When one takes a look around him in CBU, finds Rwandan students almost everywhere. There are found in all living places, classrooms, and many other places. The question may be asked about them. Who are they? How did they get here? Why are they here? And so many other questions that have been found the answer in this article. “Rwanda is a small country in the heart of Africa, located in East of Africa” said by Patrick Nsengiyumva when he was talking about the location of Rwanda Country. “We came here after being selected among of top smartest students in my country who have excelled in National examination. These students have to be studied sciences in their high school” Patrick. Patrick Nsengiyumva who has been a leader of Rwandan students here at CBU for a year has explained and answered some of these asked questions.
These students they have passed several tests before being admitted to come and study at CBU. As Patrick explained, they have to study sciences in High school. These sciences include Mathematics and physics or Biology and Chemistry. To graduate from High school, they have to pass national examination which is not easy as Patrick explained. After the results were being published they choose the top ones who have studied sciences, and give them several other tests including English proficiency as they will be studying in Anglophone country. “After being selected some universities from USA, including CBU, come and choose students who will study in their schools. The selection was based on the results of TOEFL (test of English as foreign language).” Patrick said. “They gave us a written test and interviews, and a few of us were selected to study at CBU. Then, here we are.” Patrick explained that the selection was fair and intelligent.
The objective of sending students abroad is one of the ways Rwanda has chose to rebuild the country after 1994 Genocide of Tutsi. “Our country chose to improve science and technology as the key of development of its community. That is the reason why it is sending its youth intelligent students to study abroad in developed country where laboratories and didactic materials are rich and available” said Patrick. Arriving here at CBU, these students are enrolled in different majors of sciences and Engineering. “Most of us are in engineering majors such as Electrical computer engineering, civil engineering, and general engineering. The other Rwandan students are enrolled in sciences majors such as Biology-premedical, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Health science” Explained by Patrick.
Although they come from the same country, these students studied to different high schools and are from different region of the country. Despites that, they interact one another. They are well organized, and officially meet every month. “Since we were informed that we will come to study at the same university, CBU, were excited. We were not known one another but we tried to get to know each other before coming here. In addition to that, arriving here, we keep being close friends and doing our best to help one another. Moreover, we hang out when the time allows, we do homework together, we eat in the same place in cafeteria, and we watch movies together in our free time, “Corine Bazoza, a freshman Rwandan student. She continued explain the way the live in community life. “We are like a family. We have a leader, and we meet monthly to celebrate all birthdays of that month, and discuss about anything academic or social” said by Corine. All the above mentioned by Corine show how Rwandan students do not live egoism life, nor lonely one. They stay together academically and socially.
The interaction of Rwandan students is not limited to themselves. They interact with the other students at CBU. They share the same apartments, classes, and work with American students and the other international students. In all the areas they are, they interact well and all the people they interact with, they like the way they behave. “I love how Rwandan are friendly, welcoming, and they always greet you when you meet with them in their way walking even when you don’t know each other”. Said Cara Muray, a junior in English major and global studies as minor. Cara is an American student who lived in the same apartment with two Rwandan students. She found them as good roommates and friends, and she likes the way all Rwandans interact with the other people. “I think that there is a genuine love and care in the heart of Rwandan. They way they listen to one another and they way they interact with other students. I can tell that Rwandan students made a difference at CBU“said Cara. Cara keeps explaining the good behavior he found in Rwandan students which impressed her to go and see Rwanda in the last summer. In three years I have been here, I saw a big difference made by them. I like when I see them hanging out with the other students” Cara. She really appreciates the interaction of Rwandan student between them and with the other students. Moreover, as a Christian lady who loves different cultures, she revealed that nothing can prohibit her to be in relationship and later get married with a Rwandan guy. “I love the way they behave. Moreover, whoever God provides to you, the skin color or the culture would not be barriers to prevent me get married with them” Cara.
Rwandan students are not only involved in academic stuff, they also get involved in different other activities available on campus. Either working or volunteering, they are found in almost all departments of CBU. “You will find us in many working areas, such as library helping other students to find books and use computers and printer and fax. You will also find Rwandan students in ARC (Academic Resources center) tutoring students especially in sciences courses. We also are available in ADC (Alumni Dinning Common) helping any preparing and serving food. We pretty much are everywhere” Corine. She said that they also are involved in other activities such as Christian Challenge ministries, and other spiritual life activities. “We also get involved in volunteering activities such hospitals and churches. Students who are in Premedical program, they volunteer at Riverside Community Hospital. The other who have permanent churches, they volunteer there like in setting up the chairs and cleaning” Corine said.
Rwandan students attend churches close or far from CBU. Although there misconception that African people do not know Jesus, Rwandan students are Christians and catholic. They knew jesus before they came here, but they grow up spiritually due to the good environment provided by the Christian University, CBU. “Beside the chapel that we all CBU students attend, we also attend different churches on Sundays. Some of us attend Sandals’ Church, Magnolia Baptist Church, Sandals Church, harvest Church and St Thomas Catholic Church. Myself and few others,we attend Colton Community Church” said Methode Maniraguha. Methode is one of Rwandan students and he is in electrical and computer engineering. He continues to explain how CUB has improved their relationship with God, the change they make in terms or spiritual life, and the way they are growing up in faith. “Actually, many people think that in Africa we do not know Jesus and God. But me and most of other Rwandan student who are here we knew Jesus before, and we were baptized in his name, we were so called born again. But when you asked about any change or improvement, I may tell you that CBU has influenced our growing up in faith. It is a good place with Christian professors, faculty members and other workers. It provides chapel and the other opportunities to help us grow and progress in faith. In addition to what CBU offers, we go to different churches around the school. Me personally, I attend Colton Community church. At this church, we have organized the international worship with Indonesians. The other students attend Magnolia Baptist Church, Sandals Church, harvest Church and St Thomas Catholic Church. We really enjoy the spiritual life and we are growing up the day after day” Method. These students are not closed in small area of CBU. They also adjust with the environment, either in Riverside city, state of California and other states, and in the other countries. As Methode explained, they travel around and far from CBU even in the other countries during the breaks. They have a lot of friends in different cities and states. “We are not locked in the same place, campus. We go out of to the churches, we have friends that we visit off campus, we go to the other states and the other countries to visits our friends and relatives during the break. We really travel a lot, making new friends” said Methode.
Hopefully many of questions one would ask himself about are answered, and more information about them will be provided as you will need them.