International Accents

E.g., Monday, August 29, 2016
E.g., Monday, August 29, 2016

A group of University of Iowa professors and local media professionals hope that their summer trip to Turkey was a cornerstone to building further relationships with educational institutions and media entities in that country.

Led by David Perlmutter, director of the UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the group visited Turkey June 15-24 to learn about Turkish media and culture. The trip was hosted by the Niagara Foundation, an organization that promotes global fellowship. The Niagara Foundation paid for all costs except for airfare to and from Turkey and the registration fees, which attendees paid for individually.

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Special to the China Post --University of Iowa President Sally Mason led a delegation to Taiwan last month, meeting with several local university heads to discuss interschool cooperation and to promote international cultural exchanges.

There is a long history of Chinese students at the University of Iowa, Mason said, adding that two education ministers from the Republic of China — Yen Cheng-hsin and Wu Ching — graduated from the university.

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SPAN Magazine: Bridging U.S.-India Relation, a publication produced by the U.S. Embassy in New Dehli, recently released an article on the University of Iowa's India Winterim Program. This 3-week UI course offers students an opportunity to study and participate with grass-roots organizations in India focused on social entrepreneurship, sustainability, public health and more.

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The annual report for the Japan Outreach Initiative, which details educational Japanese outreach activities throughout the state of Iowa, is now published. Yume Hidaka served as the UI's Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) coordinator during her two-year stay in UI International Programs. She completed more than 100 visits in 25 cities to Iowa K-12 schools, libraries, senior centers, and communities, bringing a deeper understanding of Japan to Iowans through interactive presentations about everything from daily life and school in Japan to common greetings and business etiquette.

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After spending half of her college career at the University of Iowa studying overseas, Michelle Gin already is an extensive world traveler with a global perspective.

Next month, though, she will see the world from an entirely different vantage: atop her bicycle. The Iowa City woman is one of about three dozen activists from around the world set to pedal across Japan in August on a two-week, 300-mile trek that will take her from Nagasaki to Hiroshima in the name of global peace and the end of nuclear proliferation.

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I wake with a start at 7:00 AM to the sound of the Chinese National Anthem through my window. Somehow its melodies seem too grand for a daily occurrence. Nevertheless, it plays faithfully over the school’s loudspeakers every morning; waking me like some patriot’s alarm clock. I lay in my bed, motivating my body to move while the children of Liewu Public Middle School stand to attention on the other side of the thin wall that separates my apartment building from the school courtyard...

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Former Hawkeye athlete and three-time All-American runner Diane Nukuri-Johnson will compete in the marathon for her home country of Burundi on Aug. 5 at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

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President Sally Mason says that while University of Iowa officials are not planning to increase student enrollment, the university will continue to pursue international relations and make connections with alumni and prospective students overseas.

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The international-student population at UI has increased by roughly 60 percent since 2007. As part of an effort to manage this increase, officials launched an immigration software last month that allows international students to access immigration-related documents online via iHawk — an online service specifically for foreign students.

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My stomach growling in anticipation, I follow my nose and compliantly slip out of the drizzle into the bright restaurant to my right. It is astonishingly small, just a few tables packed snugly into a dingy storefront. The menus consist of single sheets of paper with lists of indecipherable Chinese characters, and though I always hope for menus with pictures, a good option for the illiterate eater in China is to find something you like and stick with it. In my case, this is the famous, the magical, Gong Bao ji ding (Kung Pao chicken).

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The University of Iowa College of Education may soon offer a shorter, three-week program to education majors who would like to fulfill their student-teaching requirement abroad.

Margaret Crocco, the dean of the education school, said the standard study-abroad program offered to education majors is seven or eight weeks long — roughly half of the 15-week student-teaching period required. She has recently looked into creating a shorter program because the eight-week commitment is a long period of time and quite costly.

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Three University of Iowa students and alumni have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants to conduct research internationally in 2012-13. This year's UI recipients are Lynne Ann Larsen, Andrea Rosenberg, and Sean Tolentino.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase understanding between people of the United States and other countries by providing participants opportunities to study, teach, conduct research, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

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This summer I spent six weeks in the village of Jucuapa Occidental, Nicaragua building a footbridge with Bridges to Prosperity and researching how different mixing methods affect the strength of concrete used in the bridge. The trip was a wonderful experience and although I learned a lot about construction and concrete, the lessons I learned from the people I met may be what I end up cherishing most.

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I’m not really one to be picky about the authenticity of ethnic food in America. Like all who have experienced its magic, I too was entranced by the bucatini all’amatriciana served up in the street cafes of Rome and Florence, but at the same time I can appreciate Olive Garden for what it is. I can sympathize with the difficulty of re-creating beyond French borders the delicate flakiness of a croissant or the perfect baguette (soft, light interior + crunchy crust), and am equally forgiving of Tex-Mex (my favorite and most dearly missed cuisine when I’m abroad). As a rule, as long as it’s tasty, I will accept it with an open mind and mouth. Until China.

