Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Vietnam Trip: A Professional and Personal Reflection

Vietnam ranks number 6 in sending students to the U.S. after China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada (IIE Open Doors).

Places of Origin among International Students to the U.S.

Although I had been to Vietnam to promote Chatham as an add-on to my family visits or conference attendance, this trip (Feb 28 – March 9) was my first time going back mainly to recruit students and meet with potential partners. During the trip, I visited 11 high schools, participated in two Study in the USA fairs, gave over 5 presentations, and met many students, parents, colleagues, and agents. On the first day, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many attendees at my presentation on the Secrets to Studying English at the U.S. embassy.

Presentation at EducationUSA, US Embassy in Hanoi

I later gave the same presentation to students from Foreign Trade University (FTU) after an invitation from Ms. Hanh Mai, an English lecturer at FTU. I was pleased to see students’ continued hunger for knowledge and the admiration for the U.S. as a country of “freedom and democracy” (students’ words). Sadly, students and advisors have reported greater difficulty in getting U.S. student visas, especially visas to study English.

Presentation at FTU

Apart from presenting to students, I presented the text-based and task-based approaches to English language materials development to instructors at the University of Languages and International Studies (ULIS), Vietnam National University (VNU), my alma mater. I argued for more teacher-developed materials, instead of global English Language Teaching (ELT) course books, that address local topics and issues which are more personally relevant and potentially more engaging to learners. Global ELT course books are developed for a wide audience, and the topics may be too sanitized, bland, and distant for students to relate to.

Presentation at ULIS-VNU

Among the presentations, the most memorable one was on careers in Data Analytics and Management Information Systems, in Vietnamese, to over 350 students from FPT High School. Although Vietnamese is my first language, my professional life has been in English, so presenting this information in Vietnamese was not an easy task. The students were highly energetic, boisterous at times, and mostly adorable. After the presentation, I had a nice conversation with Ms. Hien Phung, Head of the Counseling Office at FPT High School, about working together to create programs benefiting students from both institutions. She shared with me FPT’s low-cost summer study tours for international students, which I shared with my Pittsburgh contacts. She was also interested in short-term summer camps at Chatham for her students. Short-term programs are gaining popularity in Vietnam, but are often time-consuming to develop and run, so it has not been decided whether Chatham is going to pursue these opportunities.

Presentation to FPT High School Students

Another outcome from the trip is the potential to collaborate with Vietnam National University – International School (VNU-IS) on initiatives that encourage student mobility and exchange of ideas and expertise between the two institutions. The two universities are currently in talks to sign a general MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) before starting specific programs, including a 3+1 program, which allows seniors from VNU-IS to transfer to Chatham and study for one year in order to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from Chatham.

Meeting with VNU-IS

Overall, my trip, albeit exhausting, was productive and enjoyable. For part of my trip, I traveled with a group of over 25 very interesting recruiters. Over wine and cocktails, we had somewhat heated conversations about politics, guns, and even religion. I also got to see my family and friends.

A Lunch Gathering with Friends and Colleagues

Every time I go back to Vietnam, I see many changes (e.g., infrastructure, commodities, and services) and also unchanged facets of life and culture (e.g., family structure and relationships, expectations for men and women, and how children are raised). With each realization, my respect for differences and local and situated knowledge increases. So does my awareness of the need for social progress and action for change everywhere.

International Ambassador Scholarships for Vietnamese Students

Hoc Bong Tieng Anh cho Sinh Vien Viet Nam

International End-of-Term Celebration, Spring 2017

Chương trình Tiếng Anh tại Trường Đại Học Chatham sẽ cấp SÁU học bổng bán phần cho học viên Việt Nam vào học kì mùa hè 2018. Với học bổng này, học phí chỉ còn $2817 cho 12 tuần học Tiếng Anh (240 tiếng học trong lớp và nhiều hoạt động ngoại khóa).  Ngoài học bổng cho học viên Tiếng Anh, trường cấp học bổng từ $3000 đến $16,000 đến toàn phần cho sinh viên học đại học. Sinh viên đã nộp đơn xin học có thể được nhận thêm $1000 đến $3000 một năm nếu tham gia phỏng vấn. Tiến sỹ Linh Phùng, giám đốc chương trình Tiếng Anh của trường sẽ về Việt Nam công tác vào ngày 28/3 đến ngày 8/3. Học viên quan tâm có thể hẹn phỏng vấn bằng cách email lphung@chatham.edu.

