Dr. Curtis J. Taylor
Universitas Pelita Harapan, Indonesia
Every day I have the opportunity to glorify God by working at an institution that takes the Bible and God’s Creation seriously. I am able to boldly apply God’s Word in a contemporary global education setting to fulfill our educational mission. I work with fellow Christians and get to lead and teach believers and non-believers.
Studying at a Christian university allowed me to learn from fellow Christians who were experts in their field of study, but who also understood that all truth comes from God. I was not only educated at my Christian university, I was also shepherded and discipled.
Developing strong institutional partnerships with other Christian schools helps in three key ways. We can understand the challenges that each other faces, we can learn from the experiences of each other, and we can support each other.
In my opinion, there are two significant values to studying abroad. The first is having the opportunity to experience the breadth and richness of God’s creation and the diversity of cultures and communities of human beings created in His image. The second related value is utilizing the knowledge and experiences to examine the strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies of one’s own culture.
There are very few times in your life when you can interrupt the regular flow of your education or your career to experience something completely new that will shape and change you in as significant manner as studying abroad.
(October 15, 2020)
Femke van de Weteringh
Trinity Western University, Canada
I chose to study at Trinity Western University because it is a Canadian university. I’ve always wanted to study in Canada; nature is beautiful and Canadians are known to be very open and friendly. Also, this university is a Christian university. For me, it was a unique opportunity to meet fellow Christian students abroad.
The most valuable part of my experience was meeting fellow Christian students who became my best friends. I am still in contact with Rachel, one of my Canadian best friends, and Alex, one of my American best friends. Our shared faith in Jesus Christ was really something that brought us together.
Going abroad will change you in so many ways; you will grow as a person, spiritually and also professionally. You will carry this experience with you for the rest of your life.
(October 20, 2020)
Veronica Visser Galvan
Viaa Christian University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
I was already studying abroad at Dordt University – Sioux Center, IA, USA – and wanted to have an international experience in the Netherlands in order to have more exposure to a different language and get a sense of the European culture.
Something I really appreciated from my experience was the exposure we got to the different cultures, from visiting historical places, to religious places, and even breweries and local businesses.
In my experience, studying abroad gave me a new perspective about the world. It helped me understand other people better, while I also grew personally and academically and discovered myself in ways I did not even know I could. I believe, studying abroad, long or short term, changed my life and my future generations forever and for good.
(October 26, 2020)
Middle East Studies Program, Israel
The professors and staff, across the board, strove to glorify Christ in all areas of study while prepping each student to do their work, both in school and for their future careers, with excellence.
The most valuable lesson I learned on MESP (Middle East Studies Program) is that issues of politics, culture, people groups, etc. often times are not black and white. We are all fallen beings, and as Solzhenitsyn says: “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”
Studying abroad affords not only the chance to respite from the normal college grind of school work in a new setting, but it also inserts you into a completely new world. This new world includes new cultures, worldviews, ideas, and backgrounds that you otherwise would never have experienced. It also provides the chance to forge new friendships and relationships that will impact you in ways you may never have considered before.
(October 23, 2020)
Wendy Gomez Matamoros
Dordt University, United States of America
I wanted to become a teacher, and some of the high school teachers I admired in my Christian school in Nicaragua had gone to Dordt University, so I applied for Dordt.
My experience studying abroad at Dordt University was valuable because of the relationships I had, and the way the friends I had challenged me in my way of thinking and in my faith. I was able to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities like worship team, choir, prayer team, mission trips, youth group at the church I attended in my college town, and I have unforgettable memories from those experiences and relationships. I was also an RA which taught me so much about who I am as a leader. Also, I was challenged to think of education as a whole, and how everything that is done can reflect God and my worldview.
I recommend studying abroad because you gain a different perspective by being with people that don’t necessarily think like you, and being able to accept that, and embrace that uniqueness in the body of Christ.
(October 29, 2020)
Viaa Christian University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
My ancestors immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands, so I always had a desire to visit and learn more about my family’s roots and where they came from. My college at that time, Dordt College, had been sending students to Viaa for quite a few years for the study abroad program, so it was a great opportunity to attend.
