International Accents

E.g., Friday, August 26, 2016
E.g., Friday, August 26, 2016

We take the 11 a.m. bus. Take the noon or 1 p.m. and you risk not getting a seat. There are no 2 or 3 buses, and I have no idea why. But by 4pm, the sun is getting ready to set and it’s too cold to wander around town. So we take the 11 a.m. bus.

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The Fulbright Lunch & Learn series will continue with "A Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Ambassador: Fredrika Bremer’s Travels From the Stockholm Archipelago to the Caribbean." Featuring guest speaker Adriana Méndez Rodenas, a professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at the UI, this event will take place on March 4 from 12:30-1:20 p.m. in 1117 UCC.

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You know them. We all know them. The couple wearing matching fanny packs, too busy with their nose in a map to realize they’re blocking the sidewalk. The cluster of teenagers who can’t wait to take selfies in front of the war memorial. The mother-turned-professional photographer relentlessly snapping pictures of her children as they complain about the lack of corn dogs and tater tots on the local restaurant menus. Yes, we’ve all witnessed the curious specimen known as the “tourist,” and if you haven’t, it’s likely you were right there next to Mr. and Mrs. Fanny Pack, smothering sunscreen on your nose then wiping your hands on your “I ❤ NY” t-shirt.

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Studying abroad has been something I’ve wanted to do since I can remember. Growing up, I recall feeling a great sense of longing, even jealously, when I would see people I knew get the chance to take on the great adventure overseas. I knew one day I wanted that to be me.

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I’ve been in England just over a week, and while the world may say America and England both speak English, I have encountered several word discrepancies, and not just the commonly known “chips” = “french fries” and “crisps” = “chips.” No, there are so many more differences. For example, just like how in the US, some people say “supper” rather than “dinner” for the final meal of the day, people in England sometimes use “tea” rather than “dinner” as the final meal.

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The University of Iowa will host 25 young business and government leaders from several African countries this summer as part of the U.S. State Department’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for African Leaders. The fellows will spend six weeks in Iowa, participating in entrepreneurial education programs on the UI campus in Iowa City and also touring the state, visiting businesses in Des Moines, Muscatine, the Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, and other cities.

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Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture, Kendall Heitzman, tells the story of Hiroyuki "Larry" Kasuga (M.S. industrial engineering, '53), a 93-year-old Iowa alum who is bringing alumni together in Tokyo, Japan.

This past summer, after a week of touring the University of Iowa’s study-abroad partner programs in Japan, our delegation joined Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas for an impromptu alumni gathering at a hotel in central Tokyo. We were not sure who would show up on such short notice, but about twenty alums did. The hotel had failed to provide us with any chairs, and I worried about one man in particular, who leaned lightly on a cane and in his self-introduction had mentioned that he was 92. I needn’t have worried; for over three hours, Hiroyuki “Larry” Kasuga (M.S. industrial engineering, ’53) made his way around the room, introducing himself and eager to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and to hear the latest word from his beloved Iowa.

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I decided to title this post after a lyric from one of my favourite Beyoncé songs because I feel like it most effectively captures the type of work ethic that I have adapted since arriving in Edinburgh (which was more than a month ago can you believe it!). Scottish culture has a very different concept of time, but now that I have adjusted to it, I have found myself being much more productive.

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We live in an age of new technology, expecting any day to wake up to yet another jaw-dropping device or a discovery that simply changes everything about the way we live and work. The rate of innovation in the modern age can be breathtaking, but technological advances have jolted humans into new and unfamiliar territory since the dawn of humankind. On February 9, Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests contemplated the larger implications of the adoption of new technologies—how they change the ways in which individuals interact, the sharing of information, the movement of people and ideas from place to place, and what all of this means to the shape and form of a culture. Below is a ReCap of the event with access to see and hear the full program.

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The UI’s Obermann Center for Advanced Studies has long been the home of interdisciplinary collaboration, where thinking outside the box isn’t just the result but the operating principle.
Ten years ago, the Obermann Center, believing strongly in the power of actively-engaged scholarship, established an institute which would put experienced faculty together with graduate students to show them how they can enhance their teaching, research, and creative work through purposeful interaction with community partners.
We’ll hear from participants—faculty, graduate students, and community members—on the next WorldCanvass in a program called “Taking It to the Streets: Engagement and the Academy.” The free program begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, at FilmScene in downtown Iowa City.

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When someone mentions Ireland, the first thing that comes to mind is that it rains. A lot. Upon first arriving back in August, I wanted to prove this myth wrong.

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The Latin American Studies Program (LASP) will be hosting a lecture entitled "Intimate (Trans)nationals: a Conversation with Frances R. Aparicio." The event is free and open to the public and will be held on Friday, February 26, from 12-1:30 p.m. in the IMU River Room (103A).

