Even though there are numerous countries that lie between her home in Rwanda and Ancaster, Nadine Iraguha was welcomed at Redeemer by a surprising, comforting sense of home.
“I come from a very community-based society,” she says. “In Rwanda, everyone has such a big family and we’re always over at each other’s houses to share a meal, pray or play a game. Being in a dorm where everyone does things together made it easier for me to adapt. Now that I live off campus, I really miss it.”
Iraguha had just started considering a post-secondary education in Canada when her father learned about Redeemer from a family friend and urged her to apply. Despite being hesitant at first, she ultimately decided to trust his wisdom. It’s a choice she remains grateful for making.
“When I got to Redeemer, I saw how strong the Christian foundation is. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be.”
Those feelings of belonging and satisfaction are definitely well-earned. Because there wasn’t a Canadian embassy in Rwanda at that time, she faced significant challenges while trying to obtain her student visa.
When I got to Redeemer, I saw how strong the Christian foundations is. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be.
“To get my visa, I had to send my passport to Tanzania. I actually didn’t think I’d make it for my first semester,” she explains. “I left as soon as I got it, but I did end up missing my first week and orientation.”
Getting a late start hasn’t hindered Iraguha’s flourishing. Now, as an international student advisor, she’s able to use her experiences to help other students adjust to campus life and North American culture.
“There were so many international students when I arrived, and they showed me how to do things like find stores with African food downtown. You always need help when you’re in a new place, and I wanted to be that person for someone else.”
Iraguha is on track to complete her bachelor’s degree in international relations this year. She plans to apply everything she’s learned at Redeemer, academic and otherwise, to a career helping others.
“Most organizations that help people internationally aren’t Christian based. Having the foundation I’ve gained at Redeemer will allow me to show what caring for your neighbour and understanding their needs looks like when someone is walking with God.”