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Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

By Kelly Zuniga

Compared to other city centers, downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) struggles to be a pedestrian-friendly area. Sure, the sidewalks are wide and new businesses attract clientele to the area, but it can still feel like a ghost town sometimes. My hopes and dreams for Los Angeles include a continuously evolving and booming city center. That’s why this week I’m encouraging you to help revolutionize the vibe of DTLA by exploring different neighborhoods on foot.

For those interested in guided tours, the L.A. Conservancy offers walking tours with a neat focus on architectural history and culture. The tours run on Saturdays and cost $15 for the public. Be sure to book ahead of time because the spots fill up. If you would like to explore downtown on your own, download one of their PDF guides for a self-guided tour.

I wouldn’t be a good L.A. guide if I didn’t provide my own tour. Here is a list of places in DTLA that are worth visiting in my opinion. I shouldn’t take all the credit—the tour was originally designed by my best friend and I have modified it a bit. I will provide a quick explanation behind my selection, and include printable walking directions and a link to Google maps. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes because this walking tour will most certainly help you reach your step goals for the day. Approximate time spent walking is 1 hour and 25 minutes, with plenty of stops in between of course. You might recognize some places from previous blog posts (I like when it all comes together!). Here we go!

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By Dawn Cepica

Our final NAFSA 2017 Current Topic Workshop (CTW) Spotlight Series entry features Marybeth Gruenewald, director of global initiatives for Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. Marybeth will join co-trainers Marina Malgina, head of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education’s Section for Recognition of Refugees’ Qualifications; Jeannine Bell, senior assistant director of admissions at the University of Colorado-Boulder; and Ceren Genc, location manager for Study Group, to present a critical training at NAFSA 2017, “Developing Admissions and Evaluation Procedures for Students with Non-Verifiable Documentation.”

“The current refugee crisis is not a new phenomenon,” says Gruenewald. “Migrants seeking new venues for employment, immigrants seeking lands offering better opportunities, and refugees seeking a safer life, a life away from civil war and famine—all of these populations have been moving and migrating and running towards something while running away from something else for centuries. The time is right for this workshop as the refugee crisis itself begins to cross over more and more borders.”

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From cities to wilderness, Southern California has tons for NAFSA 2017 attendees to explore. Check out these fun day trips that will leave you feeling like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in [Los Angeles] anymore…”

Heading Towards the Border

Temecula
Temecula, it’s spacious, warm, and dry—perfect conditions for wine country! I used to consider a weekend in Napa Valley as the ultimate wine escape. However, I never seem to make it up north because Temecula is only two hours away, and—more importantly—wine flows aplenty! Most wineries are located on Rancho California Road. Wine aficionados could spend all day here, but keep in mind that wineries close early in the evening. Tours and car services are available, which you may want to consider since the wineries are driving distance apart. For the best sourdough bread with brie cheese, visit Maurice Car’rie Vineyard. You’ll thank me later! All winery backdrops are spectacular in their own way, which is why it is a popular wedding destination, so don’t forget your camera. Thrill seekers, Temecula is also a playground for hot air ballooning and skydiving.

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By Yenbo Wu

The field of international education sits at the intersection of profound and wide-ranging questions. How do nations balance the forces of economic independence and interdependence? What role does immigration play in cultural and economic vitality? What risks does it pose? What is the relationship between collaboration, competition, peace, and conflict? Diversity, unity, creativity, and problem solving?

The past year has brought challenges and opportunities to our field: upheaval in Turkey; a peace accord in Colombia; Brexit; growth of the global middle class and increased demand for higher education; continued humanitarian crises in Syria; reimagined relations between the United States and Cuba; and a new U.S. presidential administration posing challenges on immigration both rhetorically and in policy. Such trends and events make me stop; seek information and evidence; and consider varied perspectives that help me understand the movements today that have a real impact on higher education.

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By Dawn Cepica

This week’s NAFSA 2017 Current Topic Workshop Spotlight Series entry features a conversation with Anne Hayner, associate director for alumni relations at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.

