The 2015-2016 academic year saw bustling international activities at Chatham University. In the past year, 200 international students have made Chatham their home. These include undergraduates, graduates, English Language Program (ELP) students, Chatham Semester students, Chatham International Internship students, and Exchange students. In particular, a third of the students attended the English Language Program, which has been the largest program in terms of international student enrollments in the past few years.
Coming from 30 different countries (Angola, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, India, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam), international students have brought so much richness and diversity to the University.
Apart from international students, Chatham has welcomed over 60 visitors from overseas universities and organizations, including 14 international educational leaders participating in a leadership training program organized by the U.S. Department of State. Moreover, throughout the year, the award-winning Global Focus program offered numerous stimulating events on the theme of climate change to the Chatham and Pittsburgh communities. One of the highlights of the program was a series of speeches and lectures from Dr. Richard Alley, a co-Nobel prize winner, professor at the Pennsylvania State University, and author of Earth: The Operator’s Manual.
Furthermore, in Maymester and summer 2016, about 100 Chatham undergraduate and graduate students participated in various study abroad programs to expand their knowledge and perspectives in their field of study. These programs included Maymester field experiences in Brazil, Greece, Indonesia, Sweden, Taiwan, Peru, and Chile and summer field experiences in Prague and London, Ecuador, and Germany. Summer study abroad students also studied and/or completed internships in Iceland, Cuba, Scotland, Morocco, Japan, Taiwan, India, and Korea.
The 2016-2017 academic year promises to be another exciting year in the international arena at the University. The Chatham community is excited to have Dr. David Finegold as the 19th president of the university, who cares deeply about global education and has a vision to develop Chatham into a world-class and world-known university. Although the number of Saudi students in the English Language Program has greatly declined due to the changes in the Saudi scholarship program, we are delighted to see more diversity among new international students. Albania, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Norway are a few more countries that our new students represent. We also welcomed the first students from new partner universities, including Baika Women’s University, Okayama University, and Hochschule Reutlingen University. Over seventy new international students arrived safe and sound on campus, and participated in an informative and engaging week-long orientation program that ended with the Opening Convocation and Global Focus Picnic on Sunday, August 28. All are excited and ready to start the new academic year.
Among internationally focused programs at Chatham, we are proud to witness the great success of the first two cohorts of 29 students enrolled in the International Master of Science in Nursing program and excited to welcome the third cohort of 11 students. As a collaboration between Chatham University and Shanghai University of Medical Health Sciences, the program has demonstrated the effectiveness of a well-orchestrated collaboration within the university and across borders to offer the best education and services possible to the students. The success of the first two cohorts has resulted in the establishment of Chatham’s first international alumni chapter in Shanghai.
On the study abroad front, Chatham field experiences to Canada, Ecuador, Japan, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have been developed to engage more students in Maymester 2017 and summer 2017.
The Global Focus Year of Canada will bring programming around 4 themes: The First Nations of our northern neighbor, Multiculturalism, the Northwest Passage, and Canada-United States comparisons. A wonderful collection of short stories by Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese entitled One Native Life is readily available around campus for your reading pleasure.
Finally, the Office of International Affairs, the English Language Program, and the Modern Languages Program hope to bring more people together for intercultural exchange and discussion through the Conversation Partner Program, Conversation Hours, Global Mixer, International Karaoke Night, and International Education Symposium, to name a few programs and activities scheduled for fall 2016. Best wishes to a great year ahead!