Karen Hoshino, an international student from Brazil, is studying at Saint Louis University (SLU). She is a member of SLU’s chess team, having received a chess scholarship. She was interested in studying in the United States because the US is known for having great universities. Karen has studied at American schools her entire life and wanted to know what studying in the US was like. Karen is majoring in international studies.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Karen has had the opportunity to spend more time with her family in Brazil. At first, she found remote learning to be a challenge, with the increased distractions. She says that through the pandemic, she has learned self-discipline. She has also used the time afforded by the pandemic to reflect upon what she really wanted to study and her future career.

Karen came to Third Baptist after searching the internet for Baptist churches near SLU. She describes Third as a “great church because of the community.” She continues, “From my first day until now, I feel so welcomed and at home. The pastor, the church deacons and members are so kind and loving.” Additionally, Karen appreciates the diversity of Third. Also, Third is convenient, as it is just a few minutes from campus.

Third has helped Karen to make a smooth transition into college. She has found close friends at Third. She says, “I feel like I am part of a church and I am able to feel safe away from home. Third has impacted me to see the world in a new way, to love everyone and embrace this community with love like Christ loved us.”

Following graduation, Karen plans to return to Brazil to work in diplomacy or to stay at SLU to earn a master’s degree.