Recent UI graduate Brandon Jennings participated in the Critical Language Scholarship Program in Morocco this summer. He shares some of the most interesting parts of his journey in this blog entry.
SPAN Magazine: Bridging U.S.-India Relations-a publication produced by the U.S. Embassy in New Dehli- recently released an article on the University of Iowa's India Winterim Program. This 3-week UI course offers students an opportunity to study and participate with grass-roots organizations in India focused on social entrepreneurship, sustainability, public health and more.
I wake with a start at 7:00 AM to the sound of the Chinese National Anthem through my window. Somehow its melodies seem too grand for a daily occurrence. Nevertheless, it plays faithfully over the school’s loudspeakers every morning; waking me like some patriot’s alarm clock. I lay in my bed, motivating my body to move while the children of Liewu Public Middle School stand to attention on the other side of the thin wall that separates my apartment building from the school courtyard...
My stomach growling in anticipation, I follow my nose and compliantly slip out of the drizzle into the bright restaurant to my right. It is astonishingly small, just a few tables packed snugly into a dingy storefront. The menus consist of single sheets of paper with lists of indecipherable Chinese characters, and though I always hope for menus with pictures, a good option for the illiterate eater in China is to find something you like and stick with it. In my case, this is the famous, the magical, Gong Bao ji ding (Kung Pao chicken).
The University of Iowa College of Education may soon offer a shorter, three-week program to education majors who would like to fulfill their student-teaching requirement abroad.
Margaret Crocco, the dean of the education school, said the standard study-abroad program offered to education majors is seven or eight weeks long — roughly half of the 15-week student-teaching period required. She has recently looked into creating a shorter program because the eight-week commitment is a long period of time and quite costly.
This summer I spent six weeks in the village of Jucuapa Occidental, Nicaragua building a footbridge with Bridges to Prosperity and researching how different mixing methods affect the strength of concrete used in the bridge. The trip was a wonderful experience and although I learned a lot about construction and concrete, the lessons I learned from the people I met may be what I end up cherishing most.
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.
My Spain story starts like many others: a stint abroad learning Spanish during college turned must-eat-tortilla-de-patatas-like-my-senora-makes-daily cravings turned boarding a plane exactly four months after graduation, Madrid-bound story. I figured I’d be a better journalist if I had more experience abroad and spoke better Spanish.
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.
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.
A mini-Carnaval at 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 8, outside the University of Iowa Theatre Building will feature music, dance, masks, and puppets, as well as stilt-walkers from Canada's Swizzlestick Theatre.
A 2013 Iowa City Carnaval parade is planned, and this preview will enable the public to ask questions and share ideas, and even find out how to build carnaval costumes and floats or become a sponsor for the parade.
According to one 2012 expat survey from HSBC, the following 10 countries are the best to live and work in for 2012: Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mexico, Australia, United States, France, China, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. See the graphic below from Infographic Labs for more detail.
The University of Iowa has awarded the Mayflower Hall Sushi Workshop with Best Educational Program of the Year Award for 2012. Yume Hikada, International Programs' Japan Outreach Coordinator, held the first workshop in February 2011. Its great turnout and enormous success amongst participants led her to conduct a second workshop in February 2012 that attracted over 100 participants.
"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.