Timberlake Christian Schools received their first international student in 2004. His name was Terry Cho, and he was from South Korea. Since that time our contingent of students from foreign countries has steadily grown to almost 10% of our total student population! Most of our students come from Asia, with the majority from South Korea. We also have an increasing number of students from the People’s Republic of China and expect that to grow rapidly in the next few years. We also have a student from South Vietnam this year. Although we have had students from European countries such as Germany and Spain, the majority still come from Asia.
Since we are a Christian school, we require that all international applicants realize this and agree to abide by our commitment to Jesus Christ and study His Word via Bible classes and chapels. In those countries that allow Christianity to be practiced, we require student applicants in grades six through twelve to have a pastoral recommendation included with their application. In those countries that do not allow Christianity to be practiced, we waive that with the caveat that they know about and readily agree to be taught from the Scriptures and attend school chapels and a church of like faith regularly.
Parents of international students are increasingly looking on the Internet for good schools in America to send their children. First and foremost, they want them to learn English. A very close second is the academic standards of the school. They want their kids to be accepted at any college or university in the world, so the school must be accredited and have a good reputation for providing such an environment for learning. In the Lynchburg area, we have been told by many international parents and guardians that Timberlake Christian Schools is the school of choice in the greater Lynchburg area. Of course we tell them that we are one of several fine Christian schools in the area working hard to achieve the same end–“to honor Christ by providing young people with a high quality academic education and, at the same time, teach them to use that education to glorify the Father!”
We provide ESL at no additional cost to international students in grades 6-9 and additional tutoring for those who need it (at a nominal charge per session). Many families in the area are on our list as those who provide a “home-stay” for some of our international students. These consist of American and Asian families who have, for some years, been involved with our program.
Lastly, a recent highlight of our international program occurred last June when both our Valedictorian and Salutatorian were young ladies from South Korea! These were well earned by both girls over several years of study at TCS. We hope that by providing this multicultural environment, all of our student body will be uplifted and challenged at the same time.