Category Archives: Reflection

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.

 

 

Reflection: Chatham Field Experience – Berlin, Germany

By Melanie Landsittel, OIA Student worker

During the first two weeks of May, 2018, I was able to attend Chatham’s short term field experience program in Berlin and Brussels and in the following post I will describe my experience in Berlin.

To me, Berlin is an extremely livable city. Its wide open spaces, rivers, and abundance of public green space are unlike any other place. Getting around is easy with the subway and tram system as well. Another great thing about it is the food—there is a huge variety of what you can eat in Berlin, and most of it is great, like New-York level food.

The above picture is me, being touristy and taking a picture by the Brandenburg gate. The area we stayed in, in general, was a bit touristy, but it really wasn’t too crowded which I was impressed by.

Here you can see what I mean by open spaces. This picture also shows how clean of a city Berlin is, it’s extremely impressive. For those of you who haven’t visited Europe, you may be surprised to know that most public bathrooms here, and in other cities around the continent, charge 50 cents to 1 euro on average to use the public restroom.  This may seem a little bizarre, but… honestly it’s kind of worth it because they are so clean!

On this field experience, we had several opportunities to visit sites related to German history. One of these is pictured above—The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. It was really a sobering experience, the tour guide described the structure to us as a “geometry of terror.” I didn’t quite get what he meant until I glanced out this window—the whole structure is enclosed in a giant triangular wall, the rows of camps forming semicircles facing the gate. It was quite jarring to look at, and to contemplate what had taken place here. It’s kind of beyond words for me.

We also visited the Stasi Archives. These were where the East German secret police kept their files on citizens. An estimated 51% of the East German population was associated with the Stasi in some way, as official or unofficial spies, according to our tour guide. She recounted to us a story about a woman whose husband had been spying on her for years and she had no idea. Nowadays, citizens of the former East Germany can request that their file be released, but the average processing time is about 2 years. When I think about it, I’m not sure if I would want my file or not—imaging finding out that one of your parents or sibling had been giving the Stasi your private information!

On a lighter note, we also took a short bus ride to the city of Potsdam to visit the castles of old Prussian kings, as well as the offices of the Potsdam conference. The castle pictured above, Sans Souci (Without Worry) was the home of Fredrick the Great King of Prussia… and his 11 greyhounds. He loved these dogs so much, he had them buried next to him on the grounds of the castle.  Potsdam is quite the gem of a city—I highly recommend taking the time to visit!

In our free time, we were able to roam around the city, using our transit pass for the subway and the tram. Berlin is very large with so much to do, so we didn’t have any trouble keeping ourselves busy. One treasure that we stumbled upon was the Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm Zentrum, the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin Library. Pictured above is a view of the library’s astounding architecture—this style is characteristic of the Bauhaus movement in Germany, which is also very popular in the United States! Many famous Bauhaus artists moved to the USA to escape WWII.

On our last night in Berlin, a group of us managed to buy tickets to the Berlin Philharmonic. This was an amazing experience, especially as a fan of classical music, it’s probably the most famous orchestra hall in the world. We saw a group from Berlin University of the Arts’ rendition of Mahler 9—it was absolutely incredible.

As far as Berlin goes, there’s plenty to do to experience the culture, enjoy yourself, and learn about German history.

Tschüss! (It means bye, people didn’t really say Auf Wiedersehen)

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!

Fulbright Reflections – Taiwan

by Karin Chipman, Study abroad coordinator

For two weeks in March 2018, I was privileged to visit Taiwan as a grantee on a Fulbright International Education Administrator (IEA) seminar, and enjoyed beautiful weather, excellent food and meaningful cultural exchange with our hosts from the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan).  Our itinerary included visits to a variety of universities, from large research-oriented institutions to smaller schools focused on language learning and liberal arts.

On Elephant Mountain, overlooking Taipei 101

Along with the ten other international education administrators on the seminar, we met with government officials at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Taiwan Fulbright Alumni Association and the Taitung County government.  We had many wonderful meals and cultural experiences including the Fulbright Research Workshop with a special keynote speaker, none other than Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan.

