Thursday, July 1, 2021
Russell Ganim
Prizren Kosovo aerial view

Prizren, Kosovo

Dear All,

I hope the summer has started well for everyone and that the months ahead will prove both restful and productive. Summer is a busy time for International Programs, as we continue with new and existing programming while laying the groundwork for the upcoming academic year.

On June 3, IP inaugurated its Global Alumni Spotlight Series with “Hoops and Hawks : A Conversation with Luka Garza.”  The goal of the series is to highlight UI graduates whose academic and professional careers distinguish themselves for global engagement. Luka’s time at Iowa is a perfect example not only because of his Bosnian heritage, but because of his basketball experience on the international stage. During part of the interview, Luka was joined by his mother Šejla, herself a star on the court. Luka and his mother discussed the bonds they share and maintain through sports, family, and Bosnian culture. The discussion also centered on Luka’s ability to balance multiple responsibilities as a student athlete, and his devotion to the Iowa City community by volunteering in local schools and visiting the Stead Family Children’s Hospital. We will be watching the NBA draft at the end of this month to see where Luka’s career takes him next, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Speaking of Eastern Europe, IP is delighted by the success of the Albanian language course it created this summer in partnership with the UI Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Iowa Sister States, and the Consulate of the Republic of Kosovo in Des Moines. The class, which runs through July 6, is designed in part to prepare members of an Iowa delegation that will visit Kosovo early this fall. Filling to capacity in the first few days of registration, the course focuses on “survivor Albanian” and will enable Iowa visitors to connect more closely with our friends in Kosovo.

In terms of student travel, normal policies for undergraduate students will resume August 15. In the interim, we are proud of the virtual offerings our study abroad office has proposed this summer. Nearly 90 students are taking courses on topics ranging from the cultures of Spain, Shakespeare’s England, women’s empowerment in the Dominican Republic, introduction to global business, as well as virtual international medicine and virtual international business. Virtual offerings will continue to be part of our future curricula, but moving forward, the focus will be on safely reviving conventional in-person study abroad.  As always, we thank you for your support of global education and International Programs, and look forward to communicating with you via the web and social media throughout the summer.


With all best wishes,

Russ Ganim signature