WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Saturday was a special day for Isaias Trindade from Luanda, the capital of Angola in East Africa.

Wilbraham & Monson Academy has achieved an international reputation over the years. Of the more than 100 graduates, over 40% come from overseas.

Trindade told 22News what his western Massachusetts experience has meant to him, saying, “My experience at the school has been up and down, but it’s definitely been a great experience for me. It prepares you for what comes later in college.”

The school’s rustic, small town setting provided a change of pace for other students who had grown up in an altogether different atmosphere.

Student Maggie Hsiao told 22News, “I’m from Taiwan and my first impression of the school, it’s a really beautiful school and it’s surrounded by the woods. This is really new for me, because I live in the city, so we don’t have this kind of opportunity for a school like this.”

During the years since the school was founded in 1804, Wilbraham & Monson Academy has been the home away from home for countless numbers of students who traveled long distances to get a prep school education here in western Massachusetts.