The University of Iowa




attend  integrate undergraduate
rural interact vast majority
messy minority freshman
tuition chance (2) ambassador
respect chance (2) embarrassed
dean spring up imagination
fund amazing out the door (2)
path  junior (3) out of state
afford encourage left to their own devices
diverse assimilate acculturate
prefer senior (3) stay in their comfort zone
pro- inclusive explosion (2)
anti- deal with stereotype
accept challenge make fun of
affair quadruple student affairs
recruit bond (2)  sophomore
mentor paycheck take care of






Dr. Sarah Gardial, Dean, University of Iowa: “We’re sitting here in the middle of Iowa, which as you might guess, is not one of the most diverse places in the world.”

Ambassador Ron McMullen, Lecturer, University of Iowa: “It’s been interesting to see how many international students attend Iowa now. And of the undergraduates, the vast majority are from China.”

Kuper Bergman, Senior, University of Iowa: “An American student who is coming from rural Iowa or a smaller town in Iowa, they might not interact with any international people, but any minorities at all.”

Joelle Brown, Senior, University of Iowa: “I think people love the idea of diversity, or of growing globalization — but it’s hard and messy sometimes.

Yuhao Chen, Senior, University of Iowa: “My name is Yuhao Chen, and I am from Shenzhen, China. After coming from a huge city, it’s pretty big shock for me.

In my imagination, Iowa was kind of like a corn place where people just eat corn.”

Muyang Lin, Junior, University of Iowa: “My parents didn’t have a chance to come to the United States, so they really wanted me to come.

I watched a lot of American movies — Hollywood movies. I really want to get closer to American culture.

Kuper Bergman, Senior, University of Iowa: “In 2007, there were about a hundred Chinese undergraduate students here; now there’s close to 3,000.

You look at the businesses that have sprung up in the last couple of years: I’d say there are more Bubble Tea stores than Starbucks, which is pretty amazing.

That’s definitely a reflection of the changing student population here.”

Ambassador Ron McMullen, Lecturer, University of Iowa: “China’s economy has quadrupled in the last decade. So we see lots of parents in China who are now able to sent their children to an American university.”

Dr. Sarah Gardial, Dean, University of Iowa: “State funding is going out the door and more and more state institutions are taking in international students because they bring in out-of-state tuition.

And so the funding model actually encourages us to take a higher percentage in.

And so that’s why we started down that path.”

Kuper Bergman, Senior: “There is a huge business aspect to running a large state institution. When you see a new university building pop up and you have to think to yourself, ‘Could the university have afforded that, unless there were a ton of international students here’?”

Yuhao Chen: “A lot of international Chinese students prefer to stay in their comfort zone because they don’t want to feel embarrassed because of their poor English.”

Dr. Sarah Gardial, Dean: “Left to their own devices, the students don’t naturally integrate in the kind of way in which they should.”

Ambassador Ron McMullen, Lecturer: “The university has taken a number of steps to try to help integrate the international students to acculturate, to assimilate them better . . .

. . . and it remains an incomplete objective . . .”

Kuper Bergman, Senior: “Last year, there was a huge social-media explosion of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian student sort of feelings on Twitter, on Facebook.

Yuhao Chen, Senior: “We felt that we were not accepted on the campus. And we were made fun of. That was really a sad point of my college life.”

Muyang Lin: “At the beginning, I felt really angry. I realized that stereotyping exists, especially for minority groups. It’s part of human nature, so you cannot avoid it.

Before I came to the United States, I had a stereotype that all American citizens have guns, so don’t have an argument with them, or they would take out their gun and kill you.”

Dr. Sarah Gardial, Dean: “There are still individuals out there that create problems; I’ve seen that on this campus; I’ve seen it on other campuses.

I’m just glad that we have the ability to shine the light on the many, many more students that are doing things that make this an inclusive, welcoming environment.”

Joelle Brown, Senior, University of Iowa: “I wish that more domestic students understood that interacting international students is good.

It makes you a smarter person. It makes you better at whatever you want to be.

You’re going to have to deal with China, or you’re going to have to deal with Africa or India or wherever these students are from.”

Yuhao Chen: “I think my prayer would be find a job after graduation in the area of student affairs. I hope that I can stay in the US.”

Muyang Lin: “It’s really hard to get a working visa after graduation, and that’s the reason why international students want to go back to China.

If I can find a really good internship, I would consider staying in the United States because being a journalist in the United States, I consider more cool than being a journalist in China.”

Ambassador Ron McMullen, Lecturer: “I think what a squirrel I was personally as an 18-year old freshman. But going to a college half-way around the world in a language that’s maybe a second or third language is a huge challenge.

I have so much respect for international students willing to accept this challenge — and largely succeeding.”

Kuper Bergman, Senior: “I think the university needs to think really hard as they continue to recruit more and more international students.

We’re going to have to make more chances for international and American students to meet and interact, and to form bonds and friendships.

I think the university needs to look at international students and American students — not as a paycheck, but as a people they are supposed to mentor and take care of while they are here.

If the university doesn’t do that, and Iowa isn’t the best career starting off point for international students, Iowa is going to miss out on a great opportunity to recruit international students.”

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Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas. Iowa has traditionally been a culturally and ethnically diverse state. Is this right or wrong? Where is Iowa?

Montana, Idaho, Wyoming. Have there always been many Chinese and other international students at the University of Iowa or is this a recent phenomenon? How has the city in Iowa changed?

Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania. Many Chinese students have come to study at the University of Iowa. Why have many students come to study in the United States?

New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts. The Chinese students have experienced culture shock. Yes or no? What are some stereotypes that Chinese students have of Iowa and America in general?

Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina. The University of Iowa welcomes international students. True or false? Why do US universities welcome international students?

Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana. Have the international and local students interacted and become friends; or do they tend to stick to themselves; or both?

Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia. Have there been ethnic tensions or conflicts between locals and foreign students?

California, Oregon, Washington. Most students accept each other. Is this correct or wrong? Should American students interact with international students or stick among themselves?

Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma. Is studying abroad only been fun and an adventure?

Nevada, Colorado, Utah. What will the international students do when they graduate?
Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire. Have you or your friends studied abroad? If yes, where and when? What was it like?

Florida. Many students from my country study abroad or want to study abroad. Yes, no, or some? What are some popular destinations? Why do they (want to) study abroad?

Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. Do many international students study in your country’s universities? Where do they come from? What do they study? What happens after they graduate?

Missouri. Do international students experience culture shock or homesickness?

Hawaii. Our government wants more foreign students to attend universities in our country. Yes or no?

Alaska. What will happen in the future?

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