Category Archives: Reflection

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!

When Languages and Cultures Come Together and Alive

Linh Phung, Director of English Language and Pathways Programs

Martina Wells, Coordinator of Modern Languages Program

One core mission of Chatham University is to promote global thinking among its students. Fulfilling the mission requires the work of all departments, offices, and stakeholders from the University. Over the years, the Office of International Affairs, the English Language Program, and the Modern Languages Program have forged close partnerships, resulting in multiple programs and events for linguistic and cultural exchanges as well as the celebration of languages. Viewing multilingualism and multiculturalism as an asset, we have been capitalizing on diverse languages cultures of our international and domestic students in such initiatives as the Conversation Partner Program, International Karaoke Nights, and International Dessert Nights. As a result, many language learning opportunities have been created, friendships formed, compelling stories told, and insights gained.

Conversation Partner Program

Chika and her conversation partner

The Conversation Partner Program pairs or groups students of different linguistic backgrounds. After the grouping, students set up their own conversations and outings throughout the semester. Over the years, the program has grouped 26-79 students from up to 10 countries together. Students have opportunities to use English, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and so on in these conversations. While the demand for Spanish, French, and German often exceeds the presence of native speakers of those languages, success has been specially noted in interactions among students from Japan and students of Japanese thanks in part to the presence of about 20 students from Japan at Chatham every year.

Despite some challenges of running the program, the rewards to students make it all worth it. In survey responses (usually 30% of the applicants) after each semester, students have described their partnerships as “a lot of fun,” “awesome,” and “fantastic.” One said, “it’s a great way to interact with international students and to create a stronger sense of community on campus.” Students reported doing things together, including going to restaurants, inviting their partners to spend time with their family over holidays, and exploring Pittsburgh together. Many have formed close friendships that outlast the study period of international students at Chatham. From a language learning perspective, students have more opportunities to use English and their target language, which undoubtedly contribute to their language development.

International Karaoke Night

International Karaoke Night

This fun event is held once per semester in the evening, usually in the Carriage House. All the students from the language classes (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) participate. International students also join in. International Karaoke Night is a venue for showcasing languages through music and performance. Students appreciate the opportunity to sing in their target language and have an audience to cheer them on. Not only does this make an entertaining and community-building night, but importantly, by making direct comparisons, students gain insights into other cultures and languages. As one student put it: “taking a universal concept such as Karaoke, but hearing it in a multiplicity of languages allowed me the opportunity to glimpse into other cultures in an enjoyable manner.”

International Dessert Night / Holidays Around the World Dinner

International Dessert Night

At the end of each semester, Modern Languages Program (MLP), together with the Office of International Affairs and the English Language Program (ELP), hosts the “Holidays-Around-the-World Dinner” (December) and the “International Dessert Night” (April). The gathering is held on campus in a comfortable living-room setting. Instructors prepare a dish that represents their target culture, supplemented by food that is catered. The evening starts out with games to connect students with each other and engage them in an interactive challenge to find out about various holiday traditions. Winners are awarded small prizes. Again, the goal is to get students to use their target language with each other and to apply it in a new context. Students love tasting new dishes and compare different traditions associated with the foods. Having the international students there gives a very authentic dimension to the evening and enhances the experience for our MLP students

Successful Interdepartmental Partnership

The collaboration has been a happy and successful one, and factors that contribute to this successful partnership include the overlapping goals among the ELP, MLP, and OIA. In addition, the leaders of these departments/ programs take ownership of and responsibility for different initiatives and events. The responsible person is proactive in distributing information about their program in different formats: emails, flyers, social media, and face-to-face communication with their faculty and students. Incorporating certain events into a class (such as the Lab course attached to each three-credit language course from MLP) and making announcements in the classroom is one of the most effective ways to increase student participation. Apart from emails, the organizers occasionally stop by one another’s office for conversations and discussions. This helps to not only effectively plan for the programs, but also strengthen the commitment to working together. The reward is seeing various languages and cultures come together and become alive through authentic conversations, exchanges, and celebrations.

