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.
The English Language Program (ELP) at Chatham has seen a drop in its enrollment due to the decline of Saudi students enrolled in ESL programs nationally. However, there is a silver lining to this decline. First, it highlights the imperative need of diversifying the student population for a sustainable program. Second, it has pushed the program to seek more resources from the University to market the program. We appreciate the investment from the Office of Communication and Marketing to advertise the ELP to various markets, including Latin America. Third, with the commitment from Dr. Finegold and the administration to international education, we have seen a high level of activity in this area. In fact, thanks to Dr. Finegold’s vision and international connections, we are close to launching a new program: the Pittsburgh Pathways.
The Pittsburgh Pathways is a program of study that prepares non-native English speaking students to attend a degree program at Chatham or another university. It offers a combination of ESL courses and academic courses. Students can earn up to 36 credits towards an undergraduate degree at Chatham or another university while improving their English. The Pathways students will be housed on the Eden Hall campus and take classes on both the Shadyside and the Eden Hall campuses. We expect the first cohort of at least 30 students in fall 2017. We plan to expand each year to bring more international students to Chatham and local universities. More information can be found at www.chatham.edu/pittsburghpathways
We are also pleased to announce that an informal agreement has been reached with the Faculty of Foreign Language Studies at Kansai University in Japan, which plans to send about 15 Japanese students to Chatham for a few semesters to study English and take other academic courses, starting in February 2018. This is the result of intensive relationship building efforts from AVP International Affairs Chris Musick and the Office of International Affairs team as well as the commitment from Dr. Finegold to diversify the student body in the ELP to ensure that the ratio of Japanese students in each class is capped at 20%.
With these initiatives (together with the existing intensive English courses, the Conversation Partner Program, and the International Student Ambassador Program), we hope to continue to contribute to the University by providing high quality English instruction and services to non-degree and degree students, functioning as a pathway to degree programs for many students, and adding diversity of cultures and perspectives to the community. If you have connections and ideas that can help to make Chatham even more international, we would really love to hear from you.
I moved back to Pittsburgh after having lived abroad on and off for several years in Italy, Lebanon, and Malaysia. I was teaching English as a Second Language then and found a great sense of satisfaction and comfort in doing so, as it gave me the chance to work with international students on a daily basis. After having spent a good portion of my 20’s adapting to a culture foreign from my own, I felt a little out of place back in my hometown. While I was overseas, I was viewed as a foreigner, regardless of how acculturated I felt, and back home here in Pittsburgh, I longed for the faraway lands that I had grown accustomed to while overseas. I became internally international, a wanderer of sorts, always feeling a bit out of place. Thus, I feel right at home when working with international students.
It was through my undergraduate experience in Global Studies, my drive toward higher education, and my time abroad that I realized my passion for diversity and culture. I knew I wanted to work in a field that would allow me to assist students in traveling and studying abroad in pursuit of their goals.
One day, while taking a walk through Shadyside, I came upon Chatham University’s stunning campus, and I told myself at that point, “I must find a way to work here.” Fortunately, I was able to network and obtain a position teaching in Chatham’s English Language Program. I taught wonderful students from places such as Columbia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Libya, Turkey, China, and Vietnam. It was a joy teaching them English and about Pittsburgh and American culture in general.
My passion with international education extended outside of the classroom, and I often found myself answering student questions after class relating to both their education and lives. I also found myself consistently seeking to be a part of administrative dialogues and professional groups working toward policy change. I even worked in the International Affairs office outside of my teaching hours.
A point came when I decided that I must take a leap of faith and pursue a position in higher education that would enable me to be a part of helping to enhance the overall process for international students. I branched out first by working in Chatham’s Office of Student Affairs, and it was an excellent chance for me to get to know about, and work with, the many divisions at Chatham that strive to offer the best experience possible for each and every Chatham student.
Finally, I am thrilled to have secured my current position as an International Admission Counselor at Chatham. As an International Admission Counselor, I have the opportunity to mesh my background in teaching with the administrative aspects of higher education to recruit and assist international students through their application process. I am excited to contribute to Chatham’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-365-2736 or 412-400-7717.
In addition to the $1200 study abroad voucher (for all undergraduates) and the additional $1800 International Certificate funding (for students completing an International Certificate), there are several other generous study abroad scholarships and interesting funded opportunities available. These include:
Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad, Ethiopia: Indigenous Wisdom & Culture. This is a funded program – for teachers, education students, and students studying Africa area studies. Application deadline for priority consideration is February 15. http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/africa/content/ethiopia-indigenous-wisdom-culture
The Bahrom International Program (BIP) at Seoul Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea. Program dates are June 26-July 21, 2017. This is a 3 credit program focusing on Korean language and culture. Chatham students pay an application fee of $300, airfare, and incidental costs. Applications are available through email@example.com and are due April 15.