International Student Ambassador Scholarships

English Language Program

Chatham University

The English Language Program at Chatham University is excited to announce SIX International Student Ambassador Scholarships for Vietnamese students to study English in summer 2018. The scholarships will be given to both conditionally admitted students and students who want to study English at Chatham.

Chatham University is a private university in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, with over 2,200 students and over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs. In an effort to recognize academic excellence, we award generous scholarships to deserving incoming full-time students. Scholarships for qualified undergraduate international students range from $6,000 to $16,000 to full tuition annually. Qualified students who participate in Scholarship Interview Days may receive up to an additional $3,000 annually. Dr. Linh Phung, Director of English Language and Pathways Programs at Chatham, will be in Vietnam between February 28 and March 8. Applicants to an undergraduate degree program at Chatham may participate in an interview with her during that time.

Students, who do not yet meet the English language proficiency requirements (TOEFL 79 or IELTS 6.5), may apply for conditional admission. Conditionally admitted students will study in the English Language Program. After they successfully complete the Advanced level in the English Language Program, they will start their degree program without having to take the TOEFL or IELTS test.

English Language Program and Scholarship Information:

Program dates: May 18 – August 7

Pr

ogram of study: 18-20 hours of English instruction a week for 12 weeks

Number of scholarships: 6

Amount of scholarship: $2,575 (50% of tuition for a semester)

Duration of scholarship: One summer term

 

Requirements:

Three scholarships will be given to High Intermediate students (TOEFL 60, IELTS 5.5, Duolingo 65). Three scholarships will be given to Advanced students (TOEFL 72, IELTS 6.0, Duolingo 75). Scholarship recipients are expected to serve as international ambassadors for Chatham University by assisting with recruitment efforts and participating in cultural activities. Applicants will need to submit:

  1. An online application
  2. A copy of the passport
  3. A financial document
  4. Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo)
  5. Transcripts of all previous degrees
  6. A proposal of activities to promote Chatham University and the English Language Program to their connections in Vietnam

 

Note 1: Students will be responsible for $2,575 in tuition and $242 in fees as well as their living

expenses.

Note 2: Students who want conditional admission to a degree program at Chatham University

must submit a separate application by contacting the Admission Office

(ChathamAdmissions@chatham.edu). If you need to apply for a visa, the deadline for Fall 2018 undergraduate and graduate admission is July 1.

 

Application Process:

  • Apply to the ELP by going to chatham.edu/elp and click on “How to Apply”
  • Application deadline to the English Language Program: March 15

 

Contact:

Office of International Affairs

Chatham University

1 Woodland Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15232

USA

Phone: (1)412-365-1388

Email: internationalaffairs@chatham.edu

Website: www.chatham.edu/elp

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChathamOIA/

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.”

 

 

Become an International Student Ambassador

International Student Ambassadors, Spring 2017

The goal of International Student Ambassador Program is to promote the English Language Program and Chatham University to the world. Volunteers are committed to spending at least 8 hours a semester on different activities.

The activities you can do include:

  1. sending email about Chatham to your friends and family
  2. posting information about the ELP and Chatham on social media
  3. promoting the ELP Referral Program
  4. sharing pictures to be posted on the OIA’s Facebook page
  5. writing for the International Affairs blog
  6. meeting at least once a month to develop other ideas to promote the ELP and Chatham

The benefits to you include:

  1. opportunities to interact regularly with other students
  2. building your resume for future employment
  3. receiving money to organize events

In the spring 2017, 11 international student ambassadors created a wonderful video about Chatham. We also did many things together, including going to TEDxCMU.

Welcome and Welcome Back

August brought the end to the summer semester in the English Language Program and marked an exciting beginning of a new academic year for all. With a strong commitment to promoting global understanding, facilitating intercultural interactions, and creating opportunities for language learning, the Office of International Affairs is delighted to announce various programs for students and the Chatham community.

Some highlights include:

  1. A Conversation Partner Program: Apply for a conversation partner to practice your target language and exchange cultures.

