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As has been the case since the start of the Arab uprisings in 2011, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and social media have played a key role not only reporting on these transformative events, but also providing radically different narratives about events in each country depending on the sectarian and ideological backgrounds of various actors. The complex relationship between the media and social change movements are receiving increased attention from academics and researchers, and the University of Iowa will introduce some of these scholars to the public in late April. In just over a month, Iowa City will welcome one of the nation’s most pre-eminent Middle East scholars, Dr. Mohammed el-Nawawy.

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This May will again be the season of graduation, and students have been considering their plans for life after graduation. For international students, it can be an especially difficult time. They must decide whether stay in the United States, go back to their home countries, pursue more education, or begin to work.

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For 15 years, Ukrainian musician Roman Turovsky has playing the music that settled deep in his heart many years before. Though initially compelled to remain in the shadows as a composer, Turovsky later sought the adrenaline of performance. At 7 p.m. March 15 at the Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington St., Turovsky will make his first appearance at the ninth-annual Russian Guitar Festival alongside other virtuosos in Russian guitar music. This will mark the second time for the Englert to host the event.

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A new program from University of Iowa Student Legal Services is trying to aid international students in understanding their rights while living in Iowa. Because international students are often unfamiliar with U.S. laws, the university started the program to inform students of their rights.

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Every year, for decades now, the Iowa United Nations Association has held Night of 1,000 Dinners in honor of International Women’s Day. Over these decades, the role that we have played in Iowa City as proponents of international cooperation has shifted. It used to be that our role was to connect Iowans to an international community that seemed so far away and hard to reach. Now, the world has brought the international playing field to our doorstep. International cooperation is our goal not only abroad (“out there”), but also here, here in our state, here in our city, here in our schools.

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An internship in Spain can cost roughly $8,000 — not including the $1,500 plane ticket — but some say the experience is priceless. Amanda McFadden, University of Iowa associate director of career advising and international services, thinks the programs can be worth the cost. “I think anywhere you get good work experience is valuable,” she said.

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We are now living in the “Anthropocene” (pronounced AN-thruh-puh-seen), the literal definition of which is the “New Age (cene) of Humans (anthropos).” For many people, the notion that we are living in the age of humans might be unremarkably self-evident. But the concept of the Anthropocene challenges us to consider how humans have become the dominant agent of change on Earth. The upcoming Obermann Humanities Symposium at the University of Iowa, March 5-7, “Energy Cultures in the Age of the Anthropocene,” will showcase innovative thinking about how to conceptualize and deal with the large-scale human alterations of environments and ecosystems that have given a new name to the age in which we live.

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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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