When will you study abroad? For more information about study abroad options, study abroad vouchers, scholarships and the study abroad process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at the Office of International Affairs in Falk Hall, lower level.
This private university, with an enrollment of 2,200 students, offers a safe campus with a bustling city just outside its front doors. On weekends, students can road trip to two of the county’s most renowned cultural hubs—New York City and Washington, D.C. (six and four hours away from Pittsburgh, respectively).
Classes are kept small—12-14 students—and divided into five language levels. Faculty members are chosen for their exceptional teaching ability and their passion for supporting student growth.
The ELP is a pathway program to the university; students have conditional admission to degree programs and a TOEFL/IELTS waiver for those who complete the advanced level. To kick-start their degrees, students can sign up for classes in other departments, accruing credits and skills while advancing their language study.
Students interested in part-time or short programs also find connection and success at Chatham.
ELP students are immersed in American culture. They are housed in charming student residences with American roommates. Abundant activities and a conversation partner program help build friendships and strengthen English fluency and comfort.
Under the umbrella of the Office of International Affairs are five major units:
English Language Program (ELP)
International Student and Scholar Services
The office has five full-time employees: Chris Musick, AVP International Affairs; Karin Chipman, Study Abroad Coordinator; Kate Emory, International Student and Scholar Services Coordinator; Linh Phung, English Language Program Director; and Sylvia Shipp, ELP Lecturer and Student Advisor. Jean-Jacques Sene is a full-time faculty in the History Department, but also serves as the Global Focus Coordinator. There are 13 part-time instructors in the ELP, who all have training and experience in the specific field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
As professionals in the field of international education and TESOL, we have been highly engaged in professional development, scholarship, and research in order to continuously improve our practices to better teach, advise, and serve our students. Below are professional achievements (publications, presentations, and awards) shared by some. Other contributions include research projects with refugees in Germany, voluntary work to teach immigrants and refugees in Pittsburgh, advocacy for English language learners in the country, mentoring services provided to Chatham’s alumni, and so on.
Phung, L. (2017). Task preference, affective response, and learners’ engagement in L2 use in a U.S. university context. Language Teaching Research, 21.
Reinders, R., Phung, L. & Lewis, M. (April 2017). Study in English: Strategies for success in higher education. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wender, E. & Powell, T. (2016). Advantages to using young adult literature in the English language classroom. In Wiley TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching.
Yates, S. (2016). What I would say if we were to drown tonight. Pittsburgh, PA: Stranded Oak Press.
Moroz, O. (2016). Gendered influence on ELT identity in Ukraine. Poster presentation at the Second Language Research Forum. New York, NY.
Phung, L. (2016). Understanding, explaining, and developing language tests takes a village. Presentation at the EnglishUSA Conference. Monterey, CA.
Phung, L. (2016). Task preference, task engagement, and factors influencing affective responses. Presentation at the Second Language Research Forum. New York, NY.
Phung, L. (2016). Personalized approach to teaching grammar through systematic error treatment. Presentation at Three Rivers TESOL Conference. Pittsburgh, PA.
Shipp, S. (2016). Building reading competence using graded audiobooks in the classroom. Presentation at Three Rivers TESOL Conference. Pittsburgh, PA
Moroz, O. (2016). Social class, gender and exclusion from school. TESOL Journal.
Grants and Awards
Karin Chipman, Study Abroad Coordinator, received a grant to participate in Study in Spain Workshop in Madrid, Spain, funded and organized by Study in Spain (Eduespaña) and Spanish Trade Commission, December 2016.
Chatham University English Language Program Referral Program:
Any current Chatham University student who refers a student to the English Language Program may be eligible to receive a $50 gift card. Once a student applies, is accepted, and pays their deposit, the referrer will receive an email on how to receive their Gift card.
How to refer someone to the Chatham ELP:
Tell your family and friends about Chatham English Language Program.
When they apply to the ELP, there is a question that asks:
“How did you find out about us?”
They should select “Family/Friend”.
The next question asks for referral information. In order to be eligible for the $50, they must put a current Chatham University students’ name and Chatham email (@chatham.edu).
Once the application is complete, the ELP will review the application for admission. If they are admitted to the ELP, they should pay the $150 tuition deposit. This is not an additional fee- this is part of the tuition charge.
When a new ELP student deposits, the referrer will receive notification of their $50 gift card and can come to the ELP to pick it up.
Only current Chatham University students are eligible for the $50 gift card if they have referred someone to the ELP.
Only new ELP applicants can submit a referral.
ELP applicants can only put one name in the referral section.
If a ELP applicant does not deposit, their referrer will not receive the $50 gift card.
Gift cards will be available the first week of classes.