Monica in Floripa: Manezinha

Monica Snyder is a Chatham student currently studying with USAC Study Abroad in Florianópolis, Brasil.  Check out her blog at https://monicainfloripa.wordpress.com/

View from Morro do Lampião Vista de Morro do Lampião
No words for this view Sem palavras pra essa vista
Soccer game #1-Figueirense vs Brusque Primeiro jogo de futebol- Figueirense x Brusque
Soccer game #2- Avaí vs Figueirense Segundo jogo de futebol- Avaí x Figueirense

Hello readers! Today’s blog entry is going to be a little longer than usual. I will catch you up on my adventures, but I’m also going to talk about the day to day life here in Florianópolis, Brasil. Since Carnaval, I have gone on hikes, futebol (soccer) games, and school has started (yes for real)! My adventuring picks up with hiking Morro do Lampião (Lamp Hill), though it was more like a mountain… The trail was about 30 min long and it was all uphill. It was completely worth it though, because the view was the most breathtaking think I have ever seen. I got a 360 degree view of the island of Floripa, and it was, like I said, just breathtaking. That same day, 16 of us from USAC (program I’m doing the studying abroad through) went to a Brazilian futebol game! Everybody came to my house, where I made brigadeiros and beijinhos (coconut brigadeiros), and they got to meet my vovó and tia. The game was one of Floripa’s home teams Figueirense vs Brusque (another team from Santa Catarina). The game was another great exposure to Brazilian culture, and if you think Pittsburghers are sports fanatics… come to a Brazilian soccer game. Figueirense won 2 x 0. A week later, I got to go to another soccer game, but this time it was the Clássico: Avaí vs Figueirense! Both teams are from Floripa, so the rivalry is VERY intense. We sat with Figueirense, which was the visiting team at Avaí’s stadium, and my goodness were the fans passionate. It was an amazing time, the the atmosphere was so energetic, even with the final score of 0 x 0. I also got to go to a Lutheran Church, and it happened to be with people whom my mom grew up going to church with. I loved meeting them, and I loved meeting college students who are strong in their faith. Classes also finally started! UFSC started classes after Carnaval, so this year was a little later than normal, but while my friends were telling me about spring break, I was telling them about the first day of classes… I have 4 classes and they are going really well. I’m continuing my Portuguese and learning about trade and development from a Brazilian perspective. I am also taking a Brazilian film class, where I get to learn more about Brazilian culture through film, which is a new and interesting perspective (and no, we are not watching City of God or Rio). I am LOVING LOVING my time here in Brasil, but in this blog post, I wanted to write about differences that I notice between the US and Brasil. My study abroad experience is different from normal experiences: I am a citizen of Brasil, I have family in the city where I am studying (which means I am living with them), and I already know the language (though I still have a lot to learn). Being a citizen means that I have a Brazilian passport, I have to register to vote (voting is required by law here once you turn 18), and I have a CPF (Brasil’s social security number). Acquiring some of these documents has been a very long road. I have been here for 3 months and just got my CPF number. The bureaucracy in Brasil is very different from in the US, it takes a lot longer to get things processed and approved. Brasil also has a free healthcare system, meaning that doctor appointments and hospital visits are free. This is great news, but this also means that wait times are very, very long. Someone here was telling me that they made an eye doctor’s appointment in 2016 and just went to the appointment 3 weeks ago. Floripa is considered one of the wealthiest cities in Brasil, yet there are still people sleeping on the streets and people selling things while cars are stopped at red lights. Public transportation is used by everyone in Floripa, yet it takes me almost an hour to get to UFSC by bus because of traffic and lack of connecting roads. Electricity is very expensive in Brasil, so air conditioning is not widely available like in the US, which is a challenge since we are in a subtropical climate (most buses do not have AC). Dryers are also very rare to find in a Brazilian household. Because Brasil’s economy focuses mainly on agriculture, a lot of goods are imported into the country. Many Brazilians have Samsung phones because Apple products are so expensive. $1 is equal to about R$4 (the real is Brasil’s currency). Floripa also has A LOT of traffic, due to lack of connecting roads (there is about one way to get to a place) and one bridge connecting the island to the continent (Floripa is on the island and partly on the continent of Brasil). There is a 2nd bridge that is considered a landmark, and it is under construction, but it has taken many many years and another bridge will not be built in the near future due to public funding. Even with all of these differences, I am still in love with Florianópolis. The natural beauty of the island can’t be found anywhere else in the world. And the people, the people are so kind, friendly, helpful, and happy. They enjoy life and love to share their Brasil with you. These people and this place will forever have a place in my heart. Floripa isn’t perfect, but where is? I’m making memories with my American friends, Brazilian friends, friends of my mãe (mom), friends of my vovó, and friends of my tia. I thank God for placing me here in Floripa to be with my family, and learn more about a myself and a country I love. I’m learning what it means to be a Brazilian. In the next edition of Manezinha, I will tell about an upcoming birthday and travels. Beijos

