International Accents

E.g., Sunday, August 2, 2015
E.g., Sunday, August 2, 2015

A glance at a timeline of events in the Arab world since the December 2010 anti-government demonstrations in Tunisia that triggered what we now know as the Arab Spring reveals a swift and previously unthinkable resetting of the geo-political map of the Middle East. What followed those heady early days has been a toppling of dictatorships, emboldened public action, a sharpening of divisions within national and religious groups, humanitarian crises of alarming proportions, and challenges to major world powers unlike anything in recent memory. Internationally-renowned scholars on the Middle East and Arab world will join host Joan Kjaer when WorldCanvass explores “The Arab Spring in a Global Context.” This is the first event of the 2015 Provost’s Global Forum, and the public is invited to attend the free program at 5 p.m., April 28, at FilmScene in Iowa City.

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I have never been one to shy away from a challenge, but helping students devise the “right strategy” for applying for a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award has been a daunting task. As the Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) at the University of Iowa, a Big Ten institution with more than 30,000 students, it’s my job to assist students in their quest for this unparalleled, life-transforming opportunity.

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UI student Andrew Mogni passed away on Sunday morning, April 5, 2015, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Andrew sustained serious injuries after a fall in Rome on January 14.

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One of the most significant aspects of studying abroad is seeing everything you possibly can, while learning and growing every step of the way. After getting settled into my new life at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, I was quickly ready to get out there and begin seeing all the things I had spent months pinning on Pinterest. After all, my parents were beginning to wonder what exactly I was getting out of spending day after day at the beach.

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UI Study Abroad Diversity Ambassador Scholar Mikkia Graves is a senior majoring in mathematics with a minor in statistics and a certificate in entrepreneurial management. This winter, Graves studied abroad on the USAC Havana Program in Havana, Cuba, where she explored the history and culture of Cuba. In this letter, she reflects on her study abroad experiences in Cuba and India as both a first-generation college student and an African American woman.

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With the Iowa women’s golf team recruiting four freshmen earlier in the fall season, including one from Canada and one from Spain, it seems as if Iowa’s latest recruitment is paying off.

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UI Study Abroad Diversity Ambassador Scholar Azzah Nasraddin reflects on her identity as a black Muslim American woman while abroad on the UI India Winterim program– and how her experiences broke down her stereotypes and prejudices. Azzah is a sophomore majoring in psychology and social work with a minor in global health and Arabic.

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In a Global Health Studies Program sponsored lecture, Marcos Cueto will speak about the World Health Organization and international global health efforts with a special emphasis on the Africa Regional Office in a talk titled, "Between Tropical Medicine and International Health."

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The Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa will offer a free calligraphy workshop for community members Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in Room 1117 University Capitol Centre on the UI campus.

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As part of a special symposium by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests explored the topic of "Energy Cultures and the Age of the Anthropocene" on March 3, 2015 at FilmScene in Iowa City. The program was followed by a free screening of the documentary, “The Great Invisible,” about the social and environmental effects of the Deepwater/Horizon/Macondo disaster and oil spill in 2010.

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In a swell of glinting green canals and cobblestoned curving streets, Venice is a natural attraction. For decades, this small northern city has been a place for travel for many Italians as well as tourists from all over the world. As if for fear of a disappearing city, an estimated 47.7 million people venture to Venice a year—about 200,000 in a summer day.

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The European Studies Group will present a guest lecture by Sheryl Kroen of the University of Florida on "Narrating the Postwar with Robinson Crusoe" at 12:30 p.m. on April 1, 2015, in Room 1117 University Capitol Centre. The event is free and open to the public and a light lunch will be provided.

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The South Asian Studies Program (SASP) will continue its spring 2015 seminar series with a lecture by David Mason titled "Performative Suspension: The Limits of Liminality." The event is free and open to the public and will be held Monday, April 13, at 4:30 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre. Chai and samosas will be served.

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Over the past 60 years the Fulbright Program has facilitated the travel of nearly 350,000 students and young professionals for cultural and academic exchange. On April 3, 2015, the University of Iowa will host its first annual Fulbright Day to celebrate past UI Fulbright faculty and student awardees and to provide prospective students the opportunity to learn more about the Fulbright process.

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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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A city is a work of art. With layers upon layers of history and meaning, a city can be unraveled at the seams and exposed. No matter the age, architecture and art will unfold around you as you turn corner after corner—taking in what it has to offer.

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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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In my last year at Iowa, I served as a Diversity Ambassador in a study abroad program which took me to Havana, Cuba. It was an unforgettable month of culture, dancing, cuisine, and lifelong memories. During my time on the island with the 20 other Americans participating in the USAC program, I learned much about group dynamics, gained some close friends, and had the time of my life experiencing such a unique learning opportunity with a well-rounded group of peers. The most important lessons I learned with regard to diversity, I learned from the people I met on the island.

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The Latin American Studies Program (LASP) will be kicking off its spring speaker series with a seminar entitled, “Contacto Ancestral’s Living Links: Constructing a Maya Diasporic Historical Memory on the Airwaves" by Dr. Alicia Ivonne Estrada. This is the first talk in a two-part speaker series.

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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 Wed, April 1 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre.

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A symposium to highlight the evolution of photojournalism, “From Local to Global — Photojournalism in the New Millennium,” will introduce the work of noted international photographers and distinguished scholars to the University of Iowa campus and community. The symposium, with presentations on topics ranging from representations of rural Iowa and rural China to documentation of global events to cutting-edge digital photo projects will take place on Friday, April 3, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m in the rotunda of the Adler Journalism Building.

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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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On February 19th I attended the Mayor of Muscatine, Iowa’s Report to the Community on China Initiatives along with four other University of Iowa 100,000 Strong Foundation Student Ambassadors. We came away from the event excited and ready to carry out the 100,000 Strong Foundation’s mission on our own campus. The people of Muscatine are a great example of how a seemingly small group can have a big impact on diplomatic relations. Although there were many different ideas being discussed, one message came across crystal clear; in order for any of the initiatives to be successful, Americans must make an effort to understand China.

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