Fulbright Taiwan IEA grantees at Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung

I was fortunate to visit two of Chatham’s Taiwanese partners during the seminar.  At Tamkang University in New Taipei City, we were greeted by the Office of International Affairs and a friendly group of student ambassadors ready with their umbrellas to shield us from the rain (that happily did not materialize).   As we walked up the promenade of the beautiful campus with flowers and greenery toward the library, the student ambassadors oriented us to campus and told us about student life at Tamkang University.  The campus was busy with a student run marketplace in full swing along our walk.  At Tunghai University in Taichung, we met with the International Office, enjoyed an informative video and presentation that included tasting the ice cream made at the university farm. Afterwards, we enjoyed a sunny campus tour and a visit to the Chinese Language Center.  There were many people enjoying the weather and the beautiful surroundings, including the iconic Luce Memorial Chapel, designed by I.M. Pei. This is an impressive structure with a peaceful environment for reflection and contemplation.

With international coordinator Doris Tsai, at Tungai University, Luce Chapel in background

The seminar included meetings with several Fulbright US student program grantees in Taiwan.  We visited three schools where English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) were placed.  I enjoyed talking to the Fulbright researchers and ETAs regarding their experience in Taiwan.  For any graduate or soon to be graduate looking for a wonderful experience conducting research, studying or teaching English for a year, I’d encourage you to apply for a Fulbright grant in Taiwan.

Fulbright ETA in action in elementary school in Yilan

Students who are seeking an exciting and safe study abroad destination should definitely consider Taiwan. Beyond Chatham’s partner institutions and many wonderful centers for learning Mandarin, there are institutions with programs taught in English in every academic area.  My Fulbright experience confirmed for me that Taiwan is a destination that can work for a variety of students’ needs. Taiwan is a beautiful country with modern conveniences, like excellent public transportation in cities, and the high-speed train for easy travel north to south. And the food is delicious!  Taiwan holds a wealth of incredible treasures for US students to explore further.

For more information on studying in Taiwan or applying for a Fulbright grant, please contact me at kchipman@chatham.edu or internationalaffairs@chatham.edu. Visit us at the Office of International Affairs in Falk Hall, lower level.

Celebrating Diversity During International Education Week

What does diversity mean to you?

We asked Chatham University students, faculty, and staff this question, together with questions about where they are from or have been to and what languages they speak. The majority of the students who answered the questions are international students taking language courses offered by the English Language Program and Modern Languages Program, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. The answers showcase the diversity of places, languages, and cultures that makes Chatham University a great place that it is. Enjoy the word clouds and different takes on diversity below!

Places mentioned

 

Antarctica was mentioned because it was the only continent Professor Galford and Dean Motley haven’t been to.

Languages spoken

If you’d like to share your thoughts, please send an email to Linh Phung, Director of English Language and Pathway Programs and Member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council: lphung@chatham.edu.

Name Major/Position Places Languages What diversity means
Abdelaziz Bagabas Geomatics Saudi Arabia, Egypt, England, and Indonesia Arabic, English “Diversity means respect and learn culture disparately around the world.”
Abduleh Al Ghanmi ELP Saudi Arabia, US Arabic, English “It means to me learning something new from different people or culture. It means to me how I can improve myself.”
Abdullah Almatairi Electricity Technician Riyadh, US Arabic, English “I have one language which is the language Arabic. I visit the USA because I study language English.”
Ahmir Allen Creative Writing/Film Pittsburgh English, Spanish, Japanese “Diversity is about open-mindedness and inclusivity. In a diverse environment people can feel accepted without a fear that someone will view them as “less than” or understanding of their basic human rights.”
Alex Ferrer Policy Studies, Graphic Design Las Vegas English, Spanish, German “Diversity to me is the acceptance of different cultures in a community. Once this happens, people expose themselves to different lifestyle and become more diverse.”
Allison Love Human Biology Pittsburgh English “Diversity is being able to bring people together from different backgrounds or cultures. Realizing the differences between others and accepting them and celebrating them.”
Ameerah Almarawani ELP Saudi Arabia, US English, Arabic “Identify the cultures of society. Communicate with new friends. Communicate with my family. Gain language.”
Arief Zulkifli International Studies Malaysia, U.S., Dubai English, Malay Diversity means the presence of various things. In a general context, I would associate diversity with the inclusion of many people from various backgrounds/ genders. However, diversity could simply be the range of something.
Asami Nabeshima English Literature/ Junior Japan Japanese, English “I think diversity is to have to do something with people who have different culture, so we should understand and respect other culture each other.”
Bholika Kothiya Healthcare Administration/ ELP India Hindi, English “Diversity means variety. It is understanding between two cultures.”
Brian Harr Biochemistry Derry, PA English “Diversity literally means having variety. To me, diversity means being accepted in each aspect, regardless of how much it may differ from others.”
Chris Musick AVP, Office of International Affairs Yorktown, IN English, Japanese “The beautiful differences in thought, perception, and worldview gathered in one place working toward a common goal without conflict.”
Christine Emerick Counseling Psychology Halifax, PA. Traveled to many different states, including Arkansas, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. English “Diversity means various people with different backgrounds coexisting in an area. Diversity also allows for conversations to be had between different people and allows us to learn something new, if we are willing to learn.”
Chika Kitagishi English Literature Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong Chinese, Korean, Japanese, English “It is something broadening any perspectives.”

