Mormon university seeks Far East students

Vladivostok News, Aug. 13, 2002
By Anna Malpas

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is offering scholarships for students from Far East Russia to study at its Brigham Young University in Hawaii.

Jeff Bunker, Dean of Admissions at the university, said on August 9 that, “This is the first year that Far East Russia has been included in the scholarship.”

Currently there are only five Russian students at the university.

Youth members of the Church, commonly known as Mormons, will have the chance to study at Brigham Young University on the island of Laie from only $400 per year.

The International Work Experience Scholarship is aimed at students from ‘non-developed countries,’ and sets a minimum family contribution of $400 for the Russian Far East.

The student agrees to year-round casual work to earn half the $12,000 annual fee, and the Church makes up any shortfall. Most work at the Polynesian Cultural Centre, the most popular paid attraction on Hawaii, which is owned by the Church.

International scholars must promise to return to their home country at the end of the course, since the university aims to train ‘world leaders’. “It’s a moral obligation,” said Mike Sudlow, Director of International Admissions.

The university pays a return airfare for students, and those who don’t return to their country must repay their scholarship.

Non-members of the Church are eligible to study, but cannot receive the IWE Scholarship.

The Utah-based Brigham Young University has a branch in Hawaii with 2,300 students, 40 percent of whom are international students. Business courses are the most popular, but the university also teaches religious studies.

Students must abide by the Mormon code of behaviour, refraining from drinking alcohol, tea or coffee, and dressing modestly, with skirts or shorts below the knee.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has branches in Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Ussurisk, Khabarovsk, Sakhalin and Magadan, with around 650 parishioners.

Representatives of Brigham Young University visited Vladivostok to attend a youth conference at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Mordovtseva Street last week.

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This post was last updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM, Central European Time (CET)