Meet the Study Abroad Ambassadors 2022-2023: Size

Meet Chatham’s Study Abroad Ambassadors for 2022-2023. These students are study abroad returnees who are available to answer questions and share their experience with interested students!

Size Li

Program: Japan, summer 2022

“Woodblock printing and papermaking are the main learning objectives of my Japan study abroad program. One exhibits a Japanese woodblock master showing us the process of woodblock painting; another is the factory where we learn traditional Japanese papermaking.”

Students can reach out to Size via email at:

Learn More About Scholarships to Study and Intern Abroad

Welcome to fall 2022 semester at Chatham!

Are you thinking of taking your studies abroad?

Max Heller, Summer 2022, internship at Fame Lab, Thessaly, Greece

Here’s a roundup of scholarship opportunities to consider:

Gilman International Scholarship – Undergraduate students who are US citizens and Pell grant recipients can apply for up to $5,000 toward a credit-bearing study abroad or internship program.  The March 2023 deadline application will open in January for applicants whose programs start between May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024. This cycle encompasses Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Academic Year 2023-2024, and Spring 2024 programs or internships. The application deadline is Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.


The VIH Program for Women, Non-Binary, and Transgender Global Leaders – Undergraduate women, non-binary, transgender students of sophomore or junior status with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and no previous international experience can apply to win a $5000+ scholarship toward a summer international experience.  The application deadline is November 1, 2022.

Isabel Smith, Summer 2022 VIH Scholar, Jordan

Fund for Education Abroad supports US citizen or permanent resident undergraduate students who are underrepresented in study abroad. Applications for Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and Academic Year 2023-2024 will open on November 16, 2022.


Through the generosity of donors, two Chatham scholarships are offered to Chatham undergraduates for participation in semester study abroad programs:


IFSA Scholarship— Scholarships of up to $4,250 to study abroad for semester in Cyprus (Nicosia), Thailand (Mahidol) or Costa Rica (Veritas).  The deadline to apply for a IFSA Scholarship for Fall 2023 study abroad is March 15, 2022.


Benter Scholarship – Scholarships of up to $5,000 to study abroad for a semester go support students’ study, international travel and interactions with diverse populations outside of North America, with the highest priority given to study in Middle Eastern nations and Muslim cultures, or for any semester study abroad with a Chatham exchange or partner institution. The deadline to apply for a Benter Scholarship for Fall 2023 study abroad is March 15, 2023.

Walker Orner, Spring 2020, Benter Scholar, France

There are several experiential learning scholarships offered by Chatham for summer study abroad.  These include the Glenda Rich DeBroff Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Sally Mercke Heym Award for Cross-Cultural Understanding, the Lorin Maazel- Rachel Carson Award for Environmental Field Studies, and the Theo Colburn-Rachel Carson Endowed Scholarship for Environmental Field Studies. The application deadline for summer experiential learning scholarships is February 28, 2023.


Additionally, study abroad vouchers ($1200) and  International Studies Certificate vouchers ($1800) can be applied toward in-person or virtual credit bearing experiences abroad.


Are you looking for information on study and internship abroad program options?  If you have any questions, or for more information on study abroad vouchers, programs, and scholarships contact or make an appointment:



Making Sense of my American Life

By Chihiro Sakagami, Exchange Student at Chatham University

July 2022

“Shut the front door!” “Did I get 63 points! Seriously!?”

This is my reaction when I got an alphabet test result in junior high school, and this tragic event led me to think about my American life negatively.

Due to my father’s job transfer with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, I lived in the U.S. between the ages of 1 and 5, and I went to Ann Arbor Hills Child Development Center in Michigan during those five years. I gained innumerable experiences, such as making many American friends, holding a birthday party at a dinosaur museum, visiting states in the U.S., and acquiring easy Spanish vocabularies. If I had not lived here, I would not have experienced these cherished experiences in my life. After I came back to Japan and started elementary school, my teacher asked me to hold English lessons for my classmates, and she gave me some opportunities to talk about my memories abroad. I loved telling my story so much that I might have talked a lot then. In elementary school, I believed that because I was good at speaking English, I must be able to get a higher score than other Japanese students.

