Category Archives: Student experience

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.

 

 

Three Rivers Arts Festival

by Kylie Fletcher, OIA Student Worker

This summer I went to the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Downtown Pittsburgh. The festival took place June 1-10, which is the same time as Pride events. This year I did what I did last year, my first year living in Pittsburgh during the summer, and I went to both events. Pittsburgh Pride is an event that encourages LGBTQ+ individuals and people who support them to show their pride for the LGBTQ+ community. There’s always a march at the end of the week, with dancers, drummers, and regular people joining in.

Both the Arts Festival and Pittsburgh Pride are always crowded, especially during Sunday, the last day for both events. For the Three River Arts Festival, I go there once the crowds for the Pride events are too overwhelming for me. The two festivals are a street away from each other so going to both is no issue. I think the best part about the arts festival is the atmosphere. The Pride atmosphere is overwhelming after a few hours; it’s very loud and colorful. The arts festival is calm and relaxing. The Point is at the end of the Three Rivers Arts Festival as well, which isn’t often filled with people. Going to the Point after the long day of celebrating to take a rest is really pleasant. There’s enough people there to make the space feel inviting but not so much that it’s loud.

Art at the Three River Arts Festival is very mixed. There are a lot of different kinds of art made from different mediums. I think the most kind of art I saw were different household items and instruments made from wood around the entrance. Wooden cooking utensils and ceramic bowls and plates were rather abundant considering they made up about half of all the art. Vendors selling their paintings were mostly around all the food and the performers’ stage. I think the most interesting pieces I saw were paper cutting and record cutting.

At one small booth a man was selling different paper cuttings. He had some premade that he brought but if you wanted, he could commission a paper cutting. I heard from a friend when she went to the festival the day before me that he saw this woman who said it was her birthday and made her something for free. She had given birth recently and really quickly he made a paper cut out of a pregnant woman. When you moved the arms, a baby would come out of the figure. My friend said she didn’t notice any sort of glue or anything, so he made the entire piece with cutting and folding paper.

Another booth near the end of the festival had old records that had different figures or words cut out of them. The artist had heated a knife and used a hot knife to score where he wanted to cut into the record. While the material was still pliable, he used an x-acto knife to cut out pieces from the record. The process was probably rather tedious, since the material of the record probably cools pretty quickly. Most of what the artist was selling was preexisting popular logos and figures that would sell better than original artwork. There were portraits of famous people, mostly old rock stars, and logos of old rock bands cut from the records. I think his idea would be really cool for original artwork.

The way that a design would have to be made reminds me of art I made in a printmaking course I took. For wood block printing, the design you make has to be simple, since you can’t easily create tones between the color of the paper and the color of the ink. For the record cutting, you can’t create tones between the shapes because you have to create the design from negative space, the space cut from the record.

Umbrella project, Three Rivers Arts Festival 2017

The different public art pieces at the festival are interesting along with the art being sold. Last year there was a display of dozens of different colored umbrellas at the entrance of the festival. This year the umbrellas were taken down and the main walkway had signs the encouraged breastfeeding in public. The signs showed historical paintings with speech bubbles drawn by the people’s faces that said “Wow isn’t this a great place for breastfeeding?”.  I’m not sure if the water’s dyed or it’s painted on the inside, but there’s a really beautiful fountain with the bluest water I’ve ever seen.

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

Overcoming Fears of Studying Abroad and Widening Outlooks of the World

By Karun Lelahuta, ELP Graduate, Chatham Graduate Student

Karun and friends – Academic Communication class

Karun wrote a speech to celebrate the his graduation from the English Language Program at Chatham University. He shares that studying abroad has helped him to widen his outlooks of the world, grow up and stand on his own, and love to make mistakes because that’s how he learns new things.

After studying at Chatham University for 9 months, I have gained much experience that guides me to become a person who I want to be.

