China

Flooding – as humans often forget – is as natural as rain. While it has been historically common to settle on fertile floodplains to support agriculture, nature actually intended for floodplains to periodically flood, which can lead to widespread damage and even harm.

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China has about 100 million children learning English, and a pair of University of Iowa students have started a new business to help them. Western Wise started offering real-time English language tutoring services for children in China over the Internet in February and has today about 25 clients, nine tutors, and a total of 10 employees. The business, which is headquartered in the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory (BELL) student-owned business incubator, is owned by Emily Roberts, a senior majoring in Spanish and finance, and Chen Cui, a doctoral engineering student.

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More than 400 incoming freshmen, their parents, and alumni joined UI faculty and staff in early July for pre-departure orientation sessions in Beijing and Shanghai, China. This was the third year of on-site orientation sessions and the largest group of attendees to date. Attendees heard orientation presentations from UI staff, personal reflections on life at Iowa from panels of UI students and alumni, and had the opportunity to ask their own questions during a Q&A and two reception events.

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Two weeks in China wasn’t enough for Brooke Mertins, a junior majoring in marketing and human resource management at Tippie, who decided to stay for an extra week to fully immerse herself in Chinese culture.

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Professors at the University of Iowa are seeing more Chinese students in their classrooms, so they’re taking extra steps to make them feel comfortable. This program pairs Chinese-speaking student tutors with faculty and staff in one-on-one sessions at the beginning of every semester.

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Brett Burk, of Oskaloosa, IA, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to pursue an English Teaching Assistantship in Taiwan for 2015-16. Burk graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2014 with a B.A. in linguistics and an emphasis in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language).

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Phil’s Day 2015 is a day to celebrate philanthropy and the impact it has on the University of Iowa. These are just a few of the many UI students who were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives, thanks to the generosity of private donors. Read on to learn about their unique adventures and projects.

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A photo exhibition of Wang’s work will run through May 12 in the Adler Journalism Building Resource Center. Photographs include representations of bicycle repairmen and construction from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

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The Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa will offer a free calligraphy workshop for community members Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in Room 1117 University Capitol Centre on the UI campus.

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This May will again be the season of graduation, and students have been considering their plans for life after graduation. For international students, it can be an especially difficult time. They must decide whether stay in the United States, go back to their home countries, pursue more education, or begin to work.

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