The first English exam at junior high school came. It was the easiest exam I have ever taken because the only thing that I had to do was to fill the blanks with letters in the alphabet in the right order. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sing the ABC song in the middle of the exam, especially through N to P, which made the task of remembering the alphabet suddenly impossible for me. I remember I sang that song like “…H, I, J, K L, #$%&#$%#, O, P.” One week later, I got the result, and found it to be an impressively low score, 63 points. “What was the point of my life in Michigan? Why did so many other students get 100 points?” I lost sight of myself. I began to feel a kind of guilty of the way I spent time in Michigan and my English proficiency. Since I’m a very competitive person, I started to study English diligently and energetically with my mother who I admire as a fluent English speaker to get a good grade in the next English test. Moreover, I studied English by listening to Taylor Swift’s RED album. However, lamentably, I couldn’t get the top grade in the English test in my class throughout junior high and high school. From my perspective, the reason why I couldn’t succeed in the English tests was that I couldn’t understand the English grammar. In the lecture, my teacher often used words which were difficult for me to recognize, such as adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and prepositions. I haven’t heard of those words when I learned English in the U.S. I still cannot believe that other students could understand the grammar which makes me feel nauseous even now.

When I was a third-grade junior high school student, I got a ticket to become a school representative in the English Speech contest for students in Aichi prefecture where I lived. To join the competition and win a gold medal was my greatest dream. I did rigorous practice every day with my mother, my American uncle, and a teacher I respected the most in order to make my dream come true. They praised me, “You are a fluent English speaker with good pronunciation and body language.” I got more courage from their support and encouragement, and I started to imagine that I could be a school representative of the speech contest by passing the audition and win at the final English contest. Although I gave my best shot, I lost the audition, and was not able to participate in the contest that I had dreamed of. I realized it is unfeasible to win something regarding English, and I wanted to delete the memory of living in the U.S. This shame and guilt lasted long, throughout my high school and college years, until one miraculous encounter at a café during my stay in Pittsburgh during my summer study-abroad program at Chatham University.

It was a scorching hot day. I found a café in Southside Flats called La Petit Café and Grille. I saw a man sending me a cute smile through the window, so I decided to have lunch there. I ordered a Western Omelet. It was delicious, but I was alone. Two women came into the café and sat next to me. I mustered up the courage to talk to them, “Would you mind if I spent lunch time with you? I am feeling a little bit lonely now.” They said “Absolutely!!” I was cock-a-hoop because they accepted my request. We talked about each other’s country, culture, my artworks, and my life in Michigan. Surprisingly, we talked about Michigan most of the time. And also, I could understand things they shared about their life in the U.S. without having to ask for paraphrasing. We talked for more than one hour, maybe two hours. We were so into the conversation that we forgot all about time. Why could I keep talking for two hours? After I said goodbye to them, I thought in my mind and recognized that it was because I had experienced living in the U.S. I had many memories and knowledge about living in the U.S. to talk about. Before I met them, I felt ashamed of my lifetime in the U.S. because I could not get better grades in speaking and writing English, even though I have an advantage over other students. This shame had been torturing me. However, thanks to this wonderful meeting, I realized I must live life without ever forgetting my feelings of appreciation towards my American life.

Maybe some people have experiences and backgrounds that they are ashamed of. However, I learned that memories have the potential to help you in the future just as my experience in America helped me talk with people for two hours. I now have a changed mindset to appreciate everything that has happened before. If I could go back to talk to my 13-year-old self, I would tell her, “Don’t care too much about your English exam score. Your experience and memories will help you to flourish in the future.”

Trying for Nothing

Trying for Nothing: A Personal Narrative by Habibullah Sorosh

In 2006, I was a second semester student at Kabul University, living in a dormitory. One night a friend told me about the film Osama, an Afghan film, directed by Seddiq Barmak in 2003, and although I had not seen the movie, I felt I knew this story from my own life. Perhaps, it was because I identified with the main character, the bitter story of her life and history, and the sadness of our time. Osama is the story of people who lost their identities under the boots of religious fascism. It is a story of fear. It features an innocent girl who bears the heavy burden of injustice, inequality, and religious extremism. The script is based on a series of painful and real events that all the people of Afghanistan have witnessed and felt.

