All posts by lphung

Interview with Gabby Gomez Rendon

Gabby Gomez Rendon is an MBA international student from Mexico. She is also a graduate assistant for the Center for Women and Entrepreneurship at Chatham University. Visit this page to learn more about different degrees and programs Chatham offers to international students.

  1. What is your typical day at Chatham?

I don’t live on campus because I live with my husband and my son. However, I work half-time at the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship. So the morning are similar to any mom’s life: I wake up first, make breakfast, and wake my son up to get ready and have breakfast with my husband and me. After he takes the bus to school, I jump into the shower and get ready for my day.

Three times a week I go to the Center for Women’s Entrepreneur at Chatham Eastside to work. I am a graduate marketing assistant for the center and my main responsibilities are related to the promotion of events on digital platforms, in newsletters, and through our partners. I also help in the logistics of the many training events that we have, and many times I am the first contact the clients have with the center. Then I go back home to take care of my son after school and prepare dinner for my family. As we are a Latin family, we still haven’t adapted to the American meal schedule, so we usually have a big breakfast early in the morning, our lunch is just a snack, and we have a late lunch (a complete supper to be exact) around 3 or 4, and our dinner is light. In the afternoon I usually work on my assignments while my son does his homework.

Twice a week I go to the Shadyside campus for my MBA classes from 6 to 8:30pm, and when I arrive home I make a light dinner and put my son to sleep. After that, I have time to talk about the day and about what I learned in my classes with my husband. On the days I don’t go to the center in the morning, I usually do my readings and my assignments for my classes and also do house chores. Sometimes I work at the center for special events in the evening or on Saturday and I would just adapt a little bit my schedule during the week to have at least two days to study.

  1. What are new things you learn from living in Pittsburgh, studying at Chatham, etc.?

A lot of things. First of all, even I had a very good English level, I am very glad that I did the last level of the English Language Program at Chatham University prior to start the MBA. I have a scientific background and I did not have experience writing papers and essays in English, so the learning I got from the Writing and Grammar classes with Dr. Linh Phung and Ms. Alina Volper were gold to me. Honestly, without those two classes, I would probably be having very different grades.

Second, I was a little afraid of the environment because everybody had told me that there was no diversity in Pittsburgh and I could end up feeling like not fitting. To my surprise, at least at Chatham, it is a pretty good diverse environment which is also super open and respectful of other cultures and nationalities. In class and at the center I just feel like a fish in water. One thing that I have learned for living in here is to speak up. I used to be quiet even when I was uncomfortable with an assignment or a deadline. It was very hard for me to said no even if I had to struggle later on, but the relationship between professors and students is so open that it gives you the confidence to speak up and ask for feedback. I like this way very much. Some other things that I learned here in Pittsburgh are a lot of outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, and skiing. All very cool!

  1. What do you like most at Chatham?

First the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, I love my job, my boss, my colleagues and the projects we make. Second, the friends I have made at the MBA and at the Center, they are friends for life. Second, I love Prof. Pearson. I decide to start the MBA here after my interview with him. He is a great man and an amazing mentor. I like my advisors very much: Prof. Glyde is very cool. However, I miss Dr. Chung very much. She was the best. And I love the Summer Camp that Chatham has for kids, for older students like me who have kids, the summer camp is a life saver. Last year, I enrolled my son in the camp, and I was able to work and study, and my son was able to have lots of fun during summer while he learned many things. I will register my son this year again and I am even thinking to bring my nieces from Mexico for it.

  1. What do you think Chatham could improve in the future?

For students like me that come with family I would like to experience some sort of support before coming here. I looked for an area with a good school for my son, but it turned to be  50 minutes driving to the university. I love my house and my neighborhood but the distance has made me miss a lots of cool events happening at Chatham.

Picturesque School With Endless Green Grass

By Linh Nguyen

ELP Student & International Student Ambassador

Summer 2019

Neighborhood Tour with Friends

“I never thought that when I was 20 I could set foot in America – the dream country of so many people. But on a beautiful day, Chatham gave me that opportunity when they sent a congratulatory letter to inform me that that I received an International Student Ambassador Scholarship offered by Chatham English Language Program.

Enjoying the View of Pittsburgh

Time in America was truly a wonderful experience. The programs here are very creative and interesting: we presented, played games and explored the world outside the classroom. In addition, every Friday we have interesting field trips, which allowed us to explore nature and visit famous places in Pittsburgh. The teachers accompanied and guided us enthusiastically. The teachers here are the best and the most dedicated. They patiently taught us from the smallest things with all their hearts.

