Euro-Asian Division Will Work Exclusively with Southwestern ESL

The delegation from the Euro-Asian Division poses in the President's Dining Room during their visit. From left: Moisei Ostrovski (union president for Belarus), Eric Anderson, Monica Kowarsch, Lilia and Andrei Moldovanu (union president for Moldova. Lilia works in Women's Ministry), Zhan and Zhana Tranyuk (Union president for East Russia. Zhana is a doctor of therapy and massage). Not pictured: Vyacheslav (Slava) Buchnev (secretary of the Union in Belarus).

The delegation from the Euro-Asian Division poses in the President’s Dining Room during their visit. From left: Moisei Ostrovski (union president for Belarus), Eric Anderson, Monica Kowarsch, Lilia and Andrei Moldovanu (union president for Moldova. Lilia works in Women’s Ministry), Zhan and Zhana Tranyuk (Union president for East Russia. Zhana is a doctor of therapy and massage). Not pictured: Vyacheslav (Slava) Buchnev (secretary of the Union in Belarus).

The Euro-Asian Division of Seventh-day Adventists has decided to work exclusively with Southwestern’s ESL (English as a Second Language) program in the future after a visit last January.

Monica Kowarsch, director of ESL, was contacted in August of 2012 from the secretary of the Euro-Asian Division. The Euro-Asian Division wanted to send their leaders to an Adventist school to learn English. They also wanted to know what kind of ESL program Southwestern had, because they were looking at several schools to determine where they would send their leaders.

Fast forward to January of 2013 when the Euro-Asian Division sent two leaders to various Adventist institutions in the United States, including Southwestern. The two they sent to Southwestern were the education director and the IT director for the Euro-Asian Division. The two leaders stayed throughout the month of January.

“They fell in love with Southwestern. Not only did they like our ESL program but the university as a whole,” says Kowarsch. “They were very impressed with how active the students were in campus life as well as spiritual activities. There were so many different activities that the school was organizing and doing and they saw that it was student led.”

Prior to coming, the directors had never heard of Southwestern.  Over and over again, the two directors praised the friendly and Christian atmosphere that Southwestern represented.

“This year, the Euro-Asian Division contacted me again and they said that their board had voted to work exclusively with Southwestern,” says Kowarsch. “Now six Euro-Asian Division leaders are here going through our one-month ESL program. They are very happy with the environment here.”

Southwestern’s ESL program is unique in regards to size and course load. A small class size allows for more individual attention and one-on-one training for the students during class time.

“The teachers know you by name and they can work directly with you,” says Kowarsch. “Our ESL program is also one of the more intensive programs.” Southwestern’s ESL program features four classes, a lab, and an everyday worship. With a worship every day, ESL students can work on pronunciation through singing and reciting Bible verses. Another strength in the ESL program is the student tutors, allowing ESL students to work on one-on-one conversation with other students.

“We’re hoping to get more and more out of this,” says Kowarsch. “Now with the good relationship we have with the Euro-Asian Division, we hope it will spread to other relationships.”

Some of the leaders talked about college-aged children of their own they would like to send here, which Kowarsch supports wholeheartedly. “I think having a diverse campus helps with the education of our students,” says Kowarsch. “Because when you’re in the workforce, you’re working with people from different cultures and backgrounds. That just opens your world and expands opportunities to get along with different people and see different perspectives. Diversity gives you a well-rounded education.”

Many Southwestern ESL alumni have gone on to be successful across the world. “Three of my old students got accepted to Loma Linda,” says Kowarsch. “They start from zero, some of them. One of the Loma Linda acceptees started from zero; now he’s studying to be a doctor. If students are motivated and follow the process of the ESL program, they can be very successful in their careers.”

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