A Week in the Life

Olivia, a digital media major from Dordt College in the US vlogs a week in the life to show what it's like for a student studying in the US. Dordt College ranked first for student engagement in the WSJ/THE US College Rankings 2019. Olivia explains why students feel like part of a community at the university.

Also on Dordt’s youtube channel here:

Meet David | Year Four

David Lee is a senior at Dordt; he is a business major with a marketing emphasis. Aside from spending the last four years in Iowa, David has lived in Mongolia, California, and the Philippines.

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How did you first hear about Dordt?

 I first heard about Dordt College when I was in the Philippines for high school. Curtis Taylor, who was the Director for Global Education at the time, visited and talked to us about Dordt. Moreover, our school had ties with Dordt and have had a few alumni attend Dordt in the past.

 Why did you decide to come to Dordt?

Initially, I wanted to go to California because I had lived there for 5 years in the past. But I chose Dordt because I wanted to grow not only academically but also spiritually and based on the research I’d done and talking with Curtis Taylor, I had the impression that Dordt offered that. In addition, financial aid and soccer were huge factors that influenced my decision to come to Dordt.

 What have you liked most about being at Dordt?

I am pretty sure that all, if not the majority of Dordt students who are asked this question would say “community.” There are many prestigious and good programs out there both nationally and globally. However, if there is one thing that differentiates Dordt from others, it is the community. This word simply can’t be overstated enough here at Dordt. I have met many people here who are genuine, vibrant, inspiring, and passionate about God and living in this environment and surrounding myself with these amazing people have allowed me to think and learn many different aspects of life.

 Tell us about the international student community at Dordt.

 Based on the experiences I have heard from my friends who attend other colleges, Dordt offers a much richer experience for international students. Yes, Dordt might be located in Northwest Iowa, Sioux Center surrounded by corn where people might not be exposed to different cultures as much as other people living in larger cities; nevertheless, the people in this community are quite willing to learn about different cultures. Would you say it is common for strangers to say hi to you on the sidewalk and fellow students asking you questions about your culture? If yes, that’s great! Go America. If not, I have, right here at Dordt.

What advice do you have for high school students who are considering coming to Dordt?

I’d say, “Don’t be afraid to explore.” College is a place where you figure out who you are as a person by experiencing different things. It is also a place where you formulate and live out your worldview. Although it is not wrong to play it safe and not to leave your comfort zone, you might miss many great opportunities that will help you grow/develop in different ways. I speak this from experience.   

Meet Parks | Year One

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Hey all! My name is Erika Buiter, and over the next few months, I’ll be posting some interviews with first year students on the blog. But before I start introducing you to these students, I thought I should introduce myself to you.

I’m an English: Writing major with a Communication minor—basically, I love to read and write. I’m from the Sioux Center area, and my favorite place to eat is the Fruited Plain. I keep busy at Dordt with classes, Writing Club, working for the marketing department, writing for the Diamond, and hanging out with friends. Also, I’m just a little bit addicted to the chocolate chip cookies in the commons.

That’s enough about me—now let me introduce Parks.

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Meet Parks Brawand, a Freshman Engineering: Civil and Environmental major, from Brookings, South Dakota. I asked Parks a few questions about why Dordt was the right fit for him—here’s what he had to say.

Why did you come to Dordt?

The main reason was the Christian environment, specifically involving the engineering program. In my search I literally just looked online for the closest Christian schools that had an engineering program, and there weren’t any in South Dakota. I didn’t have any connections to Dordt, which I was excited about.

Did you visit, and how was it?

Yes, I did visit, once. It was the summer after my junior year in high school—we did it then because it was on the way back home to Brookings after a summer vacation. It was very accommodating. Dr. Brue, on the engineering professors, met with us even though it was in the summer, and we had a good long discussion.

What are you enjoying about Dordt so far?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of the beginning of the school year. I like interacting with the people in my WOW group, they’re some of my closest friends now. It’s a good way to introduce people to each other. I’m really enjoying the engineering professors too, they’re just wonderful. I’ve already been in for office hours with Dr. Ayee. Coming from a public high school, I really appreciate the devotions too—I’m soaking everything in.

How have your professors engaged you?

Honestly, automatically it’s engaging. The fact that all of them are so strong and convicted and relate everything back to Christ, especially in engineering, is really rare, I think. That on its own draws me in to want to go in during their office hours.

What has surprised you?

One thing is the openness of other students. With freshmen, everyone is in the same boat of trying to meet people, so they really don’t care if you sit with them. People want to meet each other, which is really nice.