International Accents

E.g., Saturday, October 25, 2014
E.g., Saturday, October 25, 2014

Upon arriving at the UI his freshman year, Yuhao Cai was paired in Stanley Residence Hall with roommate Jared Szabo, an Iowa native who was also a freshman. Szabo, a fifth-year UI senior, says his hometown of Postville, Iowa, is “a really diverse town,” so being paired with an international roommate “wasn’t too much of a shock.” Cai, on the other hand, was nervous his roommate would fit his perception of American stereotypes.

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I began my trip in Lisbon physically and geographically lost in the streets of Mouraria, a neighborhood of Lisbon not only known for its deep history of fado performance, but as a melting pot of cultures – close to thirty nationalities represented in its winding streets and alleys alone. Little did I know that the sensation of being lost without landmarks would contribute a great deal in researching saudade as performance and even place.

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"Being exposed to other beliefs and ways of living and working is an intense experience unlike most others that forces students to reflect, to adapt, and to learn new skill sets. Even a simple request in a foreign language can be tough, so consider the learning that occurs when students are challenged with expressing themselves, negotiating, or handling an abstract conversation.”

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Before arriving in Indonesia, I initially planned to stay with a family. However, I underestimated how rewarding and positive such an experience would be. In addition to a great friendship, they helped with everyday tasks and guided me in understanding the culture. Moreover, this family and their connections with the local community became key to my integration in the community and success of the project.

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This week, faculty and staff at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business are learning how to welcome incoming Chinese students—by correctly pronouncing their names. As Chinese students make up a larger share of student bodies at U.S. colleges—and comprise a large majority of the 20% international enrollment at Tippie—administrators are making cultural adjustments smoother on campus, with special orientations for Chinese students, multicultural food events and Chinese-language coaching for professors and staff.

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My event planning class worked towards putting on one event at the end of the month to put into action some of the skills and practices we learned throughout the semester. We targeted other Lorenzo de’ Medici students and their friends studying for the summer and learned how to make focaccia while watching a documentary about how a small town in Italy worked to beat out McDonald’s by providing quality, delicious focaccia and other local favorites.

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In this video, two returned University of Iowa students share their thoughts and reflections on their year in Freiburg. The Academic Year in Freiburg is a two-semester consortial program with the Universities of Iowa, Wisconsin-Madison, Michigan and Michigan State. It offers students the opportunity to improve fluency in the German language while taking a blend of program classes and regular German university classes.

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International Programs and FilmScene will celebrate their new WorldCanvass partnership with a public launch party on Sunday, Aug. 24, from 7 to 10 p.m. at FilmScene. The event is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to come explore WorldCanvass’ new home and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and live music on the rooftop patio. There will be brief remarks at 8 p.m.

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Hundreds of incoming international students mingled with American students at the inaugural University of Iowa International Welcome Night on Sunday evening. Students gathered on the Pentacrest on Sunday night to play Frisbee and soccer, eat frozen yogurt and meet on the first night of orientation.

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Ewha Womans University will open a Korean language institute at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, the United States, next month, the school said Tuesday. The school said it will run the institute, called the Iowa King Sejong Institute, in cooperation with the American university. The institute will be the sixth of its kind in the U.S. The foundation is supporting the creation and operation of King Sejong branch institutes around the world.

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The Irish Writing Program takes place on the University College Dublin campus in the Belfield section of Dublin, Ireland. The program has two components: writing workshops, and an interdisciplinary Irish literature & culture course. It offers six semester hours of credit. Grades are issued by the University of Iowa on a University of Iowa transcript.

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Though English is dubbed the main language of commerce here in South Africa, there are still times (and by that I mean most times) that I find myself wondering what the heck was just said to me. The accent and slang used by the natives here makes things a bit confusing for both of us. I have accepted the fact that my coworkers think I have a hearing problem due the insane amount of times I ask “what?” when they speak to me. Though I have gotten used to it, I sometimes still find myself getting tripped up by the slang they use.

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Whether it’s the quest to build a better mousetrap or develop a promising new vaccine, it takes courage, inspiration, and out-of-the-box thinking to propel the creative spirit past stumbling blocks, early failures, and the sometimes tepid encouragement of others. It takes passion. At 5 p.m. on September 2, host Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests will discuss how personal passion can turn a shapeless idea into a tangible reality.

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As I mentioned last week, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Interlaken, Switzerland last weekend, and it was truly the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I don’t know how anything will ever top the views of the mountains, bright blue lakes, and of course views of the town from the top of a mountain!

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A new report from University of Iowa International Programs shows the array of nationally-competitive grants and fellowships that UI alumni and students have received since 2009.

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Since I have been living and working in the city it has been easy to overlook the fact that I’m living in a nation that is still very much developing. I can see implications of poverty by the amount of homeless around the city but still not enough to make me really understand the destitution many face living here today. It wasn't until this past weekend when I visited a township called Langa that I really got it.

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I have never felt as though I belonged in Iowa — there was always a part of me that felt I needed to be elsewhere, be someone else. Last month, my dream of studying abroad came true in Madrid, Spain. Sangria, siestas, and sunshine were on the horizon.

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After returning to the U.S. from volunteering in the Republic of Georgia with the Peace Corps, two UI grads decided that they would like to share the culture of hospitality that they had learned from the Georgians and opened a food cart in Portland, Oregon, called Kargi GoGo, serving the Georgian fare they love.

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The University of Iowa will host a Business Japanese Workshop for Japanese language teachers on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-24, led by Motoko Tabuse, professor of world languages from Eastern Michigan University.

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International students arriving on campus for the first time this fall should feel more welcome than ever before. Friends Without Borders is a new program for the University of Iowa’s upcoming 2014-15 academic year that pairs returning domestic students with incoming international students.

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Well, scratch whatever I have said before about being in panic mode, because now I am actually panicking. About everything possible. Money, trips, sights to see, things to do and see around Florence, so many restaurants I still want to try, literally everything; you name it, I’m panicking about it. I can’t believe that I only have fifteen days to do ALL of these things.

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Five years after he studied abroad, UI graduate Mark Norris re-visits Reykjavík, Iceland and offers these reflections.

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Cape Town is a huge urban center of South Africa, however, it also boasts a plethora of activities for those who love the great outdoors. Because of the surprisingly beautiful winter South Africa has been having, I have been fortunate enough to experience most of these exhilarating experiences firsthand!

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“I wonder if U.S. customs will let me bring one back?” This was the question that kept running through my mind as I stared with awe and googly eyes at the reindeer and their calves all morning. It was finally the moment I had been waiting for, to conduct research in Northern Sweden in a Sámi, reindeer herding community. When I received my first call to attend the tagging of the reindeer calves, I was both nervous and excited. My thoughts were racing. Would they accept me?

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As I now prepare for the launch of my debut novel, A Thread of Sky, it’s a bit unnerving to remember that if I hadn’t received a Fulbright grant, my novel might not exist today. Seven years ago, I was facing my last months as an MFA student and struggling to write a story set in China from my sunlit desk in Iowa. When a friend suggested that I apply for a Fulbright, it seemed a far-fetched notion...

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