International Accents

E.g., Wednesday, February 10, 2016
E.g., Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When someone mentions Ireland, the first thing that comes to mind is that it rains. A lot. Upon first arriving back in August, I wanted to prove this myth wrong.

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The Latin American Studies Program (LASP) will be hosting a lecture entitled "Intimate (Trans)nationals: a Conversation with Frances R. Aparicio." The event is free and open to the public and will be held on Friday, February 26, from 12-1:30 p.m. in the IMU River Room (103A).

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Study abroad is a perfect opportunity to translate oneself in a foreign country, in a strange language, in unfamiliar roosts. You may just discover a way to add another layer of meaning to your brand. No, despite what the Chinese supermarket said, you can’t actually buy life. But maybe you can rebrand it.

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Bijou and FilmScene offer a trip around the world, both literally and figuratively, with the Bijou Horizons Film Series. Watch five movies, win $1,500 and free airfare. That’s the draw of the Bijou Horizons series, beginning 6 p.m. Tuesday at FilmScene, 118 E. College St. University of Iowa students who attend all five foreign films between now and the end of the semester (free for UI Students, $5 for the general public) will be eligible to win a $1,500 study-abroad scholarship.

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Study Abroad will host an information session on its popular summer Iowa Hispanic Institute program in Valladolid, Spain on Wednesday, February 17 from 5-5:45 p.m. in 313 Phillips Hall.

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If I said living in a new country was easy, I’d be lying. You always hear the stories of culture shock but, you’re not quite sure what it will look like once it begins to happen. Well, let me tell you. It can be ugly.

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The Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa will host a symposium on April 22 and 23 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the University Capitol Centre. This event will serve as a platform for researchers on Chinese applied linguistics around the world to generate ideas, cross disciplinary boundaries, and disseminate research about issues and concerns in the learning and teaching of Chinese as a non-primary language (including heritage language learning) across different acquisition stages in different settings. Topics will include Chinese as a second language processes and development, data-driven pedagogy and discourse analysis and grammar.

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Are you a recent study abroad returnee? Show off your global knowledge at the Study Abroad trivia night!The event will take place on Tuesday, February 16 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at The Mill in Iowa City. Returned UI study abroad participants and interested friends are invited to enjoy an evening of conversation, trivia and (free!) pizza catered by The Mill.

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Some believe new technologies are powerful forces that dictate social, cultural and political relations. These “technological determinists” focus on the technology itself, questioning whether it produces positive or negative outcomes in society. Others believe people use technologies in ways that suit existing goals and interests. These “social constructionists” think about new technologies as tools that can be seized, adapted and appropriated by the public. While there is plenty of middle ground between these two perspectives, this dichotomy draws attention to a key question in the study of new technologies. Who has the most power: technology or people? This question, and how it has been answered throughout history and around the world, will be central to an upcoming WorldCanvass discussion, featuring University of Iowa faculty from Communication Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication, and Computer Science. The program, “Encountering New Technology,” will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Iowa City’s nonprofit cinema arts organization FilmScene on 118 E. College St. The program is free and open to the public.

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You know that emotion between excitement and terror? Where you are so excited for tomorrow to begin that you can’t sleep but, at the same time you hide under your covers because you just want to stay in bed forever and not have to face tomorrow? That would be the word to describe my emotional state right now. It’s only two days before I leave for Prague and I am now scrambling to pack everything I need.

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In his latest Dean's blog, Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas writes about the impact of international experiences.

While close to three-quarters of S&P 500 companies generate international revenue, the leaders of these companies have a long way to go in developing their global competencies. Yes, English has become the lingua franca of international business; but culture is always local. And far too few executives have the skills to be truly successful in unfamiliar cultural waters. Culture is far more than mastering a calendar of national holidays or knowing how to say hello. Negotiation varies from one culture to another, as do a vast array of expectations related to the business of getting things done, ranging from timing to process, from who decides to how to approach next steps. To be competitive, our graduates need to have the skills that allow them to approach new situations with confidence, to listen attentively to what is being said and what is not being said, and to understand multiple shades of grey. And an excellent way to gain such skills is to study, intern, or live abroad.

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We're excited to announce our Study Abroad Bloggers for the spring 2016 semester! These nine unique individuals were selected from a competitive pool of writers to tell the story of their destination and represent the voice of University of Iowa students while abroad.

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The spring 2016 Bijou Horizons film series begins Tuesday, Feb. 9, with the screening of Theeb, a film from the United Arab Emirates. UI students who attend all five movies will once again be eligible to have their names entered into a drawing to receive a $1,500 study abroad scholarship, plus round-trip airfare. UI International Programs, the home of Study Abroad, provides the scholarship to one student each semester, chosen via drawing from the pool of students who’ve attended each of the screenings. A FilmScene donor also provides round-trip airfare.

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Preparing for a trip abroad may have just gotten easier. Students and staff at the University of Iowa requiring visas, passport renewals, or other travel document services will now be offered these services at a discounted rate. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation has signed a contract with CIBT Visa Services to provide passport and visa services to the UI and other Institutional Cooperation institutions — which include other schools in the Big Ten.

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The University of Iowa is ranked among the top 35 public universities in the nation (U.S. News & World Report) and is renowned not only for its academic excellence but for its research profile. But what does it mean to be a ‘research university?’ Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests discussed the answer to that question from multiple perspectives when they gathered on January 26 for a program called “Research to Real Life.” Below is a ReCap of the event with access to see and hear the full program.

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We live in an age of new technology, expecting any day to wake up to yet another jaw-dropping device or a discovery that simply changes everything about the way we live and work. The rate of innovation in the modern age can be breathtaking, but technological advances have jolted humans into new and unfamiliar territory since the dawn of humankind. On the next WorldCanvass, we’ll contemplate the larger implications of the adoption of new technologies—how do they change the ways in which individuals interact, the sharing of information, the movement of people and ideas from place to place, and what does all of this mean to the shape and form of a culture? WorldCanvass guests will discuss “Encountering New Technology” at FilmScene on February 9, beginning at 5 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

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Iowa City ranked seventh in the Peace Corps’ 2015 listing of the country’s top volunteer-producing metro areas per capita. This is the first time the Iowa City metro area (defined as Washington and Johnson counties) reached the top 10 on the list of currently-serving Peace Corps volunteers.

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Looking to make your study abroad experience a bit more affordable? Apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship! The Gilman scholarship is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

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On February 1 Iowans will choose the presidential candidates in the Democrat and Republican parties who they wish to see move on to the national election. This is a rare opportunity for international visitors to witness a tradition that is very unique to the state of Iowa.

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If the phrase "academic research" brings to mind tweedy professors poring over rare manuscripts or bespectacled scientists in lab coats examining glass beakers — you’re probably not alone. Nor is the stereotype entirely wrong; I’ve certainly dressed the part of rumpled geek during my career, to the occasional chagrin of my family. The prolonged and often unglamorous work of studying how social, economic and political forces shaped history, or how the universe operates down to the subatomic level and out at the furthest edges of space can seem mysterious, tedious and irrelevant to people outside of academia.

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Congratulations to our very own India Winterim study abroad program, recipient of the prestigious 2016 Institute of International Education (IIE) Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the India Winterim program, with over 1,000 students and faculty participating since its inauguration. Geography professor and India Winterim creator Raj Rajagopal and International Programs' Assistant Provost Doug Lee will accept the award at a ceremony in Davis, California, in March.

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Hello everyone! First off, I would like to thank everyone who is reading my blog, and hope you find my posts somewhat entertaining and interesting as I document my times here in Scotland. For my first entry, I’m going to talk about getting around the city of Edinburgh, which has been quite different than my time in Iowa City.

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“Tell me about a time when you were faced with a difficult situation and how you resolved it,” an interviewer might ask you. Or perhaps, “Give me an example of a moment when you were thrown out of your comfort zone and how you dealt with it.” These questions can be daunting for even the most qualified job applicant. But the truth is, your interviewer is probably expecting some pretty stereotypical answers: You took a difficult class outside of your major and, by some force of will, ended up getting a decent grade. You took part in a group project that you essentially had to complete on your own because your partners were lazy. Yawn. This isn’t going to help you stand out. But, studies show that a study abroad experience might. Not only will a story about tackling the language barrier during your time in Spain have your interviewer going from apathetic to absorbed – it can also showcase all the skills that make a study abroad experience truly valuable.

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If you ask me, “How was Morocco?” or any similar iteration of the question, my scripted response will be something along the lines of, “It was great! I learned a lot, and I loved being there, but I’m glad to be home.” This answer, or whichever variation of it bores me the least, satisfies ninety-eight percent of the frustrating, albeit well-meaning, questioners.

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While Abby Restko was in college at the University of Iowa, she embarked on a study abroad experience in Venice, Italy. Restko, who was a majoring in marketing with a minor in art, knew then that she should have a jewelry store that offered Murano glass locally. So she opened Glassando in a small space in the Old Capitol Mall just a week after graduation in 2005.

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