One of the greatest experiences about studying abroad in the Netherlands was the opportunity to live with host families. By forming a relationship with them I was able to learn a little bit of the language, experience the culture firsthand, eat authentic Dutch food, and travel a bit around the country with them. Also, the study abroad program through Viaa was incredible as each week the class would go on an excursion to a different city in the Netherlands. We learned about the cultural significance of each city, visited old churches and buildings, experienced popular art, and of course made time for a little coffee time at each stop. If you are looking to fully experience the culture of the Netherlands, the study abroad program through Viaa does an amazing job of fully immersing you into the country.
If you are able to study abroad, I highly recommend doing it! It’s a great way to get out to see and experience new places and people in God’s creation. It will push you out of your comfort zone, make you meet people you never would have before, and think about cultures in a whole new light. And I can guarantee, you’ll be talking about your experiences and what you learned for years to come!
(October 30, 2020)
Handong Global University, South Korea
The study abroad program at Handong was being offered through the school I was attending (Dordt University). I had travelled to Asia prior to attending Handong and was looking for an opportunity to go back to that part of the world. South Korean culture was one I wanted to experience, so studying there for a semester was an exciting opportunity.
The best way to understand culture is to experience it, and that is probably the greatest take-away from my study abroad semester in South Korea. Over the course of the 4 months I lived there, I was able to fully engage with the South Korean lifestyle from the music to food to friendships and experiences.
Spending a semester on a study abroad program is a great way for any student to engage and experience the world more fully. There are important aspects to education outside the classroom and experiences on a study abroad program are proof of this.
(November 1, 2020)
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaíso, Chile
I enjoyed doing both a faculty led trip to Europe as well as an independent trip to South America. They both provided unique experiences and challenges. I learned a lot about myself, about life, and about God through these trips and they pushed me out of my comfort zone so that I could grow as a person and as a Christian.
Studying abroad is such an exciting adventure that you should take advantage of if you can! The world is a big place and we can all learn from each other.
(November 10, 2020)
Central Valley Christian School, USA
The best part of working at Central Valley Christian School is being able to work in a Christian environment with other staff members that believe as you do. The high school students at our school are well behaved and are generally good students. As a mission trip leader, I am able to travel with my students and worship the Lord together with them. His hand is woven in each trip taken with students and have led me to my calling to open a nonprofit in child sponsorship called PuentesDR in the Dominican Republic.
Students, wherever they go in life, should be striving to please Him in all they do. In learning beyond high school, students “find” themselves in so many ways. Christian education is so important for them then, especially. Their friends, possible future spouse and their calling is identified while they live independently from their parents. The value of a Christian professor teaching from a Christian worldview is so very important in forming their own.
As a language teacher, I see the need for students to relate internationally wherever possible.
Most of my study abroad while in school was in Mexico. I earned my Master’s degree in Spanish in Spain and Mexico. I believe strongly that study abroad experiences are so very important to see God’s hand in other people and cultures. They bless us as we learn to welcome and value their way of life equally.
From studying abroad, students can gain a world appreciation and an international perspective. These things don’t come from a textbook, rather an experience.
(October 23, 2020)
Sekolah Pelita Harapan, Indonesia
The best part of working at Sekolah Pelita Harapan is being able to coach sports teams and in the classroom being able walk with our students and share the Gospel.
Studying at a Christian university changed my life, how I see the world, and it grounded me in the truth and cemented a desire to be God’s hands and feet in everything I do.
It is valuable to work in partnerships with other Christian schools. Iron sharpens iron, so one school sharpens another. It also spurs each other on to seek God’s glory in teaching.
Studying abroad helped me become more independent from my parents and so doing it forced me to be more dependent on God. It brings you out of your comfort zone and forces you to appreciate different cultures and places.
Studying abroad is a valuable experience. It gives you a unique chance to see more of the world and to experience how close God is. Also, it may help you find your wife!
(October 22, 2020)
Covenant College & Trinity Christian College, USA
Knowing the foundation of the school is based on Christ, their mission and vision clearly provided the direction and the goals of the school for their students, and being surrounded by many friends who care about their faith and how they live it out was incredibly valuable.
As Christ has modeled for us to work with and love one another, we can further model that between schools, unified in our service to His people and His kingdom.
(November 2, 2020)