All posts by internationalaffairs

OIA Cooking lessons!

Join OIA for some cooking lessons during the break between spring and summer term!

Interested students should register on Mychatham happenings at least 2 days in advance for the lessons. You will need to purchase the ingredients for the recipe. We will send a list a few days before the lesson.

Lessons will be offered weekly. Last week May 8th, OIA hosted a grilled cheeses night! (Photos above) Many more fun recipes will come soon! Please register on Mychatham.

*Interested students must register for this event to receive the Zoom link. You will need to purchase the ingredients for the recipe. Registered students will receive the ingredient list a few days before the lesson. With any questions please contact

Check out the flyer below!

OIA Cooking Lesson


Start by waking through campus towards Squirrel Hill.

When you reach Wilkins Avenue, turn left and walk to Shady Avenue. At Shady Avenue, turn right. 

When you reach Forbes Avenue, turn  left. When you reach the intersection with South Dallas, turn right, and follow Beechwood Boulevard up the hill.

At the top of the hill is the Frick Park Environmental Center. This is where you can find many hiking trails. Take the hiking trail leading to the right and follow it through Frick Park. It will end at Blue Slide Park (famous from the Mac Miller Album).

When you exit Blue Slide Park, cross the road and walk down Nicholson Street.

Turn right onto Shady Avenue and walk up to Beacon Street. Turn left and walk to Murray Avenue. Turn right and head up Murray Avenue back to Chatham Campus.

Walking Tour Directions: Squirrel Hill- Homewood cemetery Loop

Start by walking through Chatham’s campus toward Squirrel Hill. When you reach Wilkins Avenue, turn left. Follow Wilkins Avenue to South Dallas Avenue- turn right. Go up South Dallas Avenue (the cemetery will be on your left.) and enter Homewood at the main gate (also on your left).

Walk through Homewood Cemetery. The paths are clearly marked, and you will be able to see some interesting sculptures and mausoleums. Can you find the Pyramid? What about the Benedum Mausoleum?  When you have finished a loop, head down to the other exit gate at Forbes Avenue.

Turn right and walk up Forbes Avenue to Shady Avenue. Turn right onto Shady Avenue and walk all the way to Fifth Avenue (you can shorten this walk, by turning left onto Wilkins, and cutting through Campus) .

If you walk all the way to Fifth Avenue, turn left and walk back to the apartments.

Walking Tour Directions: Oakland – Carnegie Mellon Loop

Start by walking down Fifth Avenue toward Oakland. Walk until you reach Craig Street, and turn left. Walk down Craig Street until you reach the Carnegie Museum on Forbes Avenue. Turn right and walk down Forbes Avenue, past the museum. Turn left at Schenley Drive, and follow the road across the bridge. When you reach the intersection at Phipps Conservatory, turn left and follow the trail to Schenley Drive and follow the road until you reach the end (intersection with Forbes Avenue). Go left to the first intersection with Northumberland Street. Follow until you reach Wightman Street and turn left. When you reach the CVS (at Wilkins Avenue) turn right and continue to Chatham Campus.

Walking Tour Directions: Point Breeze loop

Start walk by going down Fifth avenue towards Shady Avenue. You will walk along Mellon Park. At the intersection with Beechwood Blvd, turn Right and go up Reynolds Avenue.

Along Reynolds are many nice homes. Follow Reynolds Avenue past The Frick. You will see the entrance to Frick Park on your left. Enter the park and take the shorter of the walking paths. It will end at Edgerton Avenue. You can follow Edgerton Avenue to South Dallas Avenue. Turn Right at Wilkins Avenue and walk up Wilkins back to the Chatham Campus.

Walking Tour Directions: Schenley Park-Panther Hollow loop

Start by walking through Chatham Campus towards SQHL.

Walk up by Murray Avenue to Forbes Avenue. Turn right onto Forbes Avenue.

You will come to a “V” where Forbes continue to the right, and to the LEFT is Schenley Park. Go left.

