Sarah KelsaySarah Keegstra

Sarah graduated from TWU with a B.A in the Social Sciences. From Oregon, Sarah has the inside track on what it's like to experience Trinity Western as an American.

So why did you choose TWU?

TWU is similar to a school that is about 45 minutes away from my home in Oregon. But I really believe in what Trinity stands for--and they did everything they could to help me get here, with financial aid and great communication. Here, there's a huge emphasis on Christian Leadership in the various work places of life, and this place has a heart for missions. Being close to the city offers easy access to ministries I hope to continue on with after I graduate. It was also the school choice that guaranteed knowing no one before I came. I was forced to rely on God in every way--and because of that, I have some of the closest friends I've ever had in my life; God provides what you need! 

What's it like to live and study in British Columbia, Canada?

It's amazing to learn in a whole new environment from one you're used to. The government and politics are run differently, and you really start to see your home country from a different perspective. The rivalry between Canada and the US makes for an exciting and hilarious time, whether it's making fun of each other's accents (Canadians say their o's funny, and go up at the end of sentences, even when they're not asking a question) to taking great pride in your country in Canadian vs. American soccer and hockey games throughout the school year. The things that might bug you or you don't understand are the things you grow to love!

What's your major?

I'm taking a Multidisciplinary Social Sciences Degree with the Human Services Certificate, which is a mix of Psychology and Sociology as my two main focuses. I also left a bunch of room for electives so I could take a ton of other classes I enjoy. The Certificate has allowed for three internships within my particular area of interest. Trinity is all about taking what you learn inside the classroom and using it in the 'real world'.

What has been your favorite class so far?

This is my fourth year at Trinity, and I have had so many professors and classes I've loved! One of my favorites was my Race & Ethnicity course (for Sociology) with Professor Jennifer Adkins. It really challenged my thinking and world view, and I have a greater understanding and outlook on my own biases and how I treat people because of that. It was a challenging course and one I recommend to all!

Have you had the opportunity to study abroad?

Through my Human Services Certificate, I was able to complete one of my three internships in Bangkok, Thailand! I have a heart for the inner-city, the marginalized, and women (and children and men too!) who are in situations they might not be able to get out of, and was privileged to intern for a business (Night Light International) that offers women in prostitution alternative work through jewelry making. I worked with these women's children in the morning (85 women who used to work in the bars are on staff there now!), volunteered afternoons in the office, and did outreach in the actual bars on Friday nights. It was amazing to take a mission experience and apply it to my schooling! I just had to keep track of hours, get mentorship, summarize my work hours and what I was learning and have a final paper at the end of the summer. It was the best summer I could have imagined! 

What's it like to live on campus?

I suggest that all people live on campus at least two to three years. At Trinity, they encourage everyone to live on campus in dorms for their first two years because that's when you really get connected with people in community. My second year I was a Resident Assistant for a dorm of 27 girls. It was the most challenging and best year, and because of my involvement I was able to make some of the best friends that I still have to this day! Also, everything happens at night; there are dorm skits, late-night runs to Tim Hortons (a 24-hour coffee shop), movie nights, late night studying, and so on. This is my fourth year on campus, so those who are tired of dorms after a while can live in an on-campus apartment! 

What activities are you involved in at TWU?

I'm the captain on the club team for Titans Women's soccer, and I've also been involved in intramural soccer, which is an indoor co-ed league--so fun! Within that, we have a soccer team Bible study that takes place every week as well. My first two years, I spent every Friday night involved in Rahab Ministries, an inner-city ministry that reaches out to women who work the streets on Vancouver's downtown east side. Now I'm involved in an inner-city ministry geared toward both men and women in the same area of Vancouver. I cannot express just how much these ministries have shaped my life and heart; God reveals Himself more and more when you step out and risk!

How do you pay for your university education? As a US student, can you get financial aid?

Coming in--depending on your grades--you instantly get a certain amount of scholarship funding. You can fill out all of your financial aid information online and, based on need, you might qualify for grant money (which you don't have to pay back) or more loans that you can pay off later. I have a Parent-Student Loan, and another Student Loan that I'll start paying off six months after I graduate. Other than that, I'm working in the summers and working on campus. So far, I've worked with Conferences and the Housing Office--and now I'm an Admissions Student Assistant. American students usually get priority with on-campus jobs because it's limited how much we're able to work off-campus with our student visa permit.

What's one word that best describes TWU from your perspective?

Life-changing! :)