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On February 19th I attended the Mayor of Muscatine, Iowa’s Report to the Community on China Initiatives along with four other University of Iowa 100,000 Strong Foundation Student Ambassadors. We came away from the event excited and ready to carry out the 100,000 Strong Foundation’s mission on our own campus. The people of Muscatine are a great example of how a seemingly small group can have a big impact on diplomatic relations. Although there were many different ideas being discussed, one message came across crystal clear; in order for any of the initiatives to be successful, Americans must make an effort to understand China.

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Bank’s effort part of Iowa City area’s continuing efforts to better welcome Chinese students. Hills Bank and Trust has become the first Corridor bank to offer Mandarin as a language option on automated teller machines. The Hills-based bank updated the ATM in the lobby of its Old Capitol Town Center office in mid-December. The bank plans to install Mandarin on other ATMs across the University of Iowa campus as part of software upgrades.

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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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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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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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Are you heading to China for business, interested in learning the basics of Chinese language, or just want to try a new form of exercise or relaxation? Consider enrolling in one of the many community courses offered by the Confucius Institute!

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A smell of beef, peppers, and onions filled a room in the University Capital Center. Bulgogi, a traditional Korean dish made of a mixture of rice, meat and vegetables, was cooked and served to those who participated in the first Korean cultural class following a relatively new partnership between the University of Iowa and a Korean institute. Since the partnership, the King Sejong Institute has taught Korean language courses, and it is trying to expand the program to focus on more cultural-related classes.

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Do you want to try cooking Korean food? Learn about Korean culture while making Korean food at one of several cooking classes offered by the King Sejong Institute at the University of Iowa.

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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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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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