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The Simpson University International Student Experience

Learn more about Simpson University and our majors and programs by hearing from international students and alumni about their SU experiences.

Victor Carrera

My hope is to serve the Lord and the Latin America communities through integration of the Good News into faith-based storytelling. ”

Victor Carrera, Master of Divinity Student

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    I grew up in a mixture of faith and storytelling in Quito, Ecuador. Mom taught me to play with imagination, and in those early days, Dad was abusive. In my youth I sank into a self-destructive lifestyle. I remember the days of meaninglessness. One day, a talented storyteller who painted Biblical themes looked at my necessity, led me to encounter God through the simplicity of a prayer, and the love of Jesus became the reality to live for. God’s mercy restored my family and a new life began.

    Higher education is a fundamental aspect of the calling. This led me to obtain a B.A. in Cinema, a certificate in Screenwriting and graduate education in film directing which provided the foundation to create and produce inspiring films. Yet, the need of seminary training was always captivating. After prayer and confirmation, I started a Master of Divinity in the fall of 2014. Through full-time and faithful commitment, I have the honor to be supported by the A. W. Tozer Dean’s Scholarship, their founders and donors. My hope is to serve the Lord and the Latin America communities through integration of the Good News into faith-based storytelling. Christianity is challenging. Denying sin is painful. But I rejoice in the fulfilling of God’s promise.


Wilder Escobar

I feel fortunate to have the chance to come back to my home country and share what I’ve learned.”

Wilder Escobar, Business Major Alumni

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    In 1998, at the age of 19, Wilder Escobar traveled almost 4,000 miles from Colombia to Redding, Calif., to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Simpson University.

    “I come from a low socioeconomic background, and Simpson gave me an opportunity to study,” he said. “Business seemed like a degree that would help me attain my goals, and it definitely did.”

    As a student, Wilder benefited from both his general education and the specialized business classes offered in the program as well as from the social and professional interactions he had the opportunity to take part in.

    “While at Simpson, I was immersed in an academic English-speaking environment which brought my second-language (English) proficiency up to a higher level,” he said. “The business major helped me develop social and networking skills while providing general business knowledge useful in everyday life and in my teaching and writing career. Having a business major was the gateway to university teaching.”

    During his time at Simpson, Wilder led a six-member student mission team to Brazil and participated in a business internship with the Athletics Department. As a student, he was hired by the Enterprise School District as an instructor for the After School Community Education program (ACE) for which he would later become the coordinator for at Mistletoe School.

    “My favorite part of attending Simpson was the people with whom I crossed paths,” he said. “Not only did I learn academic content, but Simpson also presented me with opportunities to grow as a person and reasons to strive for being a good human being.”

    After graduating in 2002, Wilder went on to earn his master’s in applied linguistics from Universidad Distrital in Colombia. He has taught at three universities in Colombia, directed a research group, and taught master-level research methodology courses. He has also written numerous scientific journal articles and several peer-reviewed research books concerning quality and justice in education.

    “I feel fortunate to have the chance to come back to my home country and share what I’ve learned and to build academic communities for the betterment of life conditions,” he said.

    Wilder recently received a full scholarship from the Colombian Department of Science, Technology, and Research (COLCIENCIAS) and the Dean´s scholarship from the University of New York at Buffalo to pursue his Ph.D. in foreign and second language education. After he completes his doctoral program, Wilder will return to Colombia and resume his teaching career at El Bosque University. He will also continue research work as part of his agreement with COLCIENCIAS.


“The professors are absolutely passionate about the students here – they love to engage with the students, not just in their academics but also in their spiritual life and mentoring them.

Kong Yang, Worship Ministries Major

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    Kong Yang is a senior worship ministries music major at Simpson University, minoring in pastoral studies. He is co-leader of the chapel worship team, selecting songs and arranging musicians to lead the student body in worship twice a week.

    While at Simpson, Kong has also helped lead worship at the Redding First Church of the Nazarene. He plays guitar and bass, and also sings.

    Kong’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Thailand before he was born. He attends the Hmong Alliance Church in Sacramento and learned about Simpson through church friends. He visited Simpson during a spring preview weekend, where he visited a music class and met professors who profoundly impacted his life.

    “The professors are absolutely passionate about the students here – they love to engage with the students, not just in their academics but also in their spiritual life and mentoring them,” he said. “They do everything to empower our students to be the best we can be. When we graduate, they want to see us go out into the world and be great people in the name of Jesus.”

    Kong chose the worship music major because he enjoys serving others through leading them in worship. “More than that,” he said, “seeing others excel in whatever they’re passionate about, whether it’s sports, nursing, teaching, anything that they do well in. I love to see them worship God through every aspect of their life.”

    His time at Simpson helped Kong, who describes himself as “super introverted,” grow in confidence and leadership abilities. “In this community, I’ve learned how to be intentional about building relationships and friendships—something I wasn’t able to do easily before,” he said. “Friends and professors are very encouraging and really believe in me.”

    Kong received a music scholarship and student leadership scholarship and is grateful for the support from donors that enabled him to attend Simpson for four years.

    He hopes to use his Simpson education to become a worship pastor after graduation.


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