Oi amigos! Esse capítulo tá mais longa do que o normal. Vou falar sobre minhas aventuras, mas também vou falar sobre o dia a dia aqui em Florianópolis, Brasil. Desde o Carnaval, fiz trilhas, assisti jogos de futebol e a escola começou (sim é a verdade)! Eu fiz a trilha do Morro do Lampião, mas é mais como uma montanha … A trilha foi 30 minutos e era toda subida. Mas valeu a pena, porque a vista era a coisa mais linda que eu vi na minha vida. Tinha uma vista de 360 ​​graus da ilha de Floripa. No mesmo dia, 16 de nós da USAC (programa do meu intercâmbio) foram para um jogo de futebol brasileiro! Todo mundo veio à minha casa, onde eu fiz brigadeiros e beijinhos, e eles conheceram minha vovó e tia. O jogo foi um dos times de Floripa: Figueirense x Brusque (outro time de Santa Catarina). Vemos mais da cultura brasileira, e se você acha que os Pittsburghers são fanáticos por esportes … venha para um jogo de futebol brasileiro. Figueirense ganhou 2 x 0. Uma semana depois, consegui ir para outro jogo de futebol, mas desta vez foi o Clássico: Avaí x Figueirense! Os dois times são de Floripa, então a rivalidade é MUITO intensa. Nós sentamos com o Figueirense, que era o time visitante no estádio do Avaí, e eram os fãs apaixonados. Foi incrível, a atmosfera era tão enérgica, mesmo com o placar final de 0 x 0. Eu também fui na igreja luterana, e onde tinha pessoas com quem minha mãe cresceu frequentando a igreja. Eu adorei conhecê-los e adorava encontrar estudantes que fossem fortes na sua fé. As aulas também finalmente começaram. A UFSC começou as aulas depois do Carnaval, então este ano foi um pouco mais tarde do que o normal, mas eu vi fotos dos meus amigos nas ferias da primavera, e eu mandei fotos do primeiro dia da escola… Eu tenho 4 aulas e tô gostando. Estou continuando meu português e aprendendo sobre a economia de uma perspectiva brasileira. Eu também tenho uma aula de cinema brasileiro, onde eu aprendo mais sobre a cultura brasileira através do cinema, com uma perspectiva nova e interessante (e não, nós não estamos assistindo Cidade de Deus ou Rio). Estou ADORANDO o meu tempo aqui no Brasil, mas neste capítulo do meu blog, eu queria escrever sobre as diferenças que eu noto entre os EUA e o Brasil. Minha experiência de intercâmbio é diferente das experiências normais: sou cidadã do Brasil, tenho família na cidade onde estou estudando (estou morando com elas) e já falo a língua. Ser cidadã significa que tenho um passaporte brasileiro, tenho que me registrar para votar e eu tenho um CPF. Obtendo alguns desses documentos foi… longo. Estou aqui há 3 meses e recebi o meu número de CPF agora. A burocracia no Brasil é muito diferente da dos EUA, demora mais para as coisas sejam processadas e aprovadas. O Brasil também tem um sistema de saúde gratuito. Esta é uma ótima notícia, mas isso também significa que os tempos de espera são muito, muito longos. Alguém aqui estava me dizendo que eles fizeram uma consulta de oftalmologista em 2016 e só foi para a consulta há 3 semanas. Floripa é considerada uma das cidades mais ricas do Brasil, mas ainda há pessoas dormindo nas ruas e pessoas vendendo coisas enquanto os carros são parados. O transporte público é usado por todos em Floripa, mas eu demoro quase uma hora para chegar à UFSC de ônibus por causa do trânsito e da falta das ruas de conexão. A eletricidade é muito cara no Brasil, então o ar-condicionado não é nos todos os lugares como nos EUA. Secadores também são muito raros de se encontrar em uma residência brasileira. A economia do Brasil se concentrar principalmente na agricultura, então muitos produtos são importados para o país. Muitos brasileiros têm celulares Samsung porque os produtos da Apple são muito caros. $1 é como R$4. Floripa também tem MUITO transito, não tem estradas de conexão (há cerca de uma maneira de chegar para um lugar) e uma ponte conectando a ilha ao continente. Há uma segunda ponte que está em resturação, mas levou muitos anos e uma outra ponte não será construída em um futuro, por causa do financiamento público. Mesmo com todas essas diferenças, ainda estou apaixonada por Florianópolis. A natureza da ilha não pode ser encontrada em nenhum outro lugar do mundo. E as pessoas, as pessoas são tão gentis, amigáveis e felizes. Brasileiros aproveitam a vida e têm amor para compartilhar seu Brasil com você. Essas pessoas e este lugar terão um lugar no meu coração para sempre. Floripa não é perfeita, mas onde é? Estou fazendo memórias com meus amigos americanos, amigos brasileiros, amigos da minha mãe, amigos da minha vovó e amigas da minha tia. Agradeço o Deus por me colocar aqui em Floripa para estar com minha família e aprender mais sobre mim e um país que eu amo. Tô aprendendo como é pra ser brasileira. No próximo capítulo da Manezinha, vou escrever sobre um aniversário e viagens. Beijos

