Thailand

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.

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Members of the Thai Student Association offer food samples to guests of the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival at the University of Iowa in September 2013.
In an ongoing series from International Programs, we look at connections between the University of Iowa and countries around the world. Our faculty, students, and programs reach far beyond the UI campus. Below are some of the highlights of our connections with Thailand.

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Kao Kalia Yang
My grandma, Youa Lee, an old Hmong woman who traveled from the mountains of Laos, through the refugee camps of Thailand, to the hot fields of California and the cold factories of Minnesota, was 93 when she died. My grandma was a refugee from America’s Secret War in Laos. A widow with nine children, she raised seven sons into men and two daughters into women. She would become the root of a tree that carries the fruit of more than 300 descendants.

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Nattida Promyod
Did you know that Thailand’s population is nearly 22 times that of Iowa, but only about three and a half times larger in size? With 70% of international students coming from East and Southeast Asia, many have come to call this land of wide open spaces their home. Here are the thoughts and reflections of two Thai students on classes, food, and the benefits and challenges of life abroad at the University of Iowa.

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While most of the players on the Iowa men’s golf team hail from such Midwestern states as Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri, freshman Voramate Aussarassakorn’s home is much, much farther away - Around 8,541 miles. Aussarassakorn is from Bangkok, Thailand, and he has been on the links since he was 8 years old. Since that young age, golfing in the United States has always been his ambition.

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Kao Kalia Yang
Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir will speak at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, in C20 Pomerantz Center. Her book is this year’s choice for the One Community, One Book annual reading program, sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR), which invites community residents to discuss the same human-rights related text. This event is free and open to the public.

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 Kao Kalia Yang
“The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir” by Kao Kalia Yang is this year’s book choice for the One Community, One Book annual reading program, sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR) in International Programs.

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Roughly 20 people, including several volunteers, gathered Tuesday night at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, which sends volunteers overseas to live and work. Returned Peace Corps volunteers relived their memories of time spent teaching children, traveling, and learning the language of the country.

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