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University of Iowa students are participating in more summer and winter study-abroad programs in order to participate in more than just class. In the 2012-13 school year, 62 percent of UI students participated in study, work, internships, or volunteering during summer or winter sessions — as opposed to 55 percent just three years ago.

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Fewer students are enrolling in foreign-language university courses nationally, a study says, but the University of Iowa is not following the trend. According to a survey conducted by the Modern Language Association, there has been a 6 percent decrease in aggregate enrollments. At the UI, however, enrollment numbers have stayed consistent.

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Spring Festival — or Chinese New Year — is one of the most important holidays for many Chinese students. Because it occurs during the semester, many say they’ll miss celebrating with their family. University of Iowa senior Yan Sun said she hasn’t celebrated the Spring Festival with her parents for three years.

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International students at the University of Iowa are increasingly choosing yet another place to study abroad. From summer 2014 to the spring semester of 2015, 55 UI international students went abroad, either to study or to participate in work, internships, or volunteering. This number is up 22 students from the prior year.

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The Bijou Film Board and FilmScene are partnering on a spring series of foreign film screenings beginning Tuesday. “Movies are often the first experience we have with places in the world that are outside our own upbringing, outside our worldview,” said Leah Vonderheide, executive director of the Bijou Film Board. “And yet, it’s often hard to find international films on local screens — particularly international films from outside Europe.” University of Iowa students who see all five shows will be eligible to win a $1,500 scholarship toward a study abroad opportunity, courtesy of UI International Programs.

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KCRG-TV special on Iowa City and its growing Chinese student population. "Leaders in Iowa City are working to better welcome members of the Chinese community with the hopes it will result in more international students eventually taking up permanent residency in the area..."

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Zadok Nampala, international student adviser at North Iowa Area Community College, can relate to those he's helping because he was once in their shoes. Nampala, or "Z," as he is known around campus, grew up in Kenya and attended Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and the University of Iowa. Nampala, who has been at NIACC since August, speaks seven languages and frequently uses three of them — Spanish, Arabic and Swahili — when speaking to the international students at NIACC so "they feel at home," he said.

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In 2014, major airline crashes killed more than 760 people and, understandably, raised concerns over safety issues and the risks of flying. Less understandably, tobacco use prematurely killed 480,000 people in the U.S. and about 5 million people worldwide but engendered little debate. People hear these figures, shrug and turn away — tobacco death fatigue?

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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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Since the start of the protest movement widely known as the Arab Spring, in 2011, conditions in most Arab countries have spiraled out of control. With the notable exception of Tunisia, which just held its last round of successful parliamentarian and presidential elections, other Arab countries that were affected by the protest movement have fallen into a vicious cycle of violence that is threatening other countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.

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