I asked all my friends if they had this film, but no one did. As I was born into a poor family in a village far from Kabul, I had no extra money to buy anything besides food, but I was starting to obsess about how I could acquire the film.  One day, I decided that instead of going to university I would go to Kote Sangi, a public square where workers came to find work. My plan was to wait for someone to hire me, and then I would use the money to buy the film Osama.

When I got to the square, I saw about 300 people waiting to have someone take them to work. Whenever a car arrived, the workers crowded in as everyone was trying to get work. I also joined these workers and ran to every car that came along, saying loudly, “Do you need a worker, uncle? I will take less pay than the others.”

Several cars came and took with them those who looked big and strong. I was worried that no one might ever use me because I looked weak. After five hours of waiting, a Corolla came. All of the workers ran towards it. A handsome man got out of the car and stared at everyone. His eyes met mine. He approached me and said, “Are you a worker?” I said, in a trembling voice, “Yes.” He said, “Get in the car.” We drove to the wealthy area of Khair Khana, and when we arrived at his luxurious and modern house, he guided me inside. As is tradition, he offered me bread, and as opposed to the poor-quality government bread I was used to at university, this was fresh Paraki Naan, the exact kind my mother would make. It reminded me of her and how much I missed her. As I did not have the bus fare to go back to my village, I had not seen my mother for seven months.

The man suddenly and loudly said to his young children, “Come, Nilab, Susan, and Muhammad.” His children came.

I looked at the man and said, “Sir, can you guide me as to what I should do?” The man stared at me for a bit and then said, “Stand up.” I stood. The man turned to his children and said, “Look carefully. This boy is very young and handsome, but, if you do not study, your destiny will be like his.”

Yes! I was a symbol of laziness and illiteracy for his children.

I felt my throat squeeze with sadness, and I could not hold back my tears. I cried. His wife came to me and raised my head and said, “Do not cry, dear. If you studied, you would not live like this now. You could become an engineer or doctor.”

When I felt the motherly care of that woman, I remembered my own mother, who always said proudly to everyone that would listen, “My dear son Habib, from the first grade until now, always got the first position in school.

In the midst of crying and sobbing, I said, “I got the first ranking in school, and now I am also the first in my class at university.”

They were so ashamed to hear this that they gave me 300 Afghani on the spot, which is one day’s wage for a worker. I said, “I did not do anything. I do not deserve a wage.” But the man hugged me and gave me the money anyway.

I left his house with a strong feeling of relief, and the next day went to the DVD store and bought the film Osama.

Throughout my education, I studied with excruciating difficulties, and I got a good result. I taught as a professor at Kabul University, faculty of Fine Arts for 11 years, and with great effort I collected a collection of DVDs for 15 years, which I used in my teaching and research at Kabul University.

When the Taliban came to Kabul in August 2021, and I quickly burned all the documents I had. I set fire to my literary and artistic documents, and my DVD collection. It may seem silly, but when you feel death close by, you are forced to destroy even your identity. My life is a story of people who lost their identities under the boots of religious fascism.

Bio: Habibullah Sorosh is a professor, screenwriter and playwright whose research includes the history of Afghan cinema, the structural effects of absurdist dramas, and Kazakh historical genre films. Born in the Jaghori district, Ghazni province of Afghanistan Habib received his Bachelor of Cinema and Theater from the Department of Fine Arts at Kabul University and Master of Art Criticism at Kazakh National Academy of Arts T. Zhurgenov. For the past ten years, Habib has been a professor at Kabul University in the Department of Fine Arts and Dramatic Literature. He is currently a Visiting Researcher in the Schools of Drama and Art at Carnegie Mellon University where he is researching the fields of theatre, cinema, and art theory.