Follow to road (there is a walking path along the side). It will intersect at Phipps Conservatory. Go LEFT. There are stairs that go DOWN next to the Schenley Park Visitor Center, lead to the Panther Hollow trails.

Take either the Upper or Lower trail. They will end at the same area. You will now be at the intersection of Barlett Street and Greenfield Road. Go up Barlett Street.

At the intersection with Murray Avenue, turn left and bead back to campus.

Walking tours from Chatham Apartments to nearby areas

During this time, it may be difficult to keep a schedule, or keep healthy. The Pennsylvania Department of Health recommends that you “keep yourself in shape by eating nutritious foods, not smoking, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.”

We are going to share some walking tour loops from Chatham Apartments to nearby areas. Most of the walks take between 1 and 2 hours. Feel free to adapt to your own needs (longer/shorter- or to explore additional areas!) We encourage you to take walks and engage in physical activity, while social distancing. For nearly all of these routes, you will be able to avoid public spaces and groups of people. If you have the time, I recommend bringing a camera, a book to read, or a picnic.


Schenley Park-Panther Hollow loop: Schenley Park is a great area to go walking, play Frisbee, or to relax. It’s close to campus, and offers great views of Oakland and Downtown. There are several trails in Pather Hollow you can hike as well

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Point Breeze Loop: Point Breeze is a nearby neighborhood. There are many beautiful houses and buildings. Right now, you can see many flowers and blooming trees.

Oakland- Carnegie Mellon Loop: Walk from your apartment down to Oakland and around Carnegie Mellon University.

Squirrel Hill- Homewood cemetery Loop: Homewood Cemetery is a large cemetery founded in 1878. Several important Pittsburgh figures are buried there, and there are many statues and beautiful graves. (

Frick Park Loop: Frick Park is another large green space in Pittsburgh. Where Schenley park has a lot of open areas, Frick has more trees and is popular with hiking, biking, and bird watching.

Please see our next couple posts in order to have more description about directions of these walking tours. 


Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

By Olha Viun, Ugrad Student at Chatham, Spring 2020

April 2020

Olha wrote this essay for the English Language Program Writing Contest and received an honorable mention.

Experience has shown that the best stories are personal ones: tremendous achievements, unexpected surprises and little misfortunes – everything is touching if it produces a strong impression on a reader. Building on this, let us take a glimpse at my way of looking for happiness during hard times. Oh, I have almost forgotten: my name is Alexandra, I am from Norway, and I have never expected such an unforeseen twist and turns of events in my life connected with … Well, you will find out soon with what.

April, 2019. Norway

“The weather promises to be nice: it’s gonna be 70°F,” says the TV hostess cheerfully. I finally make up my mind to take a breath of fresh air, and unwind after all the hustle and bustle of the studying process. After a while, I went to park, and when my thoughts were far away from present-day reality, someone called me on the phone:

“WOW, WHAT, NO WAY!” was my first reaction when I found out that I would study in the USA in a year. It meant to be an opportunity of a lifetime. It meant. Meant.

March, 2020. USA

“We have the strongest COVID19 testing system!” says CNN.

“The world faces the biggest pandemic of all time!” rattle freaked journalists on Fox News.

“On the top of all that, even ‘Shrek’ isn’t on Netflix!” disappointedly says my roommate, who is obviously not in such authority as news channels but is right for 100%.

Death after death, COVID19, COVID19, COVID19 – STOP! I. want. To. Be. Happy. Right now. Right here. Isolation is not a big deal. Destiny is destiny, and if it is giving me a ‘welcoming’ present in the guise of global pandemic, I accept it.

“How to pave the way to happiness in this inevitable isolation?” was my first logical question. “What is my hobby? Right, studying!”. After a while I add, “And that’s awfully pathetic… But still, I can… I can gather all my friends and even teachers to study online together, take various courses and improve ourselves! Isn’t that great?” Well, it was one of the greatest ideas of mine. After this splendid thought, I figuratively started taking lemons and making lemonade: looking for online courses, writing to people who might be interested in self-education, and creating a motivational environment for myself.