 

Curran O’Neill Media Arts Pittsburgh English, (some) Japanese “Diversity is a vast number of people from different races/ ethnicities/ sexualities/ genders/ classes/ etc. A group of people that don’t all share the same character traits.”
Cymon Butler Graphic Design U.S. English, Spanish, Japanese, French, German “What diversity means to me is multiple groups of people converging together, with none in particular standing out. There are different ways of thinking and backgrounds, but everybody is accepting of one another.”
Daria Montgomery Psychology Russia, Chicago, Pittsburgh English, French “Being diverse, to me, means having people of all walks of life having an equal chance to be heard and respected. We all come from different places, were born into different circumstances, were raised different ways, and so should take that to find a middle ground that we can all stand on.”
Darlen Motley Dean, School of Arts, Science and Business PA, NY, Chicago, Atlanta, VA, visited all continents except Antarctica English, Basic Spanish “Diversity and inclusion means respect and appreciation of values and culture of all peoples.”
Ding-Wei Linh Chatham Semester Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, U.S., Canada Chinese, English “We don’t want to be the same, but we want to understand each other.”
Dori Cawley Media Arts Newport, RI, USA English, Japanese (learning now), Spanish, can read Hebrew “Diversity means that you are surrounded by people of different ethnicities and cultures. It also means that you want to better your understanding of the world.”
Duncan Eisen-Slade Sustainability Born-Scranton, PA; raised-Mt. Pleasant, SC; Living-Pittsburgh, PA English “An environment of rich cultural expressions and a variety of opportunities and communities. Not living in a mirror chamber. An environment of many different types of people.”
Elena Woodworth Sustainability Pittsburgh, PA English “Diversity means having a group with all different people of race, socio-economic status, religion, sexuality, gender, language, cultural background, and any other differences. It means having those differences, but having respect and appreciation for those who are different from you. It also means wanting know and understand those differences.”
Erika Nankawa Bioscience (in Japan) and ELP (in the U.S.) Japan Japanese, English “I think that different food from country to another is diversity. I think that different color of skin is diversity. I think that different education system and different languages is diversity. “
Faisal  Information Management Systems Saudi Arabia, USA, UK, UAE Arabic, English “Different cultures, opinions, and perspectives coming together.”
Fernando Soriano Biology-Environmental Science The United States of America English (primary, fluent); Spanish (secondary, roughly fluent) “Diversity is a pre-emptive step to achieving a larger goal: equality. Diversity itself means nothing if no constructive steps are taken to assist the needs and inequalities of non-dominant identities/classes.”
Gregory Galford Educator, Architect Grew up in rural West Virginia. Lived in Philadelphia, London, New York City. Have visited every continent except Antarctica. Bucket list. Can read road signs and menus in 3-4 languages “Diversity means willingness to listen and learn from those who live and think differently.”

