International Accents

E.g., Thursday, January 29, 2015
E.g., Thursday, January 29, 2015

Arab Spring to be subject of 2015 Provost's Global Forum. Since the start of the protest movement widely known as the Arab Spring, in 2011, conditions in most Arab countries have spiraled out of control. With the notable exception of Tunisia, which just held its last round of successful parliamentarian and presidential elections, other Arab countries that were affected by the protest movement have fallen into a vicious cycle of violence that is threatening other countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.

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I have been in Spain for roughly two weeks and have spent 25% of that time lost. Maybe this is an exaggeration since many of my meanderings, as Tolkien might say, were spent with intention. However, this was definitely not true of my first day. My first experience of feeling misplaced was immediately upon arriving in Madrid. The second (third, fourth and fifth ad infinitim) have been in Bilbao, a clean and beautiful city whose streets seem to snake like tributaries of the Mississippi river even though I’ve been told by everyone who lives here “it’s so small it is impossible to get lost.” In every Spanish city I have visited so far I’ve found it very easy to lose my way, and the only difference between my first day and today is that now I do it on purpose.

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Originally from Hong Kong, Agnes graduated from the University of Iowa International Writing Program in 2008 as an Honorary Fellow in Writing. Since then, she has accomplished a wide range of achievements. She was awarded the Nosside International Poetry Prize (Special Mention) in 2008 and some of her poems have been translated into German, Italian and other languages.

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The South Asian Studies Program (SASP) at the University of Iowa will kick off its spring seminar series with a talk by Dr. Scott Levi titled "Whither the Silk Road? The View from Early Modern India" on Monday, February 2, at 4:30 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre. The event is free and open to the public. Chai and samosas will be served.

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A store clerk in the Central Services Section at the Ankeny lab, Lovan was among employees who participated in a program to promote cultural understanding among the diverse staff at the lab. University of Iowa’s Human Resources/Staff Language and Culture Services funded the project, “Collaboration between the Lines: Connecting Cultures to Build Bridges between Work Shifts, Management and Staff at the University of Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory."

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I don’t know how to answer the questions you’ll ask me about being abroad for four months. You’ll ask if it was amazing, and then you will ask me if I miss it. And I will say there are a few things that I miss in particular – getting to see mountains every day, and I honestly miss hearing the Icelandic language. The landscape is surreal, so I miss that, too. What I could do without is missing my friends and family in the United States. But now I just miss the friends that I made abroad.

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On January 20, 2015, Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests kicked off the Unversity of Iowa's first theme semester "Food for Thought" with a discussion on food and its relationship to community, heritage, and identities. This is a "ReCap" of the event with access to see and hear the full program.

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Come enjoy the culinary delights of Asia at the Confucius Institute’s Asian Cook-Off. The event, which will be held Friday, January 30, from 6-8 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre, is free and open to the public.

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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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