The Office of International Affairs would like to congratulate many international students on completing their degree and their study abroad experience at Chatham this April. We also congratulate students on their international awards and accomplishments.
Congratulate English Language Program graduates, Zainab Bin Abbas and Kubra Bahcivanci, for moving on to their MA studies in Physical Therapy and MBA, respectively.
Talking about her experience with the English Language Program, Zainab Bin Abbas wrote:
“It is my last day in Chatham University English Language Program. It is hard to say good bye, but everything has to come to an end. I am really thankful for my teachers. In only one semester, I learned a lot about American history and culture. I love the fact that classes in the program were not about grammar, reading, speaking and writing, but instead they focused on helping us to use what we have already learned by reading real books and discussing academic content. Also, we watched a lot of classic movies and learned about different movie genres. For me, the English Language Program at Chatham University is a strong course of study that greatly boosted by English knowledge and skills. Chatham University is a small university, so not many international students and English language learners know about it, but the program is just as strong as any program offers by bigger universities.”
We’d also like to congratulate Dylan Jacquard on completing the Chatham International Program after a successful internship at Cemoi/Chris’ Candies.
Also, big congrats to the following students on their international awards:
Vira I Heinz Program in Global Leadership for Women: Skylar Houck (Nepal), Sierra McCullough (Spain) and Terra Teets (Germany)
Glenda Rich DeBroff ’60 Memorial Scholarship: Hunter Yedlowski (Ireland)
Theo Colburn-Rachel Carson Scholarship Award and Lorin Maazel-Rachel Carson Award for Environmental Studies: Elena Woodworth (Panama)
Sally Mercke Heym ’63 Memorial Award for Cross Cultural Studies: Kaitlyn Salmon (Rwanda) and Katarina Trask (Spain)
International Advocate Award: Melanie Landsittel. Melanie has been an excellent student worker at the OIA for a few years. After her graduation this year, she will begin teaching English in Prague! Big congrats and thanks to Melanie!
Linh Phung, Director of English Language and Pathways Programs
Martina Wells, Coordinator of Modern Languages Program
One core mission of Chatham University is to promote global thinking among its students. Fulfilling the mission requires the work of all departments, offices, and stakeholders from the University. Over the years, the Office of International Affairs, the English Language Program, and the Modern Languages Program have forged close partnerships, resulting in multiple programs and events for linguistic and cultural exchanges as well as the celebration of languages. Viewing multilingualism and multiculturalism as an asset, we have been capitalizing on diverse languages cultures of our international and domestic students in such initiatives as the Conversation Partner Program, International Karaoke Nights, and International Dessert Nights. As a result, many language learning opportunities have been created, friendships formed, compelling stories told, and insights gained.
Conversation Partner Program
The Conversation Partner Program pairs or groups students of different linguistic backgrounds. After the grouping, students set up their own conversations and outings throughout the semester. Over the years, the program has grouped 26-79 students from up to 10 countries together. Students have opportunities to use English, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and so on in these conversations. While the demand for Spanish, French, and German often exceeds the presence of native speakers of those languages, success has been specially noted in interactions among students from Japan and students of Japanese thanks in part to the presence of about 20 students from Japan at Chatham every year.
Despite some challenges of running the program, the rewards to students make it all worth it. In survey responses (usually 30% of the applicants) after each semester, students have described their partnerships as “a lot of fun,” “awesome,” and “fantastic.” One said, “it’s a great way to interact with international students and to create a stronger sense of community on campus.” Students reported doing things together, including going to restaurants, inviting their partners to spend time with their family over holidays, and exploring Pittsburgh together. Many have formed close friendships that outlast the study period of international students at Chatham. From a language learning perspective, students have more opportunities to use English and their target language, which undoubtedly contribute to their language development.
International Karaoke Night
This fun event is held once per semester in the evening, usually in the Carriage House. All the students from the language classes (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) participate. International students also join in. International Karaoke Night is a venue for showcasing languages through music and performance. Students appreciate the opportunity to sing in their target language and have an audience to cheer them on. Not only does this make an entertaining and community-building night, but importantly, by making direct comparisons, students gain insights into other cultures and languages. As one student put it: “taking a universal concept such as Karaoke, but hearing it in a multiplicity of languages allowed me the opportunity to glimpse into other cultures in an enjoyable manner.”
