University of Iowa

Tagged with "diversity ambassador"

8/21/2013

Student Reflections on Race and Ethnicity: Cultural Difference in Korea

I am a bilingual and I could speak Korean fluently enough for me to take some classes that are taught in Korean as well as English taught classes which most of my fellow exchange student friends took. I was very fortunate that I was able to take some classes with natives and gave me more opportunity to mingle with the native Koreans. I was able to express myself more freely to Koreans, and in return, conceive more cultures and ideas easily. It took no time for me to adjust to the new setting. Having the same heritage and speaking the language definitely was an advantage for me because I felt like I fit in there even though I don’t live in Korea.
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8/9/2013

Student Reflections on Race and Ethnicity: Learning language in Spain and Iceland

My name is Soley Thorsteinsdottir and I am studying civil engineering. I spent my junior year abroad in Spain and then in Iceland. I spent 4 months in each place trying to learn their respective languages. I only completed one engineering class while abroad so the year felt academically easy, but I found the challenge of learning a language and all its cultural cues very difficult. The most difficult part was getting over the embarrassment of thinking my language skill were inadequate. I found that the only times I practiced was when I was better at Spanish or Icelandic than my acquaintance was at English.
8/9/2013

Student Reflections on First-Generation Abroad: Dual-citizen in Spain

Being the first one in my family to attend an American university, I had no idea of the true benefits that studying in other countries can have. I studied in Madrid, Spain, on the Iowa International Summer Institute program, and I learned so much, in the classroom and out. In the four weeks I spent in Spain, I was able to learn so much more then I ever though I would. Being in another part of the world exposes you to another way of life. Study abroad is great for learning about language, other methods of business, politics, and whatever your area of study.
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5/22/2013

Student Reflections on Race and Ethnicity: International social entrepreneurship

I know that in America it is a little harder to tell if someone is a foreigner or not just by looking at them, because of our vast and heterogeneous population. In Japan the way I was treated as a foreigner was a lot different than how I’ve seen foreigners treated in the states. In my experience, whether or not someone was a foreigner was just something to take note of, and wonder about, no action was taken. In Japan, after I got through all of the impromptu photo-shoots, I was often approached and asked about how I was enjoying the country. I received warm welcomes, and was asked of my plans to return. I know that each society has their reasons for doing what they do in this situation. Personally, I have decided to adopt the Japanese way of acknowledging foreigners (minus the camera action). I can honestly say it has served me well, and I have met a lot of really amazing people because of this.
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5/22/2013

Student Reflections on Race and Ethnicity: Iowa Regents Hispanic Institute

I knew I had to make studying abroad a reality even though I had the obstacle of being a first generation and underrepresented student on campus. The major worry I had was being able to afford the program. With the help of the Diversity Ambassador Scholarship and others I was able to make this dream a reality. While I was going through the process of ensuring the details of the trip I still could not believe I was actually flying out of North America. It actually did not hit me I was going to Spain until I had arrived to my host mother’s apartment and not my own in Iowa.
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5/22/2013

Student Reflections on Race and Ethnicity: Public health program

I will never forget how proud I was of my roots that day even though I didn’t know my own. As we drove into the village we were welcomed by the Fula tribe who shouted happily, “Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!” Not too long after we arrived, we danced with the Fula for at least an hour. At that moment I knew I was right at home.
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5/22/2013

Student Reflections on Race and Ethnicity: India Hospice and Palliative Care program

Every single one welcomed the doctors and us with open arms into their home. Some even went out to buy cold soda, with the little money they had, for us to cool down. I have seen my parents struggle financially. I struggle financially too, but in no way am I struggling near as much as many of the people in India. It makes one re-evaluate how to approach daily life and the attitudes one may have when they wake up in the morning. It's a reminder that when you have so little, you can still be happy and grateful for having anything at all. The people I met in India changed how I live my life and taught me to be grateful for all of the opportunities I have been presented with.
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A study abroad student standing in front of a city and a mountain
5/22/2013

Student Reflections on First-Generation Abroad: Studying abroad and parenting

Because I had my daughter during my sophomore year at Iowa I felt like my study abroad aspirations were going to have to be a memory. This is because I could never bear the idea of being a long distance away from my daughter for a long period of time. But upon discovering the Critical Cultural Competency Certificate program and needing to go on an immersion experience to complete the certificate requirements is when I finally went into the Study Abroad office and inquired information about various Winter Session trips.
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5/22/2013

Student Reflections on First-Generation Abroad: Time is precious

What I took back to the US is patience. In India, as loud as the roads are and as crazy as they drive, the people in India have patience. They definitely do not take things for granted. India is a third world country and if I know that people out there can live on a dollar a day, I should be able to do that. The US is definitely spoiled, and I think every student should make a decision to study abroad in a third world country to understand that their life is not bad. In India, people are happy for what little they have and I hope that when people come back to the United States, they will be able to apply that to their life and look at life on the brighter side.
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5/22/2013

Student Reflections on First-Generation Abroad: The world is waiting

As a first-generation student, I have always had to figure out things on my own related to college. My family is supportive and helps me as much as they can, but it has been a long and well worthwhile journey to attain my goals. None of my family had studied abroad before, and barely anyone had been out of the country. This should make me apprehensive, but on the contrary, I have grown to have a sense of wonder about exploring other countries. I have developed a lot as a person because of studying abroad.
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