Abigail Gunasegaran: Advertising and Public Relations major, Singapore native
March 26, 2012
Abigail Gunasegaran, a native of Singapore, grew up in Tokyo, Japan, as an MK (missionary kid). Abigail always knew that she wanted to attend a university in the United States, and after much prayer, she knew that Evangel was where she was supposed to be. She was blessed with a relatively easy cultural transition when she arrived on Evangel’s campus, and she continues to enjoy sharing her cultural experiences with those around her. Abigail is thriving in the Evangel community as she prepares to graduate this year with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations.
Why did you choose Evangel?
I knew that I wanted to go to school in the United States and came across Evangel in a Campus Life magazine. After much prayer, I just knew that I belonged here.
Did you visit Evangel’s campus before you arrived on campus as a student?
No. Traveling all the way from Japan for a campus visit was too expensive to even consider.
Did you receive financial aid?
I have received a 50 percent A/G missionary dependent tuition discount for all the years that I have attended Evangel.
Were there any obstacles you overcame in coming to Evangel?
The cultural shift was a bit of an issue, but the biggest obstacle I had to learn to overcome was getting used to American food. I’m still not completely used to it, but I have learned to enjoy it.
How did you decide on your particular area of study?
I knew that I belonged in the Communication Department because I have always loved to write, but I was not sure which area of Communications I wanted to major in. Fortunately, the Evangel Communication Department allows all of their students to experience a little bit of everything in their freshman classes. This helped me greatly in discovering the field that I belonged in.
What are the benefits of attending a smaller university?
I love that my professors know me on a personal level and that I can go to them whenever I need to. The close-knit, warm environment at Evangel is something that I truly appreciate and value.
How is Evangel’s Advertising/PR program preparing you for your future career?
I feel like I have learned more than just “book knowledge” in my classes. My professors have continuously emphasized the real-world insight and experiences to share with us. This has helped me feel prepared and confident for my future career.
What kind of educational/service/leadership opportunities have you encountered?
During my freshman year, I was able to go on a missions trip to Nicaragua. Though I have traveled a lot during my lifetime, I had never been to an impoverished country. The experience truly changed my perspective on life and helped me to be more aware of the abundance of God’s blessings in my life. During my junior year, I also had the opportunity to intern in the Church Multiplication Network at the Assemblies of God Headquarters. My internship allowed me to gain lots of real-world experience in marketing and also helped me acquire many great pieces for my portfolio.
What are your personal and career/ministry goals after college?
My goal is to get a job in the advertising industry one day and pursue my master’s degree in communications.
Why should a prospective student choose Evangel?
It is such a warm and friendly community. Making friends will not be a problem. You will also have tons of opportunities to learn and grow personally, spiritually and academically.
How easy/hard was it to adapt to a new culture?
Personally, I didn’t have that hard of a time fitting in at Evangel because everyone is so warm and friendly. Still, moving to a new culture was definitely a huge learning experience for me. Though it was not always easy, I can definitely now say that I have enjoyed every minute of it.
What advice would you give other international students who are considering attending Evangel?
When you come to campus, don’t be afraid to make new friends. People love to hear about your culture and where you came from. Making friends with people will also make it easier for you to adapt to the new culture and enjoy new experiences.