Prepare Students to Return Home

Prep Them for the Return

Download Returnee Checklist Bookmark

Before leaving

Encourage them to:

  • Pray aloud in their own language
  • Read the Bible and share their testimonies in their own language
  • Join or lead a Bible Study in their own language
  • Join a Bible study or church of their culture while in the US

Discuss and pray with them:

  • How to connect with God well and stay strong spiritually when they go back
  • A returnee book like “Think Home” or “Returnee handbook” or “Home Again”
  • Examples of God working in their culture
  • How to face cultural struggles back home

Back Home

Urge them to:

  • Visit churches, other returnees, and Christian friends
  • Be humble and serve in a church and Bible Study

National Resources

Returnee Retreat in October 2019.  Please contact Abby Zou () for details.

Online Resources


  1. Bridges International (China)
  2. OMF Diaspora Returnee ministry (East Asia)
  3. Intervarsity Returnee Ministry (Global)


  1. Oversea campus (China)
  2. Intervarsity referral form (Global)
  3. Sending Pad (Global)
  4. ACMI-Link (ISM resources sharing)

Discipleship and Network

  1. China Source (China)
  2. JCFN (Japan)
  3. Diaspora Resources (Global)


  1. Think Home: A Reentry Guide for Christian International Students Lisa Espineli Chinn. Intervarsity Press.
  2. Back Home—Daily Reflections on Re-entry. Lisa Espinelli Chinn.  Intervarsity Press
  3. Think Home: UCCF / Friends International. A workbook to help you prepare international students for their return home
  4. Home again: Preparing International Students to Serve Christ in Their Home Countries by Nate Mriza
  5. New Horizons—Adjusting to Life Back Home by International Students, Inc.
  6. Returning to China—An Equipping Guide for Chinese Christians by China Outreach Ministries

Columbus, OH Resources

Returnee Seminar

Time & Location: TBD

IFI hosts a five-week Returnee seminar at the end of every semester. We will use Lisa Espineli Chinn's Think Home. This popular workbook  helps Christian international students think through the challenges they will face upon returning home. It includes thought-provoking questions, exercises, Bible studies, comments from past returnees, reentry teaching, and a list of additional resources. Students and volunteers are welcome to join us.

If you are interested, please contact Abby Zou at 

Chinese Christian Fellowship (Columbus, OH)

To equip Chinese believers to be able to return to China as effective witnesses for Christ.

A fellowship group composed of Chinese believers, mainly those who have come to Christ in an American context, and who want to learn how to live out their faith in the Chinese context.

Fellowships in other languages will be made known here once there are leaders for the group. If you are already running a culture-specific fellowship group, please let us know if you are open to other students joining you.

If you are interested, please contact Abby Zou at

Refer a Returnee to IFI

  • Returning Student Information

  • (whether past or future)
  • Please also provide address, district or county to help us find the closest connection.
  • Your Information

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