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Simon’s Town

In an endeavor to avoid complacency with our weekend routine, some friends and I decided to take a trip to Simon’s Town, a small beach town on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula. We had briefly visited Simon’s Town our first week in Cape Town as part of a Peninsula tour, and remembered it as quaint, picturesque and perfect for a weekend getaway. Conveniently, Simon’s Town is only about a 45-minute train ride from where we live, and the last leg of the journey comes with beautiful ocean views out the train window. The town is immediately charming, essentially consisting of a main road paralleling the ocean, bordered with shops and restaurants. We settled our things at the Backpacker’s we would be staying in that night (a very cheap and comfortable hostel chain) and wandered for a bit along the road before deciding to eat dinner at a restaurant promising a three course meal for150 rand (about $20). We ate on a balcony of the restaurant overlooking the water as the sun set, and I just felt so content.

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After being in Botswana for the last three months, there is definitely a lot to miss about the U.S. There is a huge difference in the pace of the two countries literally and metaphorically speaking. Lines are longer here and there isn’t the same kind of service as in the U.S. Also, the technology is definitely far behind that of the U.S. Many times, this week included, there is no internet where it is supposed to be on campus so I go to internet cafes or the few places with internet on campus.

But what stands out more than the things that are appreciated in the U.S. are the things that are appreciated in Botswana that I will miss when I go home. In the U.S. there is a heavy emphasis on the work that needs to be done. Here in Botswana, it is the people that matter more. For example, sometimes I will have professors show up ten minutes late to class because they stopped to talk with an old colleague along the way, and this is routine and normal. It can be inconveniencing at times, but it really is pleasant when you adjust to it. That mentality is something I wish I could bring back to the U.S. and I probably will on a personal level.

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Alumni Spotlight: On the Radio

Interstudy Alumni come from around the country – from big schools in big cities to small schools in even smaller towns. Enrolling directly at a university abroad through Interstudy means that our students can also study a wide range of disciplines – from engineering to the arts, and everything in between.

One Interstudy Alum, Nicholas Petricca, a graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, has been making waves since his semester at Goldsmiths, University of London….radio waves. Read more

Learning In and Out of the Classroom


Before embarking on my study abroad experience in Ireland, I couldn’t wait to encounter the wonderful things in store for me: the new people, the new culture, the new food, the new WORLD. However, I have to admit, there was one thing I didn’t think a lot about. And that one thing is school. I was always excited to start classes at Trinity College Dublin; however, I didn’t expect it to be much different than my home university, University of Michigan. Read more

Interstudy Mentors in the News

Interstudy mentors are making headlines in South Africa. We, of course, had to share! We’re proud of John and Kline for their great work – congratulations to them both!

  • John Flanagan, a former Interstudy student mentor, was awarded the Mandela Rhodes scholarship for the completion of his Masters degree in Agriculture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg. The Mandela Rhodes scholarship is awarded partly on academic performance, but to a greater extent on character, including leadership abilities, a love for people, reconciliation, entrepreneurship and education.
  • Kline Smith, a current Interstudy mentor on the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus, has changed the face of his university. Now who can say that every day? Kline, an Honours Drama and Media Student, won a Tagline Competition hosted by the Marketing Unit. According to the University, is contribution will be acknowledged by generations to come as the words “Inspiring Greatness” are embedded in the brand essence of this great Institution.

Local student mentors are an integral part of the Interstudy Program in Southern Africa. Mentors are carefully selected by the Interstudy staff to offer a local student perspective for our students. Mentors are usually in their second or third year of university and are able to offer advice to students on campus life, local culture, and general orientation questions.

Connecting with Irish Roots through Language

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right? Whether we realize it or not, there are many words still used in American English that have an Irish origin – words like “galore”, “whiskey”, and “blarney”. Here’s an interesting BBC News clip about American students connecting with their Irish roots through language:

Many of Interstudy‘s programs in Ireland offer a more in depth look into the culture and history of Ireland. Through courses in Irish history, dance, music, art or language, you’ll find a connection to your Irish roots (even if you’re just Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!).

Contact Interstudy at for more information on courses like these: Read more

The Familiarly Unfamiliar

The magnitude of change is quite astonishing. After the emotional adjustment period, I asked myself “how could there be so much change in a familiar setting?” The metropolitan style of London is something that I am quite familiar with. Yet, socially- the city is another world. I could map out all the differences now, but I’ll save the blog some room! I spent a short time nit picking between things and just allowed myself to immerse in the social culture of this city. Read more

Queen Mary Now Member of Prestigious Group

It was announced this week that Queen Mary, University of London, one of Interstudy‘s long standing partner universities, has been invited to become a member of the Russell Group of universities. The Russell Group, as stated on the group’s website, “represents leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivaled links with business and the public sector.” The invitation to join the Russell Group is an acknowledgment of Queen Mary’s quality and status as a top-class research-led institution.

The Russell Group of top UK universities includes among its number Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, University College London, King’s College London, Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield.

Our congratulations to Queen Mary!

Blog of the Week!, one of the leading resources for finding a study abroad program, has named us their “Blog of the Week”! They especially liked how we incorporate both the student and staff voice into our blog. We of course think that our student bloggers rock, so we’re glad they thought so too!

Thanks to for highlighting us this week! You can read their post here: