International Accents

E.g., Monday, January 26, 2015
E.g., Monday, January 26, 2015

Getting off the plane at O’Hare was surreal. Was I really back in Chicago? Costa Rica felt like a dream and I had just suddenly awoken to the brisk winter of the Windy City. To be honest I wasn’t excited to be back, not as excited as I should have been or excited as my friends were. I had found a sense of happiness in Costa Rica that I was scared I would lose the moment I stepped back on to U.S. territory. But as I walked through the airport, I promised myself I would hold on to that happiness and optimism I had gained in Costa Rica and carry it with me wherever I went.

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Harold Van Beek is an alumnus from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His family is here with him which includes his best friend and wife, Astrid, their son Laurens, who will attend the University of Iowa next year, and two dogs, Kiba and Mocha.

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The next WorldCanvass will explore the complicated and controversial issues surrounding the legality and use of tobacco and marijuana with a special focus on the tension between personal liberty and the public good. Host Joan Kjaer will moderate the conversation with guests from the fields of dentistry, psychiatry, pharmacy, public health, and law. The February 3 program begins at 5 p.m. at FilmScene and is free and open to the public

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Dr. Downing A. Thomas is well-known on campus as the Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs. Thomas is also a professor in the Department of French and Italian in CLAS. He received his doctorate in French Literature from New York University, and took a position with the University of Iowa soon after.

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Students on the six-week summer Irish Writing Program program have the extraordinary opportunity not only to study the history and culture of Ireland through its literature, but also to begin the discovery of their own identities as writers. It’s an experience with transformative results for many. This is one of many short-term and faculty led programs that will be represented at this spring's Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, Jan 29.

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My idea was to create the best study abroad creative writing program in the world. That sounds immodest but that was the goal, and I think we do offer an outstanding study abroad experience. It’s an undergraduate program with graduate level expectations. My secret (out now) was to always treat undergraduate students as if they were graduates. They have always done the job. I knew that the University of Iowa was considered number one in America for the writers’ workshop, and I knew we in Ireland had exceptionally talented literature and drama professors. Bringing together the best of both places made the program an instant success.

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Location: Norwich. Time since arrival: One week. Status: Alive and thriving. I am in England.

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After 28 hours in airports and airplanes – with little to no sleep – I made it not to home, but to a nice comfy hotel. Little did I know when I was buying my plane ticket home back in July that I would get caught in Iowa’s first big snowstorm of 2015. Had I gone back a day earlier or a day later, I would have gotten home just fine!

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On Monday, the University of Iowa hosted its second-ever International Welcome Night in an effort to integrate new international students, which has proved difficult after a rise in the international population over the past few years. Though hundreds of students attended the fall welcome night, the event’s organizer, Joelle Brown, anticipated various challenges for the spring welcome night. These included smaller enrollment of first-time international students and January’s uninviting temperatures preventing some students from traveling to the event.

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The University of Iowa’s Food for Thought Theme Semester is a program that will launch Tuesday and run throughout the spring semester. It will connect academics, local communities and individual Iowans through something we can all relate to: food.

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University of Iowa student Andrew Mogni sustained serious injuries after a fall in Rome and is currently receiving medical care. The 20-year-old from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, recently arrived for a semester program at John Cabot University in Trastevere. He is a third-year finance major at the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s really been two weeks already. When I was sitting in the airport writing the first blog I honestly had no idea how this trip would go. I didn’t know any of the 50 people going (except for one boy from a previous class), and my nervousness was at an extreme high. Once the jetlag disappeared after a few days, I felt very comfortable in this foreign town.

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Brad Merryman will tell you he has the best job in the world. After 25 years in the IT industry, he hung up his hat and volunteered in Costa Rica through the Peace Corps. Just a few short months after returning to the U.S., Merryman was honored to accept the Midwest Regional Manager position with the Peace Corps, where he now oversees the recruitment of volunteers throughout a region spanning 11 states.

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It’s Wednesday night and I’ve just had a long but great day. I and a few other people got tickets to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Tour! To say that I used to be obsessed with Harry Potter is probably an understatement. My room was plastered with posters, I knew every tiny little fact and would take online trivia quizzes to prove I knew every little fact, and I’ve definitely read the books more than once. I was always convinced (okay, still am) that my Hogwarts letter had just gotten lost in the mail.

