Adventist Leaders Learn English at Southwestern

Konstantin and Vasiliy

Konstantin Kampen (left) and Vasiliy Kostyuk continue as Southwestern ESL students, where they are quickly learning English.

Learning a new language is hard, but for a student to do it in a month is even harder. That is the challenge that Adventist Church leaders and English as a Second Language students Konstantin Kampen and Vasiliy Kostyuk are trying to accomplish here at Southwestern Adventist Universities ESL (English as a Second Language) program.

“Learning English will help me a lot,” says Konstantin Kampen. “Some people such as my financial director only speak English and if I can’t speak with them I can lose connection.”

Both are administrators from the Euro-Asian Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Kampen is director of the Educational Center in Kyrgyzstan and Kostyuk is president of the Ukraine Institute of Higher Education in Bucha, Ukraine.

“Even though both of them are leaders in the Euro-Asian Division, they have a very down-to-earth personalities,” says Monica Kowarsch, director of Southwestern’s ESL program. “They are very motivated and eager to learn the English language.”

This was made possible in 2013, when the IT director and the education director from the Euro-Asian Division came to visit Southwestern in their search for the best Adventist university to send their leaders to learn English.

“They really liked our ESL program and the tutors,” says Kowarsch. “Not only did they like the ESL program, but they also enjoyed the spiritual atmosphere the University possesses, which says a lot about us as a whole.”

The directors for the Euro-Division voted on sending future leaders to the Southwestern Adventist University ESL program. This gives SWAU an exclusive partnership with the Euro- Asian Division, which works out well for both parties.

But students in Southwestern’s ESL program benefit as well.

“I have enjoyed the culture exchange,” says Kowarsch. “But the students have also enjoyed it. Since a lot of students in the ESL program are from South America, it’s good for them to see a different culture up close.”

Kampen and Kostyuk have become an active part of the ESL program, and others admire their work ethic.

“Both students are great in the classroom and very motivated,” says Kowarsch. “They are very eager to learn, which makes the students around them motivated as well. They bring a youthful energy to the room.”

“It is a really good ESL program and system,” says Vasiliy Kostyuk. “There are good teachers and the education atmosphere is really good. I will tell many of my friends and students to come to this ESL program to learn English.”

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