US students united at Mt Kilimanjaro summit

08Aug 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
US students united at Mt Kilimanjaro summit

ONE of the biggest rivals in graduate programmes in the world, the top two schools—Stanford and Harvard universities united at the Uhuru Peak – Africa’s highest point in Tanzania.

Over the last ten years, these two universities have been trading places between first and second place in global rankings.

They hold the lowest acceptance rates for their respective programmes and gaining admission to attend one of these schools is quite the challenge.

Stanford boasts of admissions rates as low as 4.7 per cent for their incoming class.

On July 30th 2017, students from Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business gathered together in Arusha, Tanzania before the hike.

The climb was organised by a Tanzanian, Benjamin Fernandes who attended Stanford Graduate School of Business and just recently graduated in the class of 2017.

This is the second time Fernandes has brought a group to Tanzania. The last trip was before he started his graduate studies in July 2015.

Fernandes said: “I believe our country is the most beautiful in the world and it was important for me to invite friends from Stanford and Harvard to discover and learn about our country.”

“My hope is that these graduate students will become ambassadors for Tanzania everywhere in the world that they may go and that more people will come and visit Tanzania. I hope that we are able to plan this trip for Harvard and Stanford graduate students every year continuously,” said Fernandes.

All students from these respective programmes summited the mountain on August 4th 2017 at 5:22AM.

“It’s not an easy climb, but it’s important to stay positive, believe that you will make it, and go slowly, it’s not a race, it’s a process of getting that takes a lot of self-reflection. I’ve been extremely proud of our group; they have worked very hard.

My hope is to see more Tanzanians taking the challenge to tackling this mountain,” Fernandes said.

This is the first leg of a two-week trek that Fernandes has organised with his sister Bernice Fernandes. Now the group will head over to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti before ending the trek in Zanzibar at the end of next week.

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