Articles from November 2017

To each their own

Peking University is ranked, along with Tsinghua University, among China’s premier institutions for higher education. The rigorous college entrance exam is the determining factor for students aspiring to enter the school’s rigorous academic environment. With that said, the Chinese education system is vastly different from American and Western education apparatuses. I am not fully matriculated at Peking University. Instead, I am enrolled in the School of Foreign Languages, which educates numerous international students that arrive in Beijing with varying language proficiencies.

Why all students should study abroad?

Study abroad… have you heard about it? It changes your life. Yeah, I’m sure you have heard that one before. The thing is it's true, travel does something to you.

Chilean sea wolves?

What we English speakers call sea lions Spanish speakers call lobos marinos. Lobo means wolf. For the last couple of days I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to rationalize this in my sunburnt head. When they first saw those chubby mustachioed sea beasts, how did they settle on wolf? In all fairness they don’t really look like lions either. If it were up to me I’d officially change their name to sea bears, or better yet sea puppy dogs.

WorldCanvass ReCap: The Russian Revolution 100 Years On

2017 marks the hundredth anniversary of the Russian revolution. That tumultuous century saw Russia reject the Romanov dynasty which had ruled for over three hundred years and embrace a new ideology whose leader, Vladimir Lenin, would become the head of the world’s first communist state.  The world watched as the Soviet Union re-created a Russian-dominated empire, lost millions of lives to purges and terror,  withstood the onslaught of Nazi Germany, faced off against the West during the Cold War, then dissolved, with Russia re-emerging under Vladimir Putin as a central player in global power politics. 

December 7 WorldCanvass discusses ‘fantasy coffins’ as funerary objects and high art

Contemporary African artist Eric Adjetey Anang, internationally renowned for the Ghanaian ‘fantasy coffins’ he and generations before him have created, has spent the fall 2017 semester as artist-in-residence at the UI Museum of Art. He will join UI faculty and African art scholars on the December 7 WorldCanvass in a program called “Art & the Afterlife.” WorldCanvass will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. at MERGE, 136 South Dubuque Street. The program is free and open to the public. Please come early for a pre-show catered reception from 5-5:30 p.m.

In the news: Fewer foreign students are coming to U.S., survey shows

The number of newly arriving international students declined an average 7 percent in fall 2017, with 45 percent of campuses reporting drops in new international enrollment, according to a survey of nearly 500 campuses across the country by the Institute of International Education.

In the news: UI students to be honored for photography on campus and abroad

University of Iowa students abroad, international students at UI will be recognized during International Education Week

Class comparison: UI vs WU

Ah, studying abroad. I’d often dreamt of what my experience studying abroad would be like—although, ironically, my dreams always lacked any of the actual studying part. I really didn’t spend too much time fantasizing about what classes would be like in a foreign country; I think part of me must have assumed that business courses are the same everywhere. And generally speaking, we do learn the same things: financial and managerial accounting, basic economics, statistics, etc. However, the way in which courses are structured and taught is a bit different.

IWP 2016 Resident Shibasaki Tomoka Maps the World

I first met Shibasaki Tomoka, the Akutagawa Prize-winning writer and our Japanese participant in the 2016 International Writing Program, in Tokyo a few months before she arrived. When we were deciding where in the metropolis to meet, I casually mentioned that I am a fan of retro Japanese coffee shops, and Tomoka replied that she is, too. Coffee culture has a long and proud history in Japan, and if you know where to look, you seldom have to go far to find coffee shops that play jazz or classical music, or that prepare rare, ancient beans using cloth filters or bubbling mad-scientist siphons or other systems not yet dreamed of (or perhaps long since forgotten) in Seattle or anywhere else in these United States. Like many scholars of Japanese culture, I pride myself on being a flâneur of Tokyo and urban Japan in general, with a detailed mental map of the landscape of its major cities, and in Tomoka, I found a kindred spirit. I thought I would propose a place, but Tomoka replied to my message with the name of an old coffee shop in Ueno that she likes. On the second floor of a building not far from the station, right there adjacent to the old black market on a street I have walked down maybe fifty times, is an elegant old coffee shop aglow with brass and steam. How could I have missed it?

WorldCanvass ReCap: Journalism and a Free Press in the Age of Fake News

News. Fake news. Disinformation. Fact-checking. Sourced news. Unverified sources. Social media incursions by foreign nations. Cleverly disguised mass propaganda that masquerades as a heartfelt message from a friend…….who knows what to believe anymore when even undeniably true facts are in dispute? This question was at the heart of the WorldCanvass discussion about “Journalism and a Free Press in the Age of Fake News.”