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University of Iowa News Release

April 15, 2003

Open House Brings World To Area Elementary Students

More than 300 elementary school students will immerse themselves in international culture at the University of Iowa International Programs' Annual Open House Friday, April 18. Numerous hands-on activities from "rice around the world" to arts and crafts from different cultures will emphasize this year's theme, "Sharing World Cultures."

The event, which will be held in the International Center Lounge on the UI campus, will be held in two shifts, with approximately half the students visiting from 9 to 11 a.m. and the other half from noon to 2 p.m. The students are second through sixth graders from the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area schools.

"Increasing knowledge and awareness of world cultures is the goal of this year's International Programs' annual open house," said Buffy Quintero, International Programs' outreach coordinator. "We hope to stress the similarities that exist between people of the world, regardless of what country or cultural background they come from. Focusing on differences is easy, but pointing out similarities is more challenging. We've designed hands-on activities that will really bring culture alive for these students."

Second- through sixth-grade teachers who have registered for the open house will bring their students for a variety of hands-on and experiential learning activities. During their two-hour session, the students will rotate to eight stations set up with different learning activities.

Activities will include the following: World Tales, a puppet show by the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Company; rice around the world, international fashion, global beats (music from around the world); paper crafts around the world; masks from many lands; and other activities. Many of the UI's international and study abroad students will assist with the activities. In addition to learning about different cultures, young children will have an opportunity to discover new and different ways to view their own culture, Quintero said.

Since more than 2,000 international students and scholars from around the world study at the UI, and more than 850 UI students study abroad each year, this is a great way for some of these students to share their knowledge and insight from different parts of the world, Quintero said.

There was no registration fee for this event, which is supported by a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center grant for international studies and UI International Programs. This year's program is full, but educators who are interested in bringing their students to future open houses can contact Quintero at (319) 335-0345 or

The UI International Center is located at the end of Ferson Avenue in Iowa City, off of Park Road or by foot up the stairway from Riverside Drive. For more information regarding the open house or special accommodations to participate in this event, contact Quintero at (319) 335-0345 or

International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and to promote global scholarship, research, and training.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, Program: Buffy Quintero, 319-335-0345, Writer: Kent Nguyen