Programs & Events
Because International Student Programs serves as the primary support system for international, missionary and TCK 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:
International Student Orientation
About the Program
We have designed a dynamic orientation week to assist new and transfer international, missionary and TCK students as you begin your journey and transition to Messiah College. Throughout the orientation, you will learn about important information and different services available for their study in the United States. During the orientation, you 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 TCK students are then joined by the rest of the new first-year and transfer students for the overall Welcome Week.
International Student Orientation
The Fall International, Missionary and TCK Student Orientation is planned for Aug. 21-25, 2016. Incoming students: Please plan to arrive at Messiah College on Sunday, August 21 between 1 p.m.-4 p.m. for International Student Orientation Registration. 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). Please indicate on your International Arrival Form which family members will be joining you and will want to participate in the Parent Orientation. Some aspects of our Parent Orientation overlap with the International Student Orientation.
International Missionary Peer Advisor (IMPA) mentors are returning international, missionary, TCK, and American students who volunteer to help welcome you to Messiah College, assist with International Student Orientation, and support you in your first year of college.
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 TCK 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 TCK students in their first semester at Messiah, leading to a successful transition.
If you are an international, missionary or TCK 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 Assistant 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. 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.
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.
International Student Association and Missionary Kids (ISA/MuKappa)
International Student Association/MuKappa (ISA/MuKappa) is an important campus organization for those students with international backgrounds. This dynamic student-run group further aids international, missionary and TCK 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/MuKappa 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 banquedt held each April.
Rafiki—meaning “friend” 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 TCK students. Each year, a group of seven international, missionary, and TCK 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?