2. Weekly International Conversation Hour on Thursdays: Come to Coolidge 037 to just talk and participate in communication tasks.

3. International Student Ambassador Program : Volunteer to be an international student ambassador. Email lphung@chatham.edu to volunteer.

4. Various field strips and events throughout the semester: Visit My Happenings for specific events.

5. International Student Success Series on Tuesdays : Email k.emory@chatham.eduf or more information.

6. Global Focus events throughout the year: Visit the Global Focus website.

7. Study abroad and international scholarships sessions: Email kchipman@chatham.edu for more information.

8. ELP Referral Program: Refer a student and receive a $50 gift card

We wish you a productive and meaningful semester and academic year! If you have questions or comments, please write to internationalaffairs@chatham.edu or visit us in the ground floor of Falk and Coolidge.

Speech for Equality: Feeling Happy Together with “Buraku” People

By Natsuki Sakagami, ELP Student

In our town, there are deep-rooted problems that have not resolved for a long time. In our town, there are people called “Buraku” that refers to the people who lived in a small area of the town. In our town, there are people who got a raw deal in spite of living in the same town. Why do people discriminate against them? Why can’t we treat them without discrimination?

Let me explain the history of the “Buraku” people.

A long time ago, Japan had the class system to separate people who handle the dead body of people and animals from samurai and common people. In that period, the death and the blood were perceived as dirty, so the “Buraku” people were also perceived as dirty. And unfortunately it had not changed for a long time. This is so wrong. Because they’re just like us, aren’t they?

In Meiji period, however, Japanese government abolished that system to get rid of our disparity, to unify our rank and to treat us equally. After many, many years, finally they are perceived as equal according to the law. Already 150 years have passed since the crass system was abolished. Already 150 years have passed since we should have treated them equally. And yet, even now, why do we treat them as before? Why can’t we stand in the same place? Why can’t we think of them as the same residents? Why do we have prejudice for them? “Do you want to change our future?”

I believe that people who can resolve our problem are only us. I believe that people who can change our future are also only us. I have a lot of dreams which would be enough. For now, I want to fulfil my dream with us. I want you to have same dreams with me. And then we can take our problem away. Our children will spend time together without thinking about the difference. We can go back and forth in our town without thinking about the difference. For now, let’s step into a new place where all people can feel happy together.

Speech for Equality: Let’s Begin to Walk a Road of Gender Equality

By Nagisa Fujimoto, ELP Student

Dear fellow women citizens and those who want to overcome gender-based discrimination.

Last year, The World Economic Forum proclaimed that Japan was 111th out of 144 countries in The Global Gender Gap Index. The Global Gender Gap Index is an index designed to measure gender equality. I was shocked at the ranking because not only was it our home country but also a country with strong economic power.

I am a student now, so I feel less discrimination against women compared to working women or married women. However, in 3 years I will go into the workforce, and I will probably face some detrimental treatment based on gender. If you are a student like me, you really need to know that even today a lot of women continue to fight for equality. If you are working, you need to think again whether your workplace does actualize equality of women and men. If you are a homemaker, you need to reimagine if you are sharing the housework equally with your husband.

Before I talk about the issue in Japan, I’d like to ask you some questions. Do you have stereotypes toward women or men? Or have you ever felt that stereotypes are obstacles in your life? As a typical example, women should be quieter and submissive, or women should cook and do homemaking. On the other hand, men should not shed tears and should be assertive or don’t have to do homemaking and raise their children. These kinds of stereotypes make it harder for us women to work, or they sometimes make us uncomfortable in our daily life. But also, some men feel stressed about stereotypes toward them. We women tend to expect men to be strong or be good at math, but again those are stereotypes.

In Japan, pay gaps between men and women are widening, and it would be difficult for women to return to their workplace when they got married or delivered a baby. The Japanese government is struggling to fix these problems, but the gap still does not close.

Another remarkable thing is the low representation of women in politics. According to a survey, the proportion of women politicians in global average is about 22 percent while the one in Japan is about 8 percent. I wonder when the first female prime minister will be elected in Japan.

We need to think not only about the workplace issues, but also domestic ones. In Japan, a division of labor by gender is still strongly rooted; men work outside and women work inside. This idea is also a stereotype, but it is not rational and fair for both women and men. It is sad that we are assumed what we must do by our gender.

