Study abroad during summer term

During May 2018, 74 Chatham undergraduates will study abroad.  These students will be studying with Chatham faculty on short term field experiences in Costa Rica, Germany/Belgium, Greece, and Indonesia.  The field experiences have different themes, ranging from Sustainability in Costa Rica to Identity and Social Policy in the European Union.

Portugal, Maymester 2017 (photo by Tabitha Weaver)


Additionally, fifteen Chatham undergraduate students will take advantage of the summer term to study and intern abroad independently in many different countries.  Students will study and/or intern in Costa Rica, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and Spain.

Each student has a different goal in mind when planning their study abroad experience.  Students may want to gain proficiency in a target language, take coursework to fulfill major requirements, complete internship requirements and/or take elective courses.  Coursework must be pre-approved by the student’s academic advisor and department for transfer back to Chatham.

We hope everyone enjoys safe and meaningful studies abroad!  We look forward to hearing about your experiences when you return.

When will you study abroad?  For more information about study abroad options, scholarships and the study abroad process, please contact or visit us at the Office of International Affairs in Falk Hall, lower level.


Fulbright US Student Program 2019-2020

The Fulbright 2019-20 US student program is open! Please see

Through this program, recent graduates can researchstudy or teach abroad.  There are over 2,200 awards available for 2019-20, an increased number of English Teaching Assistant (ETA) placements and an increase in Master’s degree program placements.

If you have graduated (undergraduate or graduate study), or will graduate by spring 2019, you can apply. To help you get started, please review the archived information sessions available at

Chatham’s on campus Fulbright application deadline is September 10, 2018.  Please see the below timeline and checklist for further information.

April 2018:

Online application opens.  View awards by clicking on specific countries at

April-May 2018:

  • 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.

Summer 2018

  • 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, 2018, Deadline to share revised draft statements with FPAs /Fellowship committee for feedback before campus deadline

September 10, 2018, Campus Deadline.  You must submit final drafts of your statements at this time and list your recommenders, language, etc.

September 17-21, 2018 On campus interviews with Fellowship committee. (exact days/times TBD). Campus committee evaluation completed.  (FPAs upload form to Embark system).

Applicants will be able to make additional revisions to application post-interview.

October 9, 2018, 5 pm EST.  Online application system closes at 5:00 P.M. EST.

Late January 2019. Finalists announced.

March-May 2019. Fulbright winners announced by country.

If you are interested in applying for a Fulbright grant, and for support in the application process, please get in touch with Karin Chipman, or Chris Musick,

Fulbright Reflections – Taiwan

by Karin Chipman, Study abroad coordinator

For two weeks in March 2018, I was privileged to visit Taiwan as a grantee on a Fulbright International Education Administrator (IEA) seminar, and enjoyed beautiful weather, excellent food and meaningful cultural exchange with our hosts from the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan).  Our itinerary included visits to a variety of universities, from large research-oriented institutions to smaller schools focused on language learning and liberal arts.

On Elephant Mountain, overlooking Taipei 101

Along with the ten other international education administrators on the seminar, we met with government officials at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Taiwan Fulbright Alumni Association and the Taitung County government.  We had many wonderful meals and cultural experiences including the Fulbright Research Workshop with a special keynote speaker, none other than Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan.

Fulbright Taiwan IEA grantees at Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung

I was fortunate to visit two of Chatham’s Taiwanese partners during the seminar.  At Tamkang University in New Taipei City, we were greeted by the Office of International Affairs and a friendly group of student ambassadors ready with their umbrellas to shield us from the rain (that happily did not materialize).   As we walked up the promenade of the beautiful campus with flowers and greenery toward the library, the student ambassadors oriented us to campus and told us about student life at Tamkang University.  The campus was busy with a student run marketplace in full swing along our walk.  At Tunghai University in Taichung, we met with the International Office, enjoyed an informative video and presentation that included tasting the ice cream made at the university farm. Afterwards, we enjoyed a sunny campus tour and a visit to the Chinese Language Center.  There were many people enjoying the weather and the beautiful surroundings, including the iconic Luce Memorial Chapel, designed by I.M. Pei. This is an impressive structure with a peaceful environment for reflection and contemplation.

