Tag Archives: SDA college

A Leap of Faith in Italy 

Natalia Gomez recently flew back to her hometown of Santa Barbara after spending most of her summer studying abroad at Villa Aurora in Italy. Applying through ACA (Adventist Colleges Abroad), she saw that she didn’t know anyone in the program but decided to take a leap of faith and go on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure before her senior year. By facing her fears, Natalia met amazing people on campus, learned Italian, explored new places, and indulged in delicious food every day. From her “HOT!, inspiring, and yummy” time in Italy, Natalia couldn’t have asked for a better study abroad experience.

How has your time in Italy been? 

My time in Italy has been great! I’ve been able to visit and explore a new Italian city every week as well as really familiarize myself with Florence. It’s pretty exciting to be living in Florence and find my favorite spots to study or get gelato. I have definitely indulged and gotten gelato almost every day I’ve been here. School in Italy is not structured the same as back home, and learning a new language comes with its challenges, but it has been a lot of fun learning a new language and immersing yourself in the culture. I’d definitely say that I’ve gotten the most practice with speaking in Italian through talking with salespeople or waiters at restaurants. I didn’t always understand what they were saying at first or even what I was saying, but it made for some funny moments, and after a few weeks, I got the hang of it. I’m definitely not fluent, but I’ve really enjoyed being able to speak with locals in Italian as best as I can. 

What inspired you to study in Italy?

I have to be honest, the foodie in me is what really determined me to study in Italy. I love pasta, and I love ice cream, and the thought of having the best of the best in Italy, on a regular basis? Sold! But of course, I also thought it would be really exciting to make new friends from all over the world. I really enjoyed going on an ADRA missions trip a few years back, and I made incredible friendships from that experience, and I was also hoping the same would come out of studying abroad! I actually took a really big leap of faith and decided to go abroad alone, without knowing anyone else in the program. And after my time here, I honestly would recommend going even if you don’t know anyone. 

Describe your typical day studying abroad.

My typical day abroad: I wake up around 7 a.m. to get ready for breakfast at 7:30 at the caf or a quick trip to a nearby cafe. Then I go to classes from 8:40-1:15, usually getting some snacks from the vending machines during class breaks. Once I’m out of classes, I run over to the caf for lunch to be in the front of the lunch line because lunch is the best meal of the day on campus! And after lunch, some friends and I take off to our favorite spots to do homework and study. Then we explore Florence or go shopping before dinner. If I don’t eat dinner in town, I go back to campus for dinner, but regardless- I will always go out with friends after dinner for gelato. Then it’s time for an ice-cold shower before bed, it’s so hot in the summer, that’s the only way to fall asleep peacefully. (keep in mind, I was in Italy during Europe’s record-breaking heat wave). I usually fall asleep around midnight. 

What have been your favorite things about studying abroad?

Surprisingly meeting new people has been my favorite thing! I’m actually a pretty shy person and studying in Italy without knowing anyone seemed scary at first. However, I’ve met amazing people while being here, from students to teachers and the volunteers who work on campus! I’ve had so much fun going out with everyone here that I’ve actually already made plans to travel and go out with some new friends after returning home! 

What will you miss the most about your time abroad? 

That’s tough, I miss so much! But I’d have to say exploring Florence in the afternoons after school was the best time. Practicing our Italian, finding new places, trying new foods – just adventuring without a plan was so fun! Some of the funniest memories came from us just taking advantage of our time and exploring. Was there an afternoon where at one point there were dark clouds and lightning off in the distance? Yes. Did we have jackets or umbrellas? Nope. Did we get caught in a rainstorm and end up running in the rain all over the city? Yes, we did, and it was one of the funniest nights ever. Truly just do it all!

Recommend an Italian dish or restaurant. 

Medici’s has the best gelato and this has been confirmed by multiple locals! I went here almost every day of the summer- all the flavors are amazing! Although I’d have to say that Stracciatella is my favorite flavor of gelato, and this was the best place to get it. Everywhere else I went did not compare.

What would you say to someone who is interested in ACA?

Just go for it! Don’t let any of your fears or worries stop you from having once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It sounds so cheesy, but when else will you have the opportunity to be 18-22 ish running around a foreign city with friends, trying new foods, seeing beautiful landscapes, and learning about another culture? It’s probably one of the last times you’ll have a summer camp type of experience before you graduate and start working.

Connect Ministries: Serving Churches & Academies Around The World

Connect Ministries is one of PUC’s worship outreach ministries. Ran by the enrollment and marketing department, Lewis Govea is in charge of Connect Ministries- and has been involved since 2017, serving at different academies, camp meetings around California, and reaching out to churches to worship with. Besides making it a habit of attending camp meetings and doing vespers for local academies, they have also traveled as far as Arlington, TX., and Boston, MA. to worship with churches.

