Born in Bolivia and later called to the United States, Sofia Suarez is at Northwest University once again. Her journey to NU is a story of God’s providence. Ten years ago, her family met two American couples. After kindling a strong friendship, both families were interested in Sofia’s story. The Lord spoke to them and told them that Sofia was to attend Northwest University. After praying and seeking the Lord’s direction, they both decided to commit themselves to help her financially. Northwest was also very generous in providing her with a scholarship, and soon her dream of studying at Northwest University became a reality.
Suarez was enrolled in the Center for English Language Education (CELE) program for only one semester, but her second semester was so good that she is back for more as an international student.
Talon: How did you hear about the CELE program at Northwest University?
Suarez: I was already planning on coming to NU to study, but in order to continue with my career, I would have to pass the TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language] exam. I heard about the great English Language Education here in order to continue with my major, so I was a part of it.
Talon: Did the CELE program meet your expectations?
Suarez: Yes, it has helped me in three specific ways. First, it helped me to learn how to interact with people around me and awakened in me the desire to submerge myself in other cultures. Also, I felt that my writing, speaking and reading skills improved. Lastly, I also loved the spiritual aspect of it. God gave me a love for other international students, especially Koreans. This program not only helped me intellectually but spiritually. It was challenging, but because of a writing lab class in which I learned to defend my beliefs and faith, I am able to speak more about this with non-Christians even in English.
Talon: What are you expecting to accomplish after being a part of CELE for one semester?
Suarez: I want to use every tool that CELE provided me with in order to absorb every bit of knowledge that I can in all of my classes.
Talon: Any words of encouragement to fellow international students?
Suarez: Do not be discouraged the first time that you fail, because learning means failing many times. Do not be afraid of expressing yourself, because you will only know if you can do something if you try. Know that every international student goes through the same struggles, but at the end of it all, it is worth it. To all students: get involved with international students in any way possible, because you will be able to learn from them as they learn from you.
“When we are walking in His plans and not our own, then He does more than we could ever imagine.”
Written by Maritza Lino