From Madagascar, to Zimbabwe, to Texas

Adjusting to something you’ve never experienced can be overwhelming and difficult. Especially when that change and experience is something you’ve never looked forward to. That was the case for a Southwestern student who saw how God took her from the coast of the Indian Ocean to Africa and finally to Southwestern.  Candys Rambeloson, junior medical laboratory science major, was born in Antananarivo, Madagascar, a country island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa. She attended an Adventist school in Antananarivo until she was eight years old.  Life was great until she was forced to move due to her father’s job. 	She wasn’t just forced to move to another school. She was now going to live in a totally different country. Zimbabwe is located in southern Africa near Botswana and Zambia. The change was going to be something new for Rambeloson. She was comfortable in Madagascar, so the fact that Rambeloson had to move 1,000 miles away was going to be a new experience for her. 	“I was scared. I did not want to move,” says Rambeloson. “I feared the new culture and language I was going to have to adapt to.” 	When she arrived in Zimbabwe, everything was different. The language was different. The culture was different. The way people went about their day was different. And Rambeloson saw she was different than everybody else. 	Although Rambeloson was overwhelmed by the new culture change, she couldn’t dwell on it too much because she had to start school soon. When she started fourth grade in Zimbabwe, she could not understand her classmates or teachers. Rambeloson could not understand English, one of Zimbabwe’s main languages. However as time passed, Rambeloson got gradually more used to the language, culture, and people.  	“As the months passed I started to fall in love with everything Zimbabwe had to offer,” says Rambeloson. “I loved how kind the people were and how much they praised God.” 	Soon another change was going to take place in her life. As Rambeloson came to high school graduation, she was faced with the decision of choosing which college she was going to attend. 	Rambeloson assumed that she would attend a local college. However one day her father came in her room and surprised her, telling her that she was going to attend college in the United States. Rambeloson was shocked.  	“I was just starting to love Zimbabwe and all of a sudden I had to move to America,” says Rambeloson. “I did not want to move again but I decided to put this new experience in God’s hands.” 	Now that she knew she would be studying in America, she had to decide where exactly. One of her father’s friends told her to go visit Southwestern Adventist University.  	Her father’s friend and other family members prompted her and she did research on the school. When she found out that Southwestern was located in a small town and was a very small school compared to where she’d gone before, she was not too amused by the idea of going there for college.  	“I was used to big schools and big cities, and that’s the type of atmosphere I wanted for my future university,” says Rambeloson. “I wanted to go somewhere big, like Los Angeles or New York.” Nevertheless, she decided to go to Keene and see what it was like.   	“I prayed to God that he would put me in the correct position to succeed,” says Rambeloson. “If Southwestern was going to be that school, I was going to accept it.” Once Rambeloson got the opportunity to meet the staff and faculty as well as other students, she fell in love with Southwestern. Rambeloson loved the friendly and diverse atmosphere and culture Southwestern had to offer. 	“The fact that there were so many different cultures represented here was so amazing,” says Rambeloson. “I feel like I was just as important as the student right next to me.” 	Rambeloson also admired how much each teacher valued her. Each teacher seemed to make a personal connection with her. Rambeloson also loved how God was the main focus of the University and every classroom. 	“I wanted to go to a University that not only allowed me to get a great education, but that also offered me the opportunity to obtain a closer relationship with God,” says Rambeloson.  	After all that she had experienced in her visit to Southwestern, Rambeloson finally came to her decision. She wanted to attend Southwestern and pursue her bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science. 	“I am forever grateful for the opportunity God gave me to be part of the Southwestern family. God knew that this was the place for me all along,” says Rambeloson. “I’m happy I chose Southwestern and thankful that God led me here.”

Candys Rambeloson has come a long way to study at Southwestern, but she is glad God led her here.

Adjusting to something you’ve never experienced can be overwhelming and difficult. Especially when that change and experience is something you’ve never looked forward to. That was the case for a Southwestern student who saw how God took her from the coast of the Indian Ocean to Africa and finally to Southwestern.

Candys Rambeloson, junior medical laboratory science major, was born in Antananarivo, Madagascar, a country island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa. She attended an Adventist school in Antananarivo until she was eight years old.  Life was great until she was forced to move due to her father’s job.

She wasn’t just forced to move to another school. She was now going to live in a totally different country. Zimbabwe is located in southern Africa near Botswana and Zambia. The change was going to be something new for Rambeloson. She was comfortable in Madagascar, so the fact that Rambeloson had to move 1,000 miles away was going to be a new experience for her.

“I was scared. I did not want to move,” says Rambeloson. “I feared the new culture and language I was going to have to adapt to.”

When she arrived in Zimbabwe, everything was different. The language was different. The culture was different. The way people went about their day was different. And Rambeloson saw she was different than everybody else.

Although Rambeloson was overwhelmed by the new culture change, she couldn’t dwell on it too much because she had to start school soon. When she started fourth grade in Zimbabwe, she could not understand her classmates or teachers. Rambeloson could not understand English, one of Zimbabwe’s main languages. However as time passed, Rambeloson got gradually more used to the language, culture, and people.

“As the months passed I started to fall in love with everything Zimbabwe had to offer,” says Rambeloson. “I loved how kind the people were and how much they praised God.”

Soon another change was going to take place in her life. As Rambeloson came to high school graduation, she was faced with the decision of choosing which college she was going to attend.

Rambeloson assumed that she would attend a local college. However one day her father came in her room and surprised her, telling her that she was going to attend college in the United States. Rambeloson was shocked.

“I was just starting to love Zimbabwe and all of a sudden I had to move to America,” says Rambeloson. “I did not want to move again but I decided to put this new experience in God’s hands.”

Now that she knew she would be studying in America, she had to decide where exactly. One of her father’s friends told her to go visit Southwestern Adventist University.

Her father’s friend and other family members prompted her and she did research on the school. When she found out that Southwestern was located in a small town and was a very small school compared to where she’d gone before, she was not too amused by the idea of going there for college.

“I was used to big schools and big cities, and that’s the type of atmosphere I wanted for my future university,” says Rambeloson. “I wanted to go somewhere big, like Los Angeles or New York.” Nevertheless, she decided to go to Keene and see what it was like.

“I prayed to God that he would put me in the correct position to succeed,” says Rambeloson. “If Southwestern was going to be that school, I was going to accept it.”

Once Rambeloson got the opportunity to meet the staff and faculty as well as other students, she fell in love with Southwestern. Rambeloson loved the friendly and diverse atmosphere and culture Southwestern had to offer.

“The fact that there were so many different cultures represented here was so amazing,” says Rambeloson. “I feel like I was just as important as the student right next to me.”

Rambeloson also admired how much each teacher valued her. Each teacher seemed to make a personal connection with her. Rambeloson also loved how God was the main focus of the University and every classroom.

“I wanted to go to a University that not only allowed me to get a great education, but that also offered me the opportunity to obtain a closer relationship with God,” says Rambeloson.

After all that she had experienced in her visit to Southwestern, Rambeloson finally came to her decision. She wanted to attend Southwestern and pursue her bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science.

“I am forever grateful for the opportunity God gave me to be part of the Southwestern family. God knew that this was the place for me all along,” says Rambeloson. “I’m happy I chose Southwestern and thankful that God led me here.”

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