Adapting abroad on different program types

by Melanie Landsittel

Embarking on a Chatham field experience introduces you to your new host culture, making it a great preparation to go abroad again on a longer program. You have enough freedom on these shorter programs to experience the day-to-day of living abroad and get infected with the commonly known ‘travel bug.’ On the field experience your faculty, in my case, two American professors from Chatham, knew where they were and how to operate in the host country. There’s a sense of ease that comes along with that. When abroad on other programs, teachers of your host country invite you in, as an insider to the society. This link gives you a different experience from being invited in by an outsider, however experienced.

Studying in the park with Dr. Rossbach in Brussels

Two or three weeks in a host country is a significant, meaningful experience, but you will be seeing that country, at least in my case, in more the role of a visitor, as opposed to when you stay for an extended period. The way you relate yourself to your new surroundings begins to change significantly as you stay for an extended period in the host country. You may feel more inclined to take the leap, and relate yourself to your host country through understanding the language, cultural nuances, and other things when you stay for longer.

Forming an ad-hoc knitting circle on a boat in Prague

In my case, I had already completed three months abroad before joining a short-term field experience with Chatham, a little over two months in Italy and one month in Korea, yet these shorter experiences in each culture did ultimately prepare me for my semester in Prague, and shaped my experience there greatly. Through all of my experiences abroad, I learned a lot about being self-sufficient, and independent. I also learned a lot about flexibility, and how advantageous it is to be the most adaptable version of oneself possible.

When I was in Prague, I was game for just about anything because I realized what I would take away from my experiences abroad—the things I would remember most, and mean most to me. I could see what changed me the most significantly as a person then, and wanted to keep pursuing those things when in Prague. Those usually were the things that I never would have done before going abroad. Basic things like being confident in myself, my judgement, and just generally feeling good in my own skin, all grew from my willingness to put myself out there all the time.

Dancing at a ball in Prague

Melanie Landsittel is majoring in Visual Arts and will graduate in spring 2019. Melanie is a student assistant in the Office of International Affairs.

Look back: OIA Activities from Fall 2018

The Fall semester was full of events and activities for Chatham student. The Office of International Affairs organized activities to bring students together across cultures and nationalities, and to introduce different aspects of American Culture. Following are some highlights from this past term:

September :

Global Mixer Kick-off

The first event of the semester, the Global Mixer welcomes students to Chatham, and welcomes back returning students. Students, from a variety of countries and cultures are encouraged to mix and mingle as they learn from each other.

