UI senior Yikun Chen hails from Beijing. While snow isn’t a new experience for the accounting major, Iowa weather’s deadly combination of snow and bitter cold has been less than inviting. “It just feels like a thousand needles punching me in the face,” Chen said. “I enjoy the snow, but I don’t enjoy the cold.

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Before I came to the United States, I hadn't experienced the freezing cold temperatures as I recently have at Iowa. When I go outside, I have to wear three tops, three trousers, and even very thick socks to make sure I stay warm. During my three and a half years here, I've gradually become comfortable with the severe weather conditions. But in China, the weather is completely different, so it's taken a lot to get used to Iowa.

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When Katrina Korb uses a PowerPoint presentation in her University of Jos classroom, she brings her own projector and a small generator. This is just one of the differences between teaching at a U.S. institution and teaching in Nigeria. “The Nigerian university system faces many challenges, some of which are based on the lack of infrastructure that Nigeria faces as a whole,” Korb says. “One key example is irregular electricity.”

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Across the United States, the growing presence of students and scholars from East, Southeast, and South Asia has become an important feature of the academic landscape. A logical outcome of our shrinking world, heralded as promoting values of diversity, tolerance, and global understanding, this trend that greatly enriches our intellectual and social environment also has created new challenges. An upcoming workshop at the UI will bring together 50 Chinese and U.S. undergraduate students to address key issues arising in this changing educational environment and produce recommendations for the campus community.

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Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Stephen Maing will join WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer and a panel of expert guests at 5 p.m., February 21, in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber to discuss the evolution of film over the last hundred years, both as a vehicle for imaginative storytelling and a genre for commentary, the promotion of social action, and cultural critique. The event is free and open to the public.

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The basis of a future anti-cancer drug could be found in a sponge from more than 1,600 feet under the sea and the bulb of an African flower. Zhendong Jin, a University of Iowa associate professor of medicinal and natural products chemistry, replicates the anti-cancer compounds found in Côte d’Ivoire and a sea sponge to, hopefully, find the most affective cancer drug available.

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UI Student Government wants you to step out of your comfort zone. Try a food dish you've never had before, talk to someone you've never met, or go to a cultural event on campus. These are just a few of the things you can do to expand your Iowa experience.

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Tucked away in a corner room in Halsey Hall, a small group of students is busy rehearsing through the afternoon. Not an unusual sight for the building, which plays host to many dance rehearsals, but it seems doubtful anyone else in the building would practice a shadow dance and plan the details of a lion dance. It's also fairly safe to assume the five students are the only ones dancing to Vietnamese pop music, complete with Vietnamese lyrics. The students are members of the Vietnamese Student Association, and they are preparing for the Lunar New Year — Tet, the New Year's holiday based on the Lunar Calendar. The holiday will be observed Friday.

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The Chinese New Year is the most important Chinese holiday. The exact date depends on the traditional Chinese calendar — the Lunar Calendar, Nong Li — which was set by the 24 Solar Terms. These Terms help farmers know when it is best to plant their corps. The Chinese New Year is also called Spring Festival or Lunar New Year.

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As the number of international students attending the University of Iowa continues to grow, officials are offering a new program to help students integrate to Iowa and the United States comfortably. Starting next fall, incoming international students will have not only a three-day orientation, but for the first half of the semester, they will take an online course, and the second half of the semester, they will meet with mentors to help get better integrated at the university.

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