By Jean-Jacques Sene, Associate Professor of History, Global Focus Director
The name Indonesia, from the Greek language “Indian Island” or “Island of India” refers to a captivating archipelago made up of some 17,000 thousand islands! If total land and sea areas are factored in, it is one of the 10 biggest countries in the world. With a very diverse population of more than 250 million inhabitants, it stands as the largest Muslim nation of the planet.
The choice of Indonesia as the country of focus for next year’s Global Focus is a particularly important one for our academic community and its affiliates. For one thing, Chatham University belongs to the very small circle of institutions involved in the U.S.-Indonesia Partnership Program for Study Abroad Capacity (USIPP) sponsored by the New York-based Institute of International Education. The consortium includes only 6 universities in America; and Airlangga University, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bogor Agricultural Institute, Gadjah Mada University, the Indonesian Institute of the Arts/Yogyakarta, and the University of Indonesia.
The choice of country is also always motivated by the opportunities to engage with individuals and groups with strong connections to that area. The very dynamic Indonesian community in Pittsburgh has responded enthusiastically to Chatham’s invitation for a strong partnership.
By Daniella Bastos, ELP and MA-Psychology Graduate, International Student Ambassador
Studying English at the English Language Program (ELP) at Chatham University is one of the best decisions I have made in life. In 2014, I moved to Pittsburgh because of my husband’s work. I did some research into universities in Pittsburgh, and I found Chatham University. They have an interesting Master’s program in Psychology and a great ELP. I had very smooth communication with the ELP since the first contact by e-mail. I had the best support to complete the application and a great reception to the program. The ELP team is devoted to giving the students the best resources and opportunities to study and develop their academic, personal, and professional skills. The teachers at the ELP are specialists in teaching English for non-native speakers, which means that they have specific professional qualifications and multicultural competencies.
During my English course at Chatham, I had life-changing experiences. I had amazing classmates from Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, South Korea, Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela. I had teachers with international experience. I had the best support from those teachers to prepare my application to the MA-Psychology program (application letters, documents, and TOEFL). Chatham’s ELP helped me to connect and adapt to a new country in the middle of an overwhelming personal and professional transition. I made friends and I had opportunity to work and apply my new skills.
In December 2016, I completed my Master’s degree in Psychology. That was only possible due to the commitment of the ELP and Chatham University. They were able to understand the students’ limitations and strengths and give us support so that we could succeed in our studies. They promote diversity and multiculturalism.
Studying in US is a big decision as well as a big investment of time, energy, and money. It is also an experience that can change your life and your future. Choosing a school is really important in this process. After my graduation, I became an International Student Ambassador at Chatham to encourage Brazilians who want to study in the US to know this great ESL program and university. I recommend Chatham to anyone who wants to study English or earn a degree in the US.
By Greg Galford, Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture
The recent university gallery show entitled “Connecting Through the Lens: Housing and Water Infrastructure in Indonesia” is the culmination of several years of connection between Chatham and Indonesia. We were initially invited in 2011 to join a roster of six US and six Indonesian universities in a consortium of schools that would strengthen connections in higher education between the two countries.
This presentation of student photographs explored two low income neighborhoods in Jakarta with architecture students of Universitas Indonesia and one in Yogyakarta with faculty from Institut Seni Indonesia. The students utilized a photojournalistic method of research to look at how the two issues were connected after having begun an initial comparative study in the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh in their pre-course to the trip.
The goal of both faculty and students was to use this Maymester trip as an initial model to examine how faculty and students could conduct research and build collaborative relationships with universities in Indonesia. The faculty involved with this trip wanted to begin building sustainable research relationships there. This work has grown out of a six year relationship with the consortium of Indonesian universities that was set up by the Institute of International Education. Past work of Chatham has included collaborations with Airlangga University in Surabaya and Udayana University in Bali as well.
This student research work, and the research collaboration, was the product of a research proposal by Dean Motley, Dr. Mehling, Prof. Galford, and Prof. Biss in 2015. This proposal was based on a conference on sustainability and resilient communities hosted in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2014. Dean Motley, Dr. Mehling and Prof. Galford attended that conference, which was sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
A previous student Maymester trip to examine the art and architecture of Indonesia occurred in 2012. That trip focused on visits to Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Bali, with Dr. Michelmore and Prof. Galford. This followed the initial meeting of the consortium of schools at the Bandung Institute of Technology in 2011.
A second phase of research that examines the issues of housing and water infrastructure along waterfront development will occur in 2017 with the goal of returning to the country in 2018.
Office of International Affairs, Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, email@example.com, www.chatham.edu/academics/international