One may participate in a study abroad program for a variety of reasons. Perhaps because it is an excellent opportunity to learn about another culture, to find a vastly different perspective in the field they are studying, or simply because it can feel like being on vacation while working to further your education. All of these reasons apply to why I wished to study abroad at University College Dublin in Ireland, along with more personal reasons, such as having family in the Republic of Ireland, being a dual citizen of both the United States and the Republic, and my grandfather having graduated from this very University. With my natural excitement for what awaits me, I also fully understand the challenges I will likely face, and what I ultimately hope to gain from this experience. Read more
On a Wednesday night, we head out to karaoke at the Kicks and Whistles sports bar. I’m with my two ‘mates’ as they say in Pietermaritzburg; Chuck from Washington D.C. and our friend Shelia, a local. We get to Kicks and Whistles the musical energy amongst the people was amazing, it always was. It was on karaoke nights every week at local pubs, that I discovered some of the incredible musical talent within this small town. Chuck and I performed ‘I Got a Feeling’. The crowd danced in front of us like we were MC’s over turntables, or The Black Eyed Peas themselves. I enjoyed adding to their good time. They were happy to have us. I felt very connected with the local South Africans that night through my love of music. Each day at the Pietermaritzburg campus, I learn more about the musical talent that exists beneath a student body of future scientists and mathematicians . This knowledge helps me settle into my other studies and to South Africa itself. My goal for now is to flow with the rhythm of South Africa the way water beautifully flows from the falls of Howick, and I am succeeding so far.