International Accents

E.g., Monday, September 22, 2014
E.g., Monday, September 22, 2014

In recent emails from colleagues, I have been reminded of the extraordinary history of Haiti and the many challenges the people of the country have faced long before the terrible earthquake that took so many lives last week and threatens to take more.

1/20/2010

Joan Kjaer hosts the inaugural production of WorldCanvass.

Click here to read an article about WorldCanvass in “Spectator @ Iowa,” a monthly newsletter for UI alumni and friends.

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By Caroline Berg, The Daily Iowan

An invisible cape flaps behind visiting scholar Qian Sun wherever she goes. Not only does the native from Shanghai teach Chinese language classes for the UI Confucius Institute, she also serves as an ambassador of Chinese culture battling against misconceptions.

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By Kellie Petersen, The Daily Iowan.

In response to suffering the largest cut in state funding for higher education nationwide, UI officials are looking to bring in more out-of-state and international students than ever.

University officials are actively seeking applicants from beyond Iowa’s borders to cope with the massive cuts, UI Provost Wallace Loh told members of the Faculty Council on Tuesday.

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International Programs is helping coordinate the University of Iowa’s response to the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti Sunday. While the International Student & Scholar Services has contacted UI’s Haitian students and Caribbean student groups, other offices are helping to get out the message about how the UI community can help those in need.

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Please join host Joan Kjaer for live music and engaging conversation on WorldCanvass® for January’s intriguing topic: “Taping the World.” The program will be recorded before a live audience on January 22, 2010, from 5-7 PM in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum and later broadcast over UITV and KRUI-FM.

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When University of Iowa geography professor Raj Rajagopal set out to find a model for how he wants the public to view the University’s three-year-old India Winterim Session—a three-week study abroad program—he didn’t have to look very far.

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I was elated to see the 2009 University of Iowa International Day program include schools from the western Illinois area. The original idea of the International Day — as conceived by Paul Retish, then director of the International Education Office — was that it could benefit schools across Iowa and beyond.

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The UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR) sponsors the annual Burns H. Weston International Human Rights Essay Prize and is currently accepting submissions. The 2010 deadline for submissions is Feb. 1, 2010.

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WorldCanvass was featured in two news stories this week, being heralded as a fresh option for offering Iowa City a taste of culture and art from around the world.

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For Emily Brink and thousands of children in Africa, happiness comes from two needles and some string. In two years of being involved with the Mother Bear Project, the UI freshman has donated more than 30 hand-knitted bears to children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

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Lisa Enloe vividly recalls when her 8-year-old daughter sat down across from her at the dinner table and announced she was going to “get rich” when she grew up and then move to Africa and help people improve their lives.

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The WiderNet Project, a service project within The University of Iowa’s School of Library and Information Science, focuses on the improvement of educational technology systems by helping primarily universities, secondary schools, and hospitals worldwide furnish people with access to computers, digital information, and the Internet.

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A new course has been developed for Spring 2010, (008:164) entitled “Topics in Transnational Literature: Journeys Across Cultures in African and Caribbean Literature and Film.” In this class, Professor Marie Kruger will explore many kinds of journeys through film and literature.

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WorldCanvass received a few interesting things to broadcast for the holidays this year: a talking drum, internet in a box and a childrens’ book about HIV/AIDS. This can only mean one thing: a trip to Africa!

The new International Programs public programming initiative explores topics that are international in scope and central to our understanding of ourselves as part of the global landscape.

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Last weekend’s marathon was an example of the extraordinary international activity at the University.  Sometimes, with so many things going on (not to mention classes and research and day-to-day business), it seems that campus events compete with each other for more-or-less the same audience, making it difficult to gather more than a handful of people in the room even for special guest speakers.  But last weekend, despite the high level of activity, there were groups of 40 to 50 or more at many of the events we sponsored!

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Those of you who are familiar with Cliff Missen’s WiderNet project will not be surprised that its eGranary Digital Library (sometimes known as “internet in a box”) has made a difference to many adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other parts of the world. For those of you who are not familiar with the eGranary project, you might be interested to see a short clip that highlights the difference it has made to a small school in Nigeria and to the children whose lives have been impacted by the resources to which they now have access.

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Thinking about the majority of students who stay on campus during their years at the University, it is intriguing to consider what leads those nearly 20% of UI undergraduates who study abroad to make that decision and to stick to it. Our own Mark Salisbury has been exploring the factors that shape intent to study abroad for some time. One of the findings of Mark’s research is that women are much more likely to study abroad than men because of gender differences in how students respond to interactions with their peers and to the academic environment.

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The annual Open Doors Report is published today by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The report shows that international student enrollment at the University of Iowa continues to grow in line with national trends, but is substantially ahead in areas such as international undergraduate student enrollment. While international student enrollment grew by 8% nationally, at the University of Iowa we saw an increase of 10.5% last fall, with an impressive increase of about 40% at the undergraduate level.

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As President Obama visits China for the first time today, it is an opportune time to remember that the University of Iowa has strong ties to China in areas ranging from the research activities of our Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS) and our Confucius Institute, led ably by Professor Chuanren Ke, to the undergraduate education we are currently providing well over 600 students from China.

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Joan Kjaer kicked off WorldCanvass before a full house on November 13, 2009, for the inaugural program focused on human rights. The Old Capitol Senate Chamber was alive with intrigue as the guests discussed important issues in international human rights.

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The tide now rolls in peacefully along the southwest shores of Leone, Samoa, a stark contrast to the violent waves that sent the island into chaos after a violent tsunami struck early last week. Recent UI graduate Kelly Berger, who teaches on the South Pacific island, saw the devastating storm and its aftermath.

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We are having the wrong public debate about global warming — and we are running out of time to get it right. It’s important to discuss carbon caps and taxes or other mitigation strategies, but a good chunk of the population views these as restrictive and burdensome. We miss a larger and more affirmative point if we only have that discussion.

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This music video was made to commemorate the 2009 visiting writers for the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. Directed by Azeem Sajjad, this music video stars the writers themselves and features Fflur Dafydd as the singer. Camera work was done by Lauren Haldmen, and edited by Vicente Garcia.

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The English Corner, a part of Bridges International, is designed to change all that. The group sponsors a range of activities — everything from a tailgate to a New York City trip to Catch Phrase game nights — in an effort to help form connections between students hailing from different countries.

“It is an opportunity for American students and international students to communicate in a casual setting to not only improve English proficiency but to build friendships,” said Stephen Wong, a third-year UI pharmacy student.

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