I hope that women keep seeking gender equality and do not abandon the hope for it. Gender equality means that we have a right to be provided various opportunities in life regardless of our gender and we should be able to achieve opportunities for self-realization.

Let us aspire to be whatever we want to be. We can be a doctor, a politician, a scientist, police officer, and a lawyer. Let us speak out if our boss runs over us because we are a woman. Let us say to our husband to become more active in caring for our children. Some women strike a balance between child raising and work, but it is mentally and physically demanding and they often need the assistance of their husband. Let us ask our husbands to cook or make our children’s lunches. No rules exist that the mother or wife must prepare meals. And let’s try to view ourselves as human beings, not only as women or men. Let’s break free from an island of gender segregation and begin to walk a road of gender equality.

Speech for Equality: Going Hand in Hand Together with People Living with HIV

By Rumi Horibe, ELP Student

Do you know what day December 1st is? It is “World AIDS Day.” And it is an international day for people in the world to commemorate people who died with AIDS and support people living with HIV. Wearing a Red ribbon means you have no bias about HIV and AIDS.

By the way, how much knowledge do you have about HIV? Some people may have the following prejudices:

It infects with a handshake and a conversation with people having HIV. It infects when you enter the same bath or pool with HIV people. It infects when you use the same daily necessities as them such as toilet, dishes, and towels. It infects by getting bit by a mosquito that sucked their blood.

All of these are wrong. There are only three infection routes of HIV: sexual contact, blood infection, and mother-to-child transmission. So, what I want to point out is “HIV does not infect by contact in daily life”. Even if someone is infected with HIV, early detection and early treatment make it possible to suppress the onset of AIDS.

However, many people living with HIV in the world still have been discriminated against because of the incorrect knowledge at work, in school, and in the community. Some people are scared of infected people and are looking at them with contempt.

In fact, the place with most discrimination against HIV are medical and welfare places. In Japan, a case which a dental clinic in Kochi prefecture refused treatment for HIV-positive people was widely reported in 2014. Surprisingly, according to the data from 50 countries, it shows that one in eight people living with HIV have been denied healthcare in the hospital. People with HIV have been biased not only by ordinary people but also by medical personnel.

Moreover, it is thought that the socially vulnerable including black people, gay, transgender, drug users, and sex workers are the main infected persons. Some people seem to regard HIV as the result of evil and corrupt life. In 2013 in Japan, a man who had been doing job hunting honestly confirmed that “I had HIV” in an interview because he was worried that other people might be infected through injuries. Then, the person in charge of the interview asked mercilessly, “Why did you get HIV?”, “Are you a gay person?” No matter how many times he explained “if I continue to drink medicine, AIDS will be suppressed”, he could not get an understanding. “I felt frustrated and I never forgot that cold gaze.”, he said.

In this way, many HIV people have been taken away from human rights due to wrong knowledge and prejudice. They are suffering not only physical pain, but also mentally.

Do you know these facts?  Let’s help people with HIV together.

Everyone has equal rights to live freely and humanly. Everyone has an equal right to take the same treatment in the hospital and get a job. I want to insist again, “HIV has never infected by contact in daily life.” Let’s spread correct knowledge about HIV and fight against biases of HIV.

Also, let’s not forget the date of December 1st. It’s time to unite together with wearing a Red ribbon. It’s time to give a hand to people with HIV and help them from mountains of despair.

I hope December 1st will be a more important day for us to consider HIV and AIDS. With a Red ribbon, I think we will be able to go hand in hand together with people living with HIV.

Diverse Voices: An Interview with ELP Students

By Sarah Bangley, Chatham Undergraduate Student, ELP Intern

ELP Students, Summer 2016

Every year, students from around the world come to study at Chatham through the English Language Program. I recently sat down with students from Vietnam, Mali, Saudi Arabia, and India to discuss their experiences at Chatham.

We began our discussion with some of the differences between Chatham and their home school. The buildings on Chatham’s campus were a particular focus of comparison. A student who wished to remain anonymous said, “In Vietnam, we have to study in a small school. We don’t even have a student lounge. There are not as many buildings as here.” Hassana, from Mali, added, “Here, it is more developed than my school— for example, the computer and projector. In my home, it is just starting to be developed.” Bholika shared a larger-scale comparison of school systems: “In India, we have four year undergraduate programs and two year Master’s programs. Admission is based on 12-standard score— if we have a good score, we can go to a good university. But here, you can go to any school you want.”