Friends here are really diverse and interesting. I had the opportunity to talk and make friends from many countries around the world. We ate together, played together and talked happily. Another thing that impressed me was the nature here. Chatham is a quaint and picturesque school with endless green grass. The air is fresh and clean. The people are very friendly. Chatham is a great option when you study abroad. I had a precious and unforgettable time here. If you intend to study abroad, I highly recommend Chatham.

Amazing Experience: Best Summer Ever!

Amazing Experience: Best Summer Ever!

By TuongVy Le, International Student Ambassador, ELP Scholarship Recipient

Field Trip to Three Rivers Art Festival – Vy is the last one on the right

I never once thought I would be able to study abroad or study in the US, but Chatham University offered me an International Student Ambassador Scholarship from from the English Language Program. It was the best experience ever for me. Before attending the program, I was a very shy speaker, but everything changed thanks to the program at Chatham, and my English-speaking skill has improved ever since.

Joining an Education Class with American Students – Vy is the one in blue

Studying in my hometown does not include going on field trips, so the program was such an eye-opening experience for me. History was never my favorite subject, but the U.S Culture class was so interesting, and that’s what I love the most about this program. It was the best summer I’ve ever had; I’ve grown a lot from this experience. I am so grateful for the friends I’ve made during the time at Chatham.

Receiving a Certificate from the Program Director

Even though it was the first time studying in a different country, I never felt lonely or helpless at Chatham. Everyone there is super friendly, you can always get the help you need anytime. I only studied in Chatham for approximately three months, but Chatham felt like my second home. Chatham University offers the best environment for you to study and grow as a person, you will never regret going to Chatham!

BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS, ENTHUSIASTIC TEACHERS, AND AMAZING FRIENDS AT CHATHAM

BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS, ENTHUSIASTIC TEACHERS, AND AMAZING FRIENDS AT CHATHAM UNIVERSITY

Ngoc Pham, International Student Ambassador, 2019 ELP Scholarship Recipient

In the past, I never thought that I could go to the US for an overseas education, but Chatham University gave me a great chance through the English Language Program International Student Ambassador Scholarship. During the 10 weeks at Chatham University, I learned a lot of things. Through the English Language Program at Chatham, you are cannot only improve your English language skill, but also explore US culture and form new relationships with other international students. I have changed a lot, from a person who is always shy to speak English to a confident communicator, from a family-dependent to independent person, and from a passive to now a more lively person. All of these changes occurred during my three months in the U.S. To me, Chatham is not only the university to study, but also the place to discover myself and the environment to grow.

At Chatham University, you will be able to receive full support from enthusiastic teachers, experience well-designed learning programs, and  interact with amazing friends, and study in a place where you always feel comfortable like a second family.

Chatham University is one of the best choices for your education, you will never feel regret when making that choice!

Tôi chưa bao giờ nghĩ mình sẽ có cơ hội được học tập tại Mỹ dù là trong một chương trình ngắn hạn. Đại học Chatham đã cho tôi một cơ hội đáng quý và thật may mắn hơn cả là tôi đã nhận được học bổng Đại sứ Sinh viên Quốc tế từ chương trình Ngôn ngữ tiếng Anh tại đây. Trong suốt gần 3 tháng ở Mỹ nói chung và đại học Chatham nói riêng, tôi đã có cho mình rất nhiều những trải nghiệm đáng giá và đã học được rất nhiều điều. Thông qua chương trình Ngôn ngữ Anh tại đại học Chatham, tôi không chỉ cải thiện được các kỹ năng tiếng Anh của mình mà còn được tìm hiểu thêm về văn hoá Mỹ, gặp gỡ các bạn sinh viên quốc tế đến từ nhiều quốc gia khác nhau để có cái nhìn toàn diện hơn về thế giới bên ngoài. Đại học Chatham đã giúp cho tôi có điều kiện để tự khám phá bản thân, thay đổi chính mình. Những giảng viên tâm huyết, những người bạn quốc tế tài năng, những bài giảng thực tế, môi trường học chủ động, khuôn viên trường cổ kính và còn vô vàn những điều thú vị khác bạn sẽ có thể khám phá tại Chatham.

Đại học Chatham là một sự lựa chọn mà tôi không hề cảm thấy hối hận và tôi tin bạn cũng sẽ cảm thấy như vậy!

