International Education Week

Darren Grafius graduated from the University of Iowa in 2011 with a PhD in geography. Since graduating, he has moved to the United Kingdom, where he is proud to have gotten married and bought a house with his husband. Darren is currently employed as a post-doctoral research fellow at Cranfield University, where he works on a government-funded consortium project studying ecosystem services and biodiversity in urban environments.

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Zubaidah Dahlui hails from Bangi, Malaysia, which is a small town approximately twenty-five miles south of Kuala Lumpur. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1987 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics.

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John Mark Velasco, from Manila, Philippines, earned his Bachelor of Science in biology, Masters of Public Health, and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of the Philippines, and completed a certificate in emerging infectious disease epidemiology from the University Of Iowa College Of Public Health in 2010. He went on to earn his post-graduate diploma and Masters of Science in clinical trials from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

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Mingqian Liu, originally from Beijing, China, graduated from the University of Iowa in 2011 with a degree in international studies and art history. Mingqian went on to earn a PhD in history from Texas A&M University with a concentration in historic preservation and museum studies before returning to Beijing. She now works at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University as a public education fellow, developing art education programs for people of all ages.

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Zi Wang, originally from Chengdu, China, graduated from the University of Iowa in 2013 with a degree in leisure studies. After graduation, she returned to Chengdu, where she founded Cher Maternal Care, an agency that provides in-home nanny service to families.

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Xiangyu Wang came to the University of Iowa from Bengbu, China, and graduated in 2014 with a degree in mathematics. She currently works as an actuarial research analyst for Country Financial in Bloomington, Illinois, building home and auto pricing models.

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Snorkeling among marine life off the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji; a rainy Sunday at Vatican City as thousands gather for mass in St. Peter's Square under the shelter of umbrellas; closeups of many hands creating intricate art in northern India; a blood moon hovering over Mayflower Residence Hall; throngs of students on the Pentacrest during Homecoming.

These moments in life were experienced and captured in photos by University of Iowa students—both U.S. students studying abroad and international students here on campus. They are among the winning images selected for the 2015 International Programs' annual photo contest as part of International Education Week—a way to inspire more awareness of the many ways UI students can experience international education.

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Every year, International Programs - in conjunction with Study Abroad and International Student and Scholar Services - hosts a number of contests open to our returned study abroad and international students. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners in each category. The deadline submission to the photo and video contests is October 31, 2015. Submit your entries today!

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I have never been one to shy away from a challenge, but helping students devise the “right strategy” for applying for a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award has been a daunting task. As the Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) at the University of Iowa, a Big Ten institution with more than 30,000 students, it’s my job to assist students in their quest for this unparalleled, life-transforming opportunity.

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The University of Iowa celebrates International Education Week as an annual opportunity to promote global awareness and engagement and to feature the international opportunities offered on our campus and in our community. Today, as never before, education must be globally oriented to prepare Iowans and students from around the country and around the world to move confidently across borders, to interact effectively with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and to take pleasure in a life filled with inquiry and discovery.

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