UI alumni like Deanna Fei and Geoffrey Hilsabeck have benefited greatly from their international experiences thanks to the support of Fulbright grants. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program gives masters and doctoral candidates, recent baccalaureate recipients, and young professionals and artists opportunities for personal development and international experience.
“It’s a small place but it’s a big place.” So says law professor Peter Shirlow from Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Shirlow isn’t talking about Belfast but about Iowa City, his destination 24 years ago when he won a prestigious Stanley Scholarship to study at the University of Iowa. The Stanley award allowed him to come to the UI for a year’s study and, just as importantly, to Iowa City where he established close friendships that have remained strong in spite of distance and the passage of time.
Why Portuguese?– A question that Geoffrey Hilsabeck didn’t always have a clear answer for when he started learning the language in 2008 while attending the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. With the support of a Fulbright fellowship grant, Hilsabeck just finished a year studying Portuguese poetry and teaching a class in U.S. history and culture at the University of Lisbon.
John Giammatteo, an upcoming senior studying Anthropology at Syracuse University, was a participant during fall 2009 in the University of Iowa’s “Semester in South India” program in Mysore, India. As part of an academic assignment, John conducted a research project in the city of Chennai (formerly Madras) that involved interviewing refugees who had been stranded in India for years during the civil war that raged between separatist Tamil Tigers and the government of Sri Lanka. In November 2009 he also was a student rapporteur and participant in a workshop held in Mysore that delved into the problem of involuntary removal of rural populations in South Asia due to two causes: large-scale development projects and high-impact natural disasters. John is currently in Thailand completing his Honors Capstone fieldwork, researching with Karen migrants in the Thai-Burma border town of Mae Sot.
Alexandra Keenan was named to the USA Today All-USA College Academic First Team. Twenty students were chosen out of hundreds for first-team status, each receiving a $2,500 cash award. The article notes that the members of the 2010 team are “true global citizens,” and Keenan is no exception.
She helped lead a team of students who designed a handheld water sanitizer, a project that was awarded an EPA sustainable design grant and was named one of Discover Magazine‘s “10 Everyday Technologies That Can Change the World.” She studied non-governmental organizations in India and then advocated for cervical cancer screening at a hospital in Madurai, which has since implemented a community-based screening program. She managed the daily care of 12 HIV-positive children at an orphanage in Tonal, Mexico, and helped develop a diagnostic technique for a deadly parasitic disease and then taught it to scientists at a university in India. She is a Goldwater Scholar and was named one of Glamour magazine’s “Top 10 College Women” in 2009.
Katelyn McBride, a recent University of Iowa graduate, studied abroad in Seville, Spain, during the spring of 2009. View her testimonial, including photos of her favorite memories, and see why study abroad is the experience of a lifetime.
Innovation is not a new concept for The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP). In operation since 1969, this project has turned into the nation’s premier center for creative writing and has contributed toward transforming the UI into a writing university.
Most recently, IWP has begun a new innovative tradition in the “New Symposium,” which met for three years on the island of Paros (Greece). IWP hosted a comparable gathering of writers and artists in Morocco from April 28, 2009 – May 5, 2009, in the form of a Souk Ukaz —a regional tradition of intellectual and artistic exchange.
With a law on the anvil to allow operation of foreign education providers in India, a top consortium of research institutions from the US has evinced interest in collaborating with Indian universities.
A delegation of Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which represents America’s top universities, visited India this week and met HRD minister Kapil Sibal to discuss areas of collaboration and institutional linkages.
Deanna Fei’s first book, “A Thread of Sky,” has just been published but, already, it has left breathless readers exclaiming its beauty and complexity.
Fei graduated with her MFA from the famed Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and she received a Fulbright Scholarship with the assistance of staff from UI International Programs. Here she credits International Programs for helping her return to China for the research and personal perspective that was critical to her writing.
Charlie Wittmack knew, at age 15, that the trip he dreamed up sounded ridiculous.
Swim the English Channel. Jump on a bike and ride from France to Nepal. Then climb Mount Everest.
So he kept the dream – what he now calls the World Triathlon – to himself. But he started taking small steps toward his goal, despite false starts and failures. That, he would learn over the next 18 years, is how you reach great heights in the adventure called life.
In a nearly jobless economy, William Boyd has found an alternative — leaving the economy behind and teaching English in Spain.
The UI senior, who is majoring in Spanish and international studies, is one of a growing number of students planning to become educators abroad.
“I don’t have any firmed-up plans for a job right out of school, and this is my opportunity to master the Spanish language,” he said.
One freshman from Hungary learned about the UI through his grandparents. A Chinese student heard about the campus through a friend. Another discovered it on the Internet.
Some international students find the UI on their own, but university officials are hoping increased recruitment efforts abroad will help them.
Lisa Enloe vividly recalls when her 8-year-old daughter sat down across from her at the dinner table and announced she was going to “get rich” when she grew up and then move to Africa and help people improve their lives.
The tide now rolls in peacefully along the southwest shores of Leone, Samoa, a stark contrast to the violent waves that sent the island into chaos after a violent tsunami struck early last week. Recent UI graduate Kelly Berger, who teaches on the South Pacific island, saw the devastating storm and its aftermath.
This music video was made to commemorate the 2009 visiting writers for the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. Directed by Azeem Sajjad, this music video stars the writers themselves and features Fflur Dafydd as the singer. Camera work was done by Lauren Haldmen, and edited by Vicente Garcia.