International Dessert Night / Holidays Around the World Dinner
At the end of each semester, Modern Languages Program (MLP), together with the Office of International Affairs and the English Language Program (ELP), hosts the “Holidays-Around-the-World Dinner” (December) and the “International Dessert Night” (April). The gathering is held on campus in a comfortable living-room setting. Instructors prepare a dish that represents their target culture, supplemented by food that is catered. The evening starts out with games to connect students with each other and engage them in an interactive challenge to find out about various holiday traditions. Winners are awarded small prizes. Again, the goal is to get students to use their target language with each other and to apply it in a new context. Students love tasting new dishes and compare different traditions associated with the foods. Having the international students there gives a very authentic dimension to the evening and enhances the experience for our MLP students
Successful Interdepartmental Partnership
The collaboration has been a happy and successful one, and factors that contribute to this successful partnership include the overlapping goals among the ELP, MLP, and OIA. In addition, the leaders of these departments/ programs take ownership of and responsibility for different initiatives and events. The responsible person is proactive in distributing information about their program in different formats: emails, flyers, social media, and face-to-face communication with their faculty and students. Incorporating certain events into a class (such as the Lab course attached to each three-credit language course from MLP) and making announcements in the classroom is one of the most effective ways to increase student participation. Apart from emails, the organizers occasionally stop by one another’s office for conversations and discussions. This helps to not only effectively plan for the programs, but also strengthen the commitment to working together. The reward is seeing various languages and cultures come together and become alive through authentic conversations, exchanges, and celebrations.
By Victor Badillo, Graduate Student, Student Worker, Office of International Affairs
OIA is always there when it comes to help our international and exchange students, and this is another way we try to do so. The first months in a new country is hard, and it is good to have someone who can offer some guidance. This was the idea behind our Cross-Cultural Workshop Series. Throughout the semester, we met the students and had an informal discussion unlike a normal classroom. We shared our stories, strategies, and ideas about what to do in the face of this new and thrilling chapter of our lives: studying abroad.
With this workshop series, our approach intended to make learning collaborative and co-constructed by the participants rather than developed by the workshop leader. Our students came with great ideas, we tried to build upon the ideas and offer some help.
We discussed topics like getting to know Chatham, its community and the larger Pittsburgh community. “Surviving your first month” was a way to check how people were doing and also share some common advice. Of course, helping with school-related topics was one of our goals, and we spent some time talking about the US classroom culture, preparing for midterms, and strategies to study. But not everything is about school, and the OIA is aware that taking care of ourselves is a top priority for every student. In this spirit, we talked about home sickness, culture shock, and self-care. Dr. Elsa Arce from Chatham Counseling Center talked with us about signs of homesickness and gave us resources within our campus and in the Greater Pittsburgh area. We also learned about a few mindfulness techniques and how to improve our experience through relaxation and productive breaks.
At the OIA we are always trying to enhance the experience for all our students, and this series was a small effort with a big payback.
By Mai Nguyen, MBA Student, Graduate Assistant for the Office of International Affairs
It has been three months since I first took my first step in the States. I fell in love with the people and culture here right away! One of my friends who lived in Pittsburgh welcomed me with a very tight embrace which dispersed my exhaustion from such a long flight from Hanoi to Hong Kong to the U.S. Professor James Pierson, Director of Chatham MBA Program, was very helpful in giving me information about the program and my career prospects after graduation. Dr. Linh Phung, Mr. Chris Musick, Ms. Kate Emory and other graduate assistants at Office of International Affairs were my lovely supportive colleagues.
Working as a graduate assistant at Chatham is such a very interesting experience in my life. I was first assigned to conduct research about promising markets for studying abroad. I took Vietnam as my first challenge to overcome. The work is independent by reading annual reports and making contacts with agents. Furthermore, I can use my knowledge from my current MBA degree to facilitate my actual job. Especially, I have a chance to work directly with people in various positions at the university, which may not be common in other organizations.
If I have to point out a tiny disappointment, I have to confess that I wish Chatham would be a little bigger school with greater diversity of races and nationalities. However, the advantage of attending a not-so-big university is that I am highly engaged with the local communities and American culture. I feel that independence, discipline, teamwork, and punctuality are the core values in the work culture at Chatham that I fit well in.
