By Austin Norville ’15
Many students will experience moving to a new city, part of town, house or school.
Not many students will experience moving to a new country.
“I was young when I moved here so I don’t remember the journey that much,” said sophomore Fergus Shanks ’15. “It was hard as we did not know anyone and had to adapt to a different lifestyle … I forced myself to speak with an American accent so I would fit in with the other kids.”
Shanks was born in London, England and came into the United States when he was three years old.
“We moved for my dad’s job. He works in the travel industry and spends a lot of time travelling. Currently he is living in a small island country called Mauritius, which is off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean,” Shanks said
Senior Victor Ribakare ’13 was also born outside the United States, similarly he had to adapt to a new school and culture.
However he also had the struggle of learning a new language.
“I was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Ribakare said. “I was four years old when I moved here on Feb. 17, 2000, my family decided to refuge to United States because my father was previously imprisoned by the government because he was from Rwanda and the president at that time wanted to kill anyone from that country based on suspicion.”
According to Ribakare, he remembers little about the actual journey; he knows it was very long and his family stopped at many cities before arriving in the U.S.
“English was not my first language, my first language is an African dialect called Lingala,” Ribakare said. “It was really tough learning a new language. When I arrived, it wasn’t very long until I had to start school. I knew little to no English when I started school. I had an English tutor while I was in school. Again, this was tough and to go along with it all, I had an awful stuttering problem.”