK memories, I can definitely say I have gained a stronger appreciation for my life here in the states as well. For my final entry, I’ve decided to compile a “top 10” list of tips and things I’ve learned, so that whoever’s reading might have some fresh advice on how to have a successful study abroad experience...

Nature, summer sun, and fun in Scandinavia

It’s midnight in the north of Sweden, just below the Arctic Circle, and I can’t fall asleep. It’s not because I’m anxious or had one too many cups of coffee (which is often the case) but because the sun never sets! Most homes and hotels have blackout blinds or curtains, but my current home, a tent, doesn’t. I decided, after a few restless nights, that I should buy a sleep mask. In the end, I have to admit, camping in the beautiful nature that surrounds me is well worth the lackluster quality of sleep I’ve had.