One of the most amazing things about living abroad is that every day is an adventure to the senses. In China, I needn't look far to see sights that surprised me on a daily basis. Just when I thought I had my neighbors’ daily routines figured out, one of them would start carefully laying out peppers on the sidewalk (to dry in the sun) or a group of old men would be gathered in the park for kite flying festival. You never know what you're going to see next!
French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte will be hard to miss this fall, with a major University of Iowa Museum of Art exhibition and related programming and displays occupying spaces all over the campus. Meanwhile, across the country, the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is being commemorated with events in the cities and ports that saw action during our last conflict with Great Britain. While connections between a French Emperor, a nearly-forgotten war, and the State of Iowa may seem remote, reminders of them are, in fact, all around us.
In her bicycle trek across Japan last month, Iowa City resident Michelle Gin met a number of hibakusha, the Japanese term for survivors of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. in 1945.
One woman, a volunteer emergency aid worker, recounted to Gin her experience of rushing to the hospital just after the bomb dropped. The streets were filled with burned bodies and hands reached for her ankles for help as she walked by.
A new student organization at the University of Iowa will offer its members a unique opportunity to volunteer abroad next spring.
The organization, called International Volunteers, is open to students of all majors who are interested in gaining volunteer experience while exploring another country. Members will collectively decide on a country where they will complete volunteer projects based on their skills and interests. The trip will last approximately 3-4 weeks and begin after finals week in May 2013.
The goal of the University of Iowa’s WiderNet Project is to deliver educational information to underserved places, so it’s fitting that the 500th eGranary Digital Library was installed this summer in the remote island village of Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of Kenya in East Africa.
Introducing John Cabot University, an American university located in the heart of Rome. Now enter professors from the prestigious International Writing Program (IWP), the University of Iowa’s unique residency program for international writers. The occasion for their meeting? The first annual Italy Writes Creative Writing competition for Italian high school students.
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.