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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 2, 2005

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with recent study abroad returnees, please contact Lois Gray, International Programs, 319-335-2026.

Photo: UI student Cory Petersen (right) studied abroad in India last year.

UI Study Abroad Fair Showcases Opportunities For Students To Be Engaged Globally

University of Iowa students can explore educational opportunities around the world at the annual UI Study Abroad Fair Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union. The fair, organized by the UI Office for Study Abroad, is free and open to the public.

More than 70 study abroad programs sponsored by the UI will be featured. Students who have returned from programs abroad, program directors, study abroad advisers and financial aid advisers will be available to answer questions and share their experiences. Students can also talk to representatives from nearly 30 external institutions offering study abroad programs.

Fair attendees will have a chance to win a First Class Eurorail Pass from STA Travel, free language classes in Guatemala from Amerispan, two $500 study abroad scholarships from the Office for Study Abroad, $50 travel vouchers from Meacham Travel, prizes from Active Endeavors and Fin & Feather, and much more.

Students who participate in study abroad programs have the opportunity to join in UI President Skorton's Year of Public Engagement by choosing programs with an experiential learning component. One program, for example, focuses on sustainable development and social change in South America, while another program highlights environmental and cultural dynamics of social and economic development in Oaxaca, Mexico.

"Experiential education programs encourage students to enhance their study abroad experience by looking beyond home stays and course offerings in order to locate additional opportunities where one can become more active in the international community," said Lori Eiserman, fair organizer and study abroad adviser.  "When you study abroad, you can do more than go to class and experience the culture. You can also volunteer and become personally involved in the community, making your international experience even more fulfilling."

Skorton has declared the 2005-2006 academic year the Year of Public Engagement, during which the university community will be encouraged to intensify its efforts and sharpen its focus on engagement with the public and public issues at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Preliminary numbers indicate that a record number of UI students, more than 1,000, studied or conducted research abroad in 2004-05. Students participated in 79 UI study abroad programs in 60 countries, including new programs in Brazil, Italy and Japan. The Office for Study Abroad disbursed $198,895 in need- and merit-based scholarships to 168 students.

In conjunction with the Study Abroad Fair, the Office for Study Abroad, along with the UI Department of Spanish and Portuguese, is sponsoring a weeklong screening of "Machuca," a Chilean film about two boys whose friendship is both strengthened and strained by their divergent socioeconomic positions.

"As students study and travel abroad, inevitably they will begin to look at their own perceptions of the world; especially in terms of race, class, and politics," Eiserman said. " The Chilean film, 'Machuca,' is a wonderful opportunity for students to get a glimpse of the political turmoil and class polarization that is definitely present today at various levels all around the world."

The film will be shown at the Bijou in the Iowa Memorial Union from Sept. 8 to 14. A list of screening dates and times can be found at Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the IMU Box Office the day of the show or can also be charged to a student's U-Bill.

For more information about study abroad opportunities or to make an appointment with a study abroad adviser, contact the Office for Study Abroad, 28 International Center, (319) 335-0353, or visit

More information on specific programs and international opportunities is available in the Study Abroad Resource Room, 28 International Center, which is staffed by peer advisors on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The UI Office for Study Abroad is part of the UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree and 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 training.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, Program: Lori Eiserman, (319) 335-0353,; Writer: JoAnn Seeman.