Before I talk about the challenges I face during my study abroad experience, I want to tell you about my background. I was an unconfident person who tried to avoid groups of people. In daily life I used to be alone rather than hang around with my friends. My parents were concerned about me that I might have trouble when I grew up because I would have to work with many people. After I graduated from university in Thailand, they decided to send me to study abroad. My parents said to me, “You have to regain your English language skills” and they took me the United States. I can still remember how much I resisted to coming to the U.S. I thought to myself so many times day by day about why they wanted me to go to the U.S. just because of English. Finally, when they said to me that I could come back after 6 months, I agreed with them and came here to Pittsburgh.

Life in the United States was not as easy as I had thought. The first day I arrived in Chicago I had a horrible experience. I missed my flight to Pittsburgh, not because I was lost or I did not have enough time to transfer to another flight, but because of the TSA staff. She was very upset and shouted every minute, and she did her work very slowly, so I was stuck there for more than two hours and missed my flight. At that moment, I was so frustrated. I said to my mother who came along with me that I hated the United States. However, after that experience things got better. I tried to communicate with other students. At first, it was very hard to step out of my comfort zone. I was scared to make mistakes. I feared to communicate because my English was weak. I was afraid that I would lose my Japanese. However, I did not have any friend who can speak Thai, so it forced me to focus on my English. I am no longer afraid to face many challenges. I found Japanese friends. I overcame my fears.

I always think about the reasons why I came to the United States. Improving the second language is part of studying abroad. I think it helps me to learn other cultures and different ways of thinking. It helps me to have a wider outlook of the world after I have met so many people around the world. It helps me grow up and stand on my own because my family or my friends who always support me are not here, so I have to do everything by myself. It helps me love to make mistakes because I can learn new things. So, I always remember what my parents said to me “be brave and keep learning. You already have a chance to improve yourselves. Do not let it go.”

Don’t let your life drift away. Don’t let your emotions like fear control you – you have to control them. Don’t judge other people because you will learn something from them. Don’t fear to make mistakes. Don’t lose your hope because it will make you stronger. Step out of your cover and your will enjoy your new life.

I cannot say I already achieve all of my goals of studying abroad. I still have to learn many things to improve myself. However, I think to myself that I would not be a person who I am right now if my parents had never let me study aboard, and I  would not be joyful if I had never met my friends here. So I want to thank you to everyone who always supports me. Thank you.

Making the Best of What you Have

By Aristote Kipayko, ELP Graduate, Chatham Undergraduate Student

Asked to write a commencement speech to students graduating from the English Language Program, Aris writes, “We had better start looking at the light to see where we are going.” He urges the students to make the best of what they have now to have a great future.

About Aris: My name is Aristote Kipayko. I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I plan to graduate with a double major in Economics and Management Information System at Chatham University, class of 2021. I chose to get into business because I believe that everything nowadays is related to business and money. I am interested to know the real use of money and the different impacts it can have on any individual.

Aris’s speech:

I’m pleased to be with you at this time today for your commencement to a new step in your journey. Most of you have gone through a lot in order to be here with us. It may look easy, but only you can know the pain and suffering you have encountered.

I assume that many of you had the same problem as me when arriving in Pittsburgh and trying to settle. For me, the Pittsburgh weather was the first challenge I faced. It could get so cold in a day just as it could get so warm as well. I come from Africa and most of you might know or heard that it is usually way warmer in Africa in comparison to America. Adapting to the cold weather in Pittsburgh was really hard.  Determination and desire to learn more were the keys to help me overcome that challenge. It helped me to stay strong and stay focused in class.

Apart from the weather, food in America was also a big challenge. I was surprised that the quality of the food here would be so bad. I felt that I had led myself into a dark journey. I realized that I was eating more organic food back to my country, and it took me about two months to get used to the food here. In order to move forward, I had to make it a small deal and move on. Just like Ron Shayka said, “When all you see are shadows, you never see light.” We had better start looking at the light to see where we are going.

