International Accents

E.g., Thursday, August 25, 2016
E.g., Thursday, August 25, 2016

When the UI Opera Theatre presents Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore in Des Moines’ Hoyt Sherman Place in late July, International Programs’ WorldCanvass will be on board.

On July 20, from 6-7 p.m., just preceding the first of two performances to be held in Des Moines’ Hoyt Sherman Place, WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer will interview stage director John Cameron, music director William LaRue Jones, set designer Margaret Wenk-Kuchlbauer, and members of the cast, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the story of the opera and its creators, the challenges presented in staging and directing the opera, and much more. A special treat will come in the form of live performances from the H.M.S. Pinafore cast.

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Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. The Country of Heaven. The Garden City. Land of Abundance. Sounds like an alright place to spend six months to me. I hardly knew what to expect when I arrived in Chengdu, city of 11 million people, after my month-long orientation in the beautifully rural Guilin (think blue skies and Mario World-like mountains). I left early one clear, hot August morning by train and arrived 27 hours later, sweaty and tired at Chengdu Dong Train Station. Talk about an imposing introduction. It opened just three months earlier and still smelled uncommonly like a new pair of shoes. Passengers leaving the train face a mountain of stairs followed by stark white and cavernous rooms seemingly designed to maximize required walking distance or possibly to accommodate the entire population of China should they all decide to vacation here at the same time. I would soon discover that Chengdu Dong Station wasn’t the only building that smelled like new shoes in this city and is, in fact, a perfect introduction to the desired feel of modern Chengdu -- bright, new, grandiose and ever-so-slightly extravagant.

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OK, obviously, going to Asia and visiting some of the hot spots such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, and Beijing would be the cat's pajamas. And, obviously, doing it on the UI Foundation's dime would be the bee's knees.

But it won't be all sake and dim sum for President Sally Mason and the UI delegation heading off to those four places in order to recruit students and strengthen ties with Chinese interests.

Presidential fundraising and the UI Foundation have both taken a few shots as of late, but anyone knows that in order to run a business, such as a Board of Regents' university in the state of Iowa, you have to keep the wheels greased and the investors happy — and that takes a little schmoozing.

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With more than 1,700 University of Iowa students hailing from China, UI President Sally Mason and a number of university officials will travel to Asia in hopes of establishing new relationships and strengthening existing ties with alumni.

Mason will travel to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing in China, and Taipei, Taiwan, from July 1-9. A handful of UI officials will accompany Mason on the trip, including Provost P. Barry Butler and UI Foundation President Lynette Marshall.

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For the second straight year, the University of Iowa’s International Programs and The Stanley Foundation are partnering to prepare teachers across the state of Iowa to infuse global perspectives into their classrooms.

The Global Education Summer Institute for Teachers, a professional development opportunity for educators, will be hosted by UI International Programs Monday, June 11 through Wednesday, June 13, bringing 34 middle, junior, and high school teachers from Iowa’s four congressional districts to the UI campus for three days of training, guest speakers, group activities, and workshops.

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A mini-Carnaval at 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 8, outside the University of Iowa Theatre Building will feature music, dance, masks, and puppets, as well as stilt-walkers from Canada's Swizzlestick Theatre.

A 2013 Iowa City Carnaval parade is planned, and this preview will enable the public to ask questions and share ideas, and even find out how to build carnaval costumes and floats or become a sponsor for the parade.

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According to one 2012 expat survey from HSBC, the following 10 countries are the best to live and work in for 2012: Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mexico, Australia, United States, France, China, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. See the graphic below from Infographic Labs for more detail.

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The 2012 Russian Guitar Festival will be held in various Iowa City locations June 21-24. For all concerts, general admission is $15 ($10 students and seniors). A $50 Festival Pass is good for all concerts! See more information and a full schedule.

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Chaden Djalali will take over as University of Iowa's dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in August — and he already has global plans. One of Djalali's main goals is to promote the college's international reputation.

"I am fully committed to help increase international-exchange opportunities for students and faculty," Djalali told The Daily Iowan in an email. "The ever-increasing connectedness of human beings manifests itself everywhere and has profound political, financial, and environmental implications for all of us."

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The University of Iowa has awarded the Mayflower Hall Sushi Workshop with Best Educational Program of the Year Award for 2012. Yume Hikada, International Programs' Japan Outreach Coordinator, held the first workshop in February 2011. Its great turnout and enormous success amongst participants led her to conduct a second workshop in February 2012 that attracted over 100 participants.

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"China?” my dental hygienist asks as she inspects my back molar, “Well, how was that?” The dentist chair is in full recline with my mouth obligingly open to allow her metal tools to prod away. In the end all I can manage is, “oh, it was grood…” It is the fate of every traveler when they return home to be asked that dreaded question – to sum up the experience of a lifetime in a sentence short enough to be uttered between teeth x-rays. But China is a particularly ambitious task, dental impediments aside; I have yet to come up with a good response.

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“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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The trip across the stage to collect her diploma will be the shortest leg on the journey so far for Stephanie Lukas.

Just two weeks ago she was in West Africa, completing an elective rotation for her pharmacy degree. During four weeks in Liberia studying the pharmacy system and ways to improve it, she met with the ministry of health’s medication supply chain manager, interviewed health care providers and patients, and participated in a training session for pharmacy workers who dispense medications. She set up the rotation herself, in collaboration with Lloyd Matowe, University of Iowa assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and founder of the nongovernmental organization Pharmaceutical Systems Africa.