 

East Liberty Presbyterian Church Tour and Tower Climb:

The tour of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church was not for the faint of heart. After receiving a brief overview of the Gothic Architecture and seeing the nave of the beautiful church, the group of almost 20 students started our journey climbing the steps to the tower. After passing through main staircases and a series of winding pathways in the walls of the church, there were several final small spiral staircases to climb. The final leg of the climb was ascending a small ladder onto the highest balcony that only about 4 students could share at a time. We had a 360* view of the city of Pittsburgh and a great breeze hitting our faces to cap off the satisfaction of our journey. After planting our feet firmly back on the ground, students headed to Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream for a sweet

 

Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center (COTRAIC) 40th Annual Three Rivers Pow Wow. 

Students from the United States, Japan, China, and South Korea attended the Pow Wow and engaged with Native Peoples from all over the US. The Pow Wow, held each September, is open to the public.

October:

Simmons Farm- Fall Activities Field Trip

Simmons Farm was a day of sunshine, pumpkins, apples, and fall flowers. The group of 16 headed out to Simmons Farm on one of the warmest days of Fall and enjoyed the activities it had to offer. After a quick hayride, students split into two groups and found their way through the corn maze. Students then chose a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and enjoyed some of the cider provided to the group from the Farm. There were fields of beautiful flowers and delicious festival food to snack on. The farm even included a petting zoo with some lazy goats and hungry chickens!

 

Kennywood: Phantom Fright Nights! 

As part of the fall semester long weekend, OIA took students to  Kennywood. Kennywood, a local amusement park in operation since 1898, has thrilled generations of visitors. Located a few miles from Pittsburgh, it has roller coasters, a midway, arcade games, and classic American fare. In October, the park is transformed into one big haunted house for Phantom Fright Nights. Open late (6pm-midnight) and full of spooky costumes and decor, it’s a screaming good time.  Students from Brazil, Austria, Japan, South Korea, the US, and France, were able to enjoy a classic American amusement park, and Haunted attraction on a foggy spooky night!

 

December:

End of Term party!

Students celebrated the end of the semester, and for many the end of their studies at Chatham University, during OIA’s  End of Term party.

 

 

Chatham’s Dynamic US Culture & Cinema Course

A large screen glows in the pitch-dark classroom. It is eerily quiet.

Someone yells, “Don’t go in there!”

Others frantically chime in.

I peek around the screen on my podium to see 23 transfixed students, wide-eyed and hands covering mouths.

On the screen, the ceiling explodes. An alien tumbles onto the floor as scientists and soldiers scream as they scramble for safety.

Screams ricochet in our room, followed by nervous laughter.

This is US Culture and Cinema, a 100-level culture-based course that students take to learn about American culture, values, traditions and so much more through the lens of top ten classic American films.

Pre-reading activities include summaries, background information handouts and short video clips.

For each film, post-reading entails heavy discussions and a set of carefully crafted handouts designed to get students to reflect and synthesize information they’ve learned. Each handout builds upon their understanding and skills, starting with formulating their opinion, close critical reading, and summary honing. Film synopses are gapfill with word banks, giving students a chance to understand the story while they learn practical academic and technical vocab. Another handout doles out juicy film trivia followed by lively discussions in which they justify their favorite items. Same for quotes and film excerpts—with these they explain the humor, or infer why the character says something, and they act out parts of scenes as intoned in the film. There is a vocab match with words, phrases, and idioms and images. The Best Summaries has them choose the best summary out of 5 or 6 similar film genre summaries, specific character names removed.

While they actively watch the film, they follow along while completing questions with multiple choice answers. Questions are kept as simple as possible to prevent students from missing important moments. Images of the main characters are shown on this handout, along with images and maps of ideas or places at the end. The While You Watch questions and answers are designed to help students follow along with ease an otherwise potentially confusing film.

Each week, I send short video clips related to the film, director, film theory, and technical elements such as angles & shots and sound used in the film for them to watch and take notes for discussion. They then discuss the ideas they found most interesting and explain why. Class participation is typically very lively.

I have 3 criteria for choosing films. It should reflect American culture, values, traditions, and/or social issues. The film should also be a little older so that there is less chance of students having seen it. And finally, it should be in the top 10 or 20 for its genre.

This semester we watched Kramer vs Kramer (Drama), Singin’ in the Rain (Musical), Rear Window (Thriller), The Shining (Horror), The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Western), Aliens (Sci-fi/Action), Big (Comedy).

by: Sylvia Shipp, English Language Program Lecturer & Student Advisor

 

A tragedy in Pittsburgh

On October 27, eleven people were killed as they worshiped at the Synagogue.

