Yunsik Oh | Staff Writer for “The Mount” photos by Joey Bastian
Mount Michael is home away from home for many foreign students. Rwandan natives David Gatete, Songa Rugangazi, and Johnny Bucyana are no exceptions. “I love Mount Michael. Even though I am away from everyone at my home, I feel no difference. Everybody here is just like my brothers and part of my family,” said Gatete.
These three Rwandans came to Mount Michael for different reasons. Rugangazi wanted to go to a college in the United States, and his parents wanted him to go to a boarding school here so he could get adapted to American culture and the American way of learning and teaching. By searching the internet and asking around, he found out about Mount Michael.
Bucyana said, “My mom works in Haiti. She’s a doctor and she’s been there for one-and-a-half years, since the earthquake. She wanted me to go to a boarding school since she was not at home.” Some of Bucyana’s family members also study in the states and have even graduated from college here. “Coming here was not a sudden decision,” said Bucyana.
Gatete came to America to learn English. Gatete said, “My dad owns a construction company in Rwanda, and my mom goes around to other countries buying machines for dairy products for the Rwandan people. My dad was the person who sent me here. He heard about Mount Michael from the person who helped Songa discover the school. Two years ago, our president made the French language illegal in Rwanda, and he forced all the schools to use English instead of any other languages. My dad thought it was necessary to learn English to succeed in Rwanda,” said Gatete.
Future plans for these three Rwandans remain unclear. After graduating from college, most of them are planning to go back to Rwanda and help their families. Gatete said that he wants to study engineering and architecture as his major in college, and then return to work at his dad’s business.
“I want to study industrial engineering as an undergraduate major and hopefully get my MBA after that. I would like to get work experience in the U.S. before going back to Rwanda,” said Rugangazi.
As for Bucyana, he is still largely unsure of what he will do after college; however, one thing is for certain. “I am not sure what I am going to do after graduating college because it depends on what job I get,” he said. “But I can say that I definitely enjoyed my time at Mount Michael and it is going to make an impact in my life.”