Lewis kindly answered some questions for us to learn more about Connect and how you, your church, and academies can get involved.

Tell us about Connect Ministries. 

I think George Tuyu, the PUC church’s current youth pastor, was a large proponent of its inception when he was a PUC student. It was a way for students to bring the banner of PUC to the local churches and academies and help them out with various parts of the service. It currently still operates as primarily a worship ministry. The people that are involved change year to year, but it has always been musicians across campus bringing PUC’s worship to local churches and schools, and sometimes not so local places.

What is your role with Connect Ministries? 

I started getting involved with Connect Ministries back in 2017. I was a freshman, and we went to do vespers at Rio Lindo Academy. I have done a number of things with Connect since then, including spending a week and a half at Redwood Campmeeting in 2019. Now I’m an enrollment counselor and am in charge of the entire ministry, which includes me reaching out to churches and organizing trips.

What plans do you have for Connect next school year? 

The plan for next year is to reinvigorate the program. The goal is to make sure our local churches and schools know they can call on Connect Ministries for a worship experience.

How has this ministry impacted you? 

This ministry is the first PUC ministry I got involved in. It inspired me to reimagine my view of worship and ministry altogether, and challenged me to think bigger and better all the time. These aren’t just productions, they’re worship experiences, and now I am called to lead it.

PUC admissions counselors Pauline Cidro (left) and Lewis Govea (right) with the Connect Ministries team.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of Connect Ministries? 

Being able to guide my student leaders when we are called somewhere. I love making music myself, and I enjoy the challenge of producing something high quality and heartfelt.

How can students get involved with Connect Ministries? 

Anyone interested in being a part of Connect Ministries or who is interested in having us visit their school or church just needs to email connectministries@puc.edu

Five PUC Scholarships To Check Out 

At PUC, we understand the cost of college is quite a number, which is why each student receives one or more forms of financial aid to help them on their educational journey. Here are just five scholarships specifically from PUC:

Maxwell Scholarship (Yearly: $32,000 / 4-Year Total: $130,620)

The Maxwell Scholarship is only available to incoming freshmen for the fall 2022 term. 

The student must have a 3.9-4.0 GPA and a 34+ ACT or 1500+ SAT. This scholarship cannot be combined with any other PUC scholarships, awards, or discounts, and is renewable for three years with a 3.5 GPA, with a potential 4th year under qualifying conditions. The student must also be living in the residence halls. 

Merit Scholarships

These are based on an unweighted cumulative GPA and test scores. These are automatically awarded to students who meet the criteria after the admissions application is reviewed. The awards are renewed for three years for students meeting the GPA requirements. 

  • President’s ($15,000 / 4-Year Total: $52,000) 

The President’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.75-4.0 GPA or 29+ ACT / 1350+ SAT. This scholarship is renewable with a 3.0 GPA. 

  • Dean’s ($13,00 / 4-Year Total $52,000) 

The Dean’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.5-3.74 GPA or 26+ ACT/1200+ SAT. This scholarship is renewable with a 3.0 GPA. 

  • Trustee’s Scholarship ($11,000 / 4-Year Total: $44,000) 

The Trustee’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.25-3.49 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA. 

  • Founder’s ($9,000 / 4-Year Total: $36,000) 

The Founder’s Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 2.8-3.24 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA. 

Out-Of State Scholarship ($1,500-$4,000) 

Freshman students out-of-state will automatically receive $1,500. For freshman students who are California residents and qualify for Cal Grant, up to $4,000 may be awarded.

Mostert Leadership Scholarship ($2,000) 

This scholarship is given to incoming freshmen for selected leadership roles they had during their junior and/or senior years. (Limited to two awards.)

Transfer Scholarships 

  • President’s ($13,000)

The President’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.75-4.0 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA.

  • Dean’s Transfer ($11,000)

The Dean’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.40-3.74 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA.

  • Trustee’s Transfer ($8,000) 

The Trustee’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 3.10-3.39 GPA, and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA.

  • Founder’s Transfer ($6,000)

The Founder’s Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students who have a 2.70-3.09 GPA and is renewable with a 3.0 GPA.

To view a list of all the scholarships given by PUC, visit our website. Please keep in mind that some of these scholarships have certain qualifications and restrictions. No matter what year you are, PUC offers other scholarships, grants, and discounts to make sure you and your family have financial support. 

Come Join the Fun at PUC 

At PUC, students have many ways to get involved with campus life. Through clubs, worship services, outreaches, and other activities and programs, there is always something going on for students to take a break from their studies, de-stress, and have fun. Here are some ways you or your teenager can participate at PUC. 

