Blog

A Life Lived Abroad: Orawin’s Journey

As I started college, my parents encouraged me to travel, as they believe exploring the world will help me grow. My first time traveling abroad on my own was seven years ago. I spent two months traveling to Germany, Czech Republic, France, Austria and Hungary. That first taste of travelling left me with an amazing feeling. Two years later, I took my second journey. It was also great! It wasn’t always beautiful, but I had an unforgettable experience. After I graduated and worked for six years, I decided to pursue my master’s degree in the United States, and this
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Chinese New Millennial Sea Turtles

Click here to view the Chinese translation. Chinese individuals who study or work overseas before returning to China are often called “Sea Turtles.” The recent notable trend is that more students going back to China after they earn their degrees. According to the statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Education, the ratio between students who study abroad and those that eventually return to China has narrowed from 3.15:1 to 1.28:1 within the last decade. What has caused the increasing number of Sea Turtles? How would American universities and communities that host Chinese students respond to this trend? This year,
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Giving Thanks: A Year In Review

Like much of the United States, The International Center staff is preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday. We’re powering down our computers, ensuring our office plants are well-watered and checking the refrigerator one last time to make sure we haven’t forgotten to remove any foods that are unlikely to survive the long holiday weekend. We’re also taking a moment to reflect on what we’re most thankful for, both on a personal and professional level. The full list of accomplishments we as a staff are thankful for was too long for a single blog, but we’ve provided a sample of what
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What Wise Travelers Know About Art and Community

Experienced globe-trotters know that one of the best ways to experience any city in the world is to dive into its local arts scene. The local art scene anywhere in the world provides insight into that community’s unique character, its values and people, and artisanship! Through the arts you can develop a deeper understanding of a community’s historic, social and economic contexts. They express a place’s human ideas, ideals, beliefs and struggles. The arts are truly universal and can be the most elemental way of communicating a city’s cultural narrative. “First Fridays” of the month are a great way
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From Host to Visitor

As a quasi-native “Hoosier”, hospitality comes naturally to me. Hoosiers (people from Indiana) are proud of our hospitable nature, even coining the term “Hoosier Hospitality” for our innate ability to be welcoming to visitors and newcomers to our state.  As a manager of a U.S. Department of State-funded international professional exchange program, I’ve had the privilege of hosting numerous emerging leaders from around the globe. It is extremely rewarding work — I get to showcase my city and state, connect people from places such as Kazakhstan to an Indiana farmer or take hospitality professionals to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to
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Proper Protocol: A Gift Giving Guide

The phone rings in the Office of Protocol at The International Center. It’s a representative from one of our local university partners. The dean of the business school is traveling to Swaziland to establish a new partnership. As part of the visit, the delegation will meet with the Queen Mother, the spiritual and national head of this land-locked country in southeast Africa. The question is, “what is an appropriate gift to present to this important national leader?” Before answering the question, we must first do our due diligence and answer the question “what not to give?” In many countries,
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Happy Birthday, Indiana! A Special Present for Indiana’s Bicentennial

Click here to view the Chinese translation. “Chinese Hoosiers,” a book documenting the lives of 21 exceptional Chinese or Chinese Americans who lived in or are still living in the Hoosier state, will be available to the public in August, 2016. We invited one of the authors, Lu Wang, to share some of her experiences while writing the book. This year, the State of Indiana is celebrating its bicentennial. Throughout the past 200 years, many Chinese individuals with outstanding talents have called Indiana home. Endorsed by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, the Confucius Institute in Indianapolis initiated the book project
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A Monumental Evening

As the operations manager at The International Center, I sometimes lose sight of the great people we welcome to Indianapolis because I do not see them on a daily basis. However, I recently had the opportunity to make new friends by hosting a home hospitality dinner through our International Visitors and Leadership Program (IVLP). The home hospitality program provides the opportunity for emerging world leaders visiting Indianapolis to experience an evening with a local citizen or family in order to gain a perspective on home life of Americans. At first I was a bit nervous, much like many of
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Elaine Wagner: First Chinese American City Council Member in Columbus, Ind.

Click here to view the Chinese translation. On January 1, 2016, Elaine Wagner was sworn in as the first Chinese American city council member in Columbus, Indiana. We asked Wagner, a millennial, a woman and a second-generation Chinese American, to share her journey into the American political arena. What prompted you to run for the Columbus City Council and how do you see yourself contributing? My father, Ryan Hou, and one of my mentors, Fred Armstrong, who had been the previous mayor of Columbus for sixteen years, played a significant role of encouraging me to run for office. Although I have
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INTLCXN: Feeling at Home in Indiana

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Several years ago, I spoke with a Peruvian woman who lived on one of the wondrous floating islands of Lake Titicaca about our hopes for our children.  Like me, she wanted hers, who happened to be playing nearby, to have a good education and fulfilling opportunities in life.  Before we parted, she asked to see a picture of my boys, which I was most happy to share. Later I was reading
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