Chatham Welcomes the First Pittsburgh Pathways Students

As part of the English Language Program, the Pittsburgh Pathways allows students to take a combination of ESL and other academic courses before full matriculation into a degree program. Credit-bearing courses will be transferred to the students’ degree program, saving students time in completing their college education. The addition of the program truly provides students with numerous pathways to fulfill their American education dream.

One of the students, Yushi Zhang, introduces herself and her educational goals here.

“My name is YuShi Zhang. I’m from China. Unlike most of the Chinese people, I’m a member in Sui, one of the fifty-five minority groups in China. I chose Chatham because it offers me numerous paths and opportunities both in the present and future. For instance, I want to go to Carnegie Mellon as a graduate student, and Chatham offers me a great opportunity to do so. I want to achieve good grades in Chatham in order to fulfill my dream as well as spreading my unique culture along the way.”

And the Journey Begins

Orientation for new international students started today. James Laughlin Music Hall lighted up with these bright faces from Barbados, China, Egypt, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. These students will be studying in the English Language Program, Pittsburgh Pathways, Chatham Semester, and various Undergraduate and Graduate Programs.

Welcome and wish you all the best as your international education journey begins at Chatham University!

Chatham Summer Program for Dongguan University of Technology

The summer month of August was jam packed with fun-filled learning for 28 undergraduate students from Dongguan University of Technology in Dongguan, China enrolled in Chatham’s four-week study abroad program run by the Office of International Affairs.

Short-term Students at the Point State Park

The students spent part of their classroom time on Chatham’s campus and the remaining part of it at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church. When not in the classroom, students accompanied three English Language Program instructors ALL over Pittsburgh, exploring popular museums, local restaurants, ballparks, historical landmarks, shopping hotspots and much more. Some highlights of the tours have been visiting Mayor Peduto’s office, riding the new Steel Curtain roller coaster in Kennywood, having a tour of the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill, and camping at Chatham’s Eden Hall campus to name a few.

Major Peduto’s Office
Kennywood
Class at East Liberty Presbyterian Church

During their time as Chatham students, they stayed with host families arranged through Global Pittsburgh. This proved to be a wonderful experience for all people to meet and enjoy learning from one another.

Host Family BBQ

The students were proud to be Chatham students for the month, and we thank everyone from Chatham who helped in welcoming them to Pittsburgh and our university.

Dr. Jennifer Zhang (Student Chaperone) said this about the program:

“For most of the students, this is their first time in US. Many experiences are brand new to them. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to get to know the world outside their home country. The students are having a wonderful time here in Chatham and in Pittsburgh. No matter their host family or the strangers they meet in the streets or buses, people offer all the help and hospitality they are able to. It makes the students feel at home. We do appreciate the devoted efforts Chatham faculties have put into this program.”

i-Engaged for a Competitive Edge

As you plan for your semester, academic year, and time at Chatham University, we encourage you to be more iEngaged (i.e., Engaged in more International activities) to expand your global thinking and skills and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Why?

  • There’s an “edge effect,” which boosts creativity and innovation, when differences come into contact – Listen to this NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast to find out more.
  • Nine out of 10 employers say they rely on employees with language skills other than English. Read this full report by ACTFL.
  • International engagement like this increases your chance of being selected for prestigious scholarships, such as Fulbright student grants. 

So will you …?

  • study abroad (many scholarships from Chatham and outside organizations are available)
  • participate in events with international students
  • learn a foreign language at Chatham or while study abroad  and even add a minor in French, German, or Spanish
  • participate in the Conversation Partner Program – Apply here by September 6
  • participate in Global Focus activities
  • consider adding the International Studies Certificate
  • and ask your professor, advisor, and the Office of International Affairs (internationalaffairs@chatham.edu) to learn about these opportunities

Summer 2019 International Programs

Twelve English courses, nine field trips, 21 participants in the Conversation Partner Program, 28 short-term students, and 103 study abroad students are some statistics that describe the work of the Office of International Affairs, English Language Program, and affiliated departments in this summer 2019 semester.  Despite the current uncertainties and turbulence in the international education field, we continued our commitment to running excellent programs and creating optimal learning opportunities to students.