While working part-time at Office of International Affairs, I am also a full-time MBA student. I really enjoy being occupied because to me when you work for your dreams, it is not a work anymore. I also admire another of American value: efficiency. I like the way my classmates routinely schedule every little group meeting or even a visit. They do not want to miss deadline. Also, I have found my professors to be very instructive and dedicated since they push us to go beyond our limitations and get out of our comfort zone to reach another accomplishment in our career path. I did not really have that experience anywhere else.
Work and study cannot take you away from indulgence where I can find peace by walking home in the snowy nostalgic street along ancient buildings and majestic churches that never appear in a tropical land where I come from. I know there are a lot of wonderful things ahead of me to discover here in Pittsburgh and the States.
By Martina Wells, Coordinator of Modern Languages Program Program
The Modern Languages Program at Chatham attracts an increasing number of students each year. This current academic year, 218 students (an average of about 109 per semester) are enrolled in one of the six foreign languages taught at Chatham: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. All of these languages are taught at the introductory and intermediate levels. Each course focuses on basic language acquisition in the first year and on deepening linguistic and cultural knowledge in the second year. While some students study a language just to satisfy a personal interest, many others make their language study count toward general education requirements or one of the International Certificates requirements. They often use the language knowledge gained to enhance the experience of studying abroad and being able to immerse in the local culture.
Now, students can take their language study even further. Just this term, Chatham has introduced a language minor in French, German, and Spanish, allowing students to reach proficiency in another language and culture at a level beyond the purview of the Certificates. Twenty (20) credits are needed to fulfill the minor requirements. This includes eight (8) credits at the intermediate level I and II at Chatham. Twelve (12) credits (4 courses) will be completed through coursework taken during a Study Abroad or at one of our PCHE partner institutions and consist of advanced language courses and courses on culture and/or literature.
Without a doubt, the Language Minors along with the International Certificates are a great way to boost the internationalization of students and develop the skills needed to successfully live and work in an increasingly interdependent global environment.
If you want to learn more about language study at Chatham, the International Certificates or the Language Minors, please contact Dr. Martina Wells, Coordinator of Modern Languages at: email@example.com.
Starting in Fall 2019, OIA will require all international students, new and returning, to complete an online check-in. The online check-in form takes about 5-minutes to complete, and asks for information about your immigration documents, address and contact information, and program of study. This is to keep OIA informed about your Program and to streamline SEVIS reporting.
New students are still required to attend the mandatory new international student orientation, but the online form will allow them to supply information in advance of the orientation.
Your I-20 is a ‘living document’- meaning that it must be kept up-to-date, and any changes must be entered into your SEVIS record. As an example, students are required to report changes of address and contact information to OIA within 10-days. This is required by regulation. By submitting the online form at the start of each semester, this will act as a reminder of the regulations and what you need to do to maintain student status.
OIA sends monthly reminders on how to maintain status, and information on upcoming activities and workshops.
If you have questions on how to maintain status, or are looking for general information on F-1 regulations, please visit the Study in the States website located here: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/
The office of international affairs is open Monday through Friday from 9am- 5pm. Please make an appointment by emailing InternationalAffairs@cahtham.edu or calling 412.365.1388.
The 2020-2021 Fulbright US Student Competition is open.
Grants are offered for rising seniors and recent graduates to teach English abroad, pursue independent research or study in a graduate degree program. Advice and support is available for applicants; see the below timeline for applicants and contact Fulbright Program Advisers firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Chatham’s on campus deadline is September 10, 2019 and the national deadline to submit an application is October 8, 2019, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Register as applicant in Slate platform; register as a Chatham University applicant
Check out application and requirements
Thoroughly read Fulbright website
Review differences between ETA (English Teaching Assistant) grants and Research/Study grants
Research your country and Fulbright commission (either grant). Carefully consider the profile of countries. Keep up with current events in the country.
Research your topic if you are applying for a Research grant; discuss your research topic with your academic advisor and department for ideas and input.
Begin networking and start looking for affiliations (names and universities) if you are applying for a Research grant. Make initial outreach to university abroad. If you are unsure about how to approach universities, request assistance from your academic advisor, department and/or Fulbright Program Advisors (FPAs)
Work on your language proficiency (register for summer classes and/or self-study)
Look for opportunities to strengthen your candidacy. Become a language partner for the English Language Program.
