Category Archives: International students

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 InternationalAffairs@chatham.edu

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 InternationalAffairs@chatham.edu

International Education Week 2017 at Chatham University

Thank you to everyone who took part in the events held this week to celebrate International Education week, #IEW2017. We at the Office of International Affairs (OIA) hope that our events provided the Chatham community with opportunities for international and multicultural engagement, and inspired you to explore the benefits of cultural exchange in your own life.

We have posted images from several of these events below, including the Global Focus “Sounds of Indonesia” Music Festival, International Karaoke Night, International Engagement Photo Contest, International Trivia Night, International Tea Party, Chatham Harvest Dinner and Documenting Your Study Abroad Experience: Panel Discussion.

We hope you enjoyed IEW2017 and that you join OIA for future events!

Chatham Harvest Dinner
International Tea Party
Sounds of Indonesia Music Festival
International Karaoke Night
IEW Photo Contest
Documenting your Study Abroad Experience: Panel Discussion

International Education Week (IEW), November 13-17, is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences. See https://iew.state.gov/ for more information.

Escape from Weekday Blues

By Chika Kitaghishi, Chatham Semester Exchange Student

“Find a partner for the upcoming presentation, and hand in a three page-long paper before the next class. See you in two days then.” I was so astonished and overwhelmed by how my first American class started. I remember how awkwardly I talked to an American classmate to ask her to be my presentation partner in the first class. However, it has been almost a month since then, and now I am getting to know how to manage time, deal with stress, and more than anything, enjoy all the differences of studying abroad. I love professors from the English Language Program and other departments here at Chatham, who are always there to support us, and friends I met at Chatham, who always blow away my depressions. Here is a picture when Chatham University surprised students with inflatables, and I and my conversation partner had a little great escape from weekday blues.

「次回の授業までにプレゼンテーションのパートナーを決めることと、3枚分のレポートを提出してください。それでは2日後にまた。」アメリカ人学生と初めての授業に驚くと同時に圧倒されることばかりでしたが、クラスメイトのひとりにプレゼンテーションのペアにならないかと恐る恐る話しかけたのがもう約1か月前のことです。チャタム大学は生徒と生徒の距離だけでなく生徒と教授の距離がとても近いところが魅力です。勉学に多忙なアメリカの大学生活の中でアメリカ文化から多くを学びながら、毎日充実した日々を過ごしています。写真はチャタム大学内のイベントにコンバセーションパートナーと参加した時のものです。

International Conversation Hours

WEEKLY INTERNATIONAL CONVERSATION HOURS

COOLIDGE 037 LOUNGE

THURSDAYS, 11:30-12:20

June 1
Day and Time Topics and facilitators (May change)
Thursday, June 1, 11:30-12:20 Summer activities in different cultures

Facilitator: Dr. Linh Phung, ELP Director

Thursday, June 8, 11:30-12:20 Cultural similarities and differences

Facilitator: Jeff Chung, ELP Intern

Thursday, June 15, 11:30-12:20 Language learning stories

Facilitator: Alina Volper, ELP Lecturer

Thursday, June 22, 11:30-12:20 Traveling

Facilitator: Kate Emory, International Student Services Coordinator

Tuesday, June 29, 11:30-12:20 Friendships and relationships

Facilitator: David Williams, Chatham Gradaute

Thursday, July 13, 11:30-12:20 Memorable events and stories

Facilitator: Ms. Kate Emory, International Student Services Coordinator

Thursday, July 20, 11:30-12:20 Cultural box

Facilitator: Dr. Randi Congleton, Director of Multicultural Affairs

Thursday, July 27, 11:30-12:20 Food in different cultures

Facilitator: Dr. Wonjin Sim, Psychology Professor

Thursday, August 3, 11:30-12:20 Hopes and dreams

Facilitator: Dr. Karen Kingsbury, Professor of English and International Studies

A Semester of International Activities

By Kate Emory, International Student Services Coordinator, and Sylvia Shipp, ELP Lecturer

Global Mixer Spring 2017

It has been a lively semester with lots of fun events for our international students. Office of International Affairs (OIA) kicked off the spring semester by hosting a Global Mixer, a standing-room-only social event rich with games and food, in the Carriage House. Following this event was our fun-filled International Karaoke Night, where you can expect to hear students sing songs in many different languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, German, French, and Spanish.

