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?”
International students at the University of Iowa spent more than $83 million in the state last year, according to a report released recently by an international education association.
Nationwide, foreign students spent $20.3 billion during the 2010-2011 school year.
NAFSA: Association of Educators produced the financial analysis using enrollment figures compiled by the Institute of International Education.
Kariuki Maina has a lot to learn about United States culture before he’ll feel comfortable.
And for that reason, the Kenyan said he has actively sought out University of Iowa programs, such as the International Programs, to help acclimate himself to Western life.
Roughly 20 people, including Maina, gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the UI International Programs Tuesday evening.
The number of international students enrolling in American colleges and universities grew at a faster clip in 2010 than a year earlier, reaching an all-time high of 723,277. But the growth was heavily reliant on two countries: China and Saudi Arabia, according to data released this week by the Institute of International Education.
The explosion of interest among Chinese students continued unabated, with numbers rising more than 23 percent—the fourth year of double-digit increases. Meanwhile, Saudi students, while coming in much smaller numbers, benefited from generous government scholarships, expanding their presence by 44 percent.
International student enrollment at the University of Iowa, as well as study abroad participation by UI students, have continued to grow faster than national trends. This is according to data released today by the Institute of International Education through its annual Open Doors report.
Each year, two students who show exemplary Hawkeye spirit are selected to represent the University of Iowa’s student body as its Homecoming king and queen.
Those two students are chosen not by election, but through a process that includes a written application, reference letters, and an interview. Candidates are considered for the honor based on their leadership, scholarship, and service, as well as their enthusiasm for the university.
This year, seniors Wei Du, a finance and accounting major from Jinan, China, and Kevin Velovitch, a finance and management major from Noblesville, Ind., were chosen to wear the crowns.
As local communities such as Iowa City become more globally diverse, university officials say foreign-language education becomes critical.
“When you study a foreign language … you learn about yourself in the context of foreign cultures,” said Steve Ungar, a University of Iowa professor of cinema/comparative literature.
This year, the UI held its first Adopt-A-Language Fair on Nov. 11 to kick-off International Education Week by promoting foreign languages less commonly studied by university students.