Articles from February 2015

Student Reflections on First-Generation Abroad: New perspective on education

If you are reading this letter, you may be pondering the idea of studying abroad and trying to decide whether it is something you should do. As a senior in my last year in the College of Education, I debated the idea for many reasons, but the biggest one being the cost. See, my original goal coming out of high school and soon to be first generation college student was to go to college and excel in my academics in order to achieve greatness, but never was it in my plan to study abroad.

Student Reflections on Race and Ethnicity: Learning to speak like a local

Studying abroad in college was something I had always wanted to do since I was a very young age and last semester I finally got the opportunity to do so. I wanted to go to a country where I could utilize my Spanish but I did not want to go to Spain. So I spent my fall semester in Heredia, Costa Rica.

International students seek Social Security numbers

Some international students working in dining halls or convenience stores are there for one primary reason, and it’s not for the paycheck. They are after a Social Security number.

Anthropocene, front and center

The March 3 WorldCanvass program will be part of a three-day interdisciplinary Obermann Center symposium on the Anthropocene which will examine how humans have shaped our present energy culture and what other energy cultures are possible. Four keynote speakers will tackle this question from very different angles.

A lesson in miracles

On my third day in Spain, I learned about the expert pickpockets of Madrid. It wasn’t simply through Ibon’s sound advice to get a money belt or to sling packs in front of our bodies where we could see them. No, I had to learn the hard way. I’m blaming it on the fact that I’m from a town where we don’t even lock our bikes. I implicitly trust everybody. However, belief rarely lines up with reality and in less than a week abroad I found myself wallet-free. Still, I’m optimistic that not every lesson that day was lost on me. Before I was so swiftly and silently robbed, I absorbed some stories about Spain’s long and complicated history, which, on more than one occasion, involved miracles.

Student Reflections on Race and Ethnicity: Experiencing India

My first experience abroad was in Spain during winter break of my freshman year. While this was an enlightening experience, it was not so different from my own culture. Traveling to India, however, I was excited to explore those cultural and social differences. Starting with the sheer amount of people on the streets of Chennai, the town I flew into, I knew the YouTube travel videos I’d watched in preparation were not exaggerating.

WorldCanvass ReCap: Tobacco, Pot, and the Public Interest

On February 3, 2015, Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests discussed the the complicated and controversial issues surrounding the legality and use of tobacco and marijuana with a special focus on the tension between personal liberty and the public good. This is a "ReCap" of the event with access to see and hear the full program.

New year in Cuba

A group of about 20 students arrived at the Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí in Havana close to midnight on Sunday, December 28th. That very next morning, classes started for the January, 2015 USAC Cuba program. Despite the late arrival and few hours of sleep, students were eager to climb up the marble staircase at Casa Africa in Old Havana for the first day of class. As a visiting professor, I, too, felt the rush of excitement that comes from that first meeting with students.

UI Muslim Student Association holds Islam Awareness Week

Some University of Iowa students will soon “hijab-it-up,” break a “fastathon” with crêpes, and pass out flowers of faith. This week, the UI Muslim Student Association will host its first Islam Awareness Week, a series of events designed to raise awareness and understanding of Islam on campus.

Students go abroad over break

University of Iowa students are participating in more summer and winter study-abroad programs in order to participate in more than just class. In the 2012-13 school year, 62 percent of UI students participated in study, work, internships, or volunteering during summer or winter sessions — as opposed to 55 percent just three years ago.