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I finally experienced a typical rainy day in London yesterday. Our class had a day trip to Stonehenge and then to Windsor Castle. It was a bright and early wake up to be outside on the bus at 7:45 am; or I guess I should say dark and dreary. It was lightly raining as all of us zombie walked onto the bus.

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When retired faculty member Nancy Hauserman was a student, study abroad programs were not yet common. The concept has gained prominence as a way to learn about the global economy as well as different cultures. Now, a growing fund is making it possible for more students than ever to benefit from these pivotal journeys. From 1976 to 2013, Hauserman served the Tippie College in various roles, including teaching in the International MBA Program and CIMBA. While serving as associate dean of the Undergraduate Program, she helped start the undergraduate Winter Session course in London in 2000. “When students go overseas — whether for a week, semester, or year — you can see the positive impact it has on their lives when they return,” Nancy says.

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It’s New Years Day! Last night I went to Piccadilly Circus to watch the fireworks and they were pretty spectacular. This year was the first year London ticketed their NYE fireworks, but I figure that was more for crowd control rather than for profit. Only those who wished to see the fireworks across from the London eye down by the River Thames were ticketed. Someone told me that last year all of the tubes had to be shut down because of too many crowds.

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Today is the day, the day I leave for London for two weeks. As someone with some anxiety and multiple stomach issues, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for this plane ride. Packing my carry-on with a gallon bag filled with all kinds of medicines helped a little to remedy my hypochondriac-worries. This is also my first time travelling alone, yet that’s not really on my top list of worries. The “normal” worries never seem to be my priorities.

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Fifteen small businesses in Iowa opened their doors to University of Iowa students to find out how they could market their products to Chinese consumers. Tippie College of Business Professors Lon Moeller and Jay Christensen-Szalanski decided to add a bilingual hoop for students to jump through with this semester's online Introduction to Law course. "We were trying to make the course more accessible to (UI's Chinese students) so they could better understand it and then in the process take advantage of the skills that they have and have them work together with the native English-speaking students," Christensen-Szalanski said.

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For the past seven summers, the University of Iowa's Between the Lines programs has been bringing high school-age writers from Russia and Arabic-speaking nations to Iowa City for a two-week, summertime residency.This year's program — which is hosted by the International Writing Program — will be offering a special summer session that will include about two dozen 17-to-20-year-old writers from two nations that have had been at odds for for generations: Turkey and Armenia. The international writers will be joined by a smaller cohort of similarly aged writers from the U.S.

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My name is Hanley. I am currently studying the 2014-2015 academic year abroad in Madrid, Spain. I decided to study in Spain after having spent a year in Peru. I became fascinated with the Spanish language and the many cultures that surround it. My year in Spain has been one of the greatest experiences in my life, to say the least. Perhaps, one of the biggest revelations one could make while abroad is self-discovery. Regardless of people’s said intentions for going abroad, or even just travelling in general, they subconsciously are not only looking to see new parts of the world, but of themselves as well. People travel to find previously undiscovered parts of their identity.

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In a guest opinion column for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, UI graduate student Eli Asikin-Garmager reflects on his two months living in a village in Indonesia where he conducted research on a local language and completed requirements toward his graduate degree in linguistics. The language found on Lombok Island in Eastern Indonesia — called Sasak — is spoken by some 2.5 million people, but relatively little documentation of the language exists.

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Kelsey Frisk, a senior at the University of Iowa, lived in Malå from January through July as part of the study abroad program. There, she researched policies and cultural issues affecting the Sámi people. Her research included investigations of herders practicing reindeer husbandry, who she said make up about 10 percent of the Sámi people.

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The UI’s “Food for Thought” project—its first ever theme semester—offers a platform for engagement on campus and throughout the state around one of life’s constants…food. Join host Joan Kjaer at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20 at FilmScene in downtown Iowa City as she and her guests discuss the ways in which food affects us as individuals and binds us as members of communities.

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On Saturday, Dec. 20, the University of Iowa streamed two special commencement ceremonies featuring commentary in Chinese: the Undergraduate Commencement and the College of Engineering commencement. Watch these videos on our website now.

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