Hayner, along with co-trainers Erin Hillis, associate director of international programs at Rhodes College, and Liz Cosgrove, center director at ELS Language Centers – Dallas, shares insight into why their NAFSA 2017 Current Topics Workshop (CTW), Academic Ethics Across Cultures: Preparing Your Students and Your Campus, is so valuable and timely for international educators today.

“In 2017, the topic of academic ethics across cultures has only become more relevant,” says Hayner. “When charges of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ are in the daily headlines, how does this affect the way we teach about plagiarism and cheating? In a ‘post-truth’ era, can academic integrity be satisfied by proper citation?”

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Registration and housing for the international education event of the year is now open. Starting planning your NAFSA 2017 experience today!

Learn more about the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference & Expo, May 28-June 2 in Los Angeles, CA by visiting www.nafsa.org/losangeles.

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By Kelly Zuniga

A city frequently seen on the big screen, Los Angeles is always represented but often misunderstood. This city by the sea is an eclectic mix of geography, food, people, and scenes. If you can get past the initial shock of traffic and the smog-filled horizon – which makes for beautiful sunsets by the way – then you may never want to leave. As a native Angeleno, I am excited to introduce you to my beautiful and dynamic city.

Over the next few months, I look forward to helping you prepare for the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, California. My hope is for your stay to be enjoyable, but ultimately, my goal is to convert you into an L.A. enthusiast. I will start by introducing you to the conference venue, and as the weeks go by, I will offer tips for how to take full advantage of this marvelous city.

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By Lars Heikensten

Dr. Shirin Ebadi was the first female Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from the Islamic world.

The lawyer Shirin Ebadi was Iran’s first female judge. After Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution in 1979 she was dismissed. Ebadi opened a legal practice and began defending people who were being persecuted by the authorities. In the year 2000, she was imprisoned herself for having criticized her country’s hierocracy (rule of government by priests or ecclesiastics).

Shirin Ebadi took up the struggle for fundamental human rights and especially the rights of women and children. She took part in the establishment of organizations that placed these issues on the agenda, and wrote books proposing amendments to Iran’s succession and divorce laws. She also wanted to withdraw political power from the clergy and advocated for the separation of religion and state.

In its choice of Ebadi, the Committee for the Nobel Peace Prize expressed a wish to reduce the tensions between the Islamic and the Western world following the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. At the same time, the Committee wished to extend a helping hand to the Iranian reform movement. Shirin Ebadi underlines herself that she sees no contradiction between Islam and fundamental human rights.

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By Rose Mary Valencia

Did you know that the host city for the the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference & Expo, Los Angeles, was rated the number one U.S. city in Lonely Planet’s Best Travel in 2017? It’s true! Read all about this vibrant, sunny, and diverse locale.

This wonderful conference city isn’t the only thing to look forward to at this year’s conference. The 2017 Annual Conference Committee (ACC) has planned an incredible educational program, and the NAFSA 2017 Expo Hall will be bustling with more than 300 exhibitors from around the world.

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By Diana Carlin

As I write this, the New Year is only a couple of days old and the hope for a 2017 that is filled with less violence, war, and human suffering than in 2016 is strong. As a NAFSAN who has spent time in countries torn apart by war or with a long history of oppression, I share the belief of many other NAFSA members that our work makes a difference in finding a path to a more peaceful and just world.

For the fourth year, the NAFSA annual conference will include a Seminar on Peace and Global Civil Society. Originally named after former NAFSA president Ron Moffatt, a strong supporter of international education as one path to peace and social justice, this year’s seminar will explore how to incorporate film and other forms of storytelling into the curriculum. Since NAFSA plenary speakers complement conference themes and programs, the selection of Abigail Disney as our closing plenary speaker is an excellent choice. Disney and her production company, Fork Films, have supported more than 50 films that stress themes representative of NAFSA’s values of peace building, human rights, and social justice.

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