International Café

Join us for a series of workshops that tackle some of the difficulties of writing and using English as a non-native speaker. Learn something, chat with other international students, and enjoy refreshments several Friday afternoons this term at the Writing Center.

International Café meets most months during fall and spring terms. Past International Café sessions include topics like these: Tips for Using Commas, Periods, and Semicolons; Writing Effective Sentences; All about Paraphrasing; and Going with the Flow: Using Transitions and Anticipating Readers' Reactions to Make Your Own Writing Flow More Smoothly; "What Does My Professor Want? Interpreting Writing Assignments"; "The Heart of Reading: Understanding Difficult Texts with Success"; "Crossing the Divide: Writing in L1 and L2"; "The Right Right Word."

If you have samples of your writing or assignments that we can use in a session, please bring them with you.

If you would like to be notified of our events, send an email to

Have questions? Contact International Café coordinator Sam Pittman.

Spring 2019 Sessions

All sessions are on Fridays from 3:30 to 4:30

February 22: What's a Literature Review, and How Do I Write One?

Whether you are an undergrad or a grad student, a native or non-native English writer, a student in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities, this workshop will give you the tools you need to write literature reviews that successfully achieve their aims as well as the confidence to transcend any writing anxieties and enjoy satisfying the curiosity of your inner researcher.Facilitated by April Flynn.

March 8: Re-Thinking Organization

In writing, sometimes we have details to support our main ideas, but we aren’t sure how to organize them into a fluid paragraph. Which comes first, and which comes next? We might even have a whole essay written, but the paragraphs don’t yet add up to a unified piece of writing. Come to this workshop to learn tips and tricks for organizing your paragraphs and essays clearly. Facilitated by Rachel McTernan.

March 29: Koloc Awards

Join us to celebrate award-winning essays by international writers here at Pitt. Listen to some of the best Pitt essays by multilingual writers, explore what makes a composition outstanding, ask award winners questions about their craft, take away tips for enhancing your writing projects, and enjoy refreshments. Facilitated by Marylou Gramm.

April 12: What an “Awkward” Situation: Responding to Instructor Feedback

Picture this: Your instructor has just returned your piece of writing, and you see comments written in the margins, between the lines, or at the end. Now what? Come to this International Café to learn strategies for understanding what your instructor’s feedback means, as well as tips for revising and editing your writing based on your instructor’s comments.Bring a piece of writing with your instructor’s comments to discuss with other students. Peer tutors from the Writing Center will also be here to help! Facilitated by Sam Pittman.