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South Africa Tweets

South Africa has been recognized as one of the top tweeting countries, worldwide! According to a study, there are twice as many tweets as there are people in the country during the last 3 months. That’s a lot of tweeting, twittering, tweeping, or whatever you choose to call it. The study, called “How Africa Tweets,” was conducted by two companies — Kenya-based Portland Communications and Britain-based Tweetminster.

If you’re planning on studying in South Africa with Interstudy, start paying attention to the world of Twitter to see what’s going on in country. Follow Interstudy at @interstudysa and also search #SouthAfrica.

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A Home Away from Home

It has been about a month since I first arrived in Botswana, but wow, this place already feels like home.  There is so much to say about this colorful culture and its vibrant people but I think what is most eye opening is the inviting nature of so many of the people here.  In the short time I’ve been here I feel like I have already seen so much; so many people are more than happy to take you around to experience the night life, tell you about their village, have you and your friends over for dinner… and everyday is something new.
Of the places I’ve been so far, the one that sticks out most is Kgale hill.  It is a giant, green hill with hiking trails and giant rocks to climb.  While hiking you can see baboons, exotic birds, incredible trees, etc.  A few friends and I hiked to the top not too long ago and were able to get a fantastic view of the city of Gaborone, and some of rural Botswana and South Africa.  There were some notable local attractions too, like the Mokolodi reserve where we saw a cheetah, a giraffe, and some other animals.  It’s hard to think about how much more of this country there is left to explore!

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My Expectations

Sitting at my desk at Tufts almost 8,000 miles away from the city where I will spend five months of my life, it’s easy to think of studying abroad as being permanently in the somewhat distant future. However, the rational part of my brain knows that soon I will be leaving behind the school and the people that I have loved for two and a half years, and while I will be making new memories with people I haven’t met yet, life will go on without me at Tufts.

Luckily I also know that it will be worth it. While I’m trying not to form too many expectations about my semester abroad, I somehow consistently find myself eagerly reading other students’ blogs, or Google-mapping random streets in Cape Town and trying to imagine myself walking down the bustling sidewalks. I can’t wait to see the country that is home to such international inspirations as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, the country whose people formed a wave of activism so powerful it was able to overturn one of the most profoundly oppressive racist regimes of the 20th century. I can’t wait to learn about South Africa from the perspective of someone living there, to hike the Table Mountains, see the sun set on the African coast, experience the diversity of UCT, and fully immerse myself in the culture of the city I have been daydreaming about for months.

Right Before My Eyes!!

London, UK is revered as the global city and is known for its abundant amount of immigration. This is one of the main aspects that drew me to the city for my study abroad experience. I hope to be able to indulge myself within the many cultures that London embodies and force myself to let go of the Americanized perception: We Are the Greatest Nation. Giving in on this selfish idea and being exposed to a different idea, like growing and maturing in a place that is constantly changing. Read more

Hopes and Expectations of Studying Abroad

I can honestly say that I haven’t anticipated anything in the past as enthusiastically as I’m anticipating studying in Botswana, Africa next semester at the University of Botswana with Interstudy.  At this point I can’t be completely sure what to expect, other than the unexpected.  It is this aspect of next semester that I hope will change my life and bring a new perspective.

I hope that by studying in Botswana I can open my eyes and my mind to a new culture in such a way that it can broaden my perspective and the way I view the world.  Living in the United States is great, but the media and other social constructs are largely responsible for the way I think about people and my environment.  I am hoping that all of that will change after I assimilate into a new culture and I can see my life and values from a new lens.

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The First of Many Dublin Blog Posts

As my departure date for Dublin draws near, I find myself spending more time thinking about the experience and what I wish to gain from it. Traveling to a foreign country, I know I maintain the traditional goals of experiencing a different culture, meeting new friends, and gaining a unique perspective; however, I also would like to set higher expectations for myself. Coming from a small town in Pennsylvania and then attending the University of Michigan where I self-admittedly have stuck to my comfort zones, I hope to push my boundaries and work to understand how those in a different country live, learn, and think. I wish to immerse myself in the Irish culture and learn directly from the mouths of the Irish how they go about and experience life.

As an American in a foreign land, I must remember to be respectful and abide by their society’s conventions, never wishing to offend those who I am trying to learn from. Though we are from different countries and cultures, I am confident I will be able to relate to these new people and introduce them to new ideas while they do the same for me. I know this journey I’m about to embark on will be rich in experiences, and I hope to push myself to extract the most from it as possible.