Category Archives: Student experience

Meet the Study Abroad Ambassadors 2022-2023: Vickey

Meet Chatham’s Study Abroad Ambassadors for 2022-2023. These students are study abroad returnees who are available to answer questions and share their experience with interested students!

Vickey Kim

Program: Taiwan, summer 2022


“Going abroad to Taiwan for the summer was amazing, easily one of the most unforgettable experiences I have had in a long time. Due to Covid-19, the process of getting the Visa and having to quarantine once arrived in Taiwan required a lot of patience from the students, but mostly for the people who had organized the program. Despite the constant challenges, our program coordinator- Robin provided great support that made the whole process easy and bearable. Although we had to quarantine for two weeks, my experience of quarantining wasn’t actually excruciating as I expected because the Fulbright program had orientations throughout the week with mentors who taught us the culture, history and the norm of Taiwan. We learned how to play Mahjong during our quarantine and we were all able to connect with our cultural buddies the program had paired us with.

Next, I will discuss my school experience I had in Taiwan. I think being in a school setting was one of the times where I experienced the most cultural difference between the West and the East. As an Asian, when I arrived in the United States, I had to learn to speak up for myself and speak up when I had thought to share. Of course living in the United States for almost eight years, I adapted to the new culture, but when I arrived in Taiwan and attended the school, I realized I had to take myself back to eight years ago-to when I didn’t really share my thoughts unless my name was called or else I was seen as the American that just talked and talked in class. I quickly readjusted to the new cultural norm in Taiwan class because I was familiar with the setting, but if you are someone who has never lived or has no experience in Asian countries, I recommend keeping this in mind. Also keep in mind that just because someone doesn’t freely speak up like in America, doesn’t mean they are dumb and have nothing to say. So, don’t look down on their intelligence or sum up their personality.

Lastly, I’ve attached a few of the images from the trip in Taiwan and three of the pictures are from the optional excursion I participated in after the summer program had ended. If you are someone who is planning to go to Taiwan for the summer, I strongly recommend participating in the five day excursion because you get to go around and see so much more things than the weekend excursion during the program. Not only that, you get to bond deeper with people that you’ve already met and get to experience the authentic Taiwan. As you can see in the first image, it is a Starbucks, but Starbucks inside a container and that container has traveled through London, South Korea and many more countries and I thought it was super cool that the store was built Inside the CONTAINER! In the second image, it’s a beach, but it was really awesome because we had to climb up the rocky hill, but as it dropped, you got to experience this beach that was breathtaking and the fresh air in hot, humid Taiwan. The third image is at one of the oldest temples in Taiwan and this was during a weekend excursion. One of the most fun experiences I had during the five day excursion was on a Go-cart! It was so fun because we went early in the morning and nobody was around except us in the program. Got some fresh air and a few things probably went inside my eyes, but it was an unforgettable experience!

If you are afraid to go abroad because of financial reasons, there are plenty of options that provide financial aid for you. Don’t limit yourself because of money. It might take you more leg work compared to people who come from money, but please don’t let that stop you from having amazing experiences abroad!

Go Abroad and Live Your Life! Enjoy New Things and Go Out of Your Comfort Zone!!!”

Students can reach out to Vickey via email at:

Meet the Study Abroad Ambassadors 2022-2023: Noelle

Meet Chatham’s Study Abroad Ambassadors for 2022-2023. These students are study abroad returnees who are available to answer questions and share their experience with interested students!

Noelle Dagdagan

Program: Japan, summer 2022

“In the first photo, I am wearing a yukata (浴衣), which is a type of traditional Japanese clothing worn in the summer. Due to the intense summer heat of Japan, the yukata is more common to wear than kimono because it does not have as many layers. I really enjoyed the public transportation system in Japan because it was so easy to get around the city of Kyoto and to other prefectures. Many times, after class, I was able to go sight-seeing around Kyoto and experience the culture.

My most memorable post-class adventure was traveling to Lake Biwa (琵琶湖). It is the largest freshwater lake in Japan and is located in Shiga prefecture. A swim in the lake was just what we needed when it was over 100°F! The second picture was taken on our walk back to the train station after enjoying an afternoon in the water.”

