"Every year over half a million students come from around the globe to study in the United States--right in our own backyard. As we develop friendships with these future leaders and executives, we have an opportunity to reach our world for Christ.
When these students complete their education and return to their homelands, they assume leadership in international corporations and national institutions. Or, they become political leaders, influencing thousands.
Unfortunately, during their time in the U.S., over 70 percent of these students never enter an American home or visit a place of worship."
Updated statistics on international students studying in the USA are available in the February 2003 article,
"Foreign Students on Campus: An Asset to Our Nation," published by the
American Immigration Law Foundation.
Here are U.S. Census Bureau figures for the top ten countries sending international students to the U.S. in 1996:
3. China (including Taiwan)
10. United Kingdom
The World at Your Door:
Reaching International Students in Your Home, Church and School, by Dr. Tom Phillips and Bob Norsworthy with W. Terry Whalin.
Bethany House Publishers, 1997
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Does your church board question whether local outreach really "counts" as mission? Do you want to ignite church leaders to be more intentional about outreach to internationals in your community? The World at Your Door, written by the President of International Students, Inc., makes ministry to international students understandable and attainable for all Christians.
Organizations that Work with International Students
|International Students Inc. coordinates over 14,000 ISI volunteers in more than 130 U.S. cities to provide assistance and have friendships with international students.
International Students, Inc. and nine other ministries are working together as the International Student Ministries Track of Mission America to reach the 601,000 international students who study in the US each year. There are 3,000 campuses in the United States with international students studying there; 1,269 of those have at least 50 international students. Presently, the international student ministries of the US are working on over 700 of those campuses.
Campus Crusade for Christ has a web site for its Ethnic Student Ministries which includes an excellent resource list of books and articles.
ACMI, the Association of Christians Ministering to Internationals, has a mission "to enhance ministry to internationals who are temporarily in North America by providing a forum for those ministering to internationals to encourage, strengthen, and network with one another."
The Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF) works to reach Asian Pacific Americans on college campuses throughout the Western U.S.
United States Servas, Inc. is an international, inter-faith network which provides host families for international travelers.
"The first 72 hours in the United States are the most important for international students because they have great needs...Whoever helps international students during that period is their friend for life."
-Dr. Jack Burke, Director Emeritus
International Student and Scholar Service Office
University of Houston.
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