I’ve often thought that the best destinations are those that weren’t on your list. My experience as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in the faculty of law at Sofia University certainly falls into that category. Unlike many of my Fulbright colleagues, I didn’t begin my experience with a particular country, or even region, in mind. Instead, I focused on trying to identify an award that was seeking someone with my background and skills, with a large degree of flexibility as to where that might be. Happily, this approach led to my selection as a Fulbright scholar and an incredible experience in a place I have grown quite fond of.
Ron McMullen held a phone to his ear in May 2000. The unfolding situation seemed like a plot from a Hollywood film starring the latest actions stars, but it wasn’t.
On the other line was the voice of the spokesman for George Speight, who listened to McMullen’s demands. Speight and his followers had stormed the Fijian Parliament in May and held Prime Minster Mahendra Chaudhry and most of his Cabinet hostage for 56 days, according to Radio New Zealand.In the midst of the conflict, an American journalist who had attempted to interview Speight was taken hostage.
McMullen, now a University of Iowa visiting associate professor of political science, was set on having the journalist freed.
Exploring the rich culture and natural beauty of Cusco, Peru, was just the beginning for Macz Norton when she participated in the Spanish Language and Service Learning study abroad program last summer.
This eight-week program combines coursework in Spanish language and Peruvian culture with valuable service learning. The service projects are organized by an onsite company, ProWorld-Peru, which meets with community leaders to develop projects that are both meaningful for students and fulfill a much-needed service for the local community.
UI Professor Armando Duarte has been a choreographer at the University of Iowa since 1993, but a trip back to his native Brazil in 2008 is what inspired him to research the culture of Carnival. Armando organizes the Brazil Carnival winter study abroad program.
Want to study abroad in Europe next summer? Check out the Iowa International Summer Institute, which will offer UI GenEd classes in Rome, Paris, Florence, Madrid, and London in summer 2013. In this video, three past participants share their unique experiences.
Ronald McMullen, a visiting associate professor of political science at the University of Iowa and a former U.S. ambassador to Eritrea, offers three pieces of advice to students interested in working in international politics.
“Be a good student, a good citizen, and have international experience,” he said. “Grades do matter. And a misdemeanor won’t look good to federal employers.”
You would think by having a waterproof, shockproof camera that your pictures would be safe. Well, not from a little girl who doesn’t read English. With the pressing of just a few buttons she managed to delete the 1,000 pictures documenting a month of my time in Nicaragua. Luckily, I found a program to retrieve photos that have been deleted from a memory card and I am thankful that, in my whole summer of traveling, that incident was the closest thing that could be considered a disaster.
Frances Barnes recalls the profound culture shock she experienced when she first arrived in Iowa three years ago.
“I had never been to the Midwest before and wasn’t prepared for how different everything was,” says the 33-year-old College of Education Rehabilitation and Counselor Education doctoral student from North Carolina. “And I mean everything—the weather, the landscape, the culture, and not seeing as many people who looked like me.”
Lee Seedorff is the senior associate director of the University of Iowa’s International Student and Scholar Services, a school with over 3,500 international students. Jane Duo, a Chinese student at the University of Iowa, wanted to find out how an international advisor like Lee communicates with her many charges and what challenges she encounters in working with foreign students.
Lee said the University of Iowa begins talking with international students before they even arrive on campus, offering pre-arrival checklists to prepare students for what they need to know to come to America, and then continuing with orientations and special programs to help international students navigate their life in the U.S. So after all that communication experience, what does an international student advisor have to say about communicating with international students?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a 90 second video worth? UI students submitted videos from their study abroad experiences for a chance to win cash prizes in a new video contest this year -- “Uncharted Territories.”
Jeannette George, a Nursing and International Studies (CLAS) major with an emphasis in African studies, has been studying at the University of Iowa since 2009. Last summer, she made the life-changing decision to pursue her academic research of Sickle Cell Anemia awareness far beyond her UI classrooms. Here is her reflection on her research, her decision to travel to Uganda, and why she will never regret it.
Beijing native Wu Qu, a UI undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently traveled back to his home country to research the motivations behind Chinese involvement in the Korean War. His trip to China was supported by a Stanley Award for International Research. Qu researched Chinese political leaders’ perception of the war, Chinese domestic propaganda during the war, and spoke with several Chinese Korean War veterans to get their unique perspectives. Here, Wu comments on his several aspects of his research trip, which at times left him feeling like a foreigner in his own country.
Given the fact that most girls by the age of 12 have already begun to consider the minutiae of their future Big Day along with the popularity of reality TV shows on the topic, there is no doubt we are marriage- or at least wedding- crazy in the United States. But if you’re feeling wedding pressure here, thank your lucky stars you’re not a 20-something in China.
UI alum Alexandria Sharp, who is currently serving in the Peace Corps, will be visiting the UI during a break from her volunteer term to talk about her life and experiences in Nicaragua. Her presentation will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 2-3 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre and the event is free and open to the public.
In Nicaragua, Sharp is serving as a health promoter focused on maternal and child health, hygiene, and nutrition. She is eager to share her pictures and answer questions about her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer.
A small classroom filled with some 70 Chinese teenagers is a typical sight for Kirsten Jacobsen, a 2011 University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate. Jacobsen, who speaks barely five words of Mandarin, has somehow found a way to not only survive while teaching in a new culture but also to turn her adventures into stories for The Des Moines Register.