Page. Pitch. Peach. Three words, three very different meanings. But do you think I can pronounce them very well? Let’s just say it took a lot of practice — and I’m still having trouble with the middle one. I’m told that Americans don’t have the same trouble with these words. But for a Chinese speaker such as me, the vowels prove to be very difficult.
In an ongoing series from International Programs, we look at connections between the University of Iowa and countries around the world. Our faculty, students, and programs reach far beyond the UI campus. Below are some of the highlights of our connections with Malaysia.
What I have learned living in Iowa is that no matter where you live, geography does not affect your musical taste. My older cousin Sizhao Wang, living in Xi’an, China, is an example of this. The 24 year-old has a bedroom full of posters of Usher. He has every CD, knows every song, and even took an airplane to see the live concert held in Beijing several years ago. But being 8,000 miles away means he has to wait a couple months to buy the CD, he can’t go to a concert very often, and he can’t buy a celebrity magazine to read the gossip. Yet with all these obstacles, my cousin still loves Usher.
In this three-part series for The Daily Iowan, UI international student from China Lu Shen shares her reflections on being an international student at the University of Iowa and in Iowa City.
Amy Bowes, a Study Abroad adviser at the University of Iowa, was lost. It was 2005, and she had just graduated from the UI with a degree in political science. She remembered the Peace Corps building she had seen while interning in Washington, D.C., and decided to volunteer. Six months later, she was teaching high-school English in Lesotho — a country in Africa. Bowes said she now uses her experiences of feeling unsure about travel and her future to relate with students on campus today.
Recently, I got a phone call from one of my best friends since high school. She lives in China and attends university in Beijing. After our chat, I started thinking about the differences between college life for a Chinese student here and in China. As an international student, I love my life in Iowa City and the American opportunities I have to experience. Still, I embrace my Chinese roots.
In China, we order our dormitory food rather than choosing different kinds of food from a buffet. So American dormitory food is definitely more complex than Chinese. But the type of food is limited because only American options are available. I think it is better to add more types of food to the buffet, because more international students are coming here. Now, I’ve been here for three years and love everything about Iowa. But I am still on the journey to find different types of American food to eat.
Some party hosts like the American music — such as the Billboard Top 100. Others like Chinese pop music. Only one thing is missing from these parties — more American students to play with us. It would bring our cultures together; they could bring their games to us, and we could show them our Mahjong, and we could learn from each other.
Sydney Johnson, a Des Moines native, was determined to study abroad while at the UI. She chose a small Italian town off the beaten path to hone her language skills. Students who have recently studied abroad, including Johnson, will be on hand to answer questions at the fall Study Abroad Fair Sept. 17.
With the help of funds granted by the Stanley Award for International Research, Julie Reynolds (M.S. candidate in Dental Public Health) headed to Xicotepec, Mexico, for six weeks this summer to conduct original research on children’s tooth decay.
Jordyn Reiland, who is spending the summer interning for the China Daily newspaper in Beijing, recounts her final days in China, including a trip to the Great Wall. Although she was neither mentally nor physically prepared for the challenge of climbing the wall, Jordyn describes the feeling of making it to the top and what it meant for her to follow in the footsteps of her great grandparents.
Quinn Hejlik, a UI junior from Omaha, Neb., recently returned from studying abroad in Prague through the USAC program, which offered him an opportunity to learn Czech without any prior knowledge of the language. Quinn’s adventure began when he started learning Czech a week before his study abroad program. He understood that the Eastern European language would be difficult to learn, but he also knew it would be fascinating.
It was during his time at the UI that Duncan Wall became hooked by the circus. Although unimpressed by a traditional circus he had attended growing up in St. Louis, the undergraduate decided to check out a contemporary circus performance while in Paris for a study abroad program.
Summer 2013 turned out to be more exciting than normal for the law school’s study abroad program. Professor Adrien K. Wing fielded several obstacles that prevented students from following their original itinerary, but in the end the new program went through as if it had been planned for months rather than days.
Have you been on a mission trip? Hosted a foreign visitor in your home? Helped someone master the English language – or had them help you learn another? Did you visit another country with your family and make a new friend? Were you part of a semester abroad program? If you have participated in an activity (organized or casual) that helped you meet and interact with people from another part of the world, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD) invites you to enter photographs as part of its photo contest.