Argentina: Tango, Gauchos, and Mate

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Hello from Argentina! I am here with SOL Education Abroad. They have been showing me the universities they partner with, the services they provide their students, and explaining the cultural activities they provide for our students. It has been great to see the program first hand. Below are some pictures. See you in Brazil :)

La Boca Neighborhood

La Boca Neighborhood

University of Belgrano

University of Belgrano

Mate

Mate

Three UW-W Students awarded Gilman International Scholarships

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Three University of Wisconsin – Whitewater students were among the 700 American undergraduate students from 341 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Karen Cano, a senior Spanish Education major, will use the Gilman scholarship to fund her upcoming eight-week student teaching placement in Cuenca, Ecuador during the Spring 2014 academic term.  Emily Kahl, a sophomore Spanish Education major, will study abroad at the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain through Academic Programs International (API) next semester. Nichole Lattin, a junior majoring in Math and German, will participate in the Jacobs Semesters in Mathematics program at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, also in Spring 2014.

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs.  The program aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in an international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.  Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies — making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates.  Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience.  It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  The full list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and country of study, is available on their website: www.iie.org/gilman. According to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries.  It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”

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The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. In an effort to reflect the diversity of the United States and global society, ECA programs, funding, and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities.  Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges.  For more information about ECA programs, initiatives, and achievements, visit http://eca.state.gov.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas.  An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization.  IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide working with more than 1,200 member institutions and over 6,000 individuals with a commitment to the internationalization of their institutions.  IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowships administered for the U.S. Department of State.  The Institute is a resource for educators and institutions worldwide (http://www.iie.org), publishing the Open Doors Report and operating www.IIEPassport.org and www.studyabroadfunding.org  search engines for study abroad program and study abroad scholarships.  For more information, please contact Lindsay Calvert, Assistant Director, Gilman International Scholarship, at 832-369-3481 or lcalvert@iie.org.

Connecting

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When I promised that Jin Jin and I would blog from China, there was one issue I forgot about. After I spent over an hour trying to get on Word Press, I asked Jin Jin to help me connect. “Probably you can’t,” she said. “Why not?” I asked. “It’s China,” she stated. “Probably they [the government] block that website.”

Wow! Jin Jin and I had been talking from time to time about how much we, as Americans, take for granted. One of those things would be the ability to share our thoughts – regardless of how irreverent – with whomever we want, whenever we want.

On the other hand, I saw another kind of amazing connection this morning that astounded me. A type of communication that perhaps you could never see in the U.S. It was around 6:30 when I awoke. I went to the hotel window to see what the day might bring. Immediately I saw a flock of white birds zooming around in a circle. There must have been seventy of them. They were flying as a group in broad circles about ½ block in diameter.

Then I noticed an elderly man on a rooftop garden across the freeway. There was a convenience store on the bottom, what appeared to be an apartment on the second floor, and then the rooftop garden with a long, skinny tin-clad building, and some furniture protected by dingy-colored tarps. Then I saw the elderly man.

He was twirling a long, sturdy pole with a red flag attached at the top. My first thought was that he was practicing tai chi or another marshal art. But when I paid attention a bit longer I realized that he was steering the flock of birds. If he swung the pole to the right, the flock swooped to the right. If he reversed directions, so did the birds. I couldn’t believe anyone could communicate with another species so well, so I paid attention for several minutes and sure enough! The birds were following his signals.

After directing the birds a while longer the Bird Whisperer put his flagpole down. Suddenly about ½ of the birds lined up closely on the ledge of another apartment rooftop. The rest of the birds continued to circle. The circling group then proceeded to land on the roofline of the tin-clad building. The man opened the door at the end of this building and, one by one, the birds disappeared inside. Soon thereafter the group up on the rooftops descended and entered the tin building.

Do you think these were carrier pigeons? I mean, who has that kind of communication with a flock of birds? It was AMAZING. Today, at a college fair, I met with many Chinese parents who spoke little English. We tried to communicate, but whether we got through to one another is a mystery. As is how this gentleman communicated with a flock of birds.

 

Candace Chenoweth, Director

Center for Global Education

First stop-Beijing!

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With almost 4 month’s preparation, we finally landed on our first stop-Beijing. The flight was great, not many people on board. I slept on my back all the way, what a first class experience!

We are off to Beijing! 13 hours of flight is waiting!

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Candace, me and my mom went to a Hunan restaurant for dinner. We had Osmanthus sauced water chestnuts, Mapo Tofu, and Grandma’s chicken. Candace had Yanjing Pijiu( beer), then she poured the beer into her hot water. In China, people drink hot water to show the respect to their guest. We had so many laughters.

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On the way back form our dinner, we found this convenient store, and their whole wall of cigarette

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If it’s Tuesday, It Must be Singapore…

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Join me and UW-Whitewater’s first international recruitment coordinator, Ms. Jin Jin (a recent UW-Whitewater graduate!), as we travel to China and SE Asia to meet with prospective students and their parents as well as high school principals and counselors. The CGE officially assumed responsibility for international student recruitment and admissions on Sept. 1, 2013, and Jin Jin and I will be recruiting both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for UW-Whitewater’s Intensive English Institute (IEI) which opens Fall Semester 2014. Our 21-day trek across China and SE Asia will enable us to participate in 12 international education fairs, visit 35 high schools and universities, and participate in briefings with embassy and EducationUSA officials.

I think it will seem like the film “If it’s Tuesday, this Must be Belgium” as will visit nine cities—Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok – taking very early flights some days and very late flights other days.  It seems like we’ve done little else but prepare to go.  We’ve put together recruitment materials in Thai, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Malay with the help of Marketing and Media Relations and international faculty and students.  Jin Jin’s created recruitment videos in Mandarin and English with assistance from the CoBE Tech team. Now we’re working on PowerPoint presentations addressing topics of interest to potential students and their parents: unique characteristics of US education, how to apply, what admission officers look for, the role of an academic advisor—even what to pack once accepted.

We leave on Sept. 19th, and will be in touch along the way!

Candace Chenoweth, Director, Center for Global Education, UW-Whitewater