Students at ALU Rwanda reflect on their experiences living in a diverse community.
One of the key elements that make ALU a vibrant community is its diversity, which comes from multiple nationalities, languages, cultures, religion, and other demographics. Currently, ALU’s campuses across Rwanda and Mauritius combined hosts individuals from over 40 countries. This article is a reflection by members of the ALU Rwanda Community on their experience in a richly diverse community.
What are highlights of being in a diverse community?
“My biggest highlight of being in a diverse community is the rich cultural values and heritage that are represented by each of the 44 nationalities. There is so much you can learn within a short period of time.” – Nancy Nthiga, 2nd-Year student, Kenya.
“I hardly feel alone and know there are always people there for me.” – Tsholo Diale, 1st-Year student, South Africa.
What are the biggest takeaways from your experience so far?
“Leadership. That is the eagerness to learn and share your knowledge in a manner which is neither condescending nor proud. It is being in a community of over 40 nationalities and still being able to live and interact peacefully with one another.” – Oluwatomiwa Odebode-Olaoluwa, 2nd-Year student, Nigeria.
“I have learned how to manage a diverse group of people while learning more about different cultures.”, – Denyu Iradukunda, 1st-Year student, Rwanda.
Have you faced any challenges due to diversity?
“I was used to being in my comfort zone but with such a diverse community, I have to keep on improving to accommodate everyone, which can be challenging.” – Edwin Mbewe, 2nd-Year student, Zambia.
“The process of accommodating the different people and personalities can be overwhelming, but it has taught me emotional intelligence.” – Raphael Karanja,1st-Year student, Kenya.
The ability to sustain a community that has people from different social, economic, religious and even political backgrounds is important for leadership. It is definitely exciting and inspiring to see young leaders taking charge and collaborating while using their differences as leverage points to developing creative solutions for their communities and globally. Indeed, “Diversity is the art of thinking independently together,” – Malcolm Forbes, publisher of Forbes Magazine.