Habib Sorosh received a scholarship to study English with the English Language Program at Chatham University in Summer 2022. Below is a picture of him and Dr. Linh Phung, Director of the ELP, during a class outing.

Cooking Lesson: Tacos! (American-style)

Cooking with Kate!

On Tuesday June 7, Kate provided a cooking lesson to our summer English Language Program students. Students were able to vote in advance on what dish (American cuisine) they wished to learn to make. For this lesson the top choice was: Tacos!

During the lesson students learned about the difference between traditional Mexican tacos, and the American counterpart.

We began with making our own guacamole (recipe below); before putting together our tacos. Students were able to personalize their taco and try different types. At the end of the lesson, students took home taco kits to make their own at home!

Guacamole recipe:


  •  2-3 ripe Avocados
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Red onion (cut in small pieces)
  • Tomato (cur in small pieces
  • 1 lime, cut in half and juice ½ into mix.
  • Salt ¼ tsp
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Jalapeno (optional)

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit. Scoop out avocado with a spoon and mash in a medium serving bowl. Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, lime juice, and salt. (add cilantro and Jalapeno if you wish). Chill and serve!

Taco (American) recipe:


  • 1 lb lean ground beef; or 1 lb chicken, cut to bite sized pieces.
  • 2/3 cup water (150ml)
  • 1 package of taco seasoning mix
  • Hard shell tacos or soft tortillas
  • Toppings
    o Cheddar cheese
    o Onion
    o Tomato
    o Lettuce
    o Sour cream
    o Jalapenos
    o Cilantro

In a skillet, cook beef or chicken over medium-high heat until cooked. Drain extra oil/fat from beef (do not put in sink!).

Once cooked, stir in seasoning mix and water; heat to boiling. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

If making hard-shell tacos: Remove tacos from packaging and place on cookie sheet, put taco shells in oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit) 5-7 minutes. Remove carefully- they will be hot!

Spoon meat mixture into tacos (hard shell or tortillas) and add the toppings you wish. Enjoy!

Travel with Fulbright!

Are you a Chatham junior, senior, graduate student, or alum interested in a funded opportunity abroad?

Consider applying for the Fulbright US Student Program!

What is the Fulbright Program?

The Fulbright US Student Program funds one year of English teaching assistantship, research, or graduate study abroad. The application for grants for 2023-24 is open now with a deadline of October 12, 2022.

Where Can I Go With a Fulbright?

Applicants will select a grant opportunity in a country in East Asia, Europe and Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, or the Western Hemisphere. Programs may differ in competitiveness based on the number of applicants to a specific grant opportunity.  For more information on individual programs visit the “countries” section of the Fulbright site. Grants are available to conduct research, study in a graduate program, or teach English.

Research grants

Fulbright applicants for research grants design their own projects,  usually alongside advisors at universities abroad or other institutes of higher education. The requirements vary by country and more information can be found on the country information pages. There are also field-specific award opportunitities. Creative and performing arts applicants are encouraged, with supplementary portfolios required based on their disciplines.

Study grants

Applicants may apply to study in a degree program through an Open Study/Research grant. Each country’s information page will indicate if that country accepts applications for graduate enrollment. Several countries offer named Graduate Degree Grants to specific graduate programs or institutions.

Teaching grants

The English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. Applicants for ETA Programs can apply to only one country.


Applicants must be United States citizens with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent prior to the start of their grant, meaning that students who are seniors, graduate students, or alums at the time of application are eligible to apply. For more information see the eligibility section of the Fulbright website.

While applying for Fulbright can be a long process, Chatham University has resources available to help you strengthen your application.

