Global Buddies

The "About" section of our website and new International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS) Facebook page gives a basic description, but what does it really mean and who does ISSS serve?

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Iowa’s Asian population is growing at a faster clip than any other racial or ethnic group, and new U.S. Census Bureau numbers reveal that people who identify as Asian now comprise 2 percent of the state’s populace.

From 2010 to 2012, the number of people living in Iowa who identify as Asian jumped 10.6 percent from 54,232 to 60,004 people, according to the new Census numbers released Thursday. From 2011 to 2012, Iowa’s Asian population jumped 4.8 percent, also representing the biggest increase among racial and ethnic groups in Iowa for that time period.

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In interviews with 40 international students at four research universities, Chris R. Glass was struck by the relative absence of Americans from his subjects' stories. The interviewees, half undergraduate and half graduate students, described close relationships with their international peers, including those coming from countries other than their own. But while they frequently characterized their American classmates as friendly or helpful, only rarely did they seem to play a significant role in their lives.

"Only one student has described a significant relationship with a U.S. peer and that student was from Western Europe and that peer was her boyfriend," said Glass, an assistant professor of educational foundations and leadership at Old Dominion University. "That to me is a striking omission from the stories that they're telling."

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