Gaining a Global Perspective

When he attended Calvin College, Daniel Kim was surprised to be exposed to so many cultures and to be engaged with students in talking about their global experiences.

A missionary kid from South Korea, Kim said he learned not only from professors about the world—which he fully expected—but also from his classmates.

Kim, a 2015 Calvin graduate, said semesters abroad in South Korea and England played a role in broadening his perspective as well.

“I wanted to attend a Christian liberal arts college because I knew that every subject is connected to another, and seeing the big picture is necessary for international work,” he said. “Calvin was very intentional about this.”

Kim, who now works for Compassion International in Colorado Springs, Colo., took full advantage of Calvin’s many opportunities for faculty and student interaction, signing up for “lunch with a prof” sessions and becoming active in the international student organization and activities.

One of his student internships was at World Renew, where he worked to create a global volunteer internship program. He also helped resettle refugee families through Lutheran Social Services.

After Calvin, Kim worked for the Red Cross, helping refugees in the U.S. connect with families and find loved ones. That job was followed by his current position as a Korean market specialist for Compassion International.

“We have over 14,000 Korean sponsors and donors in the U.S.,” said Kim, “and I raise awareness about areas of need and steward them in support of humanitarian relief, especially for children in poverty.”

He sees this work as a natural outgrowth of his life and educational experiences.

“We have to share what we have been given by God,” he said. “Being Korean-American makes me very aware of both cultures, and I feel called to share my knowledge and gifts with others.”

He recently began working on a graduate diploma in international relations through the London School of Economics.

“I want to prevent and alleviate human suffering and expand international capacity for that work,” Kim said. “I especially want to lift up refugees and poverty-stricken children.”

About the Author

Mike Vandenend, Calvin College    

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