  • Karin Chipman in the Office of International Affairs is Chatham’s Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA). She is available throughout the application process and has experience helping students in the Fulbright process. Applicants can click here to set up an appointment or reach her by email.
  • Academic Advisors: Your academic advisor and professors are helpful resources for the review of your application. Your application will be strengthened with feedback from multiple perspectives.
  • The Writing Center: The Office of Academic & Accessibility Resources (OAAR) includes a Writing Center. Fulbright applicants are encouraged to meet with the Writing Center when writing and revising their applications. Use the OAAR scheduler to make an appointment.
  • Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors: Applicants may visit the Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors page to read about and connect with a diverse group of individuals who have completed their Fulbright grants. The Fulbright Grantee Directory can also be useful to identify returnees who may have similar research, study, or teaching experiences that may relate to an applicant’s proposal.
  • Fulbright webinars, videos, and tutorials: The Fulbright program has a variety of helpful live and recorded resources on its website, including grant and location-specific sessions as well as office hours.

Questions? Please reach out to the Office of International Affairs,

Summer 2022 Events Near Chatham and Pittsburgh

Check out the following list for events coming up this summer around Pittsburgh!


Sports Events

· Pittsburgh Pirates: Watch Pittsburgh’s baseball team play at the scenic PNC Park. The Pirates offer discounted tickets for students. Purchase tickets and find more information about the team at .

· Pittsburgh Riverhounds: Watch soccer games at Highmark Stadium, which overlooks the river. Tickets are relatively cheap. Purchase tickets and find more information about the team at



· 5/14- Pittonkatonk: Pittonkatonk is music without boundaries. Enjoy music in public spaces that belong to everyone, with no stage, no doors, and no right way to express yourself. Free and open to all!

· 5/21-5/22- Shadyside Spring Art Festival on Walnut Street: This weekend art show hosts over 100 fine artists that create original hand-made artwork. Admission is free.

· 6/3-6/11- Three Rivers Art Festival: An outdoor music and arts festival featuring: live music, performance art, visual art and food. Located downtown, from the first Friday of June for ten days. The best part? It’s free.

· 6/2-6/4: Pittsburgh Pride: Celebrate PittsburghPRIDE on Liberty Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. Over 175 vendors and food booths, family friendly crafts and inflatables

· 7/4 : Independence Day Celebration: Celebrate July 4th with Pittsburgh! Enjoy a family-style picnic at historic Point State Park, complete with patriotic music and food vendors from 6 to 10 pm. The City’s Independence Day fireworks presented by Pyrotecnico will illuminate the skyline beginning at twilight.

· 7/15-7/24: Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix: Vintage motor sports car race and 10-day motorsport festival with over 150 vintage racers, and 2,500 show cards. Free.

· 8/3-8/5: Three Rivers Regatta: Come to Point State Park and help us honor Pittsburgh’s renowned history, vibrant present and exciting future. With music, boating, food, fireworks and family fun, the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta is where the Pittsburgh community comes to celebrate the city we call home and the waterfront we love and depend on.

· 8/8-8/14: Pittsburgh Restaurant Week: Visit Pittsburgh restaurants, many of which offer deals and discounts during the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week!

· 8/18-8/21- Bloomfield Little Italy Days: Bring your appetite to the region’s largest heritage festival! Learn more about the Italian-themed entertainment and food. Bloomfield is a short walk from Chatham University, and a great place to visit!

· 8/27 – Squirrel Hill Night Market: View the pop-up market place that features local artist’s, while surrounded by the many shops and restaurants that Squirrel Hill has to offer.

· Open Streets Pittsburgh: The last weekends of May, June, and July. Schedule with specific dates & activity hub details will be released soon! Open Streets PGH temporarily closes roads to car traffic, and invites Pittsburghers to reimagine our streets as places for people. Walk, run, bike, skate, roll, dance, and enjoy the road at your own pace.

· Cinema in Pittsburgh Parks: Catch great movies under the stars at these free, family-friendly Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park events. The schedule and participating parks will be announced soon.


Places/Attractions to visit

· Kennywood theme park: Visit Pittsburgh’s beloved amusement park for rides, games, and food.

· The Gateway Clipper: The Gateway Clipper is a great way to see all of Pittsburgh’s beauty. The boat takes you on a tour across Pittsburgh, with the option to eat dinner on the boat as well.

· Randyland: Randyland is a vibrant and colorful outside space that is full of handmade art by the owner, Randy. It is free to view, and is open 12-7.

