Transformative Exchange Programs: Africa Nazarene University Exchange Program with Sister Nazarene Universities in the United States
Africa Nazarene University, located in the heart of the expansive Maasai savannah and neighboring the Nairobi National Park in Kenya, is among the 51 higher learning institutions worldwide sponsored by the Church of the Nazarene. Some of these institutions are well established liberal arts universities in the United States, South Korea, and Eswatini. At Africa Nazarene University, the Exchange Program stands as a fundamental pillar, offering students a golden opportunity to expand their horizons and immerse themselves in diverse cultures.
Africa Nazarene University, along with its sister institutions in the United States, namely Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in Idaho and Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) in Ohio, has established a partnership. Under this agreement, ANU students have the opportunity to study abroad at these two universities for one semester at a reasonable cost. Through this cooperative relationship, both universities actively promote the development of programs and activities that advance the educational initiatives of each party.
NNU/ANU Faculty and Student Exchange Program
The Exchange Program, a product of a memorandum of understanding between ANU and NNU, facilitates educational and cultural exchanges for both students and faculty. This collaborative initiative nurtures greater cultural intelligence in our academic community. The program involves 10 to 15 students and one faculty sponsor from each institution switching places for a single semester. ANU students pay their fees at ANU, and NNU students do the same at their home institution.
The program took off in September 2022 with NNU sending 11 students and one faculty member, while ANU sent 6 students and a faculty sponsor. The second cohort of the exchange program took off, and we can say we are officially airborne and the program is cruising at a good speed.
MVNU/ANU Student International Exchange Program
ANU has also ventured into a partnership with Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio, United States. The inaugural exchange is slated for January 2024, with two ANU students embarking on a semester at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and each semester thereafter. The university prides itself in shaping lives through educating the whole person and cultivating Christ-likeness for lifelong learning and service.
The MVNU/ANU partnership, in addition to ANU students going to MVNU, will see MVNU students complete program minors at ANU and also the development of summer intensive courses which may be taught by faculty from one or both institutions and open to both the ANU and the NNU students.
Academic Excellence: The Exchange Program offers students the opportunity to gain international exposure at local fees. This experience exposes them to diverse teaching methodologies, different educational systems, and a global perspective, ultimately enhancing their academic excellence.
Individual Growth: Students and faculty members participating in this exchange program willingly step out of their comfort zones, fostering self-confidence as they embrace new environments and challenges. This process cultivates resilience, independence, and a global mindset, providing them with a competitive edge in an increasingly interconnected world.
Students keen on participating in the Exchange Program can express their interest via email to [email protected]. Applications for participating in the exchange program typically commences nine months before the scheduled semester of the exchange. The entire application process encompassing the call for applications, shortlisting, vetting and preparation of visa application documents unfolds within this timeframe. The previous visa application process by the ANU team that travelled to NNU was made more manageable with collaborative efforts from both institutions. In 2023, a group interview facilitated by NNU resulted in a remarkable outcome with eight out of nine ANU participants securing visas.
To be eligible for the Exchange Program, applicants must:
- Demonstrate alignment with ANU’s Mission and Christian Liberal Arts Philosophy of Education.
- Be in their second or third year of study in the exchange semester.
- Have been an on-campus student for at least one semester or plan to be before the exchange semester.
- Pay the prescribed fee, which includes ANU self-sponsored tuition fees, room and board, and medical insurance.
- Cover their airfare to and from the partner universities abroad
- Maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher.
- Commit to returning to their home country at the end of the study abroad session.
- Provide a surety from a guardian indicating their commitment to return.
- Possess a valid passport or be willing to obtain one before visa application.
- Who is eligible to apply for the exchange program?
- Undergraduate students who meet the set eligibility criteria.
- What’s the exchange program duration?
- The program lasts for one semester.
- What is the total cost of the exchange program?
- The cost of the program is affordable. ANU students pay their fees at ANU, including boarding and meals, and do not incur additional fees at NNU, making it an international experience at local costs. Students are expected to meet their costs for visa applications and air tickets.
- Does the university assist in the visa application process?
- Yes, the university provides step-by-step assistance in the visa application process and prepares participants for embassy interviews.
- Must the students return after one semester?
- Yes, this is a one-semester program, and students are required to return in accordance with their J-1 Visa requirements.
In conclusion, our Exchange Program is a transformative experience that opens doors to global learning and personal growth. It fosters cultural intelligence, academic excellence, and individual development while promoting international partnerships and fostering a deeper understanding of the world’s rich tapestry of cultures.