Be in touch with FPAs to schedule advising appointments.
Update your CV/resume
Start drafting statements for application
Fill out your personal details on the application
Start looking for language reference writers; continue language study
Think about your recommenders and reach out to them.
Follow up contact with the university abroad as necessary, secure affiliation letter
Request university/college transcripts (unofficial is okay) from all schools attended in US and abroad
Share first drafts of your essays with FPAs by July 16 (or earlier)
August 15, 2019, Deadline to share revised draft statements with FPAs /Fellowship committee for feedback before campus deadline
September 10, 2019, Campus Deadline. You must submit final drafts of your statements at this time and list your recommenders, language, etc.
September 17-21, 2019 On campus interviews with Fellowship committee. (exact days/times TBD). Campus committee evaluation completed. (FPAs upload form to Slate platform).
Applicants will be able to make additional revisions to application post-interview.
October 8, 2019, 5 pm EST. Online application system closes at 5:00 P.M. EST.
Late January 2020. Semi-finalists announced.
March-June 2020. Fulbright finalists announced by country.
Monica Snyder is a Chatham student currently studying with USAC Study Abroad in Florianópolis, Brasil. Check out her blog at https://monicainfloripa.wordpress.com/
Hello readers! Today’s blog entry is going to be a little longer than usual. I will catch you up on my adventures, but I’m also going to talk about the day to day life here in Florianópolis, Brasil. Since Carnaval, I have gone on hikes, futebol (soccer) games, and school has started (yes for real)! My adventuring picks up with hiking Morro do Lampião (Lamp Hill), though it was more like a mountain… The trail was about 30 min long and it was all uphill. It was completely worth it though, because the view was the most breathtaking think I have ever seen. I got a 360 degree view of the island of Floripa, and it was, like I said, just breathtaking. That same day, 16 of us from USAC (program I’m doing the studying abroad through) went to a Brazilian futebol game! Everybody came to my house, where I made brigadeiros and beijinhos (coconut brigadeiros), and they got to meet my vovó and tia. The game was one of Floripa’s home teams Figueirense vs Brusque (another team from Santa Catarina). The game was another great exposure to Brazilian culture, and if you think Pittsburghers are sports fanatics… come to a Brazilian soccer game. Figueirense won 2 x 0. A week later, I got to go to another soccer game, but this time it was the Clássico: Avaí vs Figueirense! Both teams are from Floripa, so the rivalry is VERY intense. We sat with Figueirense, which was the visiting team at Avaí’s stadium, and my goodness were the fans passionate. It was an amazing time, the the atmosphere was so energetic, even with the final score of 0 x 0. I also got to go to a Lutheran Church, and it happened to be with people whom my mom grew up going to church with. I loved meeting them, and I loved meeting college students who are strong in their faith. Classes also finally started! UFSC started classes after Carnaval, so this year was a little later than normal, but while my friends were telling me about spring break, I was telling them about the first day of classes… I have 4 classes and they are going really well. I’m continuing my Portuguese and learning about trade and development from a Brazilian perspective. I am also taking a Brazilian film class, where I get to learn more about Brazilian culture through film, which is a new and interesting perspective (and no, we are not watching City of God or Rio). I am LOVING LOVING my time here in Brasil, but in this blog post, I wanted to write about differences that I notice between the US and Brasil. My study abroad experience is different from normal experiences: I am a citizen of Brasil, I have family in the city where I am studying (which means I am living with them), and I already know the language (though I still have a lot to learn). Being a citizen means that I have a Brazilian passport, I have to register to vote (voting is required by law here once you turn 18), and I have a CPF (Brasil’s social security number). Acquiring some of these documents has been a very long road. I have been here for 3 months and just got my CPF number. The bureaucracy in Brasil is very different from in the US, it takes a lot longer to get things processed and approved. Brasil also has a free healthcare system, meaning that doctor appointments and hospital visits are free. This is great news, but this also means that wait times are very, very long. Someone