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Study abroad is a perfect opportunity to translate oneself in a foreign country, in a strange language, in unfamiliar roosts. You may just discover a way to add another layer of meaning to your brand. No, despite what the Chinese supermarket said, you can’t actually buy life. But maybe you can rebrand it.

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Bijou and FilmScene offer a trip around the world, both literally and figuratively, with the Bijou Horizons Film Series. Watch five movies, win $1,500 and free airfare. That’s the draw of the Bijou Horizons series, beginning 6 p.m. Tuesday at FilmScene, 118 E. College St. University of Iowa students who attend all five foreign films between now and the end of the semester (free for UI Students, $5 for the general public) will be eligible to win a $1,500 study-abroad scholarship.

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Study Abroad will host an information session on its popular summer Iowa Hispanic Institute program in Valladolid, Spain, on Wednesday, February 17, from 5-5:45 p.m. in 313 Phillips Hall.

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If I said living in a new country was easy, I’d be lying. You always hear the stories of culture shock but, you’re not quite sure what it will look like once it begins to happen. Well, let me tell you. It can be ugly.

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The Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa will host a symposium on April 22 and 23 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the University Capitol Centre. This event will serve as a platform for researchers on Chinese applied linguistics around the world to generate ideas, cross disciplinary boundaries, and disseminate research about issues and concerns in the learning and teaching of Chinese as a non-primary language (including heritage language learning) across different acquisition stages in different settings. Topics will include Chinese as a second language processes and development, data-driven pedagogy and discourse analysis and grammar.

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Are you a recent study abroad returnee? Show off your global knowledge at the Study Abroad trivia night!The event will take place on Tuesday, February 16 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at The Mill in Iowa City. Returned UI study abroad participants and interested friends are invited to enjoy an evening of conversation, trivia and (free!) pizza catered by The Mill.

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Some believe new technologies are powerful forces that dictate social, cultural and political relations. These “technological determinists” focus on the technology itself, questioning whether it produces positive or negative outcomes in society. Others believe people use technologies in ways that suit existing goals and interests. These “social constructionists” think about new technologies as tools that can be seized, adapted and appropriated by the public. While there is plenty of middle ground between these two perspectives, this dichotomy draws attention to a key question in the study of new technologies. Who has the most power: technology or people? This question, and how it has been answered throughout history and around the world, will be central to an upcoming WorldCanvass discussion, featuring University of Iowa faculty from Communication Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication, and Computer Science. The program, “Encountering New Technology,” will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Iowa City’s nonprofit cinema arts organization FilmScene on 118 E. College St. The program is free and open to the public.

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You know that emotion between excitement and terror? Where you are so excited for tomorrow to begin that you can’t sleep but, at the same time you hide under your covers because you just want to stay in bed forever and not have to face tomorrow? That would be the word to describe my emotional state right now. It’s only two days before I leave for Prague and I am now scrambling to pack everything I need.

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In his latest Dean's blog, Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas writes about the impact of international experiences.

While close to three-quarters of S&P 500 companies generate international revenue, the leaders of these companies have a long way to go in developing their global competencies. Yes, English has become the lingua franca of international business; but culture is always local. And far too few executives have the skills to be truly successful in unfamiliar cultural waters. Culture is far more than mastering a calendar of national holidays or knowing how to say hello. Negotiation varies from one culture to another, as do a vast array of expectations related to the business of getting things done, ranging from timing to process, from who decides to how to approach next steps. To be competitive, our graduates need to have the skills that allow them to approach new situations with confidence, to listen attentively to what is being said and what is not being said, and to understand multiple shades of grey. And an excellent way to gain such skills is to study, intern, or live abroad.

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We're excited to announce our Study Abroad Bloggers for the spring 2016 semester! These nine unique individuals were selected from a competitive pool of writers to tell the story of their destination and represent the voice of University of Iowa students while abroad.

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The spring 2016 Bijou Horizons film series begins Tuesday, Feb. 9, with the screening of Theeb, a film from the United Arab Emirates. UI students who attend all five movies will once again be eligible to have their names entered into a drawing to receive a $1,500 study abroad scholarship, plus round-trip airfare. UI International Programs, the home of Study Abroad, provides the scholarship to one student each semester, chosen via drawing from the pool of students who’ve attended each of the screenings. A FilmScene donor also provides round-trip airfare.

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Preparing for a trip abroad may have just gotten easier. Students and staff at the University of Iowa requiring visas, passport renewals, or other travel document services will now be offered these services at a discounted rate. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation has signed a contract with CIBT Visa Services to provide passport and visa services to the UI and other Institutional Cooperation institutions — which include other schools in the Big Ten.

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The University of Iowa is ranked among the top 35 public universities in the nation (U.S. News & World Report) and is renowned not only for its academic excellence but for its research profile. But what does it mean to be a ‘research university?’ Joan Kjaer and her WorldCanvass guests discussed the answer to that question from multiple perspectives when they gathered on January 26 for a program called “Research to Real Life.” Below is a ReCap of the event with access to see and hear the full program.

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