Rod Light | February 26, 2018

Life Pacific students gain cultural competencies at home and abroad through intentional Global Life opportunities.

Edward Sturgeon, a senior at Life Pacific College, hopes to deploy to France with Foursquare Missions International (FMI) when he graduates this year. He has been there twice and can’t wait to go back. When he broke his ankle playing soccer while serving as an intern in France, he was undeterred and knows God has called him to serve in the nation that has become like home.

The Global Life Program at Life Pacific College serves as a bridge for students like Edward who dream to live life in another culture. “We prepare them, we network them, we give them leadership opportunities, we provide a safety net for them as they learn and sometimes as they fail,” says Global Life Director Dr. Karen Tremper.

"Future trips include sites in Costa Rica, Haiti, North Asia, Japan, Kenya, Europe and more."

Karen says the result has been that students now go to the nations after they graduate because someone believed in them and helped them develop cultural competencies and leadership skills. Every student has an equal opportunity to study abroad for a semester at LPC with costs ranging about the same as tuition and room and board would be for a traditional, on-campus experience.

During the 2017-18 school year, 87 people (66 students, six staff, and 15 friends of LPC) participated in Global Life trips. Karen hopes more students will join the ranks of these whose lives have been transformed by the experience. Future trips include sites in Costa Rica, Haiti, North Asia, Japan, Kenya, Europe and more.

Global Life will launch two new summer internship sites this year. They will serve students in the Business Administration degree program with a site in Albania and a second site in a limited-access country.

One of the strengths of the Life Pacific approach to Global Life is the existing Foursquare Network with global workers in every country students want to visit. “Our programs are not ‘contract study programs,’ but rather, programs that match our students and their passions with practitioners in the field,” Karen says.  

"...our teams are intercultural immediately."

Life Pacific has another advantage that global life programs at other colleges and universities may not. With over half the student body being students of color and over 30% of students being Hispanic and/or Latino, Life Pacific College has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. 

“This means our teams are intercultural immediately,” Karen says. Cross-cultural growth begins the minute a student signs up to be on a team.

Another distinction of the LPC Global Life program is that Karen and her team oversee all international students living on campus. Regular gatherings for international students help them adapt to American culture and make friends with other international students. Karen says it is a “fun gathering of sharing and caring” for those who are guests in the United States.

After his second trip to France, Edward Sturgeon was so enthralled with cross-cultural living and service that he became the Global Life student assistant and led a student team to Mexico this Fall. Along with two other students, he completed Phase One training with FMI this year preparing for deployment after graduation.

Edward is following God’s call on his life and plans to return to France, deployed with FMI. In a few months, he hopes to fully realize that goal.

 

Karen wants every student to avail themselves of global opportunities so that like Edward, “they will discover a passion to be beacons of light to the nations.”

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