International Accents

E.g., Monday, July 25, 2016
E.g., Monday, July 25, 2016

How do you get to the point where you can call a place your home? I believe one of the factors is finding your favorite spots around the city. Cork is home to around 120,000 people, but it does not feel like it. It was not hard to be able to carve out a home for myself in this new place. One of the best things about moving to a new place is being able to explore it. It is very easy to walk or bike all over Cork. As I reflect on all the great things about my time abroad, I can’t help but think about the places that I will miss the most.

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I know that I just posted a couple of days ago, but given the recent attack in Brussels, Belgium, I thought it would be worthwhile to compose my thoughts into another blog entry.

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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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If you would’ve asked me six months ago if I was going to spend a weekend scaling one of the highest mountains in Scotland, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. If you would ask me to do it today, I would jump at the opportunity to go again.

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The Fulbright Lunch & Learn series continues with "Negotiating Cultural Boundaries: Teaching Clinical Medicine in Jordan." Featuring guest speaker Dr. George Bergus, professor in the department of Family Medicine at the UI, this event will take place on April 8 from 12:30-1:20 p.m. in 1117 UCC.

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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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Built on East Art Gallery Street in 1996, the 24-hour bookstore is known by many readers as their “spiritual home” and a place in which to soak for an entire day. A bubble bath of 90,000 books stacked in a space of 1400 square meters. There are at least twenty different annotated versions of Journey to the West, one of the four great classical novels of China. A 513-page guide to polyphonic Mandarin characters can be found in an aisle devoted to dictionaries. Copies of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant are tucked away in random nooks. Books with titles like The Story of Art and The Story of Time convey the immense ambition in this place.

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The UI South Asian Studies Program (SASP) will host an upcoming lecture featuring artist and art historian, Seema Srivastava. This event is free and open to the public, and will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, 2016, in room 116 of Art Building West.

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Last August when I first arrived in Cork, I was full of anticipation for all the experiences to come in the year ahead. So many sights to see, things to do, and--of course--food to eat! While my mind filled with visions of interesting people and beautiful places, my mouth filled with saliva at the prospect of trying all the Irish cuisine.

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What defines a nation, or a state? What’s the meaning of sovereignty, and how do communal or religious identity figure into demands for self-determination? The world community in 2016 appears to be a fractured place with aspirations to statehood like those we’ve seen in South Sudan and Palestine, as well as civil disruptions and realignments like those between Crimea, Ukraine, and Russia. Amidst all of this there are non-state actors like ISIS challenging sitting governments and established states. The 2016 Provost’s Global Forum, The Nation, the State, and the Global Redefinition of Self-Determination, will address these questions and more during a series of lectures and panel discussions on April 7-9. A highlight of the forum will be the April 9 WorldCanvass, which will be held for the first time in Des Moines at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, from 5-6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and begins with a reception at 4 p.m.

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The UI’s Obermann Center for Advanced Studies has long been the home of interdisciplinary collaboration, where thinking outside the box isn’t just the result, but the operating principle. On March 1, 2016, Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests discussed “Taking It to the Streets: Engagement and the Academy” just before the ten year anniversary of the center's week-long institute.

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On April 7 – 9, 2016, the University of Iowa will host scholars, experts, and researchers from around the world as part of the 2016 Provost’s Global Forum, “The Nation, the State, and the Global Redefinition of Self-Determination.” Organizers Adrien Wing, associate dean for the International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray professor, College of Law, and Nathan Miller, assistant director of the UI Center for Human Rights and director of the International Legal Clinic at the College of Law, will host a three-day academic conference comprised of lectures, presentations, and panel discussions to help raise awareness about concepts concerning contemporary self-determination and statehood.

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I wanted Bowland College, but I got Furness College instead. All students at Lancaster are divided into colleges. Not like “College of Liberal Arts and Sciences” or “College of Nursing”; they’re social colleges, not academic colleges. Think Hogwarts.

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I never have traveled outside of the Continental US and Mexico. Being a first-generation student from a Mexican background, every opportunity I have had to go on a trip was usually to visit my family in Mexico. Although, I have always wanted to go somewhere completely different from anything I have experienced before. I decided to, quite abruptly, apply to the London Winterim Program. I felt that a college experience would just not be complete unless one studies abroad while they have the opportunity to and I also really wanted to experience being in another continent.

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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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The UI South Asian Studies Program (SASP) will host a lecture by Deepika Rose Alex entitled "From Untouchables to Hindus: Change and Continuity in the Religious Beliefs & Practices of the Fishermen Community in Kerala." This event is free and open to the public and will be held on Thursday, March 10, 2016, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in 1117 UCC.

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On the way to Houhai, the streets are empty, the crowds are sparse, the city is hollow. The street vendors left a week earlier to villages and families they visit once a year. The office workers have just left, most visit families, some avoid families by visiting other places. The bosses are fishing on an unnamed island. Houhai is an island of ice in an ocean of cement.

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Part of the Vietnamese community in Iowa City joined to celebrate their culture and share it with others. The University of Iowa Vietnamese Student Association took time to celebrate the culture with an annual Lunar New Year celebration in the IMU on Feb. 27. “The Lunar New Year is celebrating spring coming, and it’s a time for family to get together,” group member Amy Luong said.

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As a University of Iowa senior studying political science and psychology, Jake Murphy long has been intrigued by Cuba. The island nation’s political and economic isolation from the United States since the 1960s has made it a sort of “forbidden fruit” for Americans, Murphy said. “So when (President Barack) Obama announced the relationship would be renewed, and they were relaxing some embargoes, I was in shock,” he said. “It was finally happening, and I thought it was so cool.” So cool, in fact, that Murphy wanted to go and experience the country and its culture during this transition, and before America’s influence affects substantial change.

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Before jetting off to Ireland, I, equal parts nervous and excited, read loads of articles, books, and travel guides to learn everything I could about the place I would be living for a year. Besides learning about all the places I wanted to visit while in Cork, I was also very interested in knowing more about the accent.

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When UI student Heather Barney studied abroad in Havana, Cuba, this January, she expected to expand on her Spanish-speaking abilities, learn more about the country’s history and culture, and investigate the types of medical schools and careers Cuba has to offer to foreigners. What she didn’t anticipate, however, was that she would be one of several students featured in a news story by Telesur, a Venezuelan broadcasting company

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On the morning of Jan. 11, I woke early, poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to reflect. It was an important day, one that had the potential to significantly impact my scholarship and teaching. I wanted to get it right. I was about to join the ranks of nearly 200 other graduate students who, over the last ten years, had participated in the Obermann Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy. Their engagement work — which ranges from collaborating with incarcerated Iowans to creating public art to coordinating disaster relief — both excited and intimidated me as I thought about my own project.

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UI alumnus and award-winning photojournalist David Guttenfelder will be featured in an ad for Squarespace, the website-building platform, debuting during the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 28. Guttenfelder graduated from the UI in 1993 and has since captured powerful moments in more than 75 countries.

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