Students can reach out to Noelle via email at:

Meet the Study Abroad Ambassadors 2022-2023: Size

Meet Chatham’s Study Abroad Ambassadors for 2022-2023. These students are study abroad returnees who are available to answer questions and share their experience with interested students!

Size Li

Program: Japan, summer 2022

“Woodblock printing and papermaking are the main learning objectives of my Japan study abroad program. One exhibits a Japanese woodblock master showing us the process of woodblock painting; another is the factory where we learn traditional Japanese papermaking.”

Students can reach out to Size via email at:

Global Focus Costa Rica: Costa Rican Murals

On November 10, the Office of International Affairs and Global Focus Costa Rica hosted 15 students for an afternoon of Costa Rican mural-inspired painting. Check out their colorful artwork!

Student Caitlin Augustine, as part of her Spanish LNG 162 course wrote the following reflection.

En el evento, mis compañeros y yo pintamos un mural de Costa Rica en un pequeño lienzo. Usamos muchos colores brillantes para representar una similitud con los murales que se encuentran en Costa Rica. Bebimos sidra de manzana y comimos bolitas de coco. Las bolitas estaban deliciosas. Son galletas con coco y galletas saladas. No soy buena dibujando, así que Natalie me ayudó a dibujar algunas frutas en mi lienzo. Usé colores brillantes para que se pareciera al mural. Mis compañeros de clase hablaron sobre a dónde queremos viajar y cómo son las clases. ¡El evento fue muy divertido!


For more Global Focus Costa Rica information and to learn about upcoming events, please see  and contact the Office of International Affairs at with any questions.

International Education Week (IEW) 2021

Join Chatham University and the US Department of State/US Department of Education for International Education Week (IEW) 2021 as we celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide! The theme of the week at Chatham University is Engaged Resilient Global. 

Events for this week include:

Monday, November 15, 5:00 PM

Join Chatham’s Vira I Heinz (VIH) Scholarship Program 2021 cohort for the Finding Resilience Roundtable. This presentation focuses on a discussion regarding finding resilience and motivation in unprecedented events and lost opportunity. Community resources based around arts, crafts, and mental health will be shared! Join via Zoom at

Tuesday, November 16

Connect with an international student today! Did you know that students from 29 different countries are studying at Chatham this semester?  The top five countries are Canada, Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and China.  All of our international students have so much to share and can broaden your perspectives. Please take the time to say hello and see what you can learn today.

Wednesday, November 17

Explore the international opportunities available to Chatham students. Chatham students can participate in a variety of programs, ranging from Chatham field experiences of just a few weeks to summer internships and study abroad to exchange and partner semesters and even a full academic year abroad! Learn more at .  Financial support and scholarship opportunities are also available.

Thursday, November 18, 3:00 PM-5:00 PM

Support your classmates at Chatham’s IEW Symposium, held in the Carriage House Main Lounge from 3:00 PM-5:00 PM.  Our student presenters will deliver Ted-style talks and make poster presentations on the theme of Engaged Resilient Global and the audience will vote on the best two presentations to be awarded gift card prizes.

Friday, November 19

Pittsburgh has so much to offer! Round out this year’s IEW by learning more about local, global organizations, including Global Links, GlobalPittsburgh, World Affairs Council, and many more.  Check out these organizations and more resources to see how you can engage locally at the below links:


We hope you enjoy IEW 2021.

Please email or stop by our offices in Falk Hall, lower level for more information.

Summer 2021 Internships Abroad: In-Person and Virtual Opportunities

Elena Woodworth interned in Panama during summer 2019.

All Chatham undergraduate students are required to complete an internship to graduate. Completing an internship abroad is a fantastic way for students to get practical experience in a field of interest as well as exposure to the international working world.

Internships abroad can be in person or virtual opportunities. In person opportunities are often completed in combination with study abroad coursework. Due to uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and travel safety, Chatham will announce in January 2021 if it will allow students to study abroad on traditional mobility programs for summer 2021.   Virtual opportunities are an alternative offering the opportunity to collaborate and work globally without travel.

Chatham undergraduate students may use their $1200 study abroad voucher toward any credit bearing international experience, including an in person or virtual international internship.  Students completing an International Studies Certificate may be eligible for an additional $1800 toward study or internship abroad.