here was telling me that they made an eye doctor’s appointment in 2016 and just went to the appointment 3 weeks ago. Floripa is considered one of the wealthiest cities in Brasil, yet there are still people sleeping on the streets and people selling things while cars are stopped at red lights. Public transportation is used by everyone in Floripa, yet it takes me almost an hour to get to UFSC by bus because of traffic and lack of connecting roads. Electricity is very expensive in Brasil, so air conditioning is not widely available like in the US, which is a challenge since we are in a subtropical climate (most buses do not have AC). Dryers are also very rare to find in a Brazilian household. Because Brasil’s economy focuses mainly on agriculture, a lot of goods are imported into the country. Many Brazilians have Samsung phones because Apple products are so expensive. $1 is equal to about R$4 (the real is Brasil’s currency). Floripa also has A LOT of traffic, due to lack of connecting roads (there is about one way to get to a place) and one bridge connecting the island to the continent (Floripa is on the island and partly on the continent of Brasil). There is a 2nd bridge that is considered a landmark, and it is under construction, but it has taken many many years and another bridge will not be built in the near future due to public funding. Even with all of these differences, I am still in love with Florianópolis. The natural beauty of the island can’t be found anywhere else in the world. And the people, the people are so kind, friendly, helpful, and happy. They enjoy life and love to share their Brasil with you. These people and this place will forever have a place in my heart. Floripa isn’t perfect, but where is? I’m making memories with my American friends, Brazilian friends, friends of my mãe (mom), friends of my vovó, and friends of my tia. I thank God for placing me here in Floripa to be with my family, and learn more about a myself and a country I love. I’m learning what it means to be a Brazilian. In the next edition of Manezinha, I will tell about an upcoming birthday and travels. Beijos
Oi amigos! Esse capítulo tá mais longa do que o normal. Vou falar sobre minhas aventuras, mas também vou falar sobre o dia a dia aqui em Florianópolis, Brasil. Desde o Carnaval, fiz trilhas, assisti jogos de futebol e a escola começou (sim é a verdade)! Eu fiz a trilha do Morro do Lampião, mas é mais como uma montanha … A trilha foi 30 minutos e era toda subida. Mas valeu a pena, porque a vista era a coisa mais linda que eu vi na minha vida. Tinha uma vista de 360 graus da ilha de Floripa. No mesmo dia, 16 de nós da USAC (programa do meu intercâmbio) foram para um jogo de futebol brasileiro! Todo mundo veio à minha casa, onde eu fiz brigadeiros e beijinhos, e eles conheceram minha vovó e tia. O jogo foi um dos times de Floripa: Figueirense x Brusque (outro time de Santa Catarina). Vemos mais da cultura brasileira, e se você acha que os Pittsburghers são fanáticos por esportes … venha para um jogo de futebol brasileiro. Figueirense ganhou 2 x 0. Uma semana depois, consegui ir para outro jogo de futebol, mas desta vez foi o Clássico: Avaí x Figueirense! Os dois times são de Floripa, então a rivalidade é MUITO intensa. Nós sentamos com o Figueirense, que era o time visitante no estádio do Avaí, e eram os fãs apaixonados. Foi incrível, a atmosfera era tão enérgica, mesmo com o placar final de 0 x 0. Eu também fui na igreja luterana, e onde tinha pessoas com quem minha mãe cresceu frequentando a igreja. Eu adorei conhecê-los e adorava encontrar estudantes que fossem fortes na sua fé. As aulas também finalmente começaram. A UFSC começou as aulas depois do Carnaval, então este ano foi um pouco mais tarde do que o normal, mas eu vi fotos dos meus amigos nas ferias da primavera, e eu mandei fotos do primeiro dia da escola… Eu tenho 4 aulas e tô gostando. Estou continuando meu português e aprendendo sobre a economia de uma perspectiva brasileira. Eu também tenho uma aula de cinema brasileiro, onde eu aprendo mais sobre a cultura brasileira através do cinema, com uma perspectiva nova e interessante (e não, nós não estamos assistindo Cidade de Deus ou Rio). Estou ADORANDO o meu tempo aqui no Brasil, mas neste capítulo do meu blog, eu queria escrever sobre as diferenças que eu noto entre os EUA e o Brasil. Minha experiência de intercâmbio é diferente das experiências normais: sou cidadã do Brasil, tenho família na cidade onde estou estudando (estou morando com elas) e já falo a língua. Ser cidadã significa que tenho um passaporte brasileiro, tenho que me registrar para votar e eu tenho um CPF. Obtendo alguns desses documentos foi… longo. Estou aqui há 3 meses e recebi