Jennie Piotrzkowski is a graduating senior majoring in Communication: Journalism and International Studies: Asia with a minor in Media Arts. She interested in combating environmental problems, helping others express their voices, and exploring new forms of storytelling. Throughout her time at Chatham, she also served as the Digital and Social Media Editor for our school newspaper, The Communique. In the future, she hopes to integrate her different passions to make a difference.
Advice for students interested in International Studies:
I would encourage those interested in International Studies to put themselves out there. The entire Chatham community, specifically those in relation to this department, is extremely supportive and encouraging. If you have a desire to study a specific area or a question you want to explore further, reach out to faculty! They would be more than happy to support your research. You should also reach out to the international student community. There are many partner programs, pen-pals, language buddies, etc, which all offer amazing opportunities to learn about other cultures. Don’t be afraid to pursue these incredible possibilities. An added bonus is you could make a new friend.
Megan Delaney is a rising junior majoring in English and International Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. She is involved with multiple campus organizations, serving as the Prose Editor for the Minor Bird and the Communications Executive for the Chatham Democrats. She also works at Chatham’s Office of International Affairs.
Advice for students interested in International Studies:
My advice would be to get involved in whatever way you can. Chatham has many resources and faculty that can point you in the right direction for any area of International Studies that you might want to explore. Take classes that interest you and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Exploring beyond the classroom, at events such as conferences, festivals, etc can also provide even more opportunities for valuable learning. Pursuing International Studies in any capacity can help you to understand our increasingly connected world better than ever before, and I believe that that is a valuable pursuit for anyone of any career or goal.
Hannah Gross is currently working as a Clinical Research Assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She is also a professional photographer. In the Fall of 2018, she will begin her studies as a medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Advice she would give to students interested in Asian studies: Go for it! Give it a shot! You never know if it something you can become completely enthralled with or learn to love. As a biology and criminology major an Asian studies course completely changed the trend of classes I was taking and you need something like that every once in a while to learn and appreciate other cultures and explore a topic entirely different from what you are used to.
Sarah was an intern for Chatham’s Maymester Study Abroad to Kansai Japan, developing an itinerary for the trip and acting as a translator and liaison during our travels. She also completed a week-long internship with the International Office at Kobe College (a small women’s college in Kobe, Japan) where sheI translated and proofread official documents and counseled students preparing for their study abroad programs at Chatham in the coming semester. During Fall Semester, she interned with the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, a local nonprofit that provides educational programming and business networking events to promote Japan-America relations. She continued to participate in Chatham’s conversation partner program, completed a research project and presentation on the history of Japanese democratization, and began her study of Mandarin Chinese before graduating with a degree in International Studies, Asia Certificate in December 2017. She is currently looking to start a career in administration of International Business, nonprofit work, or education.
Advice to current Chatham students interested in Asia/Asian studies: I would encourage them to study abroad, seek out internships that interest them, and communicate with their academic advisor. The best way to experience culture is to immerse yourself in it and the best way to apply what you learn from other cultures (and to continue to learn) is to find activities close to home that are related to the culture you’re passionate about. My academic advisor was able to make me aware of opportunities to travel, learn, and apply my skills and help me attain a highly personalized education.
Jon graduated from Chatham in December 2017 with a B.A. in Cultural Studies. He is on track to start an MFA in Nonfiction Writing in the fall, where his goal is to assist in the preservation and promotion of cultural stories. He is an assistant coach/instructor at Steel Dragon Martial Arts, where he teaches several different styles of Kung Fu, promote Chinese culture and philosophical traditions and perform Traditional Southern Chinese Lion Dance.
Advice to students interested in Asian studies: Take advantage of the resources that Chatham has to offer. Studying a different culture is one of the best ways to learn about ourselves, while opening our eyes to the diversity of the human experience. Professors in Chatham’s International Studies department can help students find conferences to attend or present papers, help students join local interest or language groups, and provide in-depth study of subjects that speak to the student’s particular interests. For those wanting to study abroad in Asia, there are many opportunities and initiatives designed to assist students, many of which come with funding and financial incentives aimed at attracting international applicants.
Two months after graduating from Chatham, Christin moved to to a small town west of Kyoto, Japan, where she is currently teaching English. It has been a fascinating transition from the role of a student to an instructor, though everyday she is informally continuing her education through experiences and interactions. Her goal is to use this work as the foundation to a venturous career in international business.
Advice to students interested in Asian studies: Pursuing education in Asian Studies will not only allow you to study the fascinating and complex history of Asia, but it will also help you become better informed about current international affairs. Whether you are simply interested in learning about new cultures or considering a career in Asia, studying about Asia is to your advantage.