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University of Iowa and state media experts hope a recent trip to the Middle East will strengthen relations with educational institutions in Turkey — a country they say is not so different from our own.

UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication faculty members, along with Iowa news professionals, visited Turkey June 15-24 to learn about Turkish media and culture. The intercultural trip was hosted by the Niagara Foundation, an organization that promotes global diversity and cultural connection.

While Turkey is in the midst of strengthening its higher-education system, UI faculty found that building connections with Turkish institutions could benefit both countries.

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My Spain story starts like many others: a stint abroad learning Spanish during college turned must-eat-tortilla-de-patatas-like-my-senora-makes-daily cravings turned boarding a plane exactly four months after graduation, Madrid-bound story. I figured I’d be a better journalist if I had more experience abroad and spoke better Spanish.

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Michelle Gin will soon burn rubber in southern Japan as the sole U.S. representative on the international peace bike tour in August.

Gin — an outreach coordinator in the University of Iowa Study Abroad office — will join more than 40 activists from around the world, and they will cycle 500 kilometers through southern Japan starting in Nagasaki and ending in Hiroshima. The idea of the tour is for representatives to show solidarity with the victims and survivors of nuclear weapons, nuclear testing, uranium mining, nuclear energy, and nuclear accidents in the past 60 years, according to a press release.

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When I was a freshman, the idea of studying abroad really seemed odd to me because I thought that I was already abroad in the United States, enjoying the abundant academic resources. Even though I have a childhood dream to visit Italy, I suppressed my enthusiasm and convinced myself to stick to my graduation plan and budget. Nonetheless, I realized that nothing could quench my yearning to study abroad, especially after learning Italian for one year and a half.

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China may lie 7,500 miles away from Iowa City as the dragon flies, but walk around the University of Iowa campus during the school year and you’ll overhear myriad conversations taking place in Mandarin, Cantonese, and other Asian languages and dialects.

Asia, and China in particular, not only has the fastest-growing economy in the world but is home to a large number of students, scientists, artists, and educators who flock to Iowa City to study, conduct research, and forge important partnerships. More than half (53.7 percent) of the UI’s total international student population last year—more than 3,200 in all—came from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and more than 90 percent of all UI undergraduate international students in fall 2011 were from East and Southeast Asia, far outpacing the national average.

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When I first arrived in Wales I was nervous and a little scared. I had just taken a long journey across the ocean and was now standing in a city I knew virtually nothing about. I didn’t know how to get to the train station, to Swansea, nor the place I’d be living for the next five months. Fortunately, there were friendly people to help me out. Yes, I’m sure I looked silly dragging my bags around from bus to bus asking the driver exactly where it went but now I look back on it with pride. I had no idea what I was doing but I did it anyway and it all worked out. I made it to my flat and was exhausted!

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In honor of the UI delegation’s visit to Asia, we invite you to meet three students from China: Xuyang Han, Wei Du, and Qing Jin. Each has taken a completely different path at the UI, but all have been successful in their academic and personal endeavors.

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Iowa City has been welcoming people from all across the globe for years. Various cultures are orchestrated beautifully in this city and enrich its cultural heritage. This summer, the International Writing Program is bringing younger writers, between the ages of 16 and 19, from Russia and Arabic-speaking countries to the University of Iowa for their Between the Lines (BTL). Students participating in BTL will study creative writing and will be able to experience American culture during a two week stay at the university.

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Many international students step foot on campus with only their suitcase, but one local church continues to help newcomers fill their apartments. International students spend roughly $9,500 in the first 12 months of living at the University of Iowa, said Lee Seedorff, assistant director for advising at International Student and Scholar Services. This figure includes purchasing housing, food, furniture, and basic living expenses.

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“Being white” is not something I really think about on a daily basis and, like a lot of people, talking about race makes me cringe just a little bit. But once in China I soon realized that my entire experience would be shaped by this part of my identity that I have rarely been concerned with- the fact that I was white. And not only white, but 5 foot 9'' with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes.

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Why should the president of the University of Iowa—an institution serving the people of the state—travel so far from Iowa? The international connections we have established are an integral part of the future successes of the University, and this trip is an important investment to advance these successes for the benefit of the University and the entire state of Iowa.

Today, as never before, the University of Iowa must function as a global institution in order to fulfill its core missions of teaching, research, and public service in Iowa. As business leaders across the state recognize, what we think of as local is fully tied to global processes and trends.

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