There’s a lot of fear in our society today. Students who travel learn that fear is for people who don’t get out much. And they learn that the flip side of fear is understanding. Travelers learn to celebrate, rather than fear, the diversity on our planet. Learning in a different culture and place allows us to see our own challenges in sharp contrast, and with more clarity, as we observe smart people in other lands dealing with similar issues.
As America’s representative do their best to curtail our freedom of speech with the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, I couldn’t help but think of a place where Lamar Smith and his cosponsors could learn a lot about censorship. It’s a place that seems to be stuck in time, where I and 12 other University of Iowa students studied over winter break: Cuba.
Being there provided a fascinating look at the results of America’s Cuban foreign policy and a unique perspective on the embargo.
Jake Krzeczowski watched as a small group of Cubans clothed in white chanted to the beat of drums. The University of Iowa journalism student observed the Santeria religious ceremony in El Bosque Del Rio, Cuba, a forest near Havana.
“I can’t say the word culture enough,” said Krzeczowski, a former Daily Iowan employee. “It’s an interesting place. There’s an absence of materialism, more community, rich culture and people from all walks of life.”
The trip was the first opportunity available for students since President Obama eased travel restrictions to the country for certain study-abroad programs from accredited universities and religious organizations.
As a Fulbrighter to India, I knew that I was expected to leave an indelible impact on the villages in which I conducted my research. After collecting considerable data from post-tsunami villages in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, I was finally presented with an opportunity to reciprocate the kindness that the villages had bestowed upon me.
While visiting a home in Paravaipettai, I noticed a shy, yet inquisitive girl peeking at me from a distant room. After calling for her to join the interview, I was confronted with the reason for her reluctance to join the group: the young girl, Sangeeta, was suffering from a severe cleft lip and palate.
Chinese students have flocked to American universities in record numbers in recent years, and officials at Iowa’s regent universities say to keep up they have added advisers and counselors, formed committees to monitor the students’ needs and pay special attention to orientation and language programs.
“China has happened to the United States, period,” University of Iowa Director of Admissions Mike Barron said. “They just simply have a lot of well-qualified students that their own universities can’t handle.”
Some novels deserve multiple readings. Some issues deserve sustained attention. And some relationships make things happen.
“Iowa and ‘Invisible Man’: Making Blackness Visible” will give audiences an opportunity to contemplate Ralph Ellison’s 1952 award-winning novel, “Invisible Man,” from a new perspective. With the help of the University of Iowa, Ellison’s fictional discussion of blackness also will join the ranks of great drama.
Nowadays a stream of good economic news is coming from India. Despite persistent poverty, the country has been growing at nearly 9 percent annually for 15 years. Its middle class is expanding by 10 million households each year, and the monied upper class reaps its reward in exotic cars, elite schooling for its children, foreign travel and large residences.
Meanwhile, American corporations race to enter the Indian consumer goods market. But how often do you hear about Indian artists or about the thirst among parts of the Indian public for painting, music, sculpture and design?
This is the focus of a small conference on the state of Indian arts today, Friday and Saturday at the University of Iowa — and of a WorldCanvass program on Friday night that is free and open to the public.
I was born in Togo, a country in West Africa, and raised in Moline, Ill. Coming to the University of Iowa was exciting for me because I thought my days of culture shock were behind me, but I was wrong.
“Diversity” isn’t a word people associate with a city in Iowa. Many are unaware of the number of diversity programs our university has to offer, and even more are unaware of how diversity affects them. This may be because of the lack of attention given to the UI’s multicultural organizations. We have more than 50 of these.
This fall, numerous interrelated events at the University of Iowa and in Iowa City will be devoted to creative and critical encounters with “comics,” the somewhat awkward term encompassing newspaper strips, comic books and what are now rather pretentiously (and often erroneously) called graphic novels.
What?!? Comic books at a major research university, amid the serious fiction and poetry that defines this town? Is there any greater evidence for the ongoing decline of academic and cultural standards!?! (Even subdued punctuation now seems at risk.)
This article is from China Daily.
Illustration by Zhang Chengliang
Praise or criticism?
By Liu Jun, China Daily
After five minutes of practice, my students at the University of Iowa joined their first ever “chopsticks contest”.
As my teaching assistant, Huang Guannan, kept the time with her cell phone, the four members of the first group ran around the desk, trying to transfer as many wadded up tissue-paper balls as possible from one plate to another. The sticks kept falling, but they managed a dozen.
In this video, Rochelle Liu talks about her study abroad experience in Beijing, China. She was able to connect to her extended Chinese family, fulfill requirements for her Chinese minor, and feed her sense of adventure by zip-lining off the Great Wall of China. Liu advises students to be open minded of other cultures and learn to appreciate your host country’s history and people.
This commentary by Karen Jenkins is from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Jenkins is executive director of the African Studies Association at Rutgers University.
Activities in India–from faculty partnerships and institutional visits, to study abroad efforts–have increased substantially in the past few years. Our India “Winterim” study abroad program, which takes place each year from the end of December to the beginning of the spring semester in late January, is a case in point. In the winter term, 2006-07, there was a single course offered in India, and 17 students enrolled. By any standard measure, a group of 17 is a healthy start for a first-time study abroad program. But from 2006-07 to 2010-11, the program has exploded. This past winter, 16
The following commentary by Matthew Wolf appeared in the Daily Iowan opinion section. Wolf, a UI junior, is in the International Studies B.A. program.
In light of a fierce national debate on immigration, with states cutting services to immigrants in an attempt to make ends meet, it is fitting to share a story of acceptance.