I’m not really one to be picky about the authenticity of ethnic food in America. Like all who have experienced its magic, I too was entranced by the bucatini all’amatriciana served up in the street cafes of Rome and Florence, but at the same time I can appreciate Olive Garden for what it is. I can sympathize with the difficulty of re-creating beyond French borders the delicate flakiness of a croissant or the perfect baguette (soft, light interior + crunchy crust), and am equally forgiving of Tex-Mex (my favorite and most dearly missed cuisine when I’m abroad). As a rule, as long as it’s tasty, I will accept it with an open mind and mouth. Until China.
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In honor of the UI delegation’s visit to Asia, we invite you to meet three students from China: Xuyang Han, Wei Du, and Qing Jin. Each has taken a completely different path at the UI, but all have been successful in their academic and personal endeavors.
“Being white” is not something I really think about on a daily basis and, like a lot of people, talking about race makes me cringe just a little bit. But once in China I soon realized that my entire experience would be shaped by this part of my identity that I have rarely been concerned with- the fact that I was white. And not only white, but 5 foot 9'' with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes.
Why should the president of the University of Iowa—an institution serving the people of the state—travel so far from Iowa? The international connections we have established are an integral part of the future successes of the University, and this trip is an important investment to advance these successes for the benefit of the University and the entire state of Iowa.
Today, as never before, the University of Iowa must function as a global institution in order to fulfill its core missions of teaching, research, and public service in Iowa. As business leaders across the state recognize, what we think of as local is fully tied to global processes and trends.
Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. The Country of Heaven. The Garden City. Land of Abundance. Sounds like an alright place to spend six months to me. I hardly knew what to expect when I arrived in Chengdu, city of 11 million people, after my month-long orientation in the beautifully rural Guilin (think blue skies and Mario World-like mountains). I left early one clear, hot August morning by train and arrived 27 hours later, sweaty and tired at Chengdu Dong Train Station. Talk about an imposing introduction. It opened just three months earlier and still smelled uncommonly like a new pair of shoes. Passengers leaving the train face a mountain of stairs followed by stark white and cavernous rooms seemingly designed to maximize required walking distance or possibly to accommodate the entire population of China should they all decide to vacation here at the same time. I would soon discover that Chengdu Dong Station wasn’t the only building that smelled like new shoes in this city and is, in fact, a perfect introduction to the desired feel of modern Chengdu -- bright, new, grandiose and ever-so-slightly extravagant.
"China?” my dental hygienist asks as she inspects my back molar, “Well, how was that?” The dentist chair is in full recline with my mouth obligingly open to allow her metal tools to prod away. In the end all I can manage is, “oh, it was grood…” It is the fate of every traveler when they return home to be asked that dreaded question – to sum up the experience of a lifetime in a sentence short enough to be uttered between teeth x-rays. But China is a particularly ambitious task, dental impediments aside; I have yet to come up with a good response.
As a costume designer in the theater, I feel that my work often is a re-creation of memories. The actors and I create a life for the costumes and the characters, partly based in fact, and partly in imagination.
Working with other theater artists, we construct a world for the audience that they inhabit with the performers during a performance. That is the magic of theater — a shared existence in real time made up of memories and the suspension of disbelief.
There is great sweetness in remembering a work of art, particularly when it is an experience like a theater performance and you are surrounded by a crowd, a community of focused participants all sharing the same time and place.
That is why it is so vital to have theaters, museums and concert halls, both humble and grand, to experience art in community.
Riding on a bus in China one year ago, University of Iowa graduate student Jameela Huq learned that Japan – which she considers like home – had been ravaged by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami.
Huq said she had called her good friend Aya Hurley – a native of Fukushima, Japan who happened to be in the same city in China that day, wanting to meet up. Hurley delivered the devastating news, Huq said. “She said, ‘I’m looking for my friends and family,’” Huq said. “She was like, ‘Didn’t you hear? A giant tsunami wiped out Fukushima.’”
Navi Bajwa took his studies to the United Kingdom because he wanted to immerse himself in the political and social atmosphere.
“The reason I went to the University of Edinburgh is because of the world-class education that institution has to offer,” the University of Iowa senior said. “I have a lot of family in the UK, and I have been there a lot during my life, so I was comfortable going there.”
University of Iowa officials are split on whether recent changes easing restrictions on obtaining U.S. visas have affected international-student enrollment. Earlier this year, President Obama signed an executive order making tourism and travel more accessible in the United States. Those efforts include new initiatives to make the process of applying for a visa more secure and efficient for international travelers and students. These changes have led to the issuance of more than 7.5 million visas in fiscal 2011 — a 17 percent increase over fiscal 2010.
On March 11, 2011, a rising tide of dark water wrapped Japan’s northeastern coast.
The world was gripped by Armageddon-invoking scenes from this highly industrialized nation in east Asia.
After the visual impact of the unprecedented tsunami, there came news of nuclear meltdown in the Fukushima nuclear plant. Japan’s vast northeastern coast — the coastal villages as well as sizable inland areas — was nearly destroyed by the hand of the nature.
In this election year, China-bashing once again has become a favorite activity of the presidential hopefuls. Although Chinese policy does not, in of itself, determine the outcome of the election, it nevertheless influences the American public’s assessment and perception of the economic conditions that will likely be central to the outcome.
UI junior Angeline See longs to craft her dream business — a bakery chock-full of delicious and colorful Asian desserts. But the native of Malaysia found out her endeavors may be postponed last fall when applying for an office space at the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory.
International students are prohibited from self-employment while on student visas. So for students like See, the only chance at launching a business would be finding a native student to partner with.
With Chinese enrollment in Iowa universities skyrocketing and a major Chinese diplomatic visit underway this week in Iowa, Chinese-Iowa relations have recently manifested themselves in a view yet unprecedented. It’s probably enough for some pundits to worry they’re on the set of a Red Dawn remake.
Yume Hidaka, the UI’s Japan outreach initiative coordinator, attended the university’s “Valentine’s Day: Dating and Courtship Across Cultures” Monday, in which UI students and faculty discussed how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in their cultures. The native of Japan, who moved to Iowa from Tokyo, said she was struck in her new home by how open Americans express themselves.