The Tree of Life Synagogue is just across the street from Chatham’s south entrance. The killings have forever changed Pittsburgh and the Squirrel Hill communities.  Grief and sadness still permeate.

“Stronger than Hate” signs are in front of people’s houses. Students stoically wear “Chatham is stronger than hate” t-shirts.  A sticker with the same message is on my office door.

Doing weekend shopping, I drove past the synagogue a couple of times.

Gone are the outdoor memorials. They have been moved indoors to create a permanent place of remembrance at the Tree of Life.

People are still gathering at the Synagogue. Some stand on the street corner, heads bowed in silent prayer. Others are taking pictures of the building. A stillness can still be felt in the area.

Deterring hatred. The work we do as international educators is important, I might even say vital.

Through international education and exchange, participating students learn a lot about their host country. They learn about their own countries as seen and understood by outsiders. They learn about themselves—their values, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses.  Students who participate in study abroad programs teach their hosts about their home countries.

Through international exchange, we come to learn about the range of human differences. We learn about race, ethnicity, gender identity, physical abilities, national origins, political beliefs, and religious and ethical values systems.

People-to-people diplomacy, learning about yourself and others, deters hatred.  Makes us stronger than hate.

Written by AVP Chris Musick, International Affairs

Goodbye Summer 18 and Welcome Fall 18

Orientation for New International Students. Welcome to Chatham!

While summer may be a slower time for many, the Office of International Affairs was in full motion with 14 intensive courses from the English Language Program, a four-week program for 10 students from Wenzhou Medical University, immigration recertification, and international visits for partnership development, to name a few activities.

New International Students

Fall 2018 brings fewer new international students than last fall, but plans have been made for a productive semester with a host of activities for the Global Focus Year of Ireland; exciting opportunities to study abroad, including scholarship opportunities; and a robust cultural program to celebrate languages, cultures, and international education. Read through our eNewsletter for information on these programs.

Here are a few highlights of the summer.

ELP End-of-Term Celebration

With thirty-three students, 70 hours of weekly instruction, three full-tuition scholarships offered to local students, the ELP celebrated the success of the semester with a guest speech from Natalia Castillejo, Product Manager at Duolingo; student speeches by Fadia Azzani and Gabriela Gomez; and music performances from Ayaka Fushino, Ai Fudano, Hong Zhao, and Hong’s husband. It was a wonderful celebration of language and culture!

ELP at the Frick Park and Museums

Opportunities for students for social interactions and cultural discovery include a Conversation Partner Program, Waterfront Battle of Homestead Tour, Mexico War Street Tour, trips to outstanding museums Pittsburgh has to offer, a potluck with education students, BBQ parties at Dr. Phung’s and Mr. Musick’s houses, among others. Students also traveled to so many cities and attractions in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Cuba. What an adventurous bunch!

Students from Wenzhou Medical University at the Fallingwater

Ten students majoring in psychiatry at Wenzhou Medical University participated in a four-week program organized and led by AVP Chris Musick. The students participated in workshops taught by faculty from the Psychology Department, cultural explorations led by AVP Musick, and selected lessons in some ELP’s courses. Many of the workshops had experiential components taking the students to museums, the zoo, and the Allegany Cemetery. The students learned many new concepts which they had not encountered before in their studies in China.

After over 18 months, the Pittsburgh Pathways was finally approved by SEVP. The approval was needed in order for Chatham to issue immigration documents for students to apply for a visa to enter the U.S. and attend the program. Following the approval was intensive work to apply for a SEVP recertification to allow Chatham to continue to enroll international students and host international scholars in its programs.

Janelle Moore in Costa Rica

On the study abroad side, Chatham undergraduate students participated in summer study and internship opportunities in Costa Rica, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. Graduate students studying Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy participated in a summer field experience in Ecuador.

AVP Musick visited China with Dean Downey in May to build institutional partnerships. There is now interest from Wenzhou’s College of Nursing, College of Psychology, School of Foreign Languages in building sustainable student and faculty exchanges.