To receive academic credit for your internship, you must complete two documents – 1) a Learning Agreement through the Office of Career Development (please contact and 2) Chatham’s study abroad application (contact with any questions).

Check out this PULSE story detailing recent internship abroad experiences of three Chatham students.

The below list includes a sample of in-person internship opportunities (Chatham does not recommend students make nonrefundable deposits for summer 2021 in-person programs at this time):

AIFS International Internships

CEA Internships

CET Summer Internships -Middle East, Europe, Asia

CIEE Summer Global Internships – Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America

CIS Abroad Internships – Florence, Italy

Listed below are some virtual internship options

AIFS Virtual Internships

CEA Virtual Internships

CIEE Virtual Global Internship

CIS Abroad Virtual Internship

CET Virtual Global Internship

IES Virtual Internships

University of Nicosia, Cyprus – Summer VIP Internships

Questions about international opportunities or funding your experience abroad? We are happy to help! Please reach out to the Office of International Affairs,

Study Abroad Reflection: Jishnu Jayathilak, Spring 2020, Cyprus

Chatham student Jishnu Jayathilak (Communications, ’20) reflects on his spring 2020 study and internship abroad experience and its impact on his future plans.

For more information on study abroad opportunities available to Chatham students, see Education Abroad and reach out to with any questions.

Meet the Study Abroad Ambassadors 2020-2021: Hanna

Meet our Study Abroad Ambassadors for 2020-2021. These students are study abroad returnees who are available to answer questions and share their experience with interested students!

Hanna Theile

Major: Political Science

Program: Spain

“The classes that I took in Spain had a heavy focus on the European Union and foreign policy. It was so powerful to see how a different form of government worked and to be living there at the same time.
When I returned to the US, I began to speak more Spanish to the Latinx community in my hometown. Also, I felt that I really saw globally how the world was coming together from COVID-19. “

Students can reach out to Hanna via email at:

Meet the Study Abroad Ambassadors 2020-2021: Rachel

Meet our Study Abroad Ambassadors for 2020-2021. These students are study abroad returnees who are available to answer questions and share their experience with interested students!

Rachel Larson

Major: History major, Creative Writing minor

Program: South Korea

“All of the classes I took were regionally based, but that was from my own choosing. At Korea University, you register for classes right before the semester so that itself was an interesting experience. I took a language class and a history and culture course relevant to Korea, as well as other international affairs and history courses. Although I tailored mine to fit my major, there was a lot of variety in the classes available for international students.

I was lucky to be able to travel outside of the city I studied in, but even if I hadn’t there was always so much to do in Seoul! In a typical day, I would have one or two classes and in the time not spent studying with friends or in one of the many cafes, I would go out and explore the city! The most important thing I learned while studying abroad was to take chances and get comfortable going places by myself. South Korea was a great place to exercise my adventurous side since most places I traveled were easily accessible by train and affordable on a student budget.

Although I had been living away from my family for some time, my study abroad experiences definitely built up my independence. When living in another country across the world, the only person I had to rely on completely was myself. While this could be scary, it taught me to be more confident in my decisions and be more easy on my mistakes. In addition to learning a lot about Korean language, culture, and history, these lessons in independence were definitely worthwhile.

Students can reach out to Rachel via email at:

Meet the Study Abroad Ambassadors 2020-2021: Jay

Meet our Study Abroad Ambassadors for 2020-2021. These students are study abroad returnees who are available to answer questions and share their experience with interested students!

Jishnu Jayathilak (Jay)

Major: Communications with a concentration in Public Relations

Program: Cyprus

“I took classes closely related to my major such as Media Ethics & Law and Principles of Public Relations along with a work placement as a Public Relations Intern for a Sports Agency. The classes were typically larger in size when compared to Chatham and some professors had the habit of reverting to Greek when necessary for local students. All in all, professors were helpful and open to feedback even though classes were heavily focused on examinations rather than assignments and projects.

Already being an international student in the US, I felt that the experience abroad in Cyprus showed how American students are commonly percieved by Europeans. I learnt that my assimilation into American culture was not always the best thing in certain situations.”

Students can reach out to Jay via email at: or through instagram: jay_jish.