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Archive for the 'International experience' Category

Alumna follows passion for language overseas to teach English in South Korea

Monday, July 21st, 2014

For Abby Long ’12, following her dreams meant going far – all the way from Waynesboro, Pa., to Deokso, South Korea.

Long, who graduated with a degree in English, started learning Korean as a hobby after graduation, simply because she had an interest in Korean pop culture. During the same period, she took an online course to earn Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.

“I realized I could learn Korean and teach English by finding a teaching job in South Korea,” said Long, who applied at the Connexus Language Institute, a school associated with the Korean Anabaptist Center. (more…)

Biology student travels, leads, researches and makes the most of Messiah experience

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Brennan NealDuring their college years, many students have opportunities to expand their horizons. This spring, one such student, Brennan Neal ’14, will graduate and move on to graduate school. Neal, a biology major with a dual focus on organismal and ecological biology, has gotten involved in a significant number of extracurricular activities and has truly experienced a full college life.

Getting started
Hailing from nearby Hershey, Neal initially didn’t consider Messiah College because he felt it was too close to home. But once he did apply and visit the campus, he said, “It just felt right.” At the same time, other doors were closed when Neal was denied acceptance at two other colleges he was seriously considering. Then Messiah contacted him wondering if he would like to interview for a scholarship. Neal made his decision and enrolled in fall 2010. (more…)

Bringing relationships, sports, clean water and hope to Uganda

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Messiah College student Victoria HeppAs we descended into Uganda after 24+ travel hours, a cloud of excitement hovered over our AROMA team, much like the clouds of unearthed red dirt that would soon linger over our missional feet. Our team of athletes, coaches, trainers, alum and Sawyer Representatives had been preparing for months leading up to this trip and we were finally here, a little nervous but filled with expectant hope of God’s working on our trip. We walked out into the parking lot and were immediately greeted by staff from the Sports Outreach Institute (SOI) group that we would be partnering with for the next 10 days. Hearing their laughter and welcoming words reassured us that this would be a great journey of relationship-building, sports-playing, water-filtering and hope-rising. (more…)

Messiah prof visits five continents in less than a year

Monday, January 7th, 2013

With education abroad programs in more than 40 countries worldwide, Messiah College has touted international travel as an integral part of  the academic experience for some time—something that benefits students as well as professors. Just ask Biblical studies professor Meg Ramey, who traveled to five continents in less than one year from May 2011 to January 2012.   (more…)

Bringing pure water and the living water to Nicaragua

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Student Rachel Morris reflects on her summer 2012 trip to Nicaragua with Messiah’s Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research

Anticipation rose as we turned off the bumpy dirt highway into off-road country surrounded by roaming farm animals, tiny huts and clotheslines. A swarm of kids chased after the big yellow bus that carried our diverse team of Messiah College students, Living Water educators and newly trained village leaders, welcoming us to the community. After spending time in Puerto Cabezas preparing, we finally arrived with the mission of bringing pure water and The Living Water to the small community of Awas Tigni, Nicaragua. The next two days spent in the beautiful land of Awas flew by like a blur. Community members were eager to learn all we had to share. Classrooms were filled, and people completed a variety of activities and lessons on everything from hand-washing, to making a tippy tap to using one of our filters! (more…)

Messiah student returns from a year spent in Thailand on a prestigious Boren Scholarship

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

An immigrant from South Africa and fluent in four languages, senior biology major Bianca Basch nurtured her passion for international development last year by living, studying and interning in Thailand. Basch traveled abroad after receiving a prestigious award, the Boren Scholarship, given to U.S. students looking to study in a country of national security interest.

The scholarship administered by the Institute of International Education is designed to promote linguistic and cultural immersion, providing students with the “resources and encouragement they need to acquire skills and experiences in areas of the world critical to the future security of our nation.” In exchange, students agree to seek at least a year’s worth of work in a position of national security for the federal government.

Prior to applying, Basch spent a semester in Thailand in 2009 with GoEd, a study abroad program that partners with Messiah, and she adopted a strong connection to the country’s culture and language. Basch returned to Thailand after receiving the esteemed scholarship for a year-long study focusing on sustainable development.  “Thailand is a very colorful nation,” she explained. “The people are friendly, the lifestyle is inexpensive and the food is delicious. There is also a strong emphasis on human rights with issues such as sex-trafficking, and that really interest me.”

Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, welcomed Basch for the first four months of her experience. She took major-related courses at this respected international college, learning and interacting with students from across the globe.

Basch then dove into hands-on projects in Chaingmai for her final six months in Thailand. Living and working on a vocational Bible school compound, Basch enhanced her qualitative research skills through a sustainable agriculture internship. “We executed four pilot projects,” explained Basch. “Each project was centered around three overall goals: financial sustainability, food sustainability and education in agricultural vocation.”

“My favorite project was soap-making,” Basch shared. She also participated in a project on vermicomposting, a form of aerobic composting that involves the use of worms to help break down organic waste materials in soil. Her experience inspired the creation of her seniors honor project: Messiah’s first vermicompost sustainability endeavor on campus. Basch said that she hopes “to get a lot of people involved. I want it to be a big student interest. I’m partnering with some professors, but I want it to be a student-managed project.”

Looking back on her experiences, Basch encourages other students to study internationally. “Students should study with a program that really cares where they are and what they are doing,” she advises. At the same time, don’t take Messiah for granted. “I think a lot of people are too harsh on Messiah,” Basch explained. “They don’t realize how rare it is to have this kind of Christian community. From chapel to class to everyday conversations, students at Messiah have the opportunity to engage in constant dialogue about faith or difficult issues.”

Basch is still open to what the future holds for her after graduation. While her interests in international sustainable development may eventually take her to graduate school, Basch hopes to acquire more hands-on experience first. “A master’s degree in sustainable agriculture doesn’t say much unless you get your hands dirty first,” Basch explained.

Basch also shared her interest in helping immigrant populations. “This was a constant reality as I lived in Thailand and met refugees who escaped Burma or Laos,” she said. “When I came to the U.S. as an eight-year-old, I remember trying to learn to be different yet still retain my South African culture.” Basch is excited to help others and for whatever the future may have in store, but for now, she is happy to be back in the Messiah community for her final year.

Story by Mary-Grace MacNeil `13

Book bags cheer Kenyan children

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Junior Roxanne Benedict traveled to Kenya during a May 2010 cross-cultural course, and returned to campus inspired and motivated to positively impact the lives of Kenyan children affected by poverty and AIDS.

Together with Dawn Gearhart, instructor of family and consumer sciences, Benedict, a family and consumer sciences major, devised a plan to sew book bags; fill them with school supplies, hygiene products, books and notes of encouragement; and deliver them to Kenyan children.

Benedict, through participation in the Pennsylvania Family and Consumer Sciences Conference in Gilbertsville, Pa., in October of 2010 was able to secure additional assistance from family and consumer science majors across the state. Soon the project was embraced by dozens of like-minded students and professors.

“I just felt God’s hand was behind it all,” said Benedict. Students spent class time sewing the bags from materials provided by teachers and parents. (more…)

Intersection of human need and ecology

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Laura Meitzner Yoder (right), her son Micah, and two colleagues enjoy beautiful Michigan, a location of the AuSable Institute for Environmental Studies.

As early as high school, Laura Meitzner Yoder ’93 was concerned with justice matters. Some of her other favorite subjects included biological sciences and politics, which combined to launch her interest in learning about and getting involved in world hunger issues. These interests then united with agricultural and environmental concerns in tropical areas, which eventually led her to work on land access issues of importance to rural people.

Yoder grew up in a rural area of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and lived on a small farm with her family. At the time, Yoder enjoyed playing around the nearby pond and stream, which likely encouraged her current fascination of nature. (more…)

Global citizens

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Dorca Kisare-Ressler, director of international student programs and co-chair of the International Education Week committee, reflects on the event as well as the importance of global citizenship.

Mwamba Children's ChoirInternational Education Week at Messiah College was planned with the intention of providing an integrated experience for the college community and surrounding community to enjoy many educational opportunities while also taking a moment to encourage international cultural awareness.


Microfinance: small loans add up to a priceless investment in community

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

There’s an old saying: If you give someone a fish, they can eat for a day. Teach them to fish, and they can eat for a lifetime. When microfinance enters the story, however, the meaning of that adage is significantly broadened. In other words, an entire community is provided with the means to fish together, enabling them to eat for a lifetime. (more…)