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  • Writer's pictureIFM Columbia

Atlanta Trip (May 27-29, 2023)

Over Memorial Day Weekend, Dr. Raj and volunteer Barry Knighton took seven students to experience the vibrant culture of Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks to the incredible hospitality of the members of Grace Church in Kennesaw, GA each student was able to stay in the home of an American volunteer and attend church with them on Sunday morning. Students were excited to visit local attractions like the Georgia Aquarium and Carter Presidential Center. One group visited the World of Coca-Cola, getting a chance to sample cokes from around the world, including ones from their home countries. Barry and the students had a blast sampling so many cokes and getting an international sugar high.

We also delved into the cultural history of Atlanta. The students visited the King Center, learning about the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his voice during the civil rights movement for equality for all races. Some of the internationals also visited the Center for Human Rights, learning about how civil rights have progressed all over the world since the 1960s. It was great hearing students talk about events they saw being highlighted in the museum.

Along with a chance to see the local sites, it was a blessing getting to know our students better on this trip. Before this trip we wouldn’t have guessed Chick-fil-a would be such a crowd favorite; the group ate at the restaurant multiple times. We also enjoyed quality time with students having dinner and playing card games at the host family’s homes. Thank you to our partners at Grace Church for making this trip possible. If you have a church outside Columbia and would like to partner with us to arrange a trip providing homestay opportunities to our students, we would love to speak with you. Please email us at

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