Thursday, January 29, 2015

GlobalPittsburgh Intern Vase Mitev Helps Welcome Delegation of Educators from Ukraine Learning About U.S. Higher Education

By Vase Mitev

On November 7, 2014, GlobalPittsburgh hosted five Ukrainian educators and one facilitator for a program titled "Higher Education (USETI)." They were interested in various aspects of testing and education measurement.

The Ukrainian delegation with
intern Vase Mitev (left rear).
Upon arriving in Pittsburgh, the visitors met with their host families. Maryna Viktorivna Nabok and Bohdan Bohdanovych Tomenchuk were hosted by Geoff Claus and Helene Weinraub. Oleksiy Yuriyovych Nestyvaylo and Oleksandr Yuriyovych Zinkovskyy were hosted by William Lenaghan for the weekend and by Yulia Bolotskikh-Bhonsle and Kunal Bhonsle for the remaining time. The facilitator Olena Ostapivna Kotsur was hosted by Ali and Ira Mabel.

On Saturday November 8, the host families drove them to the Schenley Plaza where they met with Gail Shrott and Caroline Tibbetts for a visit to the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. The visitors were impressed by this trip. They had lunch at the Waterfront shopping mall where they had an opportunity to shop at the stores at the Waterfront Mall. The entire group had dinner at Hokkaido Asian Buffet restaurant. The goal on Sunday November 9 was for the visitors to spend time with their host families and to learn more about the Pittsburgh community.

The group's first meeting on Monday November 10 was with Ken Service who is Vice Chancellor for Communications at the University of Pittsburgh. He provided the group with a discussion about the U.S. higher education system. They visitors were very involved and interested in this discussion and thought very highly of Mr. Service.

The time went fast but was also productive for the visitors. On Friday November 15, they had a discussion about placement testing at the Community College of Allegheny County provided by Larry Doparak and Bob Russo.

After this meeting, they had their closing lunch at the Bridges Restaurant at the Wyndham University Place with many of the people they met during the entire week. I was a part of this closing lunch. I saw how much the visitors enjoyed being a part of this program. They discussed the different experiences they had and how much they learned from Pittsburgh.

The visitors said that they were very engaged during their stay and appreciated their meetings arranged by GlobalPittsburgh. They also said that they gained different insights of how the U.S. higher education system works. They loved the people and enjoyed the food in Pittsburgh. All of the meetings were definitely interesting to the visitors, but most importantly, they said how successful and helpful this program was for them.

On Saturday November 15 they were driven back to the airport for their flight to Washington D.C.

(Vase Mitev is from Macedonia. He served as an intern at GlobalPittsburgh in the fall of 2014.) READ FULL ARTICLE

Experience at GlobalPittsburgh Helps Former Intern Colette Tano as English Teaching Assistant in France

By Colette Tano

Every morning I wake up to the sound of French high school students walking to class right outside my window. Talking, laughing, shouting, their voices are my alarm clock and, while it might not be the most peaceful way to wake up and start the day, it is a sound that reminds me of how grateful and excited I am to have been given the chance to teach abroad for a year.

Colette Tano in
Besancon, France, where
she is teaching English
to French students.
I graduated from Carnegie Mellon in the spring of 2014 with a B.A. in French and Francophone studies, an additional major in Ethics, History & Public Policy, and most importantly an idea of how I wanted to use my life to change the world.

Working at GlobalPittsburgh allowed me to polish the professional skills that I am now using on a daily basis working as an English assistant in France.

Currently, I am living in Besancon, France, a city of about 100,000 people and I work with French students between the ages of 12 and 19.  Adjusting to life in France and working in a completely different language have definitely been demanding, but I am learning so much about myself and the world around me that I find that the challenges are worth it and even welcome.

As a member of the GlobalPittsburgh team, I worked as an intern on the Study Pittsburgh and Marketing programs. Most of our projects included conducting research on attracting international students to the universities in the Pittsburgh region. My coworker and I often worked with social media to promote studying in Pittsburgh. We also reached out to other local non-profit organizations with similar goals, and we created informational brochures and flyers that were available for international visitors and students at one of the First Thursdays networking events.

Ultimately, I would like to work in public policy research and international development in order to change the inequalities that exist in education.  I know it is an ambitious goal but equal access to education is a goal that I would spend my life on.

Education is the foundation on which the people who live in our global community are able to build interactions with each other and with the institutions that govern and regulate our lives.  It should be a guaranteed right that all people have access to an exceptional education which should theoretically level the playing field and help to diminish social inequality and injustice.

Teaching English in France has done a tremendous job of strengthening my determination to follow through on my goals, and working as an intern at GlobalPittsburgh was an experience that allowed me to learn more about the marketing and networking aspects of education.

(Colette Tano served as an intern at GlobalPittsburgh in Summer 2014.)


GlobalPittsburgh Major Achievements for 2014 - Welcoming International Newcomers, Connecting Globally-Minded People, Hosting International Delegations, Creating Homestays & Hosting Opportunities

GlobalPittsburgh had a good year ever in 2014, connecting hundreds of globally-minded people, welcoming international newcomers, arranging meetings for delegations of international leaders, creating homestays & hosting opportunities, and bringing thousands of dollars into the local economy.

