The University of Rwanda being one of the most salient institutes of learning in the country is always rushing with life, with multitudes of students going about their day; some in a rush to make it in time for their lessons, others scurrying to nimble a meal before falling back into the hustle and bustle of school activities.
Students are at the center of the varsity and their body comprises of young adults from all walks of life walking the campus grounds, with hopes of a better future hugged tight to their bosoms. The aspirations of each student are intricately woven into every lesson, activity, and decision made while at the university par for the course no one story applies to any two students.
That notwithstanding, a peek into the lives of particular students will not only impart differences, albeit similarities but also offer a glimpse of what the life of a student at the University of Rwanda entails.
Julie Maeva Piotie is a Cameroon national in her 4th year with aspirations of an industrious career in medicine, hence her major in Pharmacy. Leaving home for the first time comes with the expected worries of whether the new environment will be as welcoming and familiar. Much more than the fear, is the excitement of leaving home and taking that first sip from the fountain of independence which eventually outstrips all fears.
For the most part of her day, Maeva immerses herself in her studies whilst in her modest bedroom, which she shares with another Cameroonian. Once she polished off her school engagements, it was time to scout her new home on the opposing side of the continent. Umpteen things intrigued Maeva but she was rather taken aback by the difference in flavors.
Added to the latter, other things don’t sit well with Maeva as she had a few more concerns including disorganization and obtaining important paperwork, as she says “We need to deal with the mood of the person in charge.” According to Maeva, language hinders her productivity at the institute of learning as sometimes she encounters certain difficulties socializing with classmates.
Student organizations, however serve as a succor to some of these social anxieties as she finds great relish in an association created by her class; the Rwanda Pharmaceutical Students Association. The association permits her to gain insight into the real world. She says, “Through the association, I am not only hitched to my books.”
Being out on the pharmaceutical field fortifies what they had learned in class by presenting them with the reality of dealing with extracurricular activities and also bolsters their leadership skills through the tenure of executive positions by certain members of the organization.
In the end, Maeva finds her first and second year more stirring and considers her third year mundane, probably because she has explored most, if not all of Huye. Though Maeva gives us a vivid image of what life at this university is, it’s important to see things from the perspective of other students.
Christian Mukama, another student in his 3rd year at the University of Rwanda finds it challenging to adapt to life in Huye after his transfer from Kigali. As anyone who has lived in two different cities, he compares the infrastructure and other aspects of both. On trying to draw a parallel, one thing he notices is the affordable cost of living in Huye. Also the miniature nature of the town is a huge bonus as transportation within the city is very convenient and cheap. In addition, hospitals, roads, and churches are quickly accessible from the campus.
All these factors cause Mukama to conclude that Huye is more financially student friendly than Gisenyi where he once held tenancy. On the other hand, he finds that the town does not embolden individuals with business aspirations. He descries this after trying and failing to open a fast-food joint with his friends. This dispirit is as a result of the inconsistency that is seen in any town principally inhabited by students. With the coming of the holidays, students retire to their various homes, leaving some businesses at a stand still and others in disrepair.
Next up, is Lydia Mariam who is a Level 2 Economics student. Lydia is immediately won over by the use of projectors by her lecturers during lectures; she believes it greatly enhances the study process along with group assignments also introduced by instructors.
Nonetheless her studies are rendered bumpy as she has always been in a constant battle with sleep during lectures, attributable to the very long-drawn-out lessons which often end at 8pm. Added to this is the fact that her accommodation is a long way from the university which takes her approximately 8 mins to get to school.
In fine, Florent M. Hirwa is a Level 1 student at University of Rwanda-Huye campus. He became part of this institute last year in November to nurture his passion in Business Information Technology. Just like any other student, a typical day for him involves breakfast, workout, class, lunch, assignments, dinner and chill. Like Maeva, Florent points out that very frequent changes affect organization and flow.
Florent also makes mention of the rainy weather and how it has been affecting movement around campus. In part due to this bad weather, transportation is limited due to the campus infrastructure. He finds the beautiful scenery depicted on campus to be very appealing, which is to be expected as Christian Mukama makes mention of the same thing.
In conclusion, these differing experiences exhibit the heterogeneous nature of this institute of learning; bringing together students from all over the shop.