Dr. Linh Phung with Students from Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts

In addition, the staff in the Office of International Affairs attended the NAFSA conference in Philadelphia with about 9,500 other attendees all over the world. We caught up with existing partners and connected with potential new ones. In July, Dr. Linh Phung visited long-lasting university partners in Japan, which together have sent over 100 students to Chatham since 2011. Partnership work is intense and intensive, but also rewarding.

With the summer semester behind, we are looking forward to an exciting academic year ahead!

Reflection: Chatham Field Experience, Brussels, Belgium

By Melanie Landsittel, OIA Student Worker

Brussels

Hi again! I’m taking pictures of the Grand Place here, in Brussels. It’s a huge center where you’ll see amazing, gilded architecture, people playing music, sitting in groups, conversing, and also being touristy and taking pictures. I’ll show you what I mean in some pictures below:

As you can see Brussels is an extremely historic and beautiful city. It’s also extremely touristy, which can sometimes make trying to enjoy yourself like a local be tricky. But don’t worry, with a little bit of research and determination, all things are possible!

Ah, empty space—these grounds belong to the royal garden of Belgium, part of the royal family’s country home. They’re only open 3 weeks out of the year, and we were just lucky enough to make it in time. This was probably my favorite thing we did in Brussels, we left the immediate area of the city to get here which was really nice since it’s quite a crowded place.

In Brussels, we also visited several government offices, like the Flemish Parliament and the EU Parlimentarium. These two bodies were quite different, and gave us a little taste of some of the social issues facing Belgium, and the EU in general. Our tour guide of the Flemish Parliament building told us that, in Brussels, only about 10% of the people living in the city were born in the region. He elaborated briefly on the challenge immigration poses to the city, and to Flanders, in the opinion of the Flemish branch of the government. He also discussed the wealth divide between the French and Dutch speaking populations—Flanders is far wealthier than their southern counterpart of Wallonia, and has very different political interests than it as well. He even mentioned that the Flemish government has a bigger budget than the federal government of Belgium!

By contrast, the EU parlimentarium provided us with a walking tour through documents and pictures illustrating the history of the Formation of the EU, and the progress it has made as a governing body since its founding in the late 20th century through a series of treaties. They emphasized the need for Europe to work together to prevent conflict and empower all of its regions.

We were privileged to take several day trips during this program, one of them was to the beautiful place pictured above—Luxembourg City. Honestly, there’s no way for me to describe in words how beautiful Luxembourg is—it’s probably my favorite place I’ve ever visited on earth—just heavenly.

There are huge shifts in ground level, peaks and valleys all across the city, it reminds we of what I think towns in the Swiss alps would be like, yet Luxembourg is not like France, Germany, or Belgium really—it’s just entirely its own place, I felt like.

A group of us visited the city of Ghent, which was a beautiful small town, it felt much more like a Dutch city than Brussels, to me anyways.


There’s an enormous castle in the center of Ghent, pictured above, which we immediately got in line to tour. There was an unexpectedly high number of creepy torture chambers, but we didn’t let that ruin it for us—we took the narrow winding stairwell up to the top and got an amazing view of the city, you can see in the picture below:

There happened to be an amazing outdoor food market while we were there, offering a huge variety of food, from the classic Belgian frites to kangaroo meat, to amazing vegan options like the sandwich that I had. We also had the frites—which were the best I had the whole program by the way. After collecting all of our food, we found an open spot on the canal, sat down, and let our feet dangle in as we ate—it was an absolutely perfect day.
Just to top it off, as we were about to head back to find the group, we passed underneath the beer market tent and from the DJ stand was blasting “Take me Home, Country Roads.” An alarming number of people were singing along—it was fascinating, and humorous, to say the least.

A third day trip we went on was to Brugge. The city was, at least to me, quite similar to Ghent but much more touristy. When we were in Ghent, I had wished that we took one of these little canal boat tours, so we tried to do that in Brugge, but the line was incredibly long, so we didn’t bother. Renting bikes is one thing that I would highly recommend in a place like this to get a good view of the city.

The last day trip that we went on was to Antwerp. It was cold and rainy, which seemed fitting for this beautiful port town. The train station is said to be one of the most beautiful in Europe—I absolutely agree with that assertion and included a picture below:

Right along the harbor in Antwerp is this museum called MAS, it’s pictured above. It’s extremely unique, the exhibitions are curated along narrative lines, rather than chronological or regional, so the way we’re learning about and absorbing the meaning of the art is really different—I found it very impressive.