Once again, I want to congratulate all of you for your achievements. We still all have a lot to achieve, but this is also a big step. Just like Steve Jobs said, “Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish.” Nothing is more important than always want to learn more. Success is a fruit from hard work and dedication. The future is in our hands. John Schaar wrote that “The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made.” Therefore, you have to make the best of what you have now to have a great future.

The Best Environment for Learning and Growth

By Issareeyaporn (Wi) Praisuwanna, Chatham Undergradaute Student, International Student Ambassador

Email: Issareeyaporn.Prais@Chatham.edu

I’m Wi. I am a transfer international student from Olympic College in Washington State. All of my credits were able to transfer to the business program at Chatham University. I love Chatham University and Pittsburgh❤❤❤. The reason is that Chatham University provides me with a suitable program, small classes, friendly professors, nice friends with great diversity, but not too many international students, the best location, and the best environment for learning and growth.

– สวัสดีทุกคน

เราชื่อ วิ นะ เราเป็นเป็นนักเรียนต่างชาติมาจากประเทศไทยจ้า เราโอนหน่วยกิจมาจากวิทยาลัยแห่งหนึ่งในรัฐวอชิงตันนะ หน่วยกิจทั้งหมดของเราสามารถโอนมาใช้ในคณะบริหารของมหาลัย Chatham ได้ เราอยากบอกทุกคนว่า เราชอบมหาลัย Chatham และ เมือง Pittsburgh มากกกกกกกกกก เพราะนักศึกษาต่อห้องน้อย มีโปรแกรมที่เราอยากเรียน เจอเพื่อนจากหลายเชื้อชาติ แต่ก็ไม่ได้มีนักเรียนต่างชาติเยอะจนเกินไป มหาลัยตั้งอยู่ในที่ๆไม่วุ่นวาย แต่ก็ไม่ห่างจากที่ซื้อของมากจนเกินไป นอกจากนี้มหาลัยก็มีบรรยากาศที่ดี

Begin Your Study Abroad Journey with Chatham English Language Program

By Duyen Nguyen, Former ELP Student

Choosing Chatham English Language Program to begin my “Study Abroad” journey was the best decision in my life.

Going Apes in North Park

Xin chào,

Mình là Duyên Nguyễn, sinh viên của chương trình English Language Program khóa mùa xuân và mùa hè năm 2017 tại Chatham University.

Đối với mình được đi du học là một cơ hội rất lớn mà chính bản thân mình cũng không ngờ tới, nhưng lựa chọn Chatham University là trường để bắt đầu cuộc hành trình mang tên “Du Học” thì đây chính là quyết định đúng đắn nhất của cuộc đời mình.

Nếu để diễn tả Chatham University trong ba cụm từ, mình sẽ nói: khuôn viên tuyệt đẹp, giáo viên tuyệt vời, và chương trình học cực kì linh hoạt. Chatham University là một môi trường hoàn hảo để tập trung vào việc học, nhưng không những thế Chatham cũng có những hoạt động ngoại khóa để sinh viên khám phá vẻ đẹp của Pittsburgh. Có lẽ rất nhiều người sẽ nghĩ rằng chương trình Tiếng Anh thì khá là khô khan. Nhưng giáo viên và các hoạt động tại Chatham sẽ khiến mọi người có cách nhìn khác về những khóa học Tiếng Anh. Nhờ những chương trình học linh hoạt, học Tiếng Anh sẽ không đơn giản chỉ học về những ngữ pháp, từ vựng hay lý thuyết, mà giáo viên tại Chatham sẽ khiến các bài giảng trở nên thú vị hơn bằng những bài học về văn hóa nước Mỹ, những cuộc thảo luận sôi nổi đầy tiếng cười, và cả những bộ phim.

Trong suốt hai khóa học ở Chatham, mình có thể nói rằng đó là khoảng thời gian không thể nào quên được.

For more information: email internationalaffairs@chatham.edu or call (1)412-365-1388.  Visit our website at www.chatham.edu/elp.

Escape from Weekday Blues

By Chika Kitaghishi, Chatham Semester Exchange Student

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

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