With international coordinator Doris Tsai, at Tungai University, Luce Chapel in background

The seminar included meetings with several Fulbright US student program grantees in Taiwan.  We visited three schools where English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) were placed.  I enjoyed talking to the Fulbright researchers and ETAs regarding their experience in Taiwan.  For any graduate or soon to be graduate looking for a wonderful experience conducting research, studying or teaching English for a year, I’d encourage you to apply for a Fulbright grant in Taiwan.

Fulbright ETA in action in elementary school in Yilan

Students who are seeking an exciting and safe study abroad destination should definitely consider Taiwan. Beyond Chatham’s partner institutions and many wonderful centers for learning Mandarin, there are institutions with programs taught in English in every academic area.  My Fulbright experience confirmed for me that Taiwan is a destination that can work for a variety of students’ needs. Taiwan is a beautiful country with modern conveniences, like excellent public transportation in cities, and the high-speed train for easy travel north to south. And the food is delicious!  Taiwan holds a wealth of incredible treasures for US students to explore further.

For more information on studying in Taiwan or applying for a Fulbright grant, please contact me at or Visit us at the Office of International Affairs in Falk Hall, lower level.

Overcoming Fears of Studying Abroad and Widening Outlooks of the World

By Karun Lelahuta, ELP Graduate, Chatham Graduate Student

Karun and friends – Academic Communication class

Karun wrote a speech to celebrate the his graduation from the English Language Program at Chatham University. He shares that studying abroad has helped him to widen his outlooks of the world, grow up and stand on his own, and love to make mistakes because that’s how he learns new things.

After studying at Chatham University for 9 months, I have gained much experience that guides me to become a person who I want to be.

Before I talk about the challenges I face during my study abroad experience, I want to tell you about my background. I was an unconfident person who tried to avoid groups of people. In daily life I used to be alone rather than hang around with my friends. My parents were concerned about me that I might have trouble when I grew up because I would have to work with many people. After I graduated from university in Thailand, they decided to send me to study abroad. My parents said to me, “You have to regain your English language skills” and they took me the United States. I can still remember how much I resisted to coming to the U.S. I thought to myself so many times day by day about why they wanted me to go to the U.S. just because of English. Finally, when they said to me that I could come back after 6 months, I agreed with them and came here to Pittsburgh.

Life in the United States was not as easy as I had thought. The first day I arrived in Chicago I had a horrible experience. I missed my flight to Pittsburgh, not because I was lost or I did not have enough time to transfer to another flight, but because of the TSA staff. She was very upset and shouted every minute, and she did her work very slowly, so I was stuck there for more than two hours and missed my flight. At that moment, I was so frustrated. I said to my mother who came along with me that I hated the United States. However, after that experience things got better. I tried to communicate with other students. At first, it was very hard to step out of my comfort zone. I was scared to make mistakes. I feared to communicate because my English was weak. I was afraid that I would lose my Japanese. However, I did not have any friend who can speak Thai, so it forced me to focus on my English. I am no longer afraid to face many challenges. I found Japanese friends. I overcame my fears.

I always think about the reasons why I came to the United States. Improving the second language is part of studying abroad. I think it helps me to learn other cultures and different ways of thinking. It helps me to have a wider outlook of the world after I have met so many people around the world. It helps me grow up and stand on my own because my family or my friends who always support me are not here, so I have to do everything by myself. It helps me love to make mistakes because I can learn new things. So, I always remember what my parents said to me “be brave and keep learning. You already have a chance to improve yourselves. Do not let it go.”

Don’t let your life drift away. Don’t let your emotions like fear control you – you have to control them. Don’t judge other people because you will learn something from them. Don’t fear to make mistakes. Don’t lose your hope because it will make you stronger. Step out of your cover and your will enjoy your new life.