One exhibition dealt with the topic of urban agriculture and how to feed humanity, they gave solutions like growing algae on our bodies, eating rotten food with receptors that trick our senses and change the enzymes in our stomach, and growing meat in the lab (and all of these things are being done by the way!).

We also wandered into an art exhibition of Jan Vanriet. We think he was there, wandering the grounds and talking to people about his work—it could have been his personal home for all we knew. It was quite the day for art, as we also visited a large church with huge paintings by Peter Paul Rubens. From this day trip I think I learned that it’s important to have structured activities, as well to wander and let your curiosity guide you, it’s a balance.

At the end of the day, we visited this really odd, old escalator, it was wooden and ran slowly—I recommend visiting it, it’s called St. Anne’s Tunnel. The escalator leads you down to cross a 572-meter tunnel under the canal where you can get a great view of the city as pictured below:

Even though I feel like I spent more time outside of Brussels than within it, I do appreciate the city for its central location, it’s beautiful structure, and its vibrancy.

Melanie Landsittel is a senior at Chatham, majoring in Visual Arts: with a double concentration in Studio Art and Art History. Melanie works in the Office of International Affairs.

Interested in study abroad? Contact internationalaffairs@chatham.edu to find out about options available!

Ohiopyle State Park

by Kylie Fletcher, OIA Student worker

On this past Sunday, I went with my family to Ohiopyle. Ohiopyle is a small riverside town that many people in (especially) Southern Pennsylvania visit during late Spring to late Fall. There’s a very long trail nearby, small shops that sell different frozen desserts and handmade products, a visitor center that doubles as a gift shop and museum, and rental places for whitewater rafting and biking. Often, people spend the day there and bring a picnic lunch to share with friends or family by the river. My family lives close by, about a 30-minute drive away, so we go rather often during the summer. Usually, my grandfather won’t let us go swimming in the water, no one is really sure why, but this year my siblings, cousin, and I waded in the river that runs through Ohiopyle.

Ohiopyle Falls 2018

My smallest cousins waded in the water near the riverbank, since they weren’t allowed to go farther. I watched my siblings and my other, older cousin, so we went out much farther into the water. It was freezing but refreshing in the recent heat. There are also a lot of dogs that swim and play catch in the water. Dogs who come to Ohiopyle are usually really friendly, several immediately made me pet them when I let the dogs sniff my hands. My family saw a husky who was afraid of the water and refused to go deeper than its ankles in the water and my siblings, cousin, and I saw another family with three puppies who looked like they were in the water for the first time. One of them was really excited to be in the water so the puppy was hopping in the shallow end of the river where we were. Going to Ohiopyle reminds me of the theory a lot of people have that most people’s dogs look like their owners. Most of the people I saw had dogs that looked and/ or acted really similar to their families, i.e. smaller, energetic dogs tended to be with active petite people, and greyhounds were with people that looked, like a greyhound, very very thin. I always think it’s funny to compare how a dog looks compared to their family.

When I was small, I used to get ice cream with my family after walking on the trails, but I found that I’m allergic to milk. This past trip to Ohiopyle, I saw that there was a frozen yogurt shop, which also had sorbet. Sorbet is basically a frozen fruit puree, which I always find more refreshing than ice cream when it’s hot anyway. There’s about six or seven different stores that sell ice cream, which is a lot considering they’re all in such a little town. There’s a few different stores that sell handmade jams and candy. I usually like looking around at the falls and river more than at the shops.

The waterfall area of Ohiopyle is a short walk away from the riverbank most people swim in. Obviously, visitors are not allowed to swim in the falls area of the river, though there is whitewater rafting renting services. I don’t think I’ve ever seen whitewater rafters at the falls, which I find different since I used to live near a waterfall where there would be a lot of people riding the falls in small boats. I think at Ohiopyle, though, the lack of people actually in the water makes it more beautiful since you can see the natural beauty of the water.

Kylie Fletcher is a senior at Chatham, majoring in Media Arts: Graphic Design and Cultural Studies. Kylie works in the Office of International Affairs.