Programs & Events
Because International Student Programs serves as the primary support system for international, missionary and transcultural students at Messiah, we strive to provide valuable programs, services and events that assist all students in getting the most out of their college experience—academically, socially, vocationally, and spiritually. Here are some ways we do that:
About the Program
We have designed a dynamic orientation week to assist new and transfer international, missionary and transcultural students as they begin their journey and transition to Messiah College. Throughout the orientation, students learn about important information and different services available for their study in the United States. During the orientation they will have the chance to meet other students, faculty, and staff who can advise, guide and assist them during their time at Messiah College. The incoming international, missionary and transcultural students are then joined by the rest of the new first-year and transfer students for the overall Welcome Week.
Click here to view schedule for the Fall International Student Orientation, The Fall International, Missionary and Transcultural Student Orientation is planned for Aug. 21-25, 2016. Incoming students: please also check the International Student Portal Page on MCSquare for additional information and also check your e-mails.
For students who have one or both parents accompany them to campus, we also run a concurrent Parent Orientation (in the Fall only). Preregistration is required. Click here for the 2015 schedule
International Missionary Peer Advisors Program (IMPA) is designed to create learning opportunities for both the international Mentors and Mentees. Mentors are returning international, missionary, and transcultural students who apply to be IMPA Mentors in the Spring semester. The goals of this program is to assist first-year international, missionary, and third-culture students by connecting them with upper class student mentors; and to generate opportunities for Mentors and Mentees to learn and grow together.
International & Missionary Peer Advisor Program
Our newest program is the International and Missionary Student Peer Advisor (IMPA) program. Current Messiah students are selected through International Student Programs and are expected to responsibly mentor new international, missionary and transcultural students in their transition to the United States, and to college life at Messiah. Through training and first-hand experience, peer advisors are able to guide and support new international, missionary and transcultural students in their first semester at Messiah, leading to a successful transition.
If you are an international, missionary or transcultural student interested in being an IMPA mentor, below are links for the detailed description of the program and the duties expected of an IMPA mentor as well as an application to be completed and turned in at the Intercultural Office by the Friday, February 26, 2016 at 2 p.m deadline.
International and Missionary Student Peer Advisor Program
If you're an international student on an F-1 visa, part of your college journey will involve navigating federal immigration, tax and labor regulations. Serving as a Designated School Official (DSO), for the College, the Director of International Student Programs works to ensure that every international student is properly advised on issues related to F-1 visas, and is available to assist with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) matters as well. Other important services include assistance in obtaining a Social Security number, filing income tax returns, or getting a driver's license. In general, International Student Programs will assist students in navigating unfamiliar administrative terrain in order to help them succeed in what may seem a very foreign environment.
Friendship Family Program
The goal of of the Friendship Family program is to provide a place of comfort and connection for international, missionary, and transcultural students while they are away from their families and home. It offers students an opportunity to further interact with U.S. culture, experience Christian hospitality and develop lifelong friendships. This popular program involves employee families and individuals who volunteer to provide care and hospitality by welcoming students to their homes for meals, overnight visits and holidays. While not required, families that are able to may sometimes provide accommodation for students when college housing and dining services are closed during breaks.
Below are links to the applications for both families and students who would like to participate in the Friendship Family program. These help us to better match families and students based on their interests and experiences. All new incoming students are asked to fill out a form unless they already have a person or family in the local area who will be their “family” during their school years.
Messiah College seeks to offer each and every student the highest standard and quality of education possible. To ensure that each student has equal opportunity to excel, Messiah College offers academic support in various subjects areas.
Faculty advisors specific to the student's field of study are available to students from their first semester until graduation. Academic advisors are available to give academic advice and direction as the student navigates through the four years of academic requirements. Academic advising is required for all students.
Additionally, new students arriving from abroad for the fall semester are required to enroll in the Adaptation to U.S. Culture and Education class, a one-credit course designed to provide ongoing, in-depth orientation and cross-cultural adaptation to the U.S. and Messiah College. Students will meet once a week in an informal setting to discuss issues relevant to their adaptation to the American way of life and education system.
Please explore the following links for more information on some of the academic support services that Messiah College provides.
Information on the Academic English Program (AEP) will be available soon.
International Student Association and Missionary Kids (ISA/MuKappa)
ISA/Mu Kappa (Missionary Kids) is an important campus organization for those students with international backgrounds. This dynamic student-run group further aids international, missionary and transcultural students in making cultural adjustments. They provide an on-going network of encouragement, offer fun activities, plan trips, host Bible studies, and foster fellowship and understanding among their members. ISA/Mu Kappa also works to bring global awareness to the campus community and to the broader community outside of Messiah College. Their signature event is the well-known international banquet held each April.
in Swahili—is one of Messiah's several special-interest houses. It is an
on-campus residence and serves as an international friendship house
dedicated to providing a place of
support and fellowship for international, missionary and transcultural
students. Each year, a group of seven international, missionary, and
transcultural students are chosen to live in and manage the Rafiki
House. These residents are responsible for fostering an environment that
allows students to bond, share differences and similarities, and
worldviews. The house also serves as a hub for ISA/MuKappa student
activities from Bible studies to movies, dinners and game nights!
Click here for more Information about Rafiki House
Want to live in the Rafiki House?
- Fall Orientation - Aug. 22–27, 2015
- Fall Retreat (ISA/Mu Kappa) - Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 @ Camp Roxbury
- Curricular Practical Training Workshop (CPT) 6p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 in Larsen 237
- Spring Orientation - Jan. 27–Feb. 1, 2016
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) Info Session - 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 in Larsen 237
- Spring Banquet (ISA/Mu Kappa) - 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2016
- Senior Luncheon - 12:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2015 in Larsen Student Union