International Students

Hear from current students

Josephine

Josephine Bellon

Politics Major

Business Administration minor

Class of 2012

Ghana

What place(s) do you call home?

I am originally from Ghana,

but I grew up in Kenya and Pasadena, California.

Why did you choose Messiah College?

I chose Messiah mainly because it gave me the opportunity to study abroad in all the countries I wanted to visit. It also provided the most affordable option for a private school education. The prompt and welcoming response of the school sealed the deal for me.

Describe some of your experiences as a Messiah student.

At the moment, I am looking back on the years that I have spent at Messiah, and I cannot help but marvel at the relationships I have made. A professor once told me (in one of the many meetings I have had with my professors) that people often forget the value of being known. In an institution like Messiah, students—like me— have the ability to become “known” simply through the relationships we build with people at the College. Being known at Messiah is not limited to just knowing professors, faculty, staff or other students. It reaches past the smiles and “hellos,” to people taking a vested interested in who you are as a person and actively working towards your success. “Being known” at Messiah means that there are people who can speak to you both as a person and as a student.

As I approach my senior year, and I am looking for employment opportunities, I understand now more than ever the importance of being known, and I appreciate Messiah's willingness to create such an environment.

Describe one of your favorite things about Messiah College.

As I mentioned earlier, I was super excited to study abroad. So upon coming on campus I instantly began planning my study abroad trips. After a few meetings with the Intercultural Office and completing the applications, I was set to fly off to China and then London for a year abroad. Having always wanted to live and study in China, I was overwhelmed with excitement. My time there was simply first-rate. I was able to make friends with Chinese college students, while also taking a variety of classes that covered different parts of Chinese life and culture. I loved my experience so much that I would not mind doing it again tomorrow. The same could be said for my experience in London. As an intern with a company in the heart of the world’s business and financial center, my experience was more than a resume builder. I made friends with my employers and co-workers, and these relationships have formed a base of networks for me in London that I hope to continue to maintain. The best part about all of this is that I got to intern in London and get college credit for it - thus allowing me to work during the summer!

What advice or encouragement would you give to prospective international students?

As an international and TCK student here at Messiah, I would encourage those considering Messiah to take some time to decide the kind of environment in which you want to spend the next four years of your life. I have often found that students are looking for a place that is welcoming, yet at the same time filled with opportunities to be challenged and grow as both an individual and a student. If you’re looking for an environment where you are a part of something larger, a movement to intently impact both the people around us and other in the rest of the world, then Messiah may be a great fit for you!

Alejandro

Alejandro Garcia

Politics and Economics Major

Class of 2013

Bolivia

Why did you choose Messiah College?

I chose Messiah College because of its outstanding academic program and its tight-knit community. At Messiah you are able to be challenged academically and spiritually both inside and outside of the classroom. Messiah has top notch professors that will push you academically inside the classroom but, due to the small student-faculty ratio, you are also able to interact with them outside of classes. This opportunity allows you to create meaningful relationships with teachers which are not only helpful when you are struggling with your class work but is also helpful in preparing for graduate school or your future career.

Describe some of your experiences as a Messiah student.

The large emphasis that Messiah has on community creates an atmosphere that encourages students to create meaningful friendships and learn from each other. My time at Messiah has taught me that there is as much to learn from getting to know the people around you as there is from any book and the environment here encourages you to take advantage of both.

Describe one of your favorite things about Messiah College.

At the moment, my favorite thing about Messiah is the interactions among students and with faculty. In my two years here I have been able to create amazing friendships with other students and with my professors. These relationships have been able to enrich my life personally and professionally. I know that I can count on my professors being willing to invest in a friendship with me and help me even outside the classroom. In a similar way, I am confident that the friendships I have created with other students will last long after graduation and I know I can count on them to be my second family and make Messiah a home away from home.

What helped your transition to Messiah College?

Messiah helped ease my transition into the U.S. through several of their programs such as International Student Orientation Week and all the ISA/MuKappa (International Student Association/MuKappa) retreats and event. These allowed me to be able to meet people who were in a situation similar to my own and helped me create a support group that helped me with everything from making sure I left enough time to do homework to talking through issues that came up throughout the year.

ISA/MuKappa provides international students with a network that is always there for them. Whether a student decides to be constantly active within the association or simply visit once in a while, the International Student Programs Office and ISA/MuKappa are always there to lend a helping hand.

In the same way, International Orientation served as a great introduction to my four years at Messiah. I was able to get acquainted with the facilities, get to know some of my professors, finish all of my paperwork and make a lot of friends before everyone else moved in. This allowed me to be well prepared to start the school year and make it a successful one.

What extracurricular activities have you been a part of?

One of the extracurricular things at Messiah that excites me the most is the soccer-loving atmosphere that surrounds the college. Having grown up in South America, soccer is by far my favorite sport, and, before moving to Messiah, I did not expect students here to be enthusiastic about this sport but Messiah definitely broke that stereotype. Having been ranked as the third best college for soccer fans in the United States, Messiah definitely loves soccer and being able to partake in this makes me feel more at home. A very successful soccer program together with real soccer-loving students makes the soccer season at Messiah a highlight of any year.

Apart from the varsity team we also have a great club team which I am proud to be a part of, and we have an intramural program that is very competitive. So whether it be sitting on the bleachers supporting the varsity team, or playing for the club team or simply getting together with a group of friends to be part of the intramural league, soccer is definitely a great way for students to bond and gives many international students a way to identify with everyone else and share the same passion for the sport.

Allan

Allan Mathew

Health & Exercise Science Major

Class 2013

India & United States

What place(s) do you call home? I was born in India but I have been in the Philadelphia, Pa., area for the past 14 years of my life.

Why did you choose Messiah College?

I chose Messiah because of the opportunities to grow in my faith while getting a great education. Messiah does a great job integrating faith into all of their classes, but they do a great job of not being overwhelming. I just felt as though the interactions and friendships that I would make at Messiah would be more beneficial to me than at other colleges.

Describe some of your experiences as a Messiah student.

I've had the chance to sit down and talk with professors and since our student to faculty ratio is 13:1 at Messiah, it’s been amazing. I’ve had the opportunity to have lunch and coffee with my professors and I also had the opportunity to do some research work with my advisor. It’s been an amazing opportunity.

Also we have great athletics here. Our men’s soccer team has won nine championships in 13 years and it has been so much fun to go to the games and cheer our team on.

Describe one of your favorite things about Messiah College.

My favorite thing about Messiah is the way the professors are willing to sit down and talk with the students. I have the opportunity to do work with my professor and I am really excited for that. Also I love watching the varsity soccer games and playing rec soccer games against other students.

What extracurricular activities have you been a part of?

There is so much to do at Messiah and so many different things that I love. I have opportunities to play music and lead worship at the school. I play for Powerhouse which is a band that plays every Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It’s amazing to see how many opportunities open up for you when you search for them. I also appreciated being able to grow in faith with your peers, having Bible study with your floormates as well as going to chapel.

There is a wide range of things to do on the campus and there is a lot of ways to get connected.