Did you know that Thailand’s population is nearly 22 times that of Iowa, but only about three and a half times larger in size? With 70% of international students coming from East and Southeast Asia, many have come to call this land of wide open spaces their home. Here are the thoughts and reflections of two Thai students on classes, food, and the benefits and challenges of life abroad at the University of Iowa.
Join independent researcher and documentary filmmaker Yousuf Saeed as he discusses his work on the visual, artistic, and religious cultural heritage of India in two separate presentations on the UI campus. The first presentation features the screening of “Four Short Documentaries on Popular Islam in India,” followed by a discussion with Saeed, and will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in E105 AJB (Adler Journalism and Mass Communication Building).
The UI African Studies Program cordially invites faculty, students, and the general public to its fall reception on Thursday, Oct. 4, 4-6 p.m., in the executive board room (2390 UCC), which is located on the second floor above the north entrance to the Old Capitol Mall. There will be no formal presentation, just a relaxed opportunity to meet and socialize with scholars and community members interested in Africa. Special guests are African writers and current IWP residents TJ (Tjawangwa) Dema Christopher Mlalazi, Khaled Alberry, and Barlen Pyamootoo (see biodata below). Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.
Feed your hunger for Chinese culture by joining the Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa for a mini lecture series this fall, “Chinese Culture for Lunch,” beginning Tuesday, Oct. 2, with a discussion on Marvelous Chinese Characters. All lectures in this series are free and open to the public and sponsored by the Confucius Institute and International Programs.
While most of the players on the Iowa men’s golf team hail from such Midwestern states as Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri, freshman Voramate Aussarassakorn’s home is much, much farther away - Around 8,541 miles.
Aussarassakorn is from Bangkok, Thailand, and he has been on the links since he was 8 years old.
Since that young age, golfing in the United States has always been his ambition.
ICJ will hold an information session and training workshop Friday, Sept. 14, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre for potential volunteers. Attend the session to learn more about the program, get tips on presenting to various audiences, and meet other students with similar interests. Refreshments are provided and this events is open to anyone interested in ICJ.
UI President Sally Mason, fresh off a summer visit to China and Taiwan, highlighted the growing reach of UI as what she called a “global institution” Tuesday at a luncheon hosted by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.
Mason shared slides from the UI delegation’s trip to Asia, a 10-day visit in July designed to strengthen current relationships with alumni and partners in Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai, and establish new ties.
About 700 first-time international students came to Iowa City this fall, bringing the international student total to about 3,700. These students represent 111 countries and are a part of every field of academic study available at UI.
For these students, making the move to Iowa City can be nerve-racking, exciting and, at times, a downright daunting experience. For 41 years, the University of Iowa Friends of International Students has worked to make the transition to America easier by connecting international students with members of the Iowa City community — called friends — to help the students feel more comfortable away from home and introduce them to American culture and customs.
University of Iowa officials are expecting to see a rise in international students in the graduate programs this fall, a trend that exists at the national level.
Graduate College Dean John Keller said the UI expects somewhere close to a 12 percent increase in the number of international students in its graduate programs.
Nationally, there was a 9 percent increase in the number of international students attending graduate schools, according to the Council of Graduate Schools.
University of Iowa freshman Yaqiong Wang came from China to Iowa City with competing feelings of nervousness and excitement. Now thousands of miles from home, she signed up for new UI program in hopes of finding her place on campus.
“I was a bit nervous,” she said. “We have many things different, different culture. If I signed up for this program I can make friends with American[s], which will help me to understand their culture and also practice my English.”
The UI’s first Friends and Neighbors Day program paired more than 200 international and U.S. students over the summer as pen pals. The partners were introduced to each other at an event Sunday.
Despite an already robust international student population on campus, University of Iowa officials are still looking to bridge the gap between the UI and other countries by hiring someone to focus specifically on recruitment in Asia.
The UI Admissions Office hired Ying Xu over the summer to take on the role of assistant director of Admissions for China and Asian recruitment. Xu told The Daily Iowan she was particularly excited to start working because the Chinese market of students is growing.
Special to the China Post --University of Iowa President Sally Mason led a delegation to Taiwan last month, meeting with several local university heads to discuss interschool cooperation and to promote international cultural exchanges.
There is a long history of Chinese students at the University of Iowa, Mason said, adding that two education ministers from the Republic of China — Yen Cheng-hsin and Wu Ching — graduated from the university.
The annual report for the Japan Outreach Initiative, which details educational Japanese outreach activities throughout the state of Iowa, is now published. Yume Hidaka served as the UI's Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) coordinator during her two-year stay in UI International Programs. She completed more than 100 visits in 25 cities to Iowa K-12 schools, libraries, senior centers, and communities, bringing a deeper understanding of Japan to Iowans through interactive presentations about everything from daily life and school in Japan to common greetings and business etiquette.
Former Hawkeye athlete and three-time All-American runner Diane Nukuri-Johnson will compete in the marathon for her home country of Burundi on Aug. 5 at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
President Sally Mason says that while University of Iowa officials are not planning to increase student enrollment, the university will continue to pursue international relations and make connections with alumni and prospective students overseas.