o meu número de CPF agora. A burocracia no Brasil é muito diferente da dos EUA, demora mais para as coisas sejam processadas e aprovadas. O Brasil também tem um sistema de saúde gratuito. Esta é uma ótima notícia, mas isso também significa que os tempos de espera são muito, muito longos. Alguém aqui estava me dizendo que eles fizeram uma consulta de oftalmologista em 2016 e só foi para a consulta há 3 semanas. Floripa é considerada uma das cidades mais ricas do Brasil, mas ainda há pessoas dormindo nas ruas e pessoas vendendo coisas enquanto os carros são parados. O transporte público é usado por todos em Floripa, mas eu demoro quase uma hora para chegar à UFSC de ônibus por causa do trânsito e da falta das ruas de conexão. A eletricidade é muito cara no Brasil, então o ar-condicionado não é nos todos os lugares como nos EUA. Secadores também são muito raros de se encontrar em uma residência brasileira. A economia do Brasil se concentrar principalmente na agricultura, então muitos produtos são importados para o país. Muitos brasileiros têm celulares Samsung porque os produtos da Apple são muito caros. $1 é como R$4. Floripa também tem MUITO transito, não tem estradas de conexão (há cerca de uma maneira de chegar para um lugar) e uma ponte conectando a ilha ao continente. Há uma segunda ponte que está em resturação, mas levou muitos anos e uma outra ponte não será construída em um futuro, por causa do financiamento público. Mesmo com todas essas diferenças, ainda estou apaixonada por Florianópolis. A natureza da ilha não pode ser encontrada em nenhum outro lugar do mundo. E as pessoas, as pessoas são tão gentis, amigáveis e felizes. Brasileiros aproveitam a vida e têm amor para compartilhar seu Brasil com você. Essas pessoas e este lugar terão um lugar no meu coração para sempre. Floripa não é perfeita, mas onde é? Estou fazendo memórias com meus amigos americanos, amigos brasileiros, amigos da minha mãe, amigos da minha vovó e amigas da minha tia. Agradeço o Deus por me colocar aqui em Floripa para estar com minha família e aprender mais sobre mim e um país que eu amo. Tô aprendendo como é pra ser brasileira. No próximo capítulo da Manezinha, vou escrever sobre um aniversário e viagens. Beijos
Embarking on a Chatham field experience introduces you to your new host culture, making it a great preparation to go abroad again on a longer program. You have enough freedom on these shorter programs to experience the day-to-day of living abroad and get infected with the commonly known ‘travel bug.’ On the field experience your faculty, in my case, two American professors from Chatham, knew where they were and how to operate in the host country. There’s a sense of ease that comes along with that. When abroad on other programs, teachers of your host country invite you in, as an insider to the society. This link gives you a different experience from being invited in by an outsider, however experienced.
Two or three weeks in a host country is a significant, meaningful experience, but you will be seeing that country, at least in my case, in more the role of a visitor, as opposed to when you stay for an extended period. The way you relate yourself to your new surroundings begins to change significantly as you stay for an extended period in the host country. You may feel more inclined to take the leap, and relate yourself to your host country through understanding the language, cultural nuances, and other things when you stay for longer.
In my case, I had already completed three months abroad before joining a short-term field experience with Chatham, a little over two months in Italy and one month in Korea, yet these shorter experiences in each culture did ultimately prepare me for my semester in Prague, and shaped my experience there greatly. Through all of my experiences abroad, I learned a lot about being self-sufficient, and independent. I also learned a lot about flexibility, and how advantageous it is to be the most adaptable version of oneself possible.
When I was in Prague, I was game for just about anything because I realized what I would take away from my experiences abroad—the things I would remember most, and mean most to me. I could see what changed me the most significantly as a person then, and wanted to keep pursuing those things when in Prague. Those usually were the things that I never would have done before going abroad. Basic things like being confident in myself, my judgement, and just generally feeling good in my own skin, all grew from my willingness to put myself out there all the time.
Melanie Landsittel is majoring in Visual Arts and will graduate in spring 2019. Melanie is a student assistant in the Office of International Affairs.