I cannot say I already achieve all of my goals of studying abroad. I still have to learn many things to improve myself. However, I think to myself that I would not be a person who I am right now if my parents had never let me study aboard, and I  would not be joyful if I had never met my friends here. So I want to thank you to everyone who always supports me. Thank you.

Making the Best of What you Have

By Aristote Kipayko, ELP Graduate, Chatham Undergraduate Student

Asked to write a commencement speech to students graduating from the English Language Program, Aris writes, “We had better start looking at the light to see where we are going.” He urges the students to make the best of what they have now to have a great future.

About Aris: My name is Aristote Kipayko. I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I plan to graduate with a double major in Economics and Management Information System at Chatham University, class of 2021. I chose to get into business because I believe that everything nowadays is related to business and money. I am interested to know the real use of money and the different impacts it can have on any individual.

Aris’s speech:

I’m pleased to be with you at this time today for your commencement to a new step in your journey. Most of you have gone through a lot in order to be here with us. It may look easy, but only you can know the pain and suffering you have encountered.

I assume that many of you had the same problem as me when arriving in Pittsburgh and trying to settle. For me, the Pittsburgh weather was the first challenge I faced. It could get so cold in a day just as it could get so warm as well. I come from Africa and most of you might know or heard that it is usually way warmer in Africa in comparison to America. Adapting to the cold weather in Pittsburgh was really hard.  Determination and desire to learn more were the keys to help me overcome that challenge. It helped me to stay strong and stay focused in class.

Apart from the weather, food in America was also a big challenge. I was surprised that the quality of the food here would be so bad. I felt that I had led myself into a dark journey. I realized that I was eating more organic food back to my country, and it took me about two months to get used to the food here. In order to move forward, I had to make it a small deal and move on. Just like Ron Shayka said, “When all you see are shadows, you never see light.” We had better start looking at the light to see where we are going.

Once again, I want to congratulate all of you for your achievements. We still all have a lot to achieve, but this is also a big step. Just like Steve Jobs said, “Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish.” Nothing is more important than always want to learn more. Success is a fruit from hard work and dedication. The future is in our hands. John Schaar wrote that “The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made.” Therefore, you have to make the best of what you have now to have a great future.

North Shore Tour with the OIA

On Saturday March 24, students joined the OIA (Office of International Affairs) for the Spring Neighborhood Tour. Each semester, the OIA takes students to a different Pittsburgh neighborhood to showcase local culture and activities, and to encourage students to explore the city on their own.

Students met at the Chatham Chapel, and we took the city bus to Wood Street in Downtown.  From there students boarded the “T”- Pittsburgh’s own light rail system. The T is free within the downtown area, and can be used to travel to PNC Park, Heinz Field, and the Carnegie Science Center. The group walked along the Allegheny River from PNC Park to the Fred Rogers Memorial. Mr. Rogers is one of the most famous Pittsburghers, known for the children’s program “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood”.

From there, we made our way to Allegheny Commons Park, and to the Mexican War Streets area of the North Shore. This area is full of Victorian-era row homes, gardens, and alleyways. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The tour ended at the Mattress Factory, the premier museum in Pittsburgh for contemporary art. Students had the option to tour the Mattress Factory or go off on their own. One group made its way to Randyland, located around the block form the Mattress Factory to explore the quirky artists’ welcoming space.

Interested in Pittsburgh? Let the OIA know which neighborhood you want to explore! Our next adventure will take place in Summer 2018.

Contact us at

Partnership with Wenzhou Medical University

Thanks to Dr. Finegold’s visit to China and Wenzhou Medical University last year and the recent efforts to explore areas of collaboration between Chatham and Wenzhou,  the Office of International Affairs is pleased to introduce Wenzhou as a new university partner. The first joint activity between the two universities will be a 4-week summer program for 13 Wenzhow psychology and psychiatry students. The experiential program will be taught by faculty in Chatham’s undergraduate and graduate psychology departments.

