Pre-WOW Events Help International Students Settle In


Provided by Salma Encarnacion

International students at dinner

Kinsley Lively, News Editor

A blend of accents, a mixture of flags, games, pizza and being alongside brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world was the beginning of many international students’ experience at The Master’s University during new student welcome events held Aug. 17-19.


“It was so interesting hearing everyone, because they were from all over the world,” Anika Mellqig said, a freshman student from Germany. “We had a global dinner and flags were all over the place. A lot of international students brought parents or friends, and it was fun.”


The event kicked off with the some students sharing their testimonies, according to Salma Encarnacion, International Student Liaison for TMU.


“I think that opened doors to others believing we are approachable,” Encarnacion said. “We played games and got to know each other, and afterwards people came up and asked questions like, ‘Why did you come to Master’s?’ I think they really felt comfortable with us.”


“Leaving home for college can be difficult, but for international students it can be even harder because we are so far from home. It’s not like we can make a short drive home for the weekend,” Mellqig said.


“I know from personal experience that the two days of pre-WOW Week with the international students is a good experience to relate with the people that are coming here for the first time,” she said. “Even if they are missionary kids, they still face that culture shock when they come to America.”


Encarnacion mentioned that most people do want someone who understands the same things they’re going through and the pre-WOW Week events for the international students accomplish that.


“It’s good for us to get to know each other,” Encarnacion said. “I remember that one of the first people I met during those first two days became one of my best friends. So, I think some would experience the importance of making friends who can relate to you in the sense that they didn’t grow up in the states.”


Some international students also find it important to begin adjusting a little earlier because everything can be so different.


“I am German, but I lived all my life in the Czech Republic because we’re missionaries there,” Mellwig said. “It has been good, and people are very nice all the time and they help me understand things that are different. There are differences, a lot of changes, but my admissions counselor, Josh English, has helped me a lot with the process.”


In the States, some can get caught up in things only happening here, but there are some changes being made for students to expand their interests to the concerns of other countries.


“For this year, we have a goal to make other students have an international mindset,” Encarnacion said. “We are planning for international students this year to help domestic students realize there is a world out there, not just American culture. There are a lot of things going on in the world. We want the body of Christ to come together and talk about our Father we have in common.”