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WRITER: JESSICA SNOWDEN
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: April 16, 2001

UI international open house April 20 brings variety of cultures to local students

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The popular computer game "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago?" lets young people explore the world virtually. Local students will have an opportunity to experience other cultures hands-on at "Where in the World Is…An International Open House."

The small scale cultural diversity fair, specifically tailored for kindergarten through 12th grade, will be Friday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the International Center Lounge on the University of Iowa campus. The program is organized by UI International Programs‚ Cross-Cultural Programming and Outreach.

All K-12 students in the Iowa City area and neighboring counties have been invited. Teachers from Iowa City, Coralville, Lone Tree, Amana, and Anamosa have confirmed that their students will participate.

The fair is organized as a drop-in event with activities geared toward different age groups presented at different times. Kindergarten through 5th grade students are invited for the morning session from 9 a.m. to noon, and 6th through 12th graders are invited for the afternoon session from 1 to 4 p.m. Organizers estimate that more than 100 students will participate.

The purpose of the fair is to provide an opportunity for young people to increase their awareness and knowledge about foreign countries and cultures. UI international students and students who have studied abroad will demonstrate different aspects of their cultures and discuss their international experiences. Participants will be able to roam from table to table and take part in various experiential learning activities. There will be six to seven tables, each representing a different continent, as well as areas for viewing books, listening to music and playing games.

Examples of some of the activities and demonstrations include Japanese calligraphy, Indian dress, Chinese children's games, African drum playing and storytelling, food demonstrations, traditional art and crafts and opportunities to ask questions and discuss issues like holidays, costumes, education, daily life, family life and social life in other parts of the world.

For more information about the fair contact Akua Akyea at (319) 335-0345 or Gulcin Aydin at (319) 335-1442. Cross-Cultural Programming and Outreach is part of the UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.