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International students learn more about Iowa

International students had an opportunity to get a broader look at Iowa and Iowans this year through the Iowa International Fellows Program. The program, which is supported by the Stanley Foundation, aims to give the state's international students a better understanding of Iowa's people and the role the state plays in the global environment.
    Sanneke Kok, who is Dordt's coordinator for international students, encourages students to attend the series of four workshops held at different centers in Iowa.
    “When students come to college they tend to focus on the campus environment and not the broader culture of the area in which the college is situated,” she says. This program gives students the opportunity to reflect on and discuss issues to give them a greater awareness of what is going on around them.
    “Iowa with its declining population is looking to attract people to the state,” says Kok. “This program is not just a crass way to keep people here, but an acknowledgment that Iowa has something to offer,” she says, adding that it gives students a good look at the people and government of the state and the role they play internationally in education, business, and politics. “Another important aspect of the program is the opportunity it gives international students to make connections with fellow international students on other campuses,” she says. Students agree.
    “Being an international student is not always easy,” says Denise Mula from Istanbul, Turkey. “Problems arise at times, and I wondered if it was just me or if other international students face the same obstacles too.” She enjoyed the opportunity to talk with other students from around the state.
    Mula also appreciated what she learned at the four meetings. In October, students went to Des Moines and met with state leaders to talk about the culture of Iowa. In November, the topic was Leadership in the Global World; in January, Iowa Politics and State Government; and in February, The Midwest and U.S. Foreign Policy.
    According to Kok, one of the things students also enjoyed was explaining their Christian background in a secular setting.
    “They were exposed to a variety of life-styles and philosophies and found it challenging to share their goals and ideals,” she says.

Banner art exhibit diplayed

Dordt College displayed selections from Easter art competition during the month of April. The Dordt College art faculty juried artwork from across the United States and Canada and selected seven winning pieces. Fifteen additional entries were also selected for the exhibit.

New scholarships

The Office of Scholarships and Grants announced a new scholarship recently. The Bomgaars Scholarship is an annually-funded $750 scholarship that will be awarded to a full-time student in good academic standing. Preference will be given to a Bomgaars employee or dependent of an employee.

Purple Martin Winners announced

Each year the English department hosts the Purple Martin Writing Contest. This year's winners were: Fiction - Ben Groenewold, first; Patrick Bakker, second; Poetry - Sarah Den Boer and Ryan Vande Kraats, first; Sarah Eekhoff,second; Personal writing - Danielle Vriend, first; Emily Vander Hart, second; Analysis - Heidi Karges, first; Phil Postma, second; Persuasion - Rose Ann Vander Wal, first; Ben Groenewold, second; Exposition - Ben Groenewold, first; Allison De Jong, second.

Veterinary students accepted

All of the students who applied to veterinary school this year have been accepted. Marlin Hoogland, Dan Altena, and Holly Vander Heide were all accepted at Iowa State's School of Veterinary Medicine. Vander Heide is one of only a few non-residents accepted. She is also being considered for the only non-resident spot at the Saskatchewan School of Veterinary Medicine.

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