Articles tagged with "travel stories"

posted onJun22, 2012

“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.

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posted onJun12, 2012

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.

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posted onJun1, 2012

"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.

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posted onMay14, 2012

The trip across the stage to collect her diploma will be the shortest leg on the journey so far for Stephanie Lukas.

Just two weeks ago she was in West Africa, completing an elective rotation for her pharmacy degree. During four weeks in Liberia studying the pharmacy system and ways to improve it, she met with the ministry of health’s medication supply chain manager, interviewed health care providers and patients, and participated in a training session for pharmacy workers who dispense medications. She set up the rotation herself, in collaboration with Lloyd Matowe, University of Iowa assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and founder of the nongovernmental organization Pharmaceutical Systems Africa.

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posted onApr19, 2012

Lewis Liú relocated from China to the United States with a Hollywood dream. But during his three years in film school, his Hollywood dream met reality.

Liú's M.F.A. film thesis, Drifting in Los Angeles: Chinese Students, Film Schools, and Hollywood Dreams, will be screened at 8 p.m. April 22 in the Bijou. Admission is free and open to the public.

After an expedition to visit his friends who are film students at the University of Southern California, Liú found that film school in Hollywood isn't the heaven young filmmakers imagine. And Californians were treating his Chinese friends as second-class citizens.

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posted onApr17, 2012

In January of 2012, approximately 650 of Brazil's top-notch undergraduate students traveled to the United States to study on U.S campuses as part of the Science without Borders program, sponsored by the Brazilian government. The University of Iowa has had the fortune of hosting four participants in this two semester academic scholarship program, and is expecting to host more Brazilian undergraduates in the fall. Below, the four undergraduates have shared some of their thoughts and reflections on life at the University of Iowa.

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posted onApr6, 2012

The collaborative art project Stir Fry is a mix of people of various cultures and ages that are brought together in a series of structured workshops to tell and transform their stories into art. Please join us for the following workshops:

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posted onMar21, 2012

Haitian-born painter and sculptor Edouard Duval Carrié will discuss his activities in the general relief efforts made after Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010 during a lecture, titled “Art in Times of Quake and Cholera,” Thursday, March 1, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 2520D University Capitol Centre. This event is free and open to the public.

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posted onMar12, 2012

Riding on a bus in China one year ago, University of Iowa graduate student Jameela Huq learned that Japan – which she considers like home – had been ravaged by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami.

Huq said she had called her good friend Aya Hurley – a native of Fukushima, Japan who happened to be in the same city in China that day, wanting to meet up. Hurley delivered the devastating news, Huq said. “She said, ‘I’m looking for my friends and family,’” Huq said. “She was like, ‘Didn’t you hear? A giant tsunami wiped out Fukushima.’”

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posted onMar9, 2012

Navi Bajwa took his studies to the United Kingdom because he wanted to immerse himself in the political and social atmosphere.

“The reason I went to the University of Edinburgh is because of the world-class education that institution has to offer,” the University of Iowa senior said. “I have a lot of family in the UK, and I have been there a lot during my life, so I was comfortable going there.”

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posted onFeb24, 2012

By the time the group of 60 students from the University of Iowa left the Temple Town last week, it was amply clear to them that the field of elementary studies does not limit itself to field trips in one’s own country. “It is also about encountering people and their communities far beyond borders.”

Ten students who spent three weeks in the different campuses of the Mahatma group of schools took back with them loads of information about India, and particularly small town Madurai. But what touched their hearts the most was an appreciation for them from all and also some continued questions about each other. That was true knowledge gained.

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posted onFeb17, 2012

University of Iowa student Gretchen Bachrodt won first place in a video contest sponsored by Academic Programs International (API). In the video, Bachrodt recounts her amazing study abroad experience in Grenoble, France.

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posted onJan26, 2012

After seven months in the Philippines on a Fulbright grant, returning to graduate school at the University of Iowa is my obligation and my privilege. But the cravings that strike me now are the most visceral manifestations of homesickness I’ve ever known. When I think of breakfast, I want only silog, or pan de sal, or taho. When I think of condiments, I want only vinegar or calamansi or banana ketchup. I wake up craving every variation of pork that Filipinos do so deftly and heart-stoppingly: bagnet from Malate. Sisig from Trellis. Lechón from anywhere.

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posted onJan20, 2012

As America’s representative do their best to curtail our freedom of speech with the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, I couldn’t help but think of a place where Lamar Smith and his cosponsors could learn a lot about censorship. It’s a place that seems to be stuck in time, where I and 12 other University of Iowa students studied over winter break: Cuba.

Being there provided a fascinating look at the results of America’s Cuban foreign policy and a unique perspective on the embargo.

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posted onJan17, 2012

Jake Krzeczowski watched as a small group of Cubans clothed in white chanted to the beat of drums. The University of Iowa journalism student observed the Santeria religious ceremony in El Bosque Del Rio, Cuba, a forest near Havana.

“I can’t say the word culture enough,” said Krzeczowski, a former Daily Iowan employee. “It’s an interesting place. There’s an absence of materialism, more community, rich culture and people from all walks of life.”

The trip was the first opportunity available for students since President Obama eased travel restrictions to the country for certain study-abroad programs from accredited universities and religious organizations.

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