Speaking of environment, it is fortunate that I can study online: no distractors, no noise and no pressure on me. However, time pressure is the only tension: deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Always having positive attitude to life and my passion for studying particularly, my motto is, “The stronger the wind blows, the tougher a tree has to be.” Therefore, if COVID quarantine gets harder, my time devoted to education increases as well. No time neither for procrastination nor sadness: just find your middle ground where you feel comfortable learning something new. On this positive note, I close my eyes, but when I wake up…

April, 2020. Norway

‘Whoosh, Alexandra, materialized here again, huh?’, at this moment I see myself as a NASA astronaut who jumps into the future and travels through time: after observing a classified virus that is threatening to all humankind, I return to my home country, safe and sound. The irony is that COVID19 is here as well. So, it was not time travel but a severe reality instead. In these difficult times, everyone needs remedy. I also need one. What is mine? Happiness. Happiness from my ability to study, to learn something new and develop in this worldwide imprisonment.

April, right now, 2020.

I have paved the way to happiness, have you?

The City of Cultural Diversity

By Saffanah T. Moualla, English Language Program Student

April 2020

Saffanah won the Third prize for this essay in the English Language Program Writing Contest. Students were encouraged to submit a writing that will give joy and happiness to the readers. They all wrote this in a very short period of time and did a wonderful job!

This picture means a lot to me. I took it in my first year in Pittsburgh during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. The summer in this city lasts usually for only two months or less, and I spent it back home with my family that year. That is why there is no part of summer for this tree in this picture.

I loved that tree so much, and I missed it since we moved to another house. It is a symbol of strength, pleasantness, and stability of all seasons. It was a very kind and loyal neighbor for me. In the morning, the birds’ sounds woke me up singing around the tree. In the afternoon, the tree swayed with lovely breezes. This airflow always pushes away the negativity and provides us a lot of pleasantness, warmness, and fragrance of nature. In the evening, it was full of calmness and kindness as a lovely mother carrying her son gently and looking at her other children from time to time until she gets assured that they are in a deep peaceful sleep.

My story with this tree is a small part of my story with Pittsburgh. This story began two years ago when my husband received a letter from Pittsburgh University stating that he had been admitted to the University. After celebrating and rejoicing, we decided to drive from Monroe, a small city in Louisiana state, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We arrived at night and it was the beginning of spring. The trees had not bloomed yet at that time. My first impression of Pittsburgh was strange and very complex. Those tall buildings and sparkling towers look like pieces of a mirror scattered in the sky. It was one of the most magnificent and majestic views that gives me a feeling of joy and prestige at the same time. On the other hand, I saw a lot of intertwined bare branches covering hills and plateaus, which exemplify most of the geographical composition of this city. We immediately started to look for a rental house. In the meantime, my husband contacted his adviser to ask her about good neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Her advice was to get

away from Pitt campus, Oakland, and the areas around them, as much as we could. She also suggested a couple neighborhoods such as Aspinwall and Mount Lebanon. We chose to live in Aspinwall, and we stayed there for a year, which was one of the most peaceful and quiet years that I have had in my life.

As the mother becomes more attached to her child over time, we became related to Pittsburgh. We love the contradictions in this city which is hard to find anywhere else. When you visit the city for the first time, you will get disturbed. How people from different religions and variable races, can live an equal and peaceful living. They coexist with each other wonderfully, representing humanity in its deepest sense. Curiously, I noticed a lot of breathtaking street graffiti. I am impressed how those graffiti are spread around the city, in different neighborhoods and districts of the city, demonstrating the positive diversity phenomenon in the city. I wish that I could have the opportunity to have an album that gathers all that wonderful graffitis. Finally, I will always remember how Pittsburgh had taught me how Art could combine different cultures together