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.