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Missionary Kids & Third Culture Kids

Third Culture Kids and Missionary Kids are valued members of the Ouachita family. Ouachita has a rich heritage of welcoming MKs and TCKs as well as sending out our alumni to serve across the globe. We know that the question “Where is home?” can be challenging for students who have grown up abroad. We promise to invest in your future by helping you adjust to life in the states by providing opportunities for you to connect with other students who have gone through similar experiences while encouraging you to jump in, make new friends and make Ouachita one answer to that challenging question.

Ouachita encourages TCKs and MKs to indicate that they are living abroad as they apply to the university. Their applications will then be channeled through the Grant Center for International Education office, where staff are accustomed to working with students who have grown up all over the world.

We will make the application process as simple and clear as possible while acknowledging and addressing the challenges sometimes faced while applying from abroad.



Of Students Live on Campus



Nations Represented on Campus



Average Class Size



Ouachita's Founding Year

Who is Ouachita?

Ouachita is a nationally ranked liberal arts university, recently named the top private college in Arkansas by Niche.com. Our fully residential campus is located in the quaint town of Arkadelphia, Arkansas. As a leading Christian university, Ouachita combines a solid academic reputation with a close-knit campus community. This provides a setting where students thrive academically, spiritually, and personally.

Ouachita currently has 30 countries represented on campus. Each day, flags fly in the International Flag Plaza, celebrating the different nationalities and backgrounds on campus. Our campus is deeply enriched because of the presence of international students and third culture kids.

Ouachita is pronounced “wash-i-tah” and is a Native American word referring to one of the tribes that formerly inhabited Arkansas. The beautiful Ouachita River runs right behind our campus, and the Ouachita Mountains and Lake Ouachita are a short hour’s drive away.

Arkansas is located in the southeastern part of the United States. Nicknamed “the Natural State” because of the beautiful landscape. Rivers, lakes, hiking trails and other outdoor adventures abound. The Ouachita River runs behind campus, and crystal clear Lake Degray is a mere 20-minute drive away!

Ouachita has a great Outdoor Recreation program that provides students with inexpensive expeditions to local places of natural beauty.

Experience warm Southern hospitality in the heartland of the United States here in Arkadelphia. Benefit from being in a place where locals are interested in getting to know about you and your home as they share their lives with you.

For parents sending their students to study far away from home, safety is often a concern. Ouachita was ranked one of the top 40 safest college campuses in all of the United States.

Ouachita has a full-time security team in place whose focus is on maintaining the safety of our students, faculty and staff at all times. They are professional law enforcement officers who regularly implement trainings for the campus community.

Ouachita is a small campus where the distance from the dorms to classrooms is easily walkable.

The surrounding community warmly embraces Ouachita students and is happy for the university’s influence in the town.

Most private universities in the United States were founded by different Christian denominations, including the majority of the Ivy League institutions. Over time, some of these universities have moved away from their denominational affiliations while others have remained closely connected.

Ouachita Baptist University was founded in 1886 in collaboration with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Since then, Ouachita has remained closely connected with Arkansas Baptist State Convention and upholds a theology considered interdenominational and mainline evangelical in nature.

Ouachita remains committed to her roots as a private Christian liberal arts institution and approaches education through a distinctly Christian lens. All students complete two Bible classes as a part of the core curriculum. Students are also required to attend a weekly chapel session, which focuses on spiritual, cultural and community issues.

While Ouachita remains distinctly Christian, students from a variety of denominations and other faith traditions – including no faith background – are welcome.

After living overseas most my life and being in a small knit community, transitioning to Ouachita was easy. The internationals and MKs get to move onto campus early, meet each other and see campus before the rest of the students move in. The professors care about you individually and open up their homes to you for home-cooked food or holidays when you need a place to stay. There are so many ways to get involved in the Ouachita community, making it feel like home.

Teresa WormanTeresa Workman
2020 elementary education major from Cambodia


How To Apply:

1. Apply for admission. Our admission application is simple. Fill it out today at obu.edu/apply to start your journey to becoming a Ouachita Tiger.

2. Submit your official test scores from ACT or SAT (writing portion not required). We encourage you to send us your score each time you take the test.

3. Submit your official high school or home school transcripts.  Please submit to Ouachita Baptist University 410 Ouachita Street, OBU Box 3757 Arkadelphia, AR 71998. Ouachita also receives official electronic transcripts from Parchment, E-Scrip-Safe, Naviance, Scribbles and National Student Clearinghouse.

Once you are officially accepted, a copy of your acceptance materials will be sent to your permanent residence in the United States, and a second copy will be sent to your overseas address.


Missionary Kid Scholarships:

Ouachita is pleased to be able to offer $5,000 for the children of evangelical missionaries currently serving outside the United States who are US citizens. This scholarship is renewable over 4 years and can be stacked with merit based aid from the university, which is based on a combination of the student’s GPA and SAT/ACT score. A letter verifying service by the sending organization is required.This scholarship is not guaranteed but is awarded at the discretion of OBU Student Financial Services.