Professor Li Chen at Chatham University

Professor Li Chen is currently at Chatham and has contributed to the development of this program. Dr. Li Chen is an associate professor at department of psychology at Wenzhou Medical University in  Zhejiang Province in the People’s Republic of China. Her current research focuses on mental health of rural-to-urban migrant workers in China ( Intimate partner violence, alexithymia, interpersonal problems and marital quality). She and her colleagues have collected data on nearly 2000 migrant workers through a questionnaire-based survey.  Dr. Chen will be conducting research and observing psychology classes at Chatham through the middle of August.

International Exchange Club – Beach Party Dance

The International Exchange club is an opportunity for International and American students to come together and learn about each other’s culture while creating friendships. The club held a kick-off dance on March 23rd with a “beach party” theme.  Club members were asked to submit their favorite songs from around the world, and the dance featured music in many languages.

Interested in joining the IEC? Contact

My Vietnam Trip: A Professional and Personal Reflection

Vietnam ranks number 6 in sending students to the U.S. after China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada (IIE Open Doors).

Places of Origin among International Students to the U.S.

Although I had been to Vietnam to promote Chatham as an add-on to my family visits or conference attendance, this trip (Feb 28 – March 9) was my first time going back mainly to recruit students and meet with potential partners. During the trip, I visited 11 high schools, participated in two Study in the USA fairs, gave over 5 presentations, and met many students, parents, colleagues, and agents. On the first day, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many attendees at my presentation on the Secrets to Studying English at the U.S. embassy.

Presentation at EducationUSA, US Embassy in Hanoi

I later gave the same presentation to students from Foreign Trade University (FTU) after an invitation from Ms. Hanh Mai, an English lecturer at FTU. I was pleased to see students’ continued hunger for knowledge and the admiration for the U.S. as a country of “freedom and democracy” (students’ words). Sadly, students and advisors have reported greater difficulty in getting U.S. student visas, especially visas to study English.

Presentation at FTU

Apart from presenting to students, I presented the text-based and task-based approaches to English language materials development to instructors at the University of Languages and International Studies (ULIS), Vietnam National University (VNU), my alma mater. I argued for more teacher-developed materials, instead of global English Language Teaching (ELT) course books, that address local topics and issues which are more personally relevant and potentially more engaging to learners. Global ELT course books are developed for a wide audience, and the topics may be too sanitized, bland, and distant for students to relate to.

Presentation at ULIS-VNU

Among the presentations, the most memorable one was on careers in Data Analytics and Management Information Systems, in Vietnamese, to over 350 students from FPT High School. Although Vietnamese is my first language, my professional life has been in English, so presenting this information in Vietnamese was not an easy task. The students were highly energetic, boisterous at times, and mostly adorable. After the presentation, I had a nice conversation with Ms. Hien Phung, Head of the Counseling Office at FPT High School, about working together to create programs benefiting students from both institutions. She shared with me FPT’s low-cost summer study tours for international students, which I shared with my Pittsburgh contacts. She was also interested in short-term summer camps at Chatham for her students. Short-term programs are gaining popularity in Vietnam, but are often time-consuming to develop and run, so it has not been decided whether Chatham is going to pursue these opportunities.

Presentation to FPT High School Students

Another outcome from the trip is the potential to collaborate with Vietnam National University – International School (VNU-IS) on initiatives that encourage student mobility and exchange of ideas and expertise between the two institutions. The two universities are currently in talks to sign a general MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) before starting specific programs, including a 3+1 program, which allows seniors from VNU-IS to transfer to Chatham and study for one year in order to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from Chatham.

Meeting with VNU-IS

Overall, my trip, albeit exhausting, was productive and enjoyable. For part of my trip, I traveled with a group of over 25 very interesting recruiters. Over wine and cocktails, we had somewhat heated conversations about politics, guns, and even religion. I also got to see my family and friends.

A Lunch Gathering with Friends and Colleagues

Every time I go back to Vietnam, I see many changes (e.g., infrastructure, commodities, and services) and also unchanged facets of life and culture (e.g., family structure and relationships, expectations for men and women, and how children are raised). With each realization, my respect for differences and local and situated knowledge increases. So does my awareness of the need for social progress and action for change everywhere.