study abroad

When I first arrived in Florence, I knew that I wanted to be able to give back to the community in some way, I just wasn’t sure how. Lucky for me, my answer came quickly. My college informed us that they were offering the opportunity to volunteer at an Elementary school helping teach English.

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UI senior Caitlyn Kavan is a go-getter. Since the beginning of her time at the University of Iowa, she’s been an advocate for refugees, a student athlete, a member of seven multicultural student organizations, and an on-campus facilitator for discussions about breaking racial stereotypes. She can be found here at the International Programs office where she works as an outreach assistant, helping students find the study abroad destination of their dreams.

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As I sat down to breakfast this morning, my roommate broke the news to me that only 27 more days remain until our study abroad experience comes to a close.

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The New York Times published a brief piece, entitled "Study Abroad's Seven Deadly Sins," in the Education Life section of the Sunday paper on April 10th.  The article is not inaccurate in the strictest sense; but the larger context is missing.  The author, a professor at the University of North Carolina, stokes the fires of parental alarm by listing seven evils of study abroad: slide courses, suds (beer), sexual fervidity (as if sex were absent from our home campuses), shopping, self-segregation, smartphoning, and selfie-taking.

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The Study Abroad Office, Peace Corps, the School of International Training (SIT), and the Blank Honors Center will hold two upcoming informational sessions - "Not Your Ordinary International Experience: SIT Study Abroad and the Peace Corps!" These events are free and open to the public, and will take place from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in room 2390 of the University Capitol Centre, and 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, 2016, in room 350 of the Blank Honors Center.

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In light of recent terrorist attacks in Brussels which targeted the Brussels International Airport and metro system, the Study Abroad office has confirmed that there are no UI students studying in Belgium at this time. The Study Abroad office has reached out to all UI students currently studying Europe to offer support and to ask them to confirm their well-being. UI students in Europe are advised to suspend any independent travel to Brussels and to confirm their registry with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for timely security updates about all locations in any travel itinerary. Additionally, UI students are encouraged to check all travel plans and transportation availability if traveling in Europe. Students should allow extra time to clear security at airports, railway stations, and border crossings.

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For UI students planning to travel abroad, the office for study abroad will hold a variety of in-person information sessions the week of April 18, 2016. In addition to the required training online, every student going abroad must sign up to attend at least one of these sessions.

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Are you prepared to sell your study abroad experience in a job interview? Learn techniques to tie together your stories and experiences abroad with the skill sets employers are looking for at a hands-on career prep workshop with UI Study Abroad on Monday, March 21, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre.

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For most students at the University of Iowa, winter break is a time to unwind, visit with family and indulge in a well-deserved Netflix binge while curled up with a cup of hot cocoa. But for others like Victor Diaz, it was an opportunity to make a difference – to embark on a journey to Pondicherry, India for a three-week study abroad course, “Serving Children with Disabilities, Empowering Local Women, Assisting Older Adults.” As part of the course, he observed the physical therapy and special education initiatives many non-profit organizations have implemented in order for these otherwise unwelcome individuals to develop academically or vocationally so that they can integrate into society more able-bodied and prepared. Through these interactions and observations, he learned more about the importance of communication - especially cross-culturally and cross linguistically.

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I have now lived in Edinburgh for two months, and I recently had a week off of class and had the opportunity to travel around Europe. Now that I have seen a little bit more of the world, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my identity as an American, specifically a black male American, abroad.

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