China

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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Youjia Hua is changing the lives of both educators and parents in China, but he teaches from the University of Iowa.

Hua, a UI associate professor of education, was awarded a Strategic Global Initiatives Award, which gave him $10,000 to develop a class sequence to teach classes for special-education teachers and parents of children with disabilities about behavior analysis.

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Upon arriving at the UI his freshman year, Yuhao Cai was paired in Stanley Residence Hall with roommate Jared Szabo, an Iowa native who was also a freshman. Szabo, a fifth-year UI senior, says his hometown of Postville, Iowa, is “a really diverse town,” so being paired with an international roommate “wasn’t too much of a shock.” Cai, on the other hand, was nervous his roommate would fit his perception of American stereotypes.

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"Being exposed to other beliefs and ways of living and working is an intense experience unlike most others that forces students to reflect, to adapt, and to learn new skill sets. Even a simple request in a foreign language can be tough, so consider the learning that occurs when students are challenged with expressing themselves, negotiating, or handling an abstract conversation.”

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This week, faculty and staff at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business are learning how to welcome incoming Chinese students—by correctly pronouncing their names. As Chinese students make up a larger share of student bodies at U.S. colleges—and comprise a large majority of the 20% international enrollment at Tippie—administrators are making cultural adjustments smoother on campus, with special orientations for Chinese students, multicultural food events and Chinese-language coaching for professors and staff.

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