Focus on U.S. Bound International Students by WRF Member Pam Smith

June 8, 2010
Focus on U.S. Bound International Students
Submitted by WRF member Pamela J. Smith
How easy it is to underestimate the challenges faced by gifted men and women who come to the U.S. from countries where English is not their first language. We tend to think mainly about the language barrier for day-to-day conversations. There is English language training available, but many times the training comes far short of equipping for graduate level ministry study. Beyond the language issue, we may not consider what it must be like to try to live life in a suburban setting in a strange land with confusing customs where not having a car often means not having access to regular worship and fellowship.
This fall, Biblical Seminary plans to launch an ESL program designed for qualified international students who wish to study in a theological environment at the graduate level and who do not meet Biblical’s TOEFL requirement. The program, ESL-Plus, will address not only the language barriers to successfully study at the seminary level, but also the cultural and spiritual formation challenges that international students coming to the US are unprepared to address and manage.
Biblical has also issued a letter of invitation to the Korean Bible University for the seminary to host a month-long summer camp for 12 students and a professor. The camp will include topics taught by Biblical staff on cultural aspects such as how to understand American sports.
For further information, contact Mrs. Smith at  psmith@biblical.edu.