International Student Experience

International Student Mission Statement

The purpose of Principia College’s International Student Program is to serve the Cause of Christian Science worldwide.  It promotes understanding of differing cultures by encouraging a free interchange of ideas, customs, and points of view, contributing to unity and the healing of nations.

Principia College is a four-year liberal arts college for students dedicated to the study and practice of Christian Science. Founded in 1898, the vision of Principia emphasizes academic excellence with what we consider to be “whole man character education.”

Principia is centrally located in the United States with the College campus in Elsah, IL. Surrounded by 2,600 acres of forests, fields, and bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, the College campus resembles an English village.

The College faculty place a priority on their classroom teaching and on building relationships with students. Academic emphasis throughout the curriculum is on writing, speaking, and thinking clearly; character education; and practical experience.  The average class size of 12 students makes it easy to ask questions, discuss, and share ideas. 

More than 500 students come each year from across the United States and the world. Approximately 42 states and 30  countries are represented in Principia’s student body. About 18% of the students at the College are from outside the United States. We currently have students from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Australia, enabling us all to celebrate the beauty of diversity.

International students at Principia are expected and encouraged to participate in and contribute fully to the educational program. In fact, the most successful international students find themselves not only actively engaged in classes but also involved in many activities beyond the classroom.

“Principia is a place where people can be themselves without fear of judgment. You have a very diverse group of individuals here—a lot of international students, a lot of domestics, and a lot or people from completely different social classes. Yet it’s easy to know people.”