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.
The University of Iowa has seen a surge in Chinese student enrollment. Just over half of the UI international student population is from China (1,737 students) and numbers have increased dramatically in the past five years.
Iowans and Chinese say ties have been strengthened over the years by graduate students who stay here to teach and work, Chinese adoptions, and native Iowans who travel across the Pacific to live, work and study. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit to Iowa this week is the latest in a growing effort to build business and cultural connections.
Humanity’s interaction with its natural environments, our use of the resources we have available to us, and the long-term viability of that use, pose major challenges for the 21st century. The University of Iowa is meeting those challenges on many fronts, from the daily operations of the institution to cutting-edge research that crosses almost all disciplines on our campus.
In recent years, we have seen more and more of the university community getting involved in efforts to improve sustainability practices. To give one example: Green Teams have formed across campus to evaluate and improve the ways that our various buildings handle waste, recycling and energy consumption.
Finley, a member of the University of Iowa Net Impact chapter, will speak at today’s Sustainability Summit in the IMU alongside representatives from Coca-Cola, UPS, and Iowa-based Kum & Go. The summit is part of an all-day sustainability effort on campus, to be followed by a UI International Programs-produced WorldCanvass sustainability history presentation in the Old Capitol.
Hysteria and its implications for attitudes toward and relationships between the sexes will be highlighted in the upcoming University Theatre production of Sarah Ruhl’s “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play),” directed by Meredith Alexander.
Opening Feb. 10, the play takes a look at the use of the vibrator (yes, that kind of vibrator) as clinical treatment for hysteria.
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.
Some University of Iowa students will delve into the Costa Rican forests during a time other college students choose to party or relax.
The UI Office of Study Abroad will allow students to spend this spring break studying environmental sustainability in and around the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica.
UI civil and environmental engineering Assistant Professor Craig Just said the trip is meant to spur students to be more sustainable in their daily lives after exploring an environment that’s largely been untouched by industrial growth.
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.
The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) was viewed with suspicion by Iron Curtain countries during the depths of the Cold War. The Eastern European writers who were allowed to participate could expect to be taken into custody immediately upon their return home, for debriefing to determine if their thinking had been polluted by contact with the decadent West.
Other writers were simply denied permission to depart for Iowa City. Among the writers from the Communist bloc who were prevented from attending, one stood out, although not immediately. The world is now mourning the Dec. 18 passing of Vaclav Havel, the widely honored first president of a democratic Czech Republic whose plans to attend the IWP were derailed 43 years ago.
Though Roberto Ampuero will return to Iowa City today, he won’t return to his faculty position at the University of Iowa this spring semester. Instead, he’ll begin serving as the Chilean ambassador to Mexico in January.
“In the future, my students will not only enjoy having a professor who is at the same time an internationally published author but one who served as ambassador to such an important country as Mexico,” Ampuero wrote in an email.
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.
Next week marks University of Iowa senior Linshan Li’s fourth Thanksgiving celebration. The Friends of International Students board members say more families are needed to help UI international students— such as Li — experience the American holidays.
And that’s where people such as Maria Ortega Kummer come in.
“I really hated to think that there were any students in Iowa City with no place to go on Thanksgiving,” said the Friends of International Students board member and Thanksgiving matching organizer. “Why don’t we at least try to link them for dinner?”