International Introduction: Meet Jeremy Budi

For years, international students have felt blessed to call Dordt home.  However, language, other cultural barriers, and even apathy often prevent these students from being warmly welcomed into the Dordt student community.  In this new feature section, we hope to introduce the Dordt community to a different international student each week in hopes of bridging the gap between international and non-international students that is often so evident around campus.  Finally, it is our hope that this section will remind the community of God’s call to have a heart for ALL of His nations.

Meet Jeremy Budi.  Budi is 20-years-old and fluent in both English and Bahasa, the language of his home city of Tangerang, Indonesia.  Chinese in ethnicity, Budi is currently in his third and last year at Dordt.  Budi is majoring in Agriculture: Business, which is also the main reason for his journey from Indonesia to Dordt.

When Curtis Taylor, Dordt’s Director of International and Off-Campus programs, visited Budi’s high school in Indonesia, Budi realized that Dordt was one of very few Christian colleges with an agriculture program.  His decision was quickly made, and Budi graduated high school, and traveled to the United States for the second time in his life in August 2010.

Budi has been involved on campus in a variety of ways during his time at Dordt.  He greatly enjoys listening to music; He has been able to play the keyboard for both a traveling worship team and Wellspring services.  In addition, Budi has helped lead Prayer for the Nations, Students Without Borders, and the North Hall Council.  This year, Budi is the coordinator of the Community Outreach Program.

After graduation, Budi hopes to attend graduate school for business and eventually run a big-scale Christian agricultural company in Indonesia or the United States.  He describes his future dream as the development of “the Chick-fil-A of agriculture.”

Budi says that worldview conflicts were his greatest source of culture shock upon coming to Dordt.  Although Budi does not wish to offend the American culture or Dordt community, he does admit that “people back home are friendlier.”  Budi contrasts Indonesia to America in that America is an “individualistic” society and Indonesia is “collective.”  “People are friendlier because they don’t care about themselves as much,” Budi shared.

Dordt College has also been a place of immense spiritual growth for Budi, something he refers to as the “highlight of his time at Dordt.”  At Dordt, he has learned to be intentional about his beliefs, emphasize the importance of glorifying God through everything, and connect everything back to the Bible.  Budi also enjoys the free Christian resources—like good sermons and music—that are more available in the U.S. than in Indonesia.

Finally, Budi shared some advice with non-international students at Dordt.  While Budi acknowledges that “cultural differences are inevitable” and are the “way God wants his church to complement each other,” there are also great similarities.  One great similarity he noticed between Indonesia and Dordt is the desire and enjoyment of “cultivating relationship and companionship with each other.”  Budi suggests welcoming international students with God’s love by, “sincerely care about what’s going on in our lives—in a deep level.”

The entire community of God’s kingdom and people clearly exists all over the world.  From acceptance to friendship, the lessons, cultures, and learning international students bring to Dordt College are definitely something the campus and community simply would not be the same without.

Kristin Janssen, Staff Writer

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