Salsa and Bachata Night, Spring 2017

In March, students from the Spanish language classes, offered a night of Salsa and Bachata dance lessons. Attendees learned basic Salsa steps, individually and with partners, and later learned Bachata moves. “Salsa” and “Bachata” are genres of music that incorporate many different influences from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Dance is a popular way to interact with the music.

International Trivia Night, Spring 2017

At the beginning of April, OIA also hosted the first International Trivia Night. Students tested their global knowledge in a Jeopardy!-like quiz. Teams registered in advance, and there were prizes for first, second, and third places. Trivia included questions about international food, world history, and “Where’s Carson?”.

End-of-Term Celebration, Spring 2017

The English Language Program (ELP) chose the Carnegie Science Center for the OIA/ELP field trip this semester. Many of our Japanese students and ELP students joined us on the hands-on fun. We watched “Dream Big,” an inspiring documentary about the wonder of design at the Omnimax Theater. As usual, we held our bittersweet end-of-term party in mid-February for our Japanese exchange students, who would soon return to their home schools: Kobe College and Kyoto Women’s University, after a 6-month program in English and American culture. The spread was fantastic—Asian & American fare specially prepared for our students. We also held an end-of-term party after final exams, treating the students to pizza and cake. Several students received certificates and prizes in recognition of their efforts.

ELP students had other special days, too. Aside from the usual social activities such as our Conversation Partner Program that many students enjoy participating in, students also went on class field trips to places such as the Chatham Eden Hall and Eastside campuses, the Carnegie Art Museum, University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms, and Millie’s Ice Cream in Shadyside. A special group called the International Student Ambassadors helped to create a clever video to showcase the beauty of Chatham University, welcoming other international students who are considering studying abroad.

Aside from the formally hosted activities, many ELP students also took part in the indoor intramural sports such as soccer, which is held in our state-of-the-art gym.

Viewing International Students as an Asset: Implications for Intercultural Communication, Effective Pedagogy, and Intergroup Dialogue

By Linh Phung, ELP and Pittsburgh Pathways Director

International Student Ambassadors, Spring 2017

One core mission of Chatham University is to promote “global understanding” of “world-ready” students. Fulfilling the mission requires the work of all departments, offices, and stakeholders from the University. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) has made various contributions to the mission. Over the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters, the Office served over 130 international students from nearly 30 countries through English language instruction, intercultural programming, ongoing orientation, immigration advising, academic advising, and other services. While conversations around international students sometimes heavily focus on the students’ ability to adjust to the new environment and culture, let us flip the coin and view the presence of international students as an asset to those who come into contact with them.

Interacting with international students helps to develop intercultural communication skills. The fact that international students speak English as an additional language provides their interlocutors the opportunity to use communications strategies, such as attentive listening, confirmation checks, comprehension checks, paraphrasing, circumlocution, and so on. These strategies will be useful for other intercultural interactions where cultural differences extend beyond differences in nationalities and languages to include differences in lived experiences, identities, social memberships, and so on. Teaching international students challenges instructors to implement culturally relevant pedagogies to maximize learning opportunities for all. Usually, instructional strategies that work for international students work for all. For example, errors that international students make may be obvious and even annoying, but making discursive practices in a particular field explicit can be empowering to both international and domestic students who are still learning to “talk the talk.”

Dialogue with international students has a tremendous potential to deepen understanding of different lived experiences and the consequences of those differences. I recently participated in the Intergroup Dialogue training workshop delivered by colleagues from the University of Michigan. I was fascinated by how much I learned from other participants by asking curious questions and listening to others to understand their experiences (i.e., listening to understand, not listening to respond). I realized how different my experiences growing up and studying in Vietnam were while listening to my interlocutors talk about their favorite holiday, their mom’s home remedy to treat cold, or artifacts in their cultural box that told their life stories. I felt as if my journey to learn about the U.S. culture and people around me just started then. It made me think about how to engage in and facilitate more dialogue, especially dialogue about critical issues, among international and domestic students to surface differences and foster better understanding, a first step in contributing to a more equitable world.

In short, international students are not merely “legal aliens,” nonnative English speakers, or the “other,” who need support and accommodation for success (which is, of course, also important). They also bring differences and resources that can be viewed as assets to the University community.