3 Ways to Help International Students with Reentry
Discuss Reentry Expectations
Simply talking about what life back home may be like is a big help to international students. Help them see the blessings of their cultures so they return home with a positive view. You could even consider reading a reentry book with them before they leave for home.
Brainstorm ideas of how to connect with God when they go back
Ask how they might handle cultural differences back home
Highlight examples of God working in their culture
Honor their language and culture
While many people in the US speak English, your friend’s home country likely has its own native language. Encourage your friend to use their own language when they pray and read the Bible. You could also help them find a local church of their culture in the US.
Encourage students to:
Pray aloud in their own language
Read the Bible and share their testimony in their own language
Join/lead a Discovery Bible Study
Join a Bible study or church of their culture while in the US
Even after your friend returns home, you can stay connected online and be a support for your friend. If you can make local connections for them, that’s great! But always remember to be patient and encouraging as your friend adjusts to life back home.
Visit churches, other returnees, and Christian friends
Think Home: A Reentry Guide for Christian International Students
This popular workbook by Lisa Espineli Chinn helps Christian international students think through the challenges they will face upon returning home. It includes thought-provoking questions, exercises, Bible studies, comments from past returnees, reentry teaching, and a list of additional resources.
From the book’s introduction: “These daily readings, for the first month of your return to your home country, are designed to help you navigate the reentry terrain. This is a booklet of brief thoughts and biblical reflections to help you understand the reentry process and keep your heart and mind focused on God.”
Home Again: Preparing International Students to Serve Christ in Their Home Countries
By Nate Mriza. People experiencing cultural re-entry can be tired, confused or discouraged, and are often critical of their own home culture. Re-entry can be a major adjustment, so it’s important to work through issues that arise so you function well back home.
This book by International Students, Inc. provides a wealth of information, advice and encouragement as you begin your road home again. Learn from those who have gone before and contributed their insight for your benefit. New Horizons is designed to help with the transition of returning home and the life you live on the new horizon ahead of you.
20 page booklet by China Outreach Ministries with studies on: Discerning God’s call to return or remain, finding a church home, planning your personal ministry and workplace challenges. Excellent studies particularly suitable for those who have been Christians for more than a couple of months.