International Accents

E.g., Saturday, September 5, 2015
E.g., Saturday, September 5, 2015

One of the most interesting, and eye-opening, parts of the study abroad experience is being able to view the United States from the lens of a different country. Just two short months before I left for Australia, the Sydney hostage crisis bombarded all of the news. Shortly after, I received a frightening email from the United States government, advising all U.S. citizens traveling there to take extra precautions. This was the very first moment I was able to wrap my head around the fact that I was about to be living in a different country, one very far from my security blanket I had here.

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Nigerian student Esther Bila said she thought she was competing for a school trophy when she was asked to take a special exam. However, she ended up earning a yearlong scholarship to study in the United States through the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program.

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I remember the first time I decided to do something solo abroad… I wanted to see the Lion King Musical when I was in London. No one else in my program was interested, so I went alone. My mom was so proud of how independent I was that she told everyone for weeks after about how I went to The Lion King alone, which actually makes me sound much more lame than independent, but from then on I’ve gotten a thrill out of solo travel and experiences. Now, before you assume I’m anti-social, I love traveling with others. I spent 12 straight days with a group of awesome girls from my program in Thessaloniki, but there’s something solo travel gives you that you can’t get with anyone else.

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Clare Jones, of New Orleans, LA, has received a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Grant in Creative Writing to New Zealand and Polynesia where she will research and write a book of poetry titled “Neotype” that weaves together themes of botany, ornithology, and geology of the area.

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Steph Rue, of Cleveland, OH, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Seoul, South Korea for 2015-16. Rue, who will graduate this May with an M.F.A. in Book Arts/Center for the Book from the University of Iowa, will focus her research on early monastic paper and book production methods, as well as the historical techniques and the spiritual underpinnings of Korean bookmaking.

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A new grant for the third-largest language program at the University of Iowa will mean expanded Japanese programs around campus. A more than $300,000 Institutional Project Support grant from the Japan Foundation will bring new faculty, facilities, and opportunities for more students to learn Japanese at the UI.

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Known by some as the "Dumpling Darling," Lesley Triplett began her own Korean-style dumpling stand at the Iowa City Farmer's Market in July 2014 and has been expanding the business ever since. The UI communications graduate says her unique business venture was inspired by her love of travel, which began with a study abroad experience during her time at the University of Iowa.

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Zwina is one of the most beautiful (ha) words in the Arabic language, in part because it can describe literally everything – the food is zwina, the weather’s zwina, this class is zwina. The idea of food being beautiful or tasting beautiful is a strange expression in English, but is common and complimentary in Darija. In Rabat, Morocco, the world is zwina – the people, the ancient city, the cafés on the corners and morning call to prayer. The weather is a sunny 75 degrees, and coastal breeze blows in each evening from the sea. The Kingdom of Morocco is zwina.

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Gloria Wenman, of Iowa City, IA, has been awarded a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award for an English Teaching Assistantship to Mongolia.

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The following six University of Iowa students have been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study critical needs languages during the summer of 2015: Laura Wang, Stephanie Rue, Destinee Gwee, Elaine Mou, Mandy Conrad, and Brittany Callahan.

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Through the silver screen, we are able to connect with stories, places and faces from home and around the world. As filmmaker Martin Scorsese says, “Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds.” At FilmScene, we couldn’t agree more with Scorsese’s sentiment, which speaks to the heart of everything we do as a nonprofit film arts organization.

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Sarah Mayer, of Johnston, IA, has received a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Colombia where she will work as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA). Mayer will graduate this spring with a B.A./B.S. in Spanish and biochemistry from the University of Iowa.

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Sean O’Harrow, the director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, said there’s much more to Pollock, his work, and his legacy than people give him credit for, and a new exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, organized by the UI Art Museum, will show people just how influential and important Pollack was — and is still.

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When I was applying to IES Rabat study abroad program, I struggled with the question of whether or not to stay with a host family so much that I submitted my housing application two weeks late. I had heard good things about homestays from friends who had studied abroad, but was worried about the awkward interactions that the language barrier would create, worried that I might lose all the independence I had gained when I moved to college after high school. Others warned me that I was moving to a dangerous country in which the culture was too different from my own for me to function within the confines of a foreign family unit. It would be more comfortable for me to live with other Americans in a condo in the city.

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As a result of spring break, or “Easter holiday” as it is called here in the UK, I was given the chance to travel for three weeks without interruption throughout the end of March and into early April. I used this opportunity to plan a trip to the continent with my fellow University of Iowa student/UEA student and best friend Juliette Sigmond.

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Brett Burk, of Oskaloosa, IA, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to pursue an English Teaching Assistantship in Taiwan for 2015-16. Burk graduated from the University of Iowa in December 2014 with a B.A. in linguistics and an emphasis in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language).

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Phil’s Day 2015 is a day to celebrate philanthropy and the impact it has on the University of Iowa. These are just a few of the many UI students who were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives, thanks to the generosity of private donors. Read on to learn about their unique adventures and projects.

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A photo exhibition of Wang’s work will run through May 12 in the Adler Journalism Building Resource Center. Photographs include representations of bicycle repairmen and construction from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

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Julia Julstrom-Agoyo, of Chicago, Illinois, has received a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award for an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Malaysia. Julia will graduate this spring with a B.A. in international studies with a focus in human rights, a certificate in sustainability, and minors in political science and Spanish.

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In an effort to raise awareness about the tragedy that has struck Nepal, community members gathered for a candlelight vigil Tuesday in Cedar Rapids.

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Quinn Hejlik has been awarded a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to Russia to work as an English Teaching Assistant where he hopes to develop a deeper understanding of the culture and language of Russia, and to extend the same understanding of English language and American culture to Russian students. A native of Omaha, NE, Quinn will graduate from the University of Iowa this spring with a B.A. in history and international studies.

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On May 13, President Barack Obama will welcome the rulers of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to the White House. According to the White House, the "gathering will be an opportunity for the leaders to discuss ways to enhance their partnership and deepen security cooperation." The unusual meeting comes at a critical moment in the history of these countries and members of the Arab League for a number of reasons. Iowa communities will be able to contextualize these transformations taking place in Arab countries this coming week during the 2015 Provost's Global Forum.

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The final WorldCanvass of the 2014-2015 season will focus on film as an opening to unknown cultures, expanded worldviews, and deeply personal adventures. Host Joan Kjaer and her guests will take a close look at the transformational power of cinema and its unique ability to inspire, provoke, and challenge preconceptions. In this program called “Reel to Real,” they’ll also share personal stories of growth and discovery through study and teaching abroad. WorldCanvass, which is free and open to the public, takes place on May 5 from 5-6:30 p.m., at FilmScene, 118 East College Street, Iowa City.

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I have just gotten back from my two-week journey down the east coast of Australia. Despite the extreme lack of sleep, fast-food diet, and lighter wallet, it was truly the best experience of my life. I am a true believer that some of the greatest lessons take place outside of the classroom, and even more so on a long road trip in a foreign country. In order to accurately give some advice to young travels about to partake on a similar venture, I’m going to give my lessons some structure by ordering them as a list.

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The European Studies Group will present a guest lecture by Cristina Moreiras of the University of Michigan on "Critical Regionalism and Historical Reason in Spanish Documentary" at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, April 27 in 315 Phillips Hall. This event is free and open to the public. A light luncheon will also be served.

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