BY: RACHEL FISH
CCU’s mission statement is to develop selfless, well-rounded leaders who follow Christ and positively impact their community, country, and world. This includes training and preparing international leaders to impact their side of the world with the Gospel.
CCU has graduated more than 50 international students in the last 15 years, with 17 foreign students currently attending CCU, according to Registrar Amanda Derico.
Some international students reflected on their CCU experience. “At first it was difficult to get the studying part right,” said Junior Simon Saleem, a psychology major from Pakistan.
“The education system in America is different from how it is in Pakistan. It took me a while before I got used to how things are done here,” he added.
“My goals in the future are to get further equipped with psychological knowledge and expand my horizons on what God wants me to do with the skills I have acquired,” Saleem continued.
“After I am done with my studies I plan on going back to Pakistan to proclaim the word where it is urgently needed.”
International students at CCU include graduate students as well.
“1994 was the time I started praying to be able to come here at CCU. It took me like 22 years of praying and I almost gave up,” said Graduate Student Victor Dela Serna, who is from the Philippines and is pursuing an M.A. in Leadership Studies. The whole process for Serna to apply to CCU took over a year.
“When I first applied, I sent everything. Then after a couple of weeks, the person I was speaking with was laid off. So, I applied again and spoke to this person again, and then after like a month, the person is laid off again. So, it took me like four different batches of people before I finally set everything,” he said.
One of CCU’s international alums is Taweepong Yinthanm from Thailand. Yinthanm graduated from CCU in 2016 with a master’s in Biblical Studies and is currently the pastor of the Thai Outreach Hollywood Church in Los Angeles.
“My goals are having a happy family and life by serving God,” said Yinthanm. “And my project for the future is building a library in my hometown which will be one of the most important landmarks in South East Asia and disciple people to Christ until the end of my life.”
Yinthanm attributed his ease of assimilating to the culture in the USA to his friends and professors at CCU.
“Professors and officers were very kind and they helped me to get through so many difficult things during I was studying at CCU.”
Undergraduate Admissions Counselor Zach Muller also offered another aspect of CCU’s involvement with international students.
“With the recent expansions of our athletic department, our coaches have aided in recruiting some of our current international students,” said Undergraduate Admissions Counselor Zach Muller.
“CCU as an institution strives to be as diverse as the Church is, and international students are part of what help CCU realize this endeavor,” he added.