Here are a few of of our major accomplishments:
  • Our GlobalPittsburgh CONNECT membership program grew to more than 400 new and returning members from over 40 countries;
  • More than 350 members and friends participated in 44 GlobalPittsburgh events and activities during the year, including World Cup gatherings, Painting Nights, Gallery Crawls, potluck dinners, and ice skating in Schenley Park;
  • More than 175 members and guests attended our 12 Monthly Group Dinners at ethnic restaurants around the region;
  • Launched the "Keep Pittsburgh Global" campaign to highlight international connections and success stories in the Pittsburgh region through partnership with the Sprout Fund and The Global Switchboard, an incubator/ coworking space for globally-focused people and organizations in the city's Lawrenceville neighborhood.
  • Celebrated the third anniversary of our First Thursdays Networking Happy Hour for Globally-Minded People in August. Over 1,000 community members participated in our monthly networking events in 2014. New members joined our organization during each event, many of whom are young professionals;
  • Designed 25 itineraries for 169 distinguished leaders invited by the U.S. Department of State to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program;
  • Arranged meetings for international leaders with 384 regional professionals representing 222 institutions, companies, or individual departments within larger institutions;
  • 139 Fulbright Scholars attending an Enrichment Seminar in Pittsburgh (photo at right) enjoyed dinner in the homes of 44 host families living in and around the city. Additionally, a total of 7 volunteers assisted GlobalPittsburgh at connecting scholars and hosts at four different locations;
  • Arranged 131 homestays (totaling over 5,388 nights) for students and professionals to live in host families’ homes through both the International Leaders and GlobalPittsburghCONNECT programs;
  • Co-hosted the Global Great Lakes Network Convening in June with Vibrant Pittsburgh. The event attracted more than 250 people working on immigrant-related economic development initiatives from cities and organizations in the upper Midwest and Northeast regions.
  • Distributed 415 donated tickets to 11 cultural events to GlobalPittsburgh members, valued at nearly $23,500;
  • Launched first Annual Picnic in North Park attracting over 100 new international students (photo at right) from several colleges and universities in the region, members and host families.
  • 405 international leaders participated in 38 itineraries designed and implemented by GlobalPittsburgh’s staff and volunteer citizen diplomats;
  • Arranged 833 room nights in local hotels, generating over $108,000 in room fees and over $15,000 in local taxes;
  • 14 volunteers and interns from seven different countries assisted with marketing, programming, and events, collectively donating more than 2,200 hours of their time to the organization. This year, interns and volunteers were drawn from six different universities in the Pittsburgh area.
  • Gail Shrott, Director of GlobalPittsburgh’s International Leaders Program, presented a training program called "Training and Engaging Your Volunteers" at the 2014 National Meeting of Global Ties U.S. in Washington, DC. She helped to develop the presentation and training materials while serving as a Subject Matter Expert for Global Ties U.S.
  • GlobalPittsburgh renewed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Commercial Service to promote education opportunities in the Pittsburgh region through trade offices worldwide.
  • Assembled international players to form a GlobalPittsburgh All-Stars soccer team (photo at right) and won the second consecutive championship in the Cameroon Football Development Program's Play for a Purpose soccer tournament.
  • Represented our Study Pittsburgh Initiative at the EducationUSA Forum in Washington, D.C., in June, presenting to international education advisers from around the world about educational opportunities in the Pittsburgh region.
  • GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays Networking Happy Hours 2014 partners and supporters: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Brother’s Brother Foundation, Cleverhood, Consulate General of Canada, Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, Leadership Pittsburgh, Luke Wholey’s Wild Alaskan Grille, Massage Envy, Mitchell’s Restaurant, Bar and Banquet Center, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Paris 66, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roland’s Seafood Grill, Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square, Steel Cactus, VisitPITTSBURGH, and Youtopia Wellness.
  • Thomas Buell, Jr., GlobalPittsburgh's Director of Development & Marketing, was appointed to Mayor Bill Peduto's Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council to guide the city's efforts to become a friendlier and more inclusive place for international newcomers.
  • Served as a Style Ambassador for Style Week Pittsburgh 2014 highlighting the region's internationally diverse designers and models.
GlobalPittsburgh in social media:
Facebook: 3,043 followers
Twitter: 9,333 followers
LinkedIn: 1,417 members  


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Scholarships Available for International Students in Pittsburgh to Travel to Washington DC and Chicago During Spring Break for Special Program

International Students: This Spring Break jumpstart your career and explore American life and culture.

What is Meet America?  
Designed for international students studying in the U.S., the Meet America program allows you to make one-on-one connections as you explore an American community and learn about careers in your field of interest.  

Download application for:

March 8-13: Washington, DC
March 15-20: Chicago, IL

Learn how to leverage your international background, get noticed by employers, and experience American culture at the local level. Meet America is a fun way to spend your Spring Break, while discovering a new city, meeting new people, and learning what skills YOU need to be successful.

Scholarships for up to $500 are available!
Scholarship consideration ends January 31 and all applications are due February 8
. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please contact Franzi Rook at

To apply today, download the application
Global Ties U.S. | At the center of international exchange. |