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.
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.
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.
China has more than 5,000 years of history. Because of this, there is a lot of cultural heritage. An example of this is the four main classical novels about Chinese history. Journey to the West, which some Americans refer to as "monkey," was created by Wu ChenEn in the Ming Dynasty. The other three novels are Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dream of the Red Chamber, and Water Margin. All four books are regarded as "must-haves" for Chinese children.
During International Education Week (November 11-15), it is particularly important to emphasize the importance and wide range of the connections between Iowa and the world. Each year, hundreds of UI students go abroad to study for a few weeks, a semester, or a year. Faculty and staff interact daily with colleagues around the world to collaborate on critical research. And international students come to our campus for a world-class education, some staying in the U.S. after receiving their degrees to start businesses and create jobs, and some returning to their home countries to become leaders in science, business, industry, education and government.
In ancient China, marriage is always fixed by your parents. Normally, it takes six etiquettes to become a legal couple. The first stage is to propose. The boy’s family needs to invite a matchmaker (In Chinese, meipo) to propose the marriage to the girl’s family. Once it’s a successful match, the dual families need to give presents to show their gratitude toward the matchmaker. Before this, the boy and girl have not seen each other.
Americans are not the only ones excited about Halloween today. I know I speak for Chinese students when I say many of us are really looking forward to the evening's festivities. My friends and I want to carve our own "jack-o'-lantern," dress up, and attend parties.
Citizen diplomacy may well be our state’s most valuable export. For more than 50 years, Iowa has been front and center in volunteer, people-to-people diplomacy through our long tradition of Sister State relationships. Sister State exchanges bring the world to our doorstep and have helped Iowa build deep and lasting friendships throughout the world, resulting in greater cooperation and trade.
Page. Pitch. Peach. Three words, three very different meanings. But do you think I can pronounce them very well? Let’s just say it took a lot of practice — and I’m still having trouble with the middle one. I’m told that Americans don’t have the same trouble with these words. But for a Chinese speaker such as me, the vowels prove to be very difficult.
What I have learned living in Iowa is that no matter where you live, geography does not affect your musical taste. My older cousin Sizhao Wang, living in Xi’an, China, is an example of this. The 24 year-old has a bedroom full of posters of Usher. He has every CD, knows every song, and even took an airplane to see the live concert held in Beijing several years ago. But being 8,000 miles away means he has to wait a couple months to buy the CD, he can’t go to a concert very often, and he can’t buy a celebrity magazine to read the gossip. Yet with all these obstacles, my cousin still loves Usher.
In this three-part series for The Daily Iowan, UI international student from China Lu Shen shares her reflections on being an international student at the University of Iowa and in Iowa City.
Recently, I watched a friend’s parent arrive on campus to help him move from one apartment to another. The scene made me recall my former life with my own parents, my family, and my hometown, Xi’an, China. It has been three years since I moved away from my home. Before I turned 18 years old, I never lived away from my family — my school was a mere five-minute drive from my home.
Recently, I got a phone call from one of my best friends since high school. She lives in China and attends university in Beijing. After our chat, I started thinking about the differences between college life for a Chinese student here and in China. As an international student, I love my life in Iowa City and the American opportunities I have to experience. Still, I embrace my Chinese roots.
In China, we order our dormitory food rather than choosing different kinds of food from a buffet. So American dormitory food is definitely more complex than Chinese. But the type of food is limited because only American options are available. I think it is better to add more types of food to the buffet, because more international students are coming here. Now, I’ve been here for three years and love everything about Iowa. But I am still on the journey to find different types of American food to eat.
Some party hosts like the American music — such as the Billboard Top 100. Others like Chinese pop music. Only one thing is missing from these parties — more American students to play with us. It would bring our cultures together; they could bring their games to us, and we could show them our Mahjong, and we could learn from each other.