 

Hana Education Techniques Saudi Arabia-Jeddah. Immigrates UAE Arabic, Indonesia, English.  
Hannah Hutton Undecided Bethel Park, PA English, Spanish “The presence and acceptance of those who are from different backgrounds and cultures. It can also be the incorporation of various traditions from those cultures in everyday life.”
Hasnah Alghamdi History Arabic, English “Languages, cultures, personal, customs and traditions”
Heather Sekeres Biology & Sustainability Brookville, Pennsylvania English, some German, and some Spanish “Support and acceptance of people from all walks of life. Each person is valuable and without any one of us the world would be a little less beautiful.”
HongChing Cheung Accounting Hong Kong, Pittsburgh Cantonese, English, Japanese “Diversity means being in an environment surrounded by a large range of people that may include people from different countries, race, age, gender. Diversity involves with interactions and relations with others who are different.”
Hyemi Economics Korea Korean, English “There are many kinds of diversity such as age, gender, religion, ethnicity, and race, etc. Studying in America, these days. I think about race diversity more. People have to recognize and respect the diversity, but there is still some discrimination based on race.”
Jade Miley Sustainability Born in China. Grew up in US English, a little bit of Mandarin “Knowing what life and cultures are like to people in other countries and/or cultures. Being aware of what is going on in the world other than just your own country/culture.”

 

