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The intent of those who planned and carried out the recent terrorist attack in Tunisia and the reactions to it, both underscore the idiosyncratic connections between economic development and terrorism.

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'It’s not too uncommon for University of Iowa students who are studying abroad to leave temporarily or take a break due to an illness, injury or family emergency. But rarely do students cut short their experience and not return to their program in some capacity, according to UI International Programs.

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They hail from as far away as Estonia, the Gaza Strip, the Côte d ’Ivoire and as near as Iowa City, but Monday, they were all gathered in one room to discuss human rights. Local and international activists gathered for a forum on human rights at the University Capitol Center, held by the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC).

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Kali Peschel was able to do everything she planned during her six-week study abroad trip to Spain this summer. Peschel immersed herself in the foreign culture, she experienced a different way of life and took in the sights during her stay in the town of Valladolid. The Iowa senior also got to do something she never expected during stay in Spain — she got to play a little basketball.

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In the upcoming years, students will be able to get an up-close view of Cuba as never before. In December 2014, President Obama announced the loosening of trade and travel restrictions with Cuba, which took effect on Jan. 16. This makes visiting Cuba much easier for Americans than in the last 54 years.

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"The time has come for me to say goodbye to the University of Iowa where for 12 years, I had the opportunity to explore a tiny tributary of the might river of knowledge. With the exception of my village in Africa, Iowa has probably shaped my life more than any other place I have called home." As he moves on to new places, International Programs faculty fellow Leo Eko reflects on the special place one small Iowa town holds in his heart.

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Naomi Jackson knows better than anyone that Iowa City and Barbados don’t have a lot in common. Born to West Indian parents and graduating from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jackson has spent a great deal of time in both locations. Despite a disparity in similarity, the confluence of the two led to Jackson’s Barbados-based debut novel, “The Star Side of Bird Hill.” You can hear Naomi read from her novel at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City on July 20.

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International education organizations are taking notice of Iowa's efforts to attract larger and more diverse student bodies by recruiting and responding to prospective international students. A recent report, "Through Student Eyes," ranked Iowa as the No. 5 state in the nation in terms of communicating and serving prospective international students online. The report — produced by the online comparison tool StudyPortals in collaboration with the British Council, a British educational organization — looked at the top 1,000 universities worldwide and ranked the schools' responsiveness to prospective international students online through a mystery shopper exercise. Iowa scored 60.70 out of 100 points in the survey, ranking behind Washington, Michigan, Missouri and Oregon.

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Professors at the University of Iowa are seeing more Chinese students in their classrooms, so they’re taking extra steps to make them feel comfortable. This program pairs Chinese-speaking student tutors with faculty and staff in one-on-one sessions at the beginning of every semester.

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Soon, high-school students from Iowa might be able to trade places with those in Japan. Kim Heidemann, the executive director of Iowa Sister States, is in Yamanashi, Japan, to discuss the possibility of a high-school student exchange program beginning in the spring of 2016. Iowa Sister States is a nonprofit organization that promotes programs between Iowa and various “sister states” to foster positive international relationships. These sister states include Yamanashi, Kosovo, and Hebei, China, among many others, and programs range from economic trade to education. “These relationships help give students and professors new opportunities to meet people from another culture and exchange ideas,” said Kassi Wheeler, the international-program manager for Iowa Sister States.

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