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Originally from Burlington, Iowa, Brandon Jennings has always had an interest in the Middle East. Very soon, he'll have an address in the Greater Middle East.

Jennings, a senior graduating this May with a major in international studies and minors in religious studies, chemistry, and Arabic, was recently awarded the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. He will be going to Morocco for a 10-week program to study Arabic, which is considered a critical language.

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The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) is awarding seven students a total of $7,500 to support their internships for human rights organizations in the United States or internationally in the summer of 2012.

These students, seeking a combination of graduate and undergraduate degrees, have received funding as part of the UICHR’s annual Kenneth J. Cmiel Funded Human Rights Internship Program. Program funds cover travel and living expenses for students who have secured an internship with a local, national or international nongovernmental organization or governmental agency engaged in human rights-related advocacy, research or education.

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As a costume designer in the theater, I feel that my work often is a re-creation of memories. The actors and I create a life for the costumes and the characters, partly based in fact, and partly in imagination.

Working with other theater artists, we construct a world for the audience that they inhabit with the performers during a performance. That is the magic of theater — a shared existence in real time made up of memories and the suspension of disbelief.

There is great sweetness in remembering a work of art, particularly when it is an experience like a theater performance and you are surrounded by a crowd, a community of focused participants all sharing the same time and place.

That is why it is so vital to have theaters, museums and concert halls, both humble and grand, to experience art in community.

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The European Studies Group will conclude its spring lecture series will a talk presented by Rebecca Léal, titled “My Mother, the Stranger: Ruptures, Transmissions, and Stereotypes in Popular Representations of Arab-French Mothers,” at noon Friday, May 4, in 2520D UCC. A light luncheon will be provided and the event is free and open to the public.

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Join us for the final WorldCanvass of the 2011-2012 season when we consider the connections between art and memory. Memories live and resonate in both the conscious and unconscious spaces of our experience, but art allows for expression that moves beyond simple narrative. How does a poet draw upon memory? What does a masterful printmaker, painter, musician or writer take from his/her own personal experience and what is sheer imagination? Why is art such a powerful medium for the preservation and expression of a community’s cultural memory?

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Being a first generation student, my family was new to the whole college experience and all the opportunities I had available to me, including studying abroad. At first, my parents did not understand the benefits of going abroad or why I even wanted to. My mom was mostly worried about me going to a different country, especially a third world country, with nobody she knew and no cell phone to contact me. Both my parents could not relate so I spent a lot of time convincing them to take studying abroad seriously and that studying abroad was a valuable idea. After much discussion, they began to understand how this is a once in a lifetime opportunity I needed to take advantage of while I still can as a student.

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During the week of April 23-27 the UI UNA, Global Health Club, the Food and Water Watch, and Delta Sigma Pi will be sponsoring a week of global citizenship. In honor of UI Global Citizen's week, the Global Health Club formally invites all to attend the Charity:Water Benefit.

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The collaborative community art project Stir-Fry, which uses art to focus on how people resettle into new communities and cultures, will culminate its semester-long activities with a series of free public events from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center Assembly Room, 28 South Linn St., Iowa City.

The goal of Stir-Fry is to tell stories of how people came to Iowa from different parts of the world through the visual arts. Throughout the semester, workshops have been held at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. Students from the University of Iowa as well as community artists volunteered to help participants from as far as Liberia, Togo, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Puerto Rico share their stories through mixed media, print making, stop motion animation, and other art forms.

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The infectious beat and flurried movements of Latin music and dance will take center stage at this year's Gusto Latino.

"There are a lot of diversity events on the University of Iowa campus, but this one is a really great display of dance and music, and it gives the community and the student body a chance to have live, authentic music and be able to experience the dancing talent of people from all over Iowa," said Kimberly Tranel, a graduate student in the University of Iowa International Programs and an organizer of the event.

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Lewis Liú relocated from China to the United States with a Hollywood dream. But during his three years in film school, his Hollywood dream met reality.

Liú's M.F.A. film thesis, Drifting in Los Angeles: Chinese Students, Film Schools, and Hollywood Dreams, will be screened at 8 p.m. April 22 in the Bijou. Admission is free and open to the public.

After an expedition to visit his friends who are film students at the University of Southern California, Liú found that film school in Hollywood isn't the heaven young filmmakers imagine. And Californians were treating his Chinese friends as second-class citizens.

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In January of 2012, approximately 650 of Brazil's top-notch undergraduate students traveled to the United States to study on U.S campuses as part of the Science without Borders program, sponsored by the Brazilian government. The University of Iowa has had the fortune of hosting four participants in this two semester academic scholarship program, and is expecting to host more Brazilian undergraduates in the fall. Below, the four undergraduates have shared some of their thoughts and reflections on life at the University of Iowa.

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Join Salsa Vibe and the UI’s Global Village for a night of salsa dancing, musical performances, and a dance competition at this year’s Gusto Latino. Gusto Latino has been an annual event at the UI for over two decades. It brings together a wide range of students and community members of diverse backgrounds to interact through music, dance, and conversation.

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