TCKs and MKs are also eligible for some of the scholarships provided by the Arkansas State Baptist Convention and Women’s Mission Union. For more information about applying for these scholarships, visit the Arkansas Baptist Foundation’s scholarship page.

For more information, please see OBU Financial Services.

  • $5,000 annual award renewable up to four years.
  • Available to U.S. citizens who are dependent students of full-time cross-cultural evangelical missionaries. Only available to missionary families serving outside the United States and Canada.
  • Must demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • May be combined with other Ouachita merit-based scholarships. Scholarship amounts are based on SAT/ACT scores & high school transcripts. The amount of merit aid for which students are eligible is calculated using the scholarship calculator located at: obu.edu/finaid/scholarship-calculator.
  • May be combined with need-based financial aid as determined by the FAFSA.
  • May be combined with Legacy Award for children of alumni.
  • May not be combined with performance-based aid (e.g. athletics, fine arts).
  • Renewal contingent on demonstrated financial need, full-time enrollment and minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Awarded at the discretion of the university, which holds the right to limit the number of awards offered in any given year.
  • Students may apply for this award by submitting documentation to [email protected]:
  1. Submit documentation of parent’s employment with an evangelical mission agency.
  2. Documentation should include a brief statement of faith from the agency and verification of country of parent’s service.
  3. Families serving with the International Mission Board are exempt from submitting organizational documentation.



fall break trip

Fall Break

Each year, the Grant Center for International Education plans a trip for international students, TCKs and other friends. The goal is to get off campus, experience new places, and make and deepen friendships. Past trips have included St. Louis, New Orleans, San Antonio, and beautiful northwest Arkansas.

food festival

Food Fest

The International Food Festival is an exciting and long-standing celebration of diversity on Ouachita’s campus. Cook up your favorite dish from home and come join the party! More than 500 students, faculty, staff and members of the community typically participate in this tradition of sharing food and culture. Watch the video, here.

dr. jack's coffeehouse

International Club

International Club is a student-led organization in which international students, TCKs, MKs and any Ouachita student with an interest in international culture can gather. It is a great opportunity for fun, friendship, leadership and learning from one another.


As an international student, you’ll be on an F1 student visa. As soon as you turn in all pieces to your application and are officially accepted to Ouachita, we will send you the following items via Fed Ex:

  • An I-20
  • An official copy of your acceptance letter
  • A copy of your I-901 receipt

This website will help you learn how to apply: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html

Go to info.obu.edu. Once there, you’ll be able to use your student ID number (provided in the packet along with your I-20 and acceptance letter). You should set up your student portal, which will provide you information about schedules, billing, etc. during your time as a student.

You should also set up your Tigermail email account. Please start to check your Tigermail regularly for important messages from the university.

You’ll be emailed by your academic advisor after you’re accepted. Your academic advisor will help you register for classes. This typically occurs in April. Your classes can then be viewed on your or student portal. You can view the course schedule online to provide input for your advisor.

All freshman males are assigned to housing in Flippen-Perrin Hall.

All freshman females are assigned to dorms in Francis Crawford Hall.

Upperclassmen will be assigned with other upperclassmen in other dorms.

See more information on housing.

Ouachita has a special orientation called World to Ouachita scheduled for all international, MK and TCK students a few days before the campus-wide orientation begins.

During this time, students will have the opportunity to meet other students from around the world. They will also meet faculty and staff who are available to support them during their transition.

International students will also learn about F1 student regulations at this time.

When campus-wide WOW (Welcome to Ouachita’s World) begins, international students, MKs and TCKs will join the other new students for this exciting introduction to university life.

While some families may opt to drive to campus, others opt to fly.

One option is flying into the Little Rock (LIT) airport. You’ll find Little Rock’s airport to be small, friendly and easy to navigate. Little Rock is about an hour from Ouachita’s campus by car.

Please communicate your plans to the Grant Center for International Education so that they can make appropriate arrangements. Students arriving in Little Rock by plane will be picked up at the airport by university representatives.

There is no shortage of ways to get involved as a student at Ouachita! You’ll find our international students and third culture kids involved in a wide variety of activities across campus including our annual Fall Break trip and International Food Festival.

If you’re able, we would strongly encourage you to participate in the Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trip!

Consider checking out the Campus Ministry retreat at the beginning of the semester. It’s a great place to connect with new friends!

Jump in to Ouachita’s culture with both feet by joining in a Tiger Tunes performance!

Like sports? Consider playing on a club sports or intramural team.

Looking for a way to serve and give back? Check out the many options available through the Elrod Center for Family and Community!

Musically inclined? There are ample ways to get involved, from joining the Tiger Steel Drum Band to choral ensembles and more.

Love to be outside? Our Outdoor Recreation department regularly plans inexpensive outdoor adventures.

See more student life information.





See for yourself

Experience a glimpse of the campus life we get to live every day at Ouachita!


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