Grace Christian Academy has had the joy of welcoming students from Asian, African, Caribbean and European countries over the past 10 years. We view this as a double blessing. The first blessing is to our international students in that they enjoy excellent Bible-based teaching, a challenging academic curriculum, a welcoming atmosphere, and a plethora of extracurricular opportunities offered to GCA students. They make friends, try new things, and develop their content knowledge and English proficiency. The second blessing is the gift of their presence on our campus. The opportunity for our local students to learn side-by-side with these international students enriches their world. Our local students learn that the variety of languages, cultures and traditions represented in our student body displays God's divine creativity, and they exercise hospitality and compassion as they befriend our international students.
The International Club is a place for all of the international students in grades 9-12 to meet together weekly for support and fellowship. The club is open to local GCA secondary students who wish to join in the mission of supporting and befriending our international students each year. Each week, we learn more about each other through fun discussions, games, special meals and planned events.
Our school has the privilege of hosting twenty exemplary secondary students from ChungJu City, South Korea for three weeks each January. These students are selected based on academic merit and behavior by the ChungJu City school board. They take part in guided visits to Ivy League colleges and nearby cities on the weekends, and are immersed in a high school education in English during the week. We pair them up with an equally exemplary secondary student from GCA who serves as their “ambassador” for the three weeks they are with us. Our students help these visitors with their classes, make them part of their lunch group, guide them through their schedules, introduce them to American culture and build friendships that neither will forget. Students and teachers alike are happy to share our school culture with them and to welcome these visitors, sharing Christ’s love with them as we practice hospitality.
Meet the Director
Samantha Dill loves to meet, get to know, and support the International students at GCA. As a language teacher, she understands the rigorous linguistic demands that school in a second language presents to our students. She also appreciates the emotional and social challenges that life in a new culture brings. Her own experiences with international travel as a high school student to Japan, Canada, Spain, France, and Italy instilled a love of new language and culture, along with a daring to try new things. Additionally, her year long experience as an international college student to France and China provided a deeper understanding of the need for sustained support in an extended academic stay. Finally, her experience teaching English as a Second Language in the United States and in China provided her with skills to relate to English Language Learners with kindness and comprehensible communication.