China

The United States and Chinese governments have agreed to increase visa lengths for business, tourism, and students. Student and student exchange visas were extended from the previous one-year limit to five years. Business and tourism visas increased to a length of 10 years.

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Lu Shen was interested in journalism long before she enrolled at the University of Iowa as a double major in Journalism and Mass Communication and Art. Shen, an undergraduate student from Hangzhou, China, studied for two years before making the decision to come to the U.S. She was encouraged by a favorite professor at home to take on the challenge of studying journalism in a U.S. university, and her parents also supported her decision.

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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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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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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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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 state of Iowa’s long-standing ties to Hebei Province in China will continue to strengthen with a new American Cultural Center opening in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang next year. The center will offer educational and cultural programming in Iowa’s sister state of more than 30 years, and Hebei community members will be able to participate in Iowa's summer, state-wide bike tour RAGBRAI.

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When RuiHao Min took his girlfriend to an Italian restaurant during his freshman year at the University of Iowa, a polite gesture turned faux pas when he ordered for his date and received an undesirable entrée, but also a potentially lucrative idea: Blue Cheese.

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Translator application Blue Cheese is rapidly gaining popularity among students and local food venues in Iowa City.

Blue Cheese is an app available on the iTunes store that translates restaurant menu items into Chinese with the tap of a finger. The app has had more than 80,000 downloads so far and is a "best app" winner on iTunes.

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