Frequently asked questions
Where will I live?
Students attending REACH Columbia Union will live in separate male and female housing of student housing in the West Oak Lane neighborhood, within walking distance to the school. Each house has multiple bedrooms to be shared among 2-4 students and are equipped with beds, dressers, bathrooms, and a shared living space and kitchen. Since standard cookware, cooking utensil and appliances (microwave, toaster, blender) are provided in each kitchen, students need not bring any unless desired. There is wi-fi access in each house as well as computers and a printer. A washer and dryer are located in each home, free of charge.
What church will I attend?
You will be able to attend a vibrant young adult church plant, REACH Philadelphia, which is conveniently located in the same space as the school. Our relationship with this church means that you will live in a neighborhood already established with good connections and relationships, which contributes to their safety. Knowing neighbors is one of the most powerful ways of being safe in any place, and those at REACH Philadelphia spend a great deal of intentional time forming friendships with those living around them. We take student safety very seriously, and cover this topic in our student orientation. The respective deans will also check in on students and maintain structures that keep everyone’s well-being a priority.
Where will I eat?
Delicious vegetarian/vegan meals will be available in the REACH Ministry Center and in the ministry houses throughout the week. All means are included in the price of tuition, however, students are welcome to hone their chef skills in their house kitchens as desired.
What will I need to bring? What can't I bring?
Items that we suggest you bring are:
- Bedding - twin sized
- Clothing for all seasons (yes, it snows here)
- Laptop (strongly suggested)
- Laundry basket
- Room decor in harmony with Christian standards
Items that we ask you NOT to bring are:
- Martial arts equipment
- Drugs & Alcohol
- Pornographic/occult material including inappropriate posters and pictures
What can I do in my free time?
While REACH CU will certainly keep you busy, you will have some free time. You'll have the opportunity to tutor local students in the community and explore the area. Philadelphia is the 5th largest metro area in the US, offering a variety of cultural opportunities, museums, outdoor activities, and great vegan and vegetarian restaurants!
Is there financial support available to me for academic and living expenses?
The great thing about attending REACH Columbia Union is that students will already be coming from a summer literature evangelism program, which they will be required to attend in both summers surrounding the school year. Students learn the art of door-to-door sales as well as have the opportunity to earn back most, if not all of the cost of tuition. There are also scholarships and other fundraising efforts available.
Will my friends and family be able to visit me during the year and can I visit home during breaks?
Yes, your family and friends can visit! Due to the nature of the living space you will be sharing with other students, we encourage any visitors to arrange for their own accommodations. REACH Columbia Union is designed to follow a schedule similar to many Seventh-day Adventist colleges, so you will have a Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break.
Will this program keep me on track with continuing my education?
We are being very intentional about this school serving as a mission year experience, with the intent that students will return to their college or university with renewed passion and direction to continue pursuing their degrees. We view this year-long program as an opportunity for students to learn valuable life skills and be able to connect meaningfully with people to bring about lasting change. In addition to offering a powerful ministry experience, REACH Columbia Union will be fully accredited to offer a variety of college religion and applied ministry courses for transfer.