Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: Meet an International Student from Rwanda

In this week's Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Regis Rugerinyange, a junior international student from Rwanda. He's majoring in Mechanical and Computer Engineering.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Regis Rugerinyange, and I am a junior mechanical engineering student from Kigali, Rwanda. Generally, engineering would be the one word to describe me. I have always loved building drones and robots back in high school, and other tech stuff. This, in fact, reflects my majors here at Miami: Mechanical and Computer Engineering. I am just a tech enthusiast.

I guess all my friends would tell you the same, bringing me to the other word that best defines me: friends. I love making friends, and I love talking to people from different cultures and backgrounds. Over time, this helped me to become understanding, open minded, and able to see the world in a broader view.

How did you get to know about Miami University and what made you choose it?

Regis gives a presentation onstage, with a slide showing Rwanda in the background

I learned about Miami from my robotics team mentor who lives in Ohio. From the day I learned about Miami University from him, it stuck in my head. I entered a quick search about the university, and one of the things that caught my attention was their outstanding Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering department. The professors at Miami are also amazing; they are really caring, and focused on every student’s success.

Organizations at Miami like Engineers Without Borders, AIAA and RedHawk Racing are also one of the reasons that prompted me to choose Miami over other colleges. Student life and Miami’s most beautiful campus in the Midwest were also reasons I chose Miami.

What has been your most memorable experience at Miami University so far?

Regis and friends stand with an instagram frame in front of international flags

Without a doubt, the most memorable experience at Miami was meeting and hanging out with different people on campus. It is so easy to make friends here at Miami, and the Oxford community is so welcoming. I met people from different corners of the world who always have something interesting to share with you. Meeting great people and making new friends has been my most memorable experience at Miami so far. On campus I am also a Resident Assistant which has been so far another amazing and memorable experience.

What has been the biggest difference between your home country and the U.S.?

There have been a lot of changes between my home country, Rwanda, and the U.S. Mostly it's the weather in the U.S; it is either too warm or too cold. The weather is totally different to that at home, but it took some adjustments and got used to it. Also, here I tasted new types of food from all over the world. The whole environment is different, but I have really enjoyed that experience.

What has been the biggest similarity between your home country and the U.S.?

One of the biggest similarities is the welcoming and friendly spirit towards international students. Just like home, the residents of Oxford and everyone on campus are generally welcoming. They want to learn from your culture and include you in their community and make sure you have a great U.S. experience. Back at home, we have a similar openness towards foreigners.

What organizations are you involved with on campus, and why?

Regis at a professional presentation with a friend

I am a member of the Engineers Without Borders, RedHawk Racing, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Miami’s STEM Society, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the African Student Union. I am mostly focused on STEM-
related clubs and organizations, because they are the ones that keep me engaged as an engineer on campus.

Organizations at Miami open you to a lot of engineering-related opportunities. So far, I have had great experiences with my organizations: attended a lot of different competitions across states, worked on different pipelines projects, and worked on a few drones last semester with the AIAA.

What does Love & Honor mean to you?

Regis and his friends

To me, Love and Honor means loving and respecting everyone regardless of any factor and working together to improve the communities we live in and the world generally.

Editor's Note: Regis was one of the engineering students who built protective gear for health care workers early in the pandemic.

What do you like to do for fun?

Regis and friends ice-skating

I mostly hang out with friends, play some piano with them. We usually go Uptown and get dinner or something. Insomnia Cookies are also an addiction for me and my friends. I love to travel out of town to new places.

I also enjoy working out at the Recreational Center, then a hot tub after that. I love and enjoy building some stuff at the labs, especially during the weekends or during evening hours when the labs are free.

What is your favorite place to eat on campus?

For the dining halls, I love the Bell Tower. They serve the best stir fry, and I usually meet my friends there around noon after our Physics classes. I also love Pulley's and Red Zone in Armstrong. They have a lot of great food. It’s the best place to hang out with friends at night, and sometimes make new friends.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing their education at Miami University?

I have been to different states so far, but I have not seen a place that is more amazing than Oxford. The Miami and Oxford community are welcoming and friendly, which is a big contribution to your overall college experience. Besides that, there are many opportunities to get you involved on campus. There are many organizations in any field of studies that are ready to have you take part in their work and projects.

Although classes might get tougher and have tons of assignments, professors here at Miami are super friendly and flexible. They try their best to help their students, either by tutoring or even finding time outside their office hours to meet with you. All in all, I can tell you that with Miami’s most beautiful campus, a welcoming community, and all these endless opportunities, Miami University will be an amazing home for you.

Where in the World is Miami Wednesday is a news article series that features Miami students studying abroad/away and international students. Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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