Innovation has been a hallmark of American education since at least the time of Thomas Jefferson. The nature of that education, including who had access to it, has changed significantly during the last two centuries and continues to evolve today. The definition and achievement of educational excellence in higher education is on the cusp of potentially dramatic transformation, and the University of Iowa has become a leader in creating and assessing a number of innovative approaches to undergraduate teaching and learning.

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The fifth-annual European Studies Conference at the University of Iowa “Bridging European Divides” will be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, 2013, in 315 Phillips Hall. This year’s open title suggests that the conference will feature diverse perspectives from many areas of scholarship in a range of disciplines on any topic, time period, situation or concept that may have bearing on modern Europe.

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My initial impression of American fashion came from the television show “Gossip Girl.” I used to watch the series during high school when I was in China, and I was immediately attracted to the fashion. I thought everyone in the U.S. would dress this way and that fashion was everywhere. But when I arrived here, the fashion wasn’t exactly what I dreamed. I was disappointed by what I observed because fashion is, in fact, not everywhere. Instead, it is full of casual shirts, sweatpants, and slippers. As I’ve gradually begun to experience more of the United States, my mind has changed toward fashion, especially when comparing it with China.

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On the next WorldCanvass, host Joan Kjaer and her guests will discuss teaching innovation with a focus on creative and high-impact ways teachers are engaging the minds of University of Iowa students, contributing to both student academic success and faculty professional development. The live event takes place on Friday, December 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Senate Chamber of Old Capitol Museum.

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The United States has seen a rapid increase in the number of graduate students from India, according to a recent study, and the University of Iowa fits right in, though officials believe there’s more that can be done recruiting Indians to Iowa City.

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Studying abroad, both to the United States and overseas, has increased nationally and locally — which some University of Iowa officials say is due to a more interconnected world. “The world is getting smaller,” said Georgina Dodge, the UI chief diversity officer and an associate vice president. “It is becoming easier to travel abroad … [and more] information has traveled between countries.”

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China has more than 5,000 years of history. Because of this, there is a lot of cultural heritage. An example of this is the four main classical novels about Chinese history. Journey to the West, which some Americans refer to as "monkey," was created by Wu ChenEn in the Ming Dynasty. The other three novels are Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dream of the Red Chamber, and Water Margin. All four books are regarded as "must-haves" for Chinese children.

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Slavic language community invites you to Kapustnik—a student talent show Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, at 5 p.m. in the Pappajohn Business Building, Room W401. The event is free and open to the public.

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This talk examines Hindi film song scenes not only as culture but as mediated expressions of cultural memory. These scenes are performances that call to mind and make expressive use of the historical experiences of Indian film audiences, and they show us film characters acting out India’s popular culture and cultural history.

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During International Education Week (November 11-15), it is particularly important to emphasize the importance and wide range of the connections between Iowa and the world. Each year, hundreds of UI students go abroad to study for a few weeks, a semester, or a year. Faculty and staff interact daily with colleagues around the world to collaborate on critical research. And international students come to our campus for a world-class education, some staying in the U.S. after receiving their degrees to start businesses and create jobs, and some returning to their home countries to become leaders in science, business, industry, education and government.

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