International Education Week gives us a chance to reflect on the importance for all of us to understand world conditions and global processes but also of making connections to people who are different from ourselves, who may or may not share our views, but who may learn from us and from whom we can also learn.
By Jill Kacere, email@example.com
Jill Kacere is a senior at The University of Iowa majoring in international studies and minoring in Spanish. She is a communications intern in the Office of Communications and Relations in UI International Programs and president of the UI Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance.
In an article originally published in the Global Times and reprinted in the China Daily on October 29th, Zhang Weiwei chided the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee committee, Thorbjorn Jagland, for claiming that “human rights stand superior to state sovereignty.” Weiwei argues that this “obsolete Western tune” is a fallacy for three reasons: that standards on human rights vary from country to country; that no one (and certainly not the Nobel Committee) is authorized to determine what is or isn’t a violation of human rights; and that the notion that state sovereignty must bow to human rights is far from an accepted truth. Support for the latter assertion is found in the Charter of the United Nations, which lists the equality of sovereign states as its first principle.
By Elke E. Stockreiter
This editorial was featured in the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
Elke E. Stockreiter is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Iowa.
Slavery is an institution that many consider to be a chapter of history. It also is a topic that evokes strong emotions and stirs controversy. It is associated with exploitation, humiliation and ongoing questioning among descendants of slaves about its causes and consequences.
It is particularly unsettling to hear of the decision at the State University of New York in Albany to suspend admissions to the B.A. programs in French, Italian, and Russian, as well as Classics and Theatre. In our world of 2010, with so many global exchanges in higher education and throughout the business world, it has never been more important for our students to understand multi-cultural perspectives.
International students come to The University of Iowa with lots of questions about their upcoming experience in American culture – but those questions don’t stop after the first week. After observing the culture for a while, they wonder what phrases such as, “swamped with homework,” really mean, and why there are carved pumpkins popping up everywhere in October, and how do fraternities and sororities relate to me?
On behalf of International Programs, allow me to welcome you to the 2010-2011 academic year after what I hope were refreshing and productive summer months. I very much look forward to working with you to support the international research, teaching, and external engagement that you undertake through IP’s centers and programs, international exchanges, linkage proposals, and the new ways you find to pursue academic innovations across collegiate borders.
I am firmly convinced that all students should have foreign opportunities whether in high school, university, or law school. Many universities have increased or are actively trying to augment their students going abroad. On the law school level, this could be done by encouraging folks to go after their first year summer, or during intercessions, spring break, entire semesters or a full year.
Note: This article appears in The Chronicle of Higher Education and discusses the value of a study abroad experience if a student cannot articulate specifically the benefits he/she received from the experience.
By Ilana Kowarski
John Giammatteo, an upcoming senior studying Anthropology at Syracuse University, was a participant during fall 2009 in the University of Iowa’s “Semester in South India” program in Mysore, India. As part of an academic assignment, John conducted a research project in the city of Chennai (formerly Madras) that involved interviewing refugees who had been stranded in India for years during the civil war that raged between separatist Tamil Tigers and the government of Sri Lanka. In November 2009 he also was a student rapporteur and participant in a workshop held in Mysore that delved into the problem of involuntary removal of rural populations in South Asia due to two causes: large-scale development projects and high-impact natural disasters. John is currently in Thailand completing his Honors Capstone fieldwork, researching with Karen migrants in the Thai-Burma border town of Mae Sot.
By Scott King
This article was originally posted in the NAFSA blog. It can be found here
Organizers for the “One Community, One Book” program have announced their selection of the book they hope all Johnson County residents will read in 2010: “Gardens of Water” by Alan Drew. The novel tells the story of a devout Muslim family and an American Christian family in Turkey during and after a massive earthquake near Istanbul.
After 15 years of teaching about South Asia in the classroom, I took a group of students to India for a three week study abroad course entitled International Development: Gender and Justice.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered this speech at a Council on Foreign Relations Meeting.
“International Engagement Through Education”
Deanna Fei’s first book, “A Thread of Sky,” has just been published but, already, it has left breathless readers exclaiming its beauty and complexity.
Fei graduated with her MFA from the famed Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and she received a Fulbright Scholarship with the assistance of staff from UI International Programs. Here she credits International Programs for helping her return to China for the research and personal perspective that was critical to her writing.