“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6
Wednesday, October 19th International Chapel opened with the reading of this scripture in English, Malagasy, French, Walak, Lanny, Bahasa and Namma/Damara (see link above for video). These are only a few of the diverse language backgrounds of our student body. God has brought each student on a unique journey to where they are right now.
Worship was led by Pathway and undergraduate students. Here is a link to part of the song Te Amo: Te Amo Multicultural Worship & Dance
Some students are the first one in their family to learn English or to attend college. Some students come from modern cities and others come from villages with limited technology. Some students come from cities or countries with strong Christian heritage and others are one of the few Christians in their region. We got a small glimpse at some of these stories with our international testimony and panel. Likus Hafeni shared his testimony about God’s faithfulness and his journey coming to Corban. The panel shared serious and funny reflections on their transition into life at a U.S. university. I would challenge you to get ask questions and get to know the story of someone new on campus, maybe even an international student.
Corban has international students from many different countries including Namibia, Australia, Madagascar, Indonesia, Jamaica, South Korea and more. The Pathway to English program is the IELP (Intensive English Language Program) that helps prepare students for academic English and American university culture.
The international student panel expressed they have felt welcomed into the Corban community. When asked, “What are ways we can make the transition easier?” Here are a few suggestions they mentioned:
- Be Friendly This can mean being warm, open, welcoming and non-judgmental.
- Dinner Dates Ask someone to join you for a meal. This could mean sitting with them or knocking on their door when you’re heading to get food. Everyone needs to eat right!?
- Be Inclusive If there’s an international student in your classes, dorm, major or club, treat them as you would anyone. Just because someone is shy or quiet does not mean they do not want to participate!
- Be Curious Learn about individual interests, culinary preferences, experiences, etc. Each student has a different story.
- Be Light Students will often go through times of cultural shock, this can include when they love American and Corban culture and also times that they struggle. It can be difficult to deal with illness, family loss and other major events, often without being able to go home.