As a final project for the Academic Lectures course, students worked in groups to create proposals to make Chatham a better place for everyone. They then presented their posters at the End-of-Term Celebration. Their poster presentations offered great recommendations to improving international programs and student experience, including:

  • Making Chatham cooler by creating “green curtains” from ivy plants and pergolas
  • Using the Carriage House as the Global Community Room where domestic and international students gather for conversations and activities – This emphasizes the importance of turning a space into a “place to be” for certain activities
  • Making Chatham attractive to international students by improving student experience, building more partnerships that work, and creating “friendlier” websites. The goal is to promote intercultural understanding, valuable experience, and a more diverse learning environment – a promise that Chatham is working hard on delivering
  • Providing international students with more opportunities to socialize and use English through “big events,” “small events,” day trips, and holiday parties – things that Chatham does much better in the fall and spring semester, but is lacking in the summer term

Students highlighted the importance of creating a social event in a relaxing environment at the beginning of the semester so that they could bond with others. Students reported forming closer friendships and doing more things together after the BBQ Party at Mr. Musick’s house.

Below are pictures of the highlights of these programs, followed by pictures of students’ posters, illustrating the suggestions students made.

End-of-Term Celebration
Picking apples on the Eden Hall campus
Waking to the Three Rivers Arts Festival
Having a Joint Class with Education Students
Team Purple at the Shadyside Scavenger Hunt
Short-term Students at the Point State Park
Students presented their posters at the End-of-Term Celebration
Making Chatham Cooler – A winning project by Ren, Fadia, Yuki, and Yurika
A very well-prepared poster on student activities by Linh, Ayano, and Kan (LAK)
Miyu, Moeko, and Mana proposed something similar to what they have at Kansai University
Mikaella, Shodai, and Hinako made great suggestions on improving the website. They also highlighted very important aspects of what will make Chatham ore attractive to international students.
Ngoc, Miyako, and Takuto suggested more day trips beyond Pittsburgh
Vy, Ryota, and Shuta highlighted the importance of informal events that allow students to bond

Sommer in Deutschland

By Natalie Gmiter (Human Biology 2020)

The German classes that I took with Dr. Martina Wells from the Modern Languages Program at Chatham University have been my favorite classes. This summer I was lucky enough to spend two and a half months studying abroad in Germany. I stayed in a small town, Lohr am Main, situated about 50 minutes east of Frankfurt. The people I stayed with have been my family’s friends for all my life, but I hadn’t seen them in quite a few years. They have two sons, Max and Felix, who became my ‘adopted’ brothers for the summer. Max is my age, so he was kind enough to introduce me to all of his university friends! Over the eleven weeks, I made so many great friends who provided me with memories that I’ll never forget.

Aschaffenburg Volksfest with Family

The class that I took was German History from 1900 to 1970 and was held at the University of Wuerzburg. We met once a week on Tuesdays, but the class also offered optional extracurricular events like wine tastings and historical tours of the city. I really enjoyed the class despite it not being a part of my major, but I found that most of my learning occurred outside the classroom. My main reason for visiting Germany was to practice and improve my German speaking skills. I was able to do this on an everyday basis, whether it be ordering food or asking a passerby for directions. And while I did do my fair share of touring around (I was able to visit France, Luxembourg, and Belgium), I found that my favorite things to do revolved around whatever the locals did on a daily basis! In finding out that they, too, enjoy spending a day outdoors and then grilling hamburgers amongst friends, I realized that despite distance and language, we are all the same at our core.

My experiences!
• Went to a Champion’s League soccer game
• Visited the Cologne Cathedral and even heard someone playing            the organ inside it

Cologne Cathedral

• Toured the Residenz in Wuerzburg, which contains the largest              ceiling fresco painting in the world

The Residenz Wuerzburg

• Toured Luxembourg city and a castle in the country regions of                Luxembourg
• Visited the World War I Memorial at the Battle of Verdun
• Enjoyed walks in the woods where I would stumble upon either a        herd of goats or beautiful secluded church
• Became a surprise guest in a primary school’s English classroom
• Toured the European Parliament Building in Brussels, Belgium
• Watched the first two stages of the Tour de France in Belgium

Tour de France Stage in Brussels

• Ate the most wonderful Belgian waffle off of a street vendor,                  mmmm
• Tried seven different white wines native to Wuerzburg.                              Wuerzburg has Germany’s second, third, and fourth largest                    vineyards and specializes in white wines. The wine cellar                            underneath the Residenz holds up to 700,000 liters of wine!
• Watched people surf on the river Isar in Munich
• Stayed at a youth hostel and made some friends from the UK and        Australia
• Visited the World War II Labor Camp Dachau

“Work sets you free” KZ Dachau

This study abroad experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to grow as a person. I would highly recommend anyone to study abroad if they get the chance!