Jake Reed Criminology Ontario, Canada English and French “Diversity means having different people all from a different backgrounds. It means having a group of people where not one person is the same as the next.”
Jake Rideaw Communications Potomac, MD English and French “Having people of different backgrounds coming together to coexist harmoniously in society, regardless of gender, race, and religion. People are able to come together to form strong bonds with one another.”
Johnny Artinger Exercise Science Pittsburgh English “Diversity is what makes everyone different from one another. We all come from diverse backgrounds making us different in our own unique way.”
Jordan Annarumo Human Biology Ellwood City, PA English “Diversity is when our population is represented by more than just Americans. To be diverse you embrace cultures and customs from other nations.”
Justin McCloskey Sustainability California, Pennsylvania English, Japanese “Diversity to me means the mixing of different cultural traits and aspects into one purpose or event.”
Juyeon Shim  English Language and Literature S. Korea Korean, English “(Maybe) in cultural way, because of the diversity, I can learn many culture at once and experience others. Diversity is good to get along with others and experience many things than I expected.”
Karun Lelahuta English Language Program Thailand, Bangkok Thai, Japanese, English “The people from different background, such as culture, country, language, etc. Live in the same place and shared their experience together.”
Kazuki Tarumi English Literature/ Chatham Semester Osaka, Japan Japanese, English, Chinese “People from different countries come together.”
Kelsey Calamaro Human Biology Florida English “Diversity has a common meaning to me, it means different. This is not something bad, even though some people may make it seem that way. Diversity is intriguing, new and educating because you never know what you might learn from an entity that is diverse.”
Kimara Bernard Architecture Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Been to a lot of countries besides the United States French, English, Creole, Spanish “To me, there is a lot of meaning for Diversity. The fact that we all have different beliefs, languages, ethnicity, that we have our own culture .And all that makes us ourselves makes us diverse.”
Kiyo Irie Environmental Bioscience/ Junior Japan Japanese, English “Diversity is learning other cultures and; languages to me. I think the goal of diversity is understanding each culture.”
Kylie Fletcher Cultural Studies/ Graphic Design Born in West Virginia, US. Grew up in Okinawa, Japan and New Mexico, US. English, Japanese, French “To me, having diversity means having a space with a number of different identities and cultures (race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.) that co-exist with one another. Diversity should be met with respect for other cultures.”
Laramie Ball Psychology New York State, USA A little bit of Spanish and Japanese “Equal respect and representation for all people regardless of who they are, where they are from, and what they believe. A celebration of these differences, and that these differences are not pushed down, but uplifted.”
Linh Phung Director, English Language and Pathway Programs Vietnam, State College, Pittsburgh. Visited Brazil, Canada, and Malaysia English, Vietnamese, Basic French. Learned some Spanish. Learning Chinese We were born with different characteristics and into different circumstances, resulting in different experiences and opportunities in life. Understanding differences also means understanding shared humanity.
Liz Peace Psychology Pittsburgh English, Japanese “Diversity means celebrating everyone’s differences. By understanding what makes everyone unique and being open-minded, we can all learn a lot.”
Liz Romano Music Cape Cod, Massachusetts English and French “Diversity is being different, but is also celebrating these differences.”
Maha Al Humaidi ELP Student Saudi Arabia Arabic, English “Diversity means for my knowledge and learn new language. I can communicate with another person.”
Maha Aloufi ELP Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Britain, America, France Arabic, English, beginner French “More diversity, I see, the more happy I feel. People from all around the world share different culture with each other.”
Marina Razgarina  ELP Lecturer Grew up in Russia. Visited Turkey, England, France, Ukraine, and Canada Russian, English, Turkish (Int), French (low int) “It means appreciation for other cultures, religion, traditions. It means sharing what’s good about our cultural identities. It means tolerance and open-mindedness. It means losing preconceived notions about other cultures.”
Marissa Wightman Human Biology California English “Diversity means to have varying qualities within oneself and others. I think diversity also means to be unique.”
Megan Simda Early Education Virginia, West Virginia, and Ellwood City English and learning French “Diversity means living in a world where everybody is able to bring something different to the table. Because everyone’s unique cultural background and attributes. Diversity makes the world a better place for everyone.”
Meier Parr Exercise Science Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania English “Diversity means being a part of, and appreciating, multiple cultures.”
Mina Hogsett ELP Teacher From West Virginia, US, Lived in Palestine/ Israel, Finland, South Korea, and Kenya. Visited 29 countries total. English, Arabic “To me, diversity is when different people, perspectives and emergent ideas may share a space together where listening, respect and curiosity overshadow fear and conflict”
Mitra MBA/ ELP Iran Farsi/ Persian, English “Diversity is defined as differences. For me, it means variation between people and society. We can see a lot of diversity in the U.S., which is amazing.”
Monica Snyder International Studies (focus in Latin America) and Policy Studies Pittsburgh Portuguese, English, French (intermediate), Spanish “Diversity to me means including everyone. Making others feel welcomed at all times is also very important.”
Nagisa Fujimoto Chatham Semester Japan Japanese, English “Diversity means various ideas and cultures in each country and acknowledging them.”
Naomi Saenz Chemistry Pittsburgh. Grew up in Mexico English, Spanish, and some French “Different ethnicities, race, languages, and cultures living in the same community.”
Natsuki Sakagami English Literature/ Chatham Semester Japan Japanese, Chinese, English “To know new things and accept them.”
Nayu Hattori International Studies Kobe, Japan. Been to Hawaii, Guam, California Japanese, English “Diversity for me: People respect everyone, and accept everyone no matter their age, the gender, the place raised or born, the nationality and any other things.”
Noriko Sasaki English Literature/ Chatham Semester Japan Japanese, English, a little German “Everyone has a right to live freely. Everyone should not be limited about anything.”
Rumi Horibe English Literature/ Chatham Semester Japan Japanese, English “Japan, America, ect.”
Sabrina Cheng Undecided Pittsburgh Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, English and currently learning Japanese “Diversity is surrounding yourself with many different types of people. Diversity covers religion, opinion, sexuality, nationality, age, etc. and it’s important for everyone to be exposed to different point of views.”
Seina Maeda  English Japan Japanese, English “It means that people and animals which exist in this world have difference. Everyone and everything is not the same.”
Shashanka Hassan Exercise Science India English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Japanese “Diversity is one of the many important things I think a country should have. Diversity gives us an opportunity to learn and experience new things making us get more out of life.”
Sierra McCullough Psychology New Castle English/Spanish “Diversity is a broad array of cultures accepted as one. We need diversity to understand the many ways of life.”
Sierra Spraker History/Education Baltimore, MD English, Spanish, German “Diversity to me is allowing different people or things to be intermingled. Diversity is not only by race, but all other characteristics.”
Siyeon An Communication S. Korea Korean, English “Something that’s not fully attained even in America.”
Soumayani Ghoshal Journalism/ Junior India. Visited Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland Hindi, Bengali, English “Diversity is an amalgamation of cultures, traditions, cuisines, values, and beliefs. It brings together people from different races, ethnicities, and cultures and portrays unity in differences.”
Sueng a Park Fine Art Seoul, S. Korea English, Korean “People have different cultures, which is they use different languages and lifestyles. It’s a little hard to understand but it is really interesting.”
Sydney Steven Biochemistry Pittsburgh English “Diversity is the variety in a group, it may be people or objects. It is what makes people unique and who they are.”
Sylvia Shipp Student Advisor/ ESL Lecturer Lived in 40-45 different places (20 cities) in the U.S and 2 countries overseas. Visited 40 cities abroad. English, Spanish, German, Arabic “Inclusion of many different groups with regard to race, religion, gender sexual orientation, socio-economic level, etc.”

