International Accents

E.g., Thursday, October 23, 2014
E.g., Thursday, October 23, 2014

This summer, International Programs has experienced two Fulbright “firsts”– brought to us via International Programs’ International Student & Scholar Services.

Below, reprinted from its web site with the permission of the Fulbright Association, is their report of our first Fulbright story:

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My name is Seashia Vang. I am a citizen of the United States. Ethnically I am Hmong, as are my parents, grandparents and our ancestors. As an undergraduate at the University of Iowa studying Printmaking and Journalism/Anthropology, I had always known that I would study abroad. The only question was, where?

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In January, 2008, I traveled to Baghdad, together with representatives from 21 other Universities, at the invitation of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.  The purpose of my trip was to explore further the role that the University of Iowa’s International Programs might play in the prime minister’s newly announced educational initiative.  With many of Iraq’s young professionals having fled the country, there is a pressing need to educate others to replace them, which would begin to stabilize the country’s economy and secure its future as a democratic society.

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By Sarah Yu

For weeks, the flood’s devastation was sprawled across the headlines of countless newspapers, magazines, and television stations. People proudly displayed their “I survived the flood of ’08″ T-shirts to confirm their triumph over the natural disaster. However, as the news of the flood dies down and disappears from the headlines, the flood still continues to leave its mark on the lives of University of Iowa students, but more specifically, its international students.

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By Jodie Klein

How many flowers should you give a Russian woman?

“You must give an odd number, even numbers are given at a funeral,” says Irina Kostina, UI instructor of Russian language and literature, and developer of a course offered in the spring of 2009 titled “Surviving Russia.”

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The lobby of Hotel Havana was full of Spanish women, most appearing in their mid 40s and older. My heart was pounding. Mind racing, I couldn’t quit formulating questions in my head. Which one is she? Should I talk in Spanish and risk making an embarrassing mistake on the first impression? My name was called, moment of truth.

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When Sarah Hemmen arrived at the airport in California after her five month stay in Australia, she was annoyed that the $3.99 magazine required more than the $4 in her pocket. The University of Iowa senior became accustomed to sales tax being included in prices while studying abroad in Sydney. Hemmen is one of more than 1,200 University of Iowa students that study abroad each year, many of whom endure reverse culture shock on their return home.

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Members of the community and local elementary school students had opportunities to learn more about Japanese culture and language thanks to two events spearheaded by University of Iowa International Programs, under the leadership of Buffy Quintero, International Program Outreach Coordinator.

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Five University of Iowa alumni will travel across the globe to conduct research or teach English as Fulbright fellows in 2009-10.

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The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs, and current global issues. The Council provides opportunities for members to hear over thirty experts per year who may be visiting the University of Iowa campus or the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. This past May, ICFRC celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Executive Director, Sharon Benzoni, delivered the keynote address commemorating this milestone:

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On June 29, 2009, the Fulbright Association launched a statewide affiliate in Iowa, at a meeting of alumni hosted by the University of Iowa’s International Programs. Sally Mason, president of the University of Iowa, Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of international programs, and Jane L. Anderson, Fulbright Association executive director, spoke to Fulbright alumni and friends from Ames, Bettendorf, Burlington, Des Moines, Fairfield, Hudson, Iowa City, North Liberty, Oxford, Waterloo, and Williamsburg.

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Emily Doolittle seriously considered not returning to Beijing when she completed her volunteer work at a “Good Luck Beijing” tennis tournament in October 2007. Fed up with the horrible venue food, Doolittle lived on peanut butter sandwiches through almost the entire 12-day trip. With limited Chinese skill, she could neither communicate well with the venue supervisor nor navigate much of the city. “For me, the first time I go anywhere, it’s kinda difficult. I need help with adjusting.” Doolittle says. “When I travel, I often feel disoriented, like I don’t have good footing.”

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060809teachers2 The International Programs Summer Institute for Teachers is an annual week-long professional development workshop in collaboration with the UI College of Education and UI Center for Credit Programs in the Division of Continuing Education for K-12 teachers focusing on “what Iowans need to know about the rest of the world.” It allows current teachers and pre-service teachers a chance to explore c

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For the past 15 years, Chuanren Ke has built a resume at the University of Iowa that many professionals would envy – initiating and directing UI Institutes, chairing a UI department, and many years of teaching and researching. Though Ke could boast about his success, he said he does it all for one reason – to educate Iowans about China.

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The University of Iowa International Student & Scholar Services honored the winners of the fourth annual “Coming to America” essay contest during a reception held Friday, Nov. 21, 2008 at the Old Capitol. The ceremony was part of a series of events presented during the ninth UI International Education Week, Nov. 17-21.

Prizes were awarded for first, second and third place. Two students were chosen to receive honorable mentions. Essays from 19 students were entered in the contest.

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Eight University of Iowa undergraduate students were granted the Stanley Undergraduate Awards for International Research. The awards, ranging from $2,000 to $3,000, are awarded to outstanding UI undergraduates who conduct small-scale research or fieldwork projects on international topics.

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If you would like more information about private support for  the University of Iowa International Programs, contact Derek Pendergast, director of development, major gifts, International Programs, at the UI Foundation at the address or phone number shown.  Your inquiry will be treated confidentially.

The University of Iowa International Programs
The University of Iowa Foundation
Levitt Center for University Advancement
P.O. Box 4550

    Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550
    (319) 335-3305
    (800) 648-6973
    e-mail:  derek-pendergast@uiowa

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    Anya Drack, 6, runs into her Mandarin Chinese class on a Saturday afternoon this past spring and immediately approaches her instructor, Fan Youxin. The two start playing a patty-cakes game reviewing Chinese numbers. Drack’s excitement comes after six weeks of attending the UI Confucius Institute’s Family Mandarin Chinese Classes for elementary students and their parents.

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    After concluding 9 months studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain I wanted to find an organization on campus with ample international reach – I was looking to get involved with important international issues in a meaningful way, while simultaneously connecting to new people and countries abroad. The Council for International Visitors to the Iowa Cities (CIVIC) does just this; they host international visitors and develop programs for each visit. I joined CIVIC this summer as a student intern.

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