Most Friday and Saturday nights are dedicated to going out with friends – usually starting no earlier than midnight. One difference between clubs in Minnesota and Kampala, according to Olivia? “For one, clubs here close at 2 a.m., not 4 a.m.”

Home and Away

Sisters Felista and Olivia Mpanga have found comfort and friendship in Minnesota

Ask any Ugandan attending St. Thomas what he or she thinks of life at the university, and the response is always the same.

"I love it here!" said Felista Mpanga, a junior human resources management major from Kampala. "The people. The teachers. The small classes."

Her sister Olivia, a junior actuarial science major, nods in agreement. And if you asked their brothers, Paul (senior engineering major) and Edgar (2008 alumnus pursuing an M.B.A.), their answers would be no different.

The Mpanga sisters, who enrolled at St. Thomas at the encouragement of their uncle, Charles Lugemwa ’03 M.M.S.E., are very self-sufficient and work long hours on top of their rigorous class schedules. Olivia is a School of Education office assistant and a Math Resources Center tutor and Felista works in a library computer lab.

The sisters and Paul live in the apartment buildings at 2171-2175 Grand, while Edgar lives off campus. Like many Ugandan students, they are skilled in the kitchen.

"I do a lot of my own cooking," Olivia said. "I love food. I cook and she (nodding at Felista) eats the leftovers. And on Saturday, Edgar buys us lunch!"

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