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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 9, 2009

Photos: Winning photos from the 2008 International Education Week photo contest -- "Gateway to the West" in St. Louis, Mo., by Weidong Xu in the international student category, and "Hunan Schoolboy" in Hunan, China, by Chris Busch's winning photo in the study abroad category.

UI celebrates International Education Week with series of events Nov. 16-20

iewlogoUniversity of Iowa International Programs and the UI College of Education are planning six events as part of International Education Week Nov. 16-20, featuring everything from a former UI student who studied abroad in Spain to a globetrotting guru touting the benefits of travel.

International Education Week is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education whose joint goal is to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

"International Education Week is a celebration of the University of Iowa's global perspective," said UI President Sally Mason. "It is also a tremendous educational opportunity for everyone -- students, faculty, staff and community members alike -- to enhance their international understanding. The week is an important reminder that we are all part of a diverse world and that an international perspective enhances all of our lives."

Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs, said that in spite of the difficult economic environment, the Office for Study Abroad is seeing unprecedented interest in all kinds of overseas learning experiences, particularly the opportunities available during winter break.

"We have seen a large increase in the numbers of students interested in short-term study abroad over winter break," Thomas said. "Around 250 students are signed up this year, which is near double last year's numbers. It is gratifying to see, even in these economic times, the value that students and their parents see in study abroad experiences."

xuInternational Education Week special events begin at noon at the Iowa City Public Library on Monday, Nov. 16 with a talk by Aubree Miller, a 2005 graduate of the UI with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and an international business certificate. Miller studied abroad in San Sebastian, Spain, during her undergraduate studies and returned to Spain years later to teach English at a secondary school in Andalucia. She currently works at the UI Office for Study Abroad promoting study and work abroad experiences. Miller will speak about her experiences teaching English in Spain. This is the final program in the fall 2009 International Mondays lecture series.

Chris Abani, author of "Graceland" and "Song for Night," will speak at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at the Englert Theatre in a talk titled "Stories of Struggle, Stories of Hope; Art, Politics and Human Rights." This is a special event sponsored by the UI Lecture Committee in partnership with International Programs and the College of Education.

World traveler Dean Jacobs will take the stage at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Shambaugh Auditorium, UI Main Library. Jacobs is described as a man passionate about the international experience, having spent eight years traversing the globe, exploring more than 45 countries on a low-budget adventure.

An International Programs Student Funding Expo will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 1117 University Capitol Centre. This is an opportunity to learn about funding opportunities for international research, internships, conferences and language learning. Students are welcome to join a Student Networking Social from 5 to 7 p.m., also Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Mia Za's Italian Café, 122 East Washington St. in Iowa City.

buschThe events wrap up from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Old Capitol Rotunda, with an International Education Week Awards Ceremony and reception. Mason will be present to congratulate this year's winners of the International Education Week photo and essay contest. The 116 photos submitted by UI students, including international students and U.S. students who studied abroad, will be on display at the Iowa Memorial Union's Kendall Gallery now through Monday, Nov. 30. They will also be online in the near future on the UI Office for Study Abroad Web site at

"The power of International Education Week is its ability to link community members in Iowa City to networks of individuals and groups who support international travel, teaching, research and language learning, as well as to international leaders engaged in the arts and issues of human rights," said Carly Andrews, outreach coordinator for UI International Programs.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about International Education Week at UI or for more information or special accommodations to participate in any of these activities, contact Andrews at 319-335-0345 or

Visit and click on "What's New" for more details. UI International Programs, the UI College of Education, the Iowa City Public Library, the UI Lecture Committee and the Stanley Foundation sponsor these events.

International Programs at the UI is your global intersection, connecting students, faculty, staff and the Iowa community to the world.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Joan Kjaer, UI International Programs, 319-335-2026,; or Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,