I asked each of them about the issues they faced when speaking English. They expressed their own personal difficulties. The student from Vietnam told me, “When I want to talk with someone, but I will think in Vietnamese first.” Hassana encountered a similar issue: “[English] is kind of like French, but not really. I still pronounce some words like French.” For Bholika, English slang proved to be a hurdle, especially when she couldn’t find the meaning through Google. Abdullah, from Saudi Arabia, mentioned a class he took to help with that issue: “I went to Point Park and took an idiom class, and actually it’s helpful when people speak, like “piece of cake.” I didn’t understand idioms before.”

On the topic of idioms, two students provided me with sayings from their home countries. In Vietnam, they say: “Mot hon da trung hai con nhan,” which is similar to the English idiom “hit two birds with one stone.” Bholika told me, “One of the best idioms about mom is: ‘Ma te ma bija badha vagda na va.’ It means something like without mom you cannot do anything. Mom is the best character in your life.”

Although ELP students came here to study, they also find time to have fun. We talked about their favorite activities both on and off campus. All of them happily mentioned the field trips they took to visit some of Pittsburgh’s landmarks. Bholika in particular enjoyed museums. She said, “I like to visit museums, because I really want to know about your culture, and from museums, I can know something about your culture.” She recently visited the Andy Warhol museum. The student from Vietnam said she liked to go to the cinema for fun. “I watch cartoon movies— especially cartoon movies, like Meet the Robinsons, Finding Nemo, and Finding Dory.”

But for all the work ELP students put in, they still feel disconnected from Chatham’s community. Some only had friends within the English Language Program; others had brief encounters with other Chatham students. Hassana mentioned, “I haven’t had any trouble with the students. They are all friendly. Because I am from Africa, they are interested in my customs.” But Abdullah told me, “The other students don’t talk with me. I guess they don’t want to lose their time.” Part of this disconnect stems from the amount of time the ELP students spend here— the student from Vietnam had only spent three or four months at Chatham.

So what can we do as fellow Chatham students to include these lively, diverse voices in our community? Start small: take time to say hello to international students! Attend events hosted by International Affairs. Even better, become a conversation partner through ELP! In the brief time I spent chatting with these students, I brushed the surface of a vast pool of fascinating experiences just waiting to be shared. I hope future ELP students will have a chance to share their perspectives with the greater Chatham community.

TEDxCMU Brought Smiles, New Ideas, and Inspiration

TEDxCMU 2017: Abdullah Almalki, Xinran (Echo) Chen, Arief Zulkifli, Marina Razgarina, Katherine Ren, Oksana Moroz, and Linh Phung

On April 1, Linh Phung, Director of the English Language Program and Pittsburgh Pathways at Chatham University, and a group of international students and language instructors attended the TEDxCMU 2017 Conference at Carnegie Mellon University. The event was entirely organized by CMU students and featured inspiring talks about artificial intelligence, data science, photography, design, and even water bottle flipping. The audience also enjoyed music and dance performances.

Michael Senatore, whose video of him flipping a water bottle, went viral. He told the story of his viral fame and his decision afterwards.

The students and faculty from Chatham walked away from the conference with broad smiles, new ideas, and inspiration. Abdullah Almalki, ELP Student, said, “I’m so inspired by them as the speeches opened many ideas and stimulated my thinking.” Abdullah was fascinated by the liveliness of the talks and found them similar to the recorded TED talks he studied in the High Intermediate Listening/Speaking class in the English Language Program.

Group selfie before the event

Marina Razgarina, ELP Lecturer, especially enjoyed talks where people spoke about their personal experiences and emotions. She thought these talks, when used in the classroom, were “more likely to “grab” students’ attention” and increase their engagement in classroom activities.

Oksana Moroz, ELP Lecturer, enjoyed the humor in many of the talks. She also thought about how to use technologies purposefully to maintain happiness amidst myriad distractions in this digital era and how to embrace both arts and sciences in her daily life. With positive experiences, everyone said they would like to go to more TED events in the future.