Clubs 

Our students are passionate about their cultures, interests, and majors, which is why PUC has over 30 clubs. From the beginning of the school year- till the end, clubs host events, activities, and services students can attend and enjoy. You can also start your own club if you want to! 

Student Association 

The Student Association officers are dedicated to making student life the best it can possibly be. They throw a variety of events on campus and within Napa Valley, such as movie nights, food trucks, carnivals, and vespers. When you come to PUC, you can expect a lot of exciting things to happen.

Worship Services

One of the best things about coming to PUC is being a part of a faith-driven community. There are weekly vespers and student-led worships, small group Bible studies, and church services. We know everyone worships in different ways, which is why we encourage our students to gather their friends and worship together in the ways they prefer.  

Outreaches 

There are student-led outreaches during the week and weekend for students to help around the community. Our Campus Ministries team also takes students around the Bay Area during the weekends for a chance to minister to others. 

Mission Trips 

Every year our campus ministries team plans short and long-term mission trips for students to get the opportunity to serve in other countries. In the past, our students have gone to Fiji, Brazil, and most recently Kenya. Our students always come back having a great, life-changing experience.

Ensemble

Bring your musical gifts to PUC! Students can join the orchestra, wind ensemble, and touring choir. Our music instructors have directed and toured throughout Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world, and also performed in Carnegie Hall. We are blessed with skilled music teachers who adore all types of genres and enrich the lives of our students to grow as performers. 

Intramurals

Intramurals are one of the most popular ways students join in on the fun at PUC. More than half of our student body participates in intramural sports each quarter, like football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. 

Athletics

If you want to continue your athletic talents in college, join the PUC Pioneers! Our athletics department offers- basketball, cross country, soccer, and volleyball teams for women and men. The coaching staff takes pride in building a talented, supportive team on and off the court; in representing PUC throughout California and other states. They make sure that student-athletes put school first and show good character and leadership.

PUC students, faculty, and organizations are always finding ways to make student life more fun and enjoyable for all. We hope you come to PUC to join in on the fun!

Reasons Why You Should Apply to PUC 

As you start thinking about where to attend college, take a look at Pacific Union College. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider applying to PUC.

You’ll Make Friends For A Lifetime

The friends you make at PUC will be your friends for life. From living in the dorms, and meeting people in your program and classes; to joining groups and clubs on campus, you will meet people from all over the world.

Many Programs to Choose From

With over 70 degrees and programs, you will find the right program for you. Our students have continued to find their passions here and move on to extraordinary places- such as Hulu, Netflix, Loma Linda University, Stanford University, and more.

Get Connections & Network 

With our graduates working in many fascinating areas, we can connect PUC students to someone in their desired field. From the business, marketing, and film world to top medical hospitals, our students can network with PUC alums from each department and learn more about their occupations.

Our Location 

Living in the Napa Valley gives you the best of both worlds of the outdoors and city life. PUC homes enchanting trees and miles of fields that do good for the soul and cater to anyone who wants to soak in the great outdoors. Neighboring the Bay Area gives you the chance to explore cities like San Francisco or relax shoreside by the numerous beaches along the coast. From waking up to the charming mountain scenery- to driving down the beautiful Silverado Trail, you can’t beat our location.

Grow Spiritually, Physically, & Mentally 

You will grow spiritually, physically, and mentally every day with the wide variety of classes, services, and opportunities PUC offers. Our faculty are not only devoted to helping you reach your full academic potential but care for your spiritual and mental health. PUC’s location alone provides a healthy, active lifestyle that improves one’s wellbeing. From local outreaches, worships, and international mission trips- to intramurals and student-led events and activities- there are countless opportunities to help you grow.

Student-Teacher Ratio 

PUC offers smaller classes to give you one-on-one attention and get the help you need from your professors. At bigger universities, it’s hard to receive assistance or ask questions during class- so you will not have that problem here.

Our Community 

Our close-knit, diverse community is what makes PUC so great. The minute you walk into the doors of the dorms and classrooms, you will be welcomed by the warmth of our faculty, staff, and students. Every person at PUC matters, and we will do everything we can to make you feel at home.

Receive Financial Aid

We know how expensive college is- which is why every student receives one or more ways of financial aid. From scholarships to grants- we will find the best financial aid package for you and your family.

Have A Supporting Advisor

Your advisor will be by your side, supporting you throughout your entire college career. They will help you with your courses, answer any questions, and encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Your advisor will help you reach your goals and will still be there for you after you graduate.

Be A Part of Something Special

PUC students are very active in making change happen on campus, in the community, and around the world. From community projects to campus clubs, ministry groups, mission trips, and internships, students have many opportunities to help our world be a better place and be a part of something special.

Start your next journey at PUC. Our online application is free, quick, and easy to complete. Don’t hesitate and apply today!