The international-student population at UI has increased by roughly 60 percent since 2007. As part of an effort to manage this increase, officials launched an immigration software last month that allows international students to access immigration-related documents online via iHawk — an online service specifically for foreign students.
China may lie 7,500 miles away from Iowa City as the dragon flies, but walk around the University of Iowa campus during the school year and you’ll overhear myriad conversations taking place in Mandarin, Cantonese, and other Asian languages and dialects.
Asia, and China in particular, not only has the fastest-growing economy in the world but is home to a large number of students, scientists, artists, and educators who flock to Iowa City to study, conduct research, and forge important partnerships. More than half (53.7 percent) of the UI’s total international student population last year—more than 3,200 in all—came from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and more than 90 percent of all UI undergraduate international students in fall 2011 were from East and Southeast Asia, far outpacing the national average.
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.
Iowa City has been welcoming people from all across the globe for years. Various cultures are orchestrated beautifully in this city and enrich its cultural heritage. This summer, the International Writing Program is bringing younger writers, between the ages of 16 and 19, from Russia and Arabic-speaking countries to the University of Iowa for their Between the Lines (BTL). Students participating in BTL will study creative writing and will be able to experience American culture during a two week stay at the university.
Many international students step foot on campus with only their suitcase, but one local church continues to help newcomers fill their apartments. International students spend roughly $9,500 in the first 12 months of living at the University of Iowa, said Lee Seedorff, assistant director for advising at International Student and Scholar Services. This figure includes purchasing housing, food, furniture, and basic living expenses.
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.
OK, obviously, going to Asia and visiting some of the hot spots such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, and Beijing would be the cat's pajamas. And, obviously, doing it on the UI Foundation's dime would be the bee's knees.
But it won't be all sake and dim sum for President Sally Mason and the UI delegation heading off to those four places in order to recruit students and strengthen ties with Chinese interests.
Presidential fundraising and the UI Foundation have both taken a few shots as of late, but anyone knows that in order to run a business, such as a Board of Regents' university in the state of Iowa, you have to keep the wheels greased and the investors happy — and that takes a little schmoozing.
With more than 1,700 University of Iowa students hailing from China, UI President Sally Mason and a number of university officials will travel to Asia in hopes of establishing new relationships and strengthening existing ties with alumni.
Mason will travel to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing in China, and Taipei, Taiwan, from July 1-9. A handful of UI officials will accompany Mason on the trip, including Provost P. Barry Butler and UI Foundation President Lynette Marshall.
In January of 2012, approximately 650 of Brazil's top-notch undergraduate students traveled to the United States to study on U.S campuses as part of the Science without Borders program, sponsored by the Brazilian government. The University of Iowa has had the fortune of hosting four participants in this two semester academic scholarship program, and is expecting to host more Brazilian undergraduates in the fall. Below, the four undergraduates have shared some of their thoughts and reflections on life at the University of Iowa.
Thanks to a CIVIC program, my wife Mary and I recently hosted two female students from Japan for a weekend “home stay” during their university’s educational exchange visit at the University of Iowa. Mina and Mayu arrived at our house each with a suitcase nearly bigger than herself, along with smiles, curiosity, laughter and wonderment that filled our home like birdsong throughout their stay.
Stephen J. Rapp of Iowa, the ambassador-at-large heading the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the U.S. Department of State, will give a lecture titled "Diplomacy for Global Justice: The tools for establishing truth, accountability and reconciliation after the commission of mass atrocities." Rapp will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in the South Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.
We’ve had the melting pot and the tossed salad; now we have the stir-fry. The Stir-Fry Project will happen over the next few weeks at the Senior Center of Iowa City. The project is “a collaborative community art project that explores the stories of people who have resettled to Iowa from different countries through collective works of art.” There are workshops in stop-motion animation, mixed media, and printmaking. Community members may participate. The workshops and materials are free, but pre-registration is required. There will be an opening exhibition of the collaborative work on April 27, and the art will remain on display through May.
This event is free and open to the public. The papers presented will be edited in a book to share with those who could not make it to Iowa City.
This event is sponsored by UI International Programs, the African Studies Program, University of Iowa Libraries, the Newman Center, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the African Student Association, and the African Trade Law Expert.
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.
In today’s world of social media and text messaging, two University of Iowa students have found a way to bring the community together by combining storytelling and art. The collaborative art project Stir Fry is a mix of people of various cultures and ages that are brought together in a series of structured workshops to tell and transform their stories into art.