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Talk & Travel

By Oksana Moroz, intern and instructor at the ELP

new-lang

Summer is a traveling season. Students love to go to different countries on vacation. This is also a great time to learn a language using some common strategies.

No matter where you go in the world, you’re going to meet people who don’t speak your native language. An easy way to learn a new language to visit the country and immerse yourself in that world.

Step 1

Watch television in your hotel room, preferably with the subtitles turned on. Repeat the phrases as they’re spoken and learn what they mean by reading the subtitles. It’s also helpful to watch the news, as the reporters tend to speak more slowly, as well as commercials, since they’re easier to follow than television shows and movies.

Step 2

Listen to radio broadcasts playing local music. Even if you can’t understand the meanings behind the words, it exposes you to how words and phrases sound.

Step 3

Talk to locals using the words you know. Speak clearly, and explain at the beginning of your conversation that you speak only a small amount of the language. This prevents the other person from speaking too fast.

Step 4

Keep a dictionary with you. As soon as you come across a phrase or word you don’t understand, look it up and repeat it to yourself several times.

My Experience as a Swedish Exchange Student at Chatham University

By Delphine Mubiligi, Exchange Student at Chatham University

Before coming to Chatham University, I had no idea what to expect. I had no previous knowledge about the University, nor Pittsburgh. The few assumptions I had built throughout the years about college life in America, were all shaped by the way students were portrayed in Hollywood movies. Chatham have proved to be very different from the crazy-party-student-life-image presented by the movie industry. The campus might be a bit small and quiet, but it is cozy and filled with warm and friendly people. There are many fun and interesting activities that make getting to know other students easy.

Before coming to Chatham University, I had no idea what to expect. I had no previous knowledge about the University, nor Pittsburgh. The few assumptions I had built throughout the years about college life in America, were all shaped by the way students were portrayed in Hollywood movies. Chatham have proved to be very different from the crazy-party-student-life-image presented by the movie industry. The campus might be a bit small and quiet, but it is cozy and filled with warm and friendly people. There are many fun and interesting activities that make getting to know other students easy.

The students here at Chatham are very friendly, open-minded and willing to help other fellow students, when needed. The environment is very relaxed. Students can dress however they please and be themselves, without being judged. People respect each other and also the quiet hours. The fact that there are no big parties organised in the dorms makes it a good place to concentrate on the workload and making academic progress.

After spending nearly four months in USA, I have gained a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge. Studying abroad has enabled me to improve, not only my English skills, but also my problem-solving skills and cross-cultural communication skills. I have had the opportunity to interact and connect with American students and staff, as well as students from different parts of the world, which have enabled me to make this progress.

When talking to other exchanges students at Chatham University, I have come to realise that many of us share a common fear. This is not an all too serious fear, yet it raises concern amongst many international students. Many are concerned of returning to their countries of origin, not being the same people as they left. Many go through changes, often times positive changes, yet, they fear that it might take a while for some friends back home to get used these changes.

My experiences so far have been very positive. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to experience Chatham while it is still regarded as a female college. I have meet many inspiring young ladies here. I have also learned much about notable female academics and writers that have inspired and will continue to inspire women for generations to come. Although Chatham University will cease to be an all-female college, I strongly believe that it will remain a great place to advance academically and as an individual.

Saudi Students at Chatham University

By Samaher Shikh, ELP Graduate Assistant, Graduate Student in Biology

There is a decent number of Saudi students at Chatham University. The number of Saudi students has increased in the United States since the government scholarship opened in 2010. As Saudi students come from different cultures, they face many challenges. However, Saudi students at Chatham University are always together to help each other out. We share everything together and celebrate many Muslims celebrations together. Just recently, we celebrated Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha is the second biggest religious holiday celebrated by Muslims each year. We fast the previous day hoping for God to forgive us for all their last year’s sins. We sacrifice an animal such as a goat or sheep to honor the sacrifice of prophet Ibrahim of his son to follow God’s command. All families and relatives celebrate the Eid day by wearing new clothes, visiting each other, and giving money and candies as gifts to children. We end the day by having a big dinner together and staying up late up late to chat or watching TV. All in all, Saudi students at Chatham University are one family which we all proud to be part of.