International Accents

E.g., Saturday, October 25, 2014
E.g., Saturday, October 25, 2014

Journalist, author, and activist Roger Thurow and tropical medicine specialist Dr. Selma Jeronimo have been named the winners of the 2014 International Impact Awards. UI President Sally Mason and Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas will present the awards to Thurow and Jeronimo at 5 p.m., November 18, at FilmScene in downtown Iowa City as part of the television/radio/internet program WorldCanvass. The ensuing discussion will focus on the tenacious cycle of poverty, hunger, and disease which afflicts so many parts of our globe—and some of the creative efforts worldwide to break the cycle.

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Interested in learning the basics of Chinese? Survival Chinese class is designed for tourists, exchange students, and anyone else who wants to speak basic Chinese for functional purposes. This class, offered by the UI Confucius Institute, is open to anyone age 14 and up. Students will gain a basic understanding of the Chinese language system, learn useful expressions for daily conversations, and be introduced to cultural performances and products to better understand and communicate in China.

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Natalie Gilkison, a UI international studies alumna from Davenport, Iowa, spent time in China and here in Iowa working with international students during her undergraduate education. Natalie’s focus on international issues remained true during her time in law school, and she hopes to work with international students or in international education in her future.

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Pius, a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) from Tanzania, reflects on his experience at the University of Iowa in this video produced by the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Pius teaches courses in Swahili, which he says is made easier by the advanced technology available at the UI.

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The Univesity of Iowa Tippie College of Business is planning a new initiative to let UI students and Iowa businesses work together on expanding globally. The UI’s Institute for International Business is creating a program in which students work in groups of four or five with a small business in Iowa to analyze risk and assess markets to help build a foreign entry strategy.

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The African Studies Program, a constituent program of University of Iowa International Programs, has awarded Professor Christopher D. Roy, the Elizabeth M. Stanley Faculty Fellow of African Art History, the 2014 African Studies Faculty of the Year Award. This award is presented to Professor Roy in recognition of his outstanding contribution to teaching and research in African studies at the University of Iowa for more than 35 years.

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The European Studies Group will present a guest lecture by Sheryl Kroen of the University of Florida on "Narrating the Postwar with Robinson Crusoe" at noon on Friday, October 24, 2014, in Room 2390 University Capitol Centre. The event is free and open to the public and a light lunch will be provided.

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The weekend started by getting on the bus in Istanbul at 9pm. There were about 50 of us and we were mainly exchange students who went to various universities in Istanbul. Our first stop was Salt Lake. This place is very unique because it is the second largest lake in Turkey, and much of the salt used in Turkey is taken from this lake. The place we went to on Salt Lake actually had no water, and we could walk out far from “shore.” It was quite cold, but it was very cool to walk on the ground which was basically solid salt. I even tasted some of the salt!

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The University of Iowa will soon expand its student presence even further across the Pacific. The UI was recently selected as one of eight signature partners for the 100,000 Strong Foundation for 2014-15. The foundation, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, intends to strengthen relations between the United States and China by encouraging students to study Mandarin Chinese both here and abroad, especially the latter.

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One of the first things I learned in high school German was, “Was machst du in deine Freizeit?” This means, “What do you do in your free time?” It’s one of those seemingly useful questions that doesn’t work here because Germans don’t do small talk.

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About two weeks ago, I went on a day trip to the Swiss Alps. We were supposed to hike up a mountain in a place called Engelberg, but had to reorganize our trip due to a festival in a small Swiss town where cows were descending from their mountainside pastures, thus closing off the road. (Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.) So instead of hiking, we ended up making our ascent up a different mountain via gondola – a first for me!

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Brazil lives in the popular imagination as an exotic, tropical landscape whose glorious beaches offer stunning vacation destinations. For some, the mention of Brazil stirs thoughts of unrestrained logging, all-but-unknown indigenous populations along the Amazon and over-crowded cities where the disparities between rich and poor couldn’t be sharper. And yet for others, Brazil is a 21st-century powerhouse, bursting with plentiful natural resources and rich with development opportunities.

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A 30-year relationship between Hebei Province in China and the University of Iowa might soon be taken to the next level. The UI International Programs, in partnership with the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures as well as Iowa Sister States, has recently been awarded a grant to open an American Cultural Center in Hebei.

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New investments in scholarships are key elements in the university’s plan to attract more high-achieving students and boost enrollment across the board including a new $1,000 Iowa Abroad Scholarship for Iowa residents.

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October 8th. Can you believe it? I can't. It's been more than a month abroad, and somehow I'm still surviving. Actually, I know how I'm surviving. With lots of pastries and tea.

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The Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, International Programs, and the International Writing Program are jointly hosting several events next week featuring Ye Mimi, a Taiwanese poet and filmmaker, and Steve Bradbury, a poet, essayist, and associate professor of English at National Central University in Taiwan. All these events are free and open to the public.

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The South Asian Studies Program in International Programs will welcome Howard Spodek, professor of history at Temple University, to speak about his recent research in the city of Ahmedabad on Monday, October 13, from 4-6 p.m. in Room 2390 University Capitol Centre.

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Interested in learning Taiji? Join the Confucius Institute for a free, five-week class! Classes will meet October 21 to November 18, 2014, on Tuesday evenings from 6:40-7:40 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre.

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Although many people in Europe know English, especially in the cities, they are not always willing to speak it. During my first week in Vienna, Austria, I learned this the hard way. Austrians learn English in school, but don’t use it very often.

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University of Iowa law Professor Mark Osiel was recently invited to Colombia by the Republic of Colombia and the Organization of Ibero-American States, an inter-governmental organization dedicated to promoting human rights in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world. “Since this is my area of scholarship, I’m periodically invited to countries undergoing transitions from war to peace and from authoritarianism to democracy,” he said. “Their leaders and citizens, including victims’ organizations, ask me to explain the range of possibilities for what’s loosely called ‘transitional justice.’ ”

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In recognition of its ongoing commitment to educational exchange between the U.S. and China, the University of Iowa was recently chosen as one of eight signature partners of the 100,000 Strong Foundation for 2014-15. With this new partnership, the UI hopes to increase the number of students studying abroad in China and increase the number of American students studying Mandarin language.

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The University of Iowa has incorporated several new events into Homecoming Week to help students get more involved and give back to the community. Another initiative to keep a larger population of students involved is also being implemented. Virtual Homecoming will allow international and domestic alumni who aren’t able to be there to experience Iowa’s Homecoming in person to be able to experience it online.

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“Góðan daginn! Do you need any help sorting your sheep?” I asked in butchered Icelandic, tapping an older woman in waders on the shoulder. She stopped directing sheep traffic and shook her head. Although she probably spoke English fluently, she apparently didn’t have the time to spare when tourists such as myself were eager to help. Instead of answering my question, she pulled an older man over for me to talk to and walked away.

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Sandra Spieler, the McKnight Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award winner for 2014, will visit Iowa City Oct. 16-17 for a community arts forum and puppet workshops, all free and open to the public.

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As the only institute of its kind in the Midwest, King Sejong Institute at the University of Iowa will bring Korean language and culture to the Iowa City community, beginning Oct. 9 with a public kickoff celebration.

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