· Pittsburgh City Parks Public Pools: Swim in locations such as Schenley and Homewood! For information about openings and hours, visit the link below.


More ideas

-For more ideas of things to do in the summer in Pittsburgh, check for updated events and activities each day.

-For info on city parks (Schenley, Frick, Point State Park), go to .

– For those who enjoy the outdoors and being active, info on Pittsburgh’s Riverfront trails is available at .

– For bike lovers, bike rentals are available at .

Enjoy your summer!

Global Focus – Costa Rican Music Playlist

Chatham’s Global Focus program seeks to instill global competence in Chatham students by leading a campus-wide initiative focused on a specific country or region of the world over the course of an academic year through curriculum, films, lectures, performances, and cuisine.

The program also promotes cross-cultural understanding by forging connections with off-campus international initiatives in the greater Pittsburgh area and beyond. 2021-22 is the Year of Costa Rica.

Please enjoy the following playlist from Professor Walter Morales, Coach Accompanist for the Ruud Scholars at Chatham University and Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra.

“As part of my musicological research and work as an advocate of Costa Rican composers, I have created a YouTube Playlist that features my performances as concert pianist and orchestral conductor of Costa Rican Music around the world.  You will find piano music written in the 19th and 20th Century, as well as works by contemporary composers writing for a new generation of performers.

I updated the playlist to open with an excerpt from a faculty voice recital recorded here at Chatham University in 2015, featuring Dr. Kelly Lynch and Prof. Walter Morales.  This video is followed by three Costa Rican Nocturnes recorded in the Welker Room just a few weeks ago as a part of a virtual recital featuring Costa Rican pianists from around the world.”

Global Focus Costa Rica – Reading with Ari Tison Resources

Chatham University’s Global Focus Program seeks to instill global competence in Chatham students by leading a campus-wide initiative focused on a specific country or region of the world over the course of an academic year through curriculum, films, lectures, performances, and cuisine. 2021-2022 is the Year of Costa Rica.

On March 15, 2022, Chatham’ Global Focus Program had the pleasure of hosting Ari Tison, an award-winning Bribri (Indigenous Costa Rican) American poet, essayist, educator, autoethnographer, and author of YA hybrid novel SAINTS OF THE HOUSEHOLD (2023) + Untitled YA (TBD) with FSG/BFYR. She is also forthcoming in anthologies including Latine YA anthology OUR SHADOWS HAVE CLAWS with Algonquin Young Readers (2022). Her poetry and essays have been published in various literary journals including POETRY’s first issue for young people. Ari has her MFA from Hamline University and teaches creative writing. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Ari Tison
Ari Tison

Following the reading, Ari shared the below resource list:

Language and Story Videos

-Follow Ditsöwö Ùnīwák on YouTube Link

Picture Book in English

-“When Woman Became the Sea” by Susan Strauss  Link

Indigenous Journalist

-Follow Johan Dominguez on Instagram Link

Land Rights & Activism

UN’s State of World’s Indigenous Peoples V.5 Published 2021 Link

New York Times “Conflicts Over Indigenous Land Grow More Violent in Central America” Link

Forest Peoples Programmes (

Further Educational Sources 

University of Costa Rica Link

National Museum of Costa Rica Link

Ari Tison’s Info 

Join Ari’s Newsletter for Updates, Poetry, & Pop-Up Class Discounts + A Costa Rica-Themed Coloring Page 🙂 Link

Pre-Order Ari’s debut novel SAINTS OF THE HOUSEHOLD at Barnes & Noble Link

Pre-Order Latine Folklore/Horror Anthology OUR SHADOWS HAVE CLAWS out this September! Barnes & Noble Link

Read “The Storyteller Gets Her Name” on Poetry Foundation Link

Twitter: @AriTison Instagram: @AriTisonWrites

Other Costa Rican American Authors & Poets 

John Manuel Arias 

Gaby Orozco Belt 

For more: Check out Latino Stories “Costa Rican Americans Making a Name for Themselves” Link

Please see Chatham’s Global Focus Program for upcoming events and more information and reach out to with any questions.

Chatham University

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