 

Tae Matsuo ELP Japan Japanese and English “It means that everyone can communicate with others who have different personality (like religion, language, race) without bias and discrimination, with full of respect and smile :).”
Tarah Dunn ELP Lecturer Pittsburgh. Been to France, Italy, Spain, and Japan English, ASL, French “Diversity is infinite light that radiates a warmth to be felt each day.”
Trevor MacKenzie Mathematics Lancaster, PA English, German “Diversity is including people from various backgrounds and opinions. It’s about hearing multiple viewpoints and making sure no one is removed based on their character or characteristics.”
Victoria Vernail Biology Virginia English “Diversity means being surrounded by people that think differently and see the world in a different light. It is the ability to look at a situation from another perspective and share a multitude of ideas.”
Yazeed Feizo American Flights Academy I grew up in Saudi Arabia and I visited the United States. Arabic, English “Improvement and knowledge of languages”

 

Yeongbin Byeon Visual Arts S. Korea Korean, English Diversity means understand different cultures.”
Yue Gao ELP China Chinese, English “Good thing is we can learn a lot of culture, but sometimes I’m in the culture shock.”
Yundian Ying ELP China Chinese, English “Different kinds of experiences, backgrounds. I love to know lots of people who have various thoughts. That’s really broaden my horizon.”
Yuri Morii English Literature Japan Japanese, English “It is given us some ways of thinking.”
Yuri Mukai Linguistics/ Chatham Semester Japan Japanese, English “Diversity is the idea that various races and genders should be included and play an active part in a social community.”
Zauyah Waite Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Office of Student Affairs Lived in Alor Setar-Kedah; Petaling Jaya-Selangor; Malaysia; Kansas City-Missouri; Kansas City-Kansas; Toledo-Ohio; Pittsburgh-Pennsylvania Malay and English “For me, diversity means welcoming, including and respecting everyone particularly when they are not like me or have a different set of values than me.”

 

 

A Stranger in India

By Alina Volper, ELP Lecturer

As an American, I forget what it is like to be a complete foreigner and stranger in another country. The experience of feeling like a complete outsider occurred for the first time when I visited India in 2012 and 2015.

I went to India because my husband is from there and I wanted to visit his family and his country. While his family was extremely welcoming and embracing, I felt like an alien specimen in the country itself. People were constantly staring, pointing, and asking to take pictures with me and of me. I sensed that I was under a microscope and being examined and studied everywhere I went. This was a very difficult feeling that I had not experienced in any other nation. In addition, India is a country that overwhelms you with the sounds, smells, crowds, and colors that permeate every activity and interaction. While this was eye-opening and incredible, it was also a very exhausting experience. I had to learn to embrace being a stranger and subject of curiosity for people. Traveling to India has made me less self-conscious because I stopped wondering why people were gazing at me and began to ignore the looks as much as I could.  I started to enjoy the nonstop sensory overload that one can experience in this perplexing, bright, overpowering, and wondrous land.

If you are an international student at Chatham or an American thinking of studying abroad, I would advise you to embrace the experiences that you have, both positive and negative. It is normal to have a variety of occurrences when you are in a new place and the important aspect is not to let any undesirable experiences cast a shadow on the wonderful memories that you’ll surely have in the country. Don’t let any strange, bad, or unexpected situations ruin the amazing privilege and gift of studying abroad.