I was going to write about the fun stuff I’ve been doing since I arrived in Cape Town. I was going to write about adjusting to a massive school like UCT. I wanted to talk about the exciting things I’ve done and seen- the whales, the baboons, the penguins, lions, wine tasting, peri-peri, the Old Biscuit Mill, bungy jumping, backpackers, the Garden route, the night life. I really did. But then I started looking around and found something far more worthwhile to write about at this time. Read more
The university system in South Africa of course has its differences from that of the United States, but the similarities are clear: I attend classes, write papers, and study for exams. One course, however, has its students buzzing and pushes the boundaries of my comfort zone every day.
Joy, the lecturer for my anthropology class on Power and Wealth, has challenged us to take control of the course and our own education. She doesn’t give us lecture notes, she doesn’t assign weekly readings. We bow to each other at the beginning of every class to recognize each other’s knowledge and perspectives. We have discussions ranging from the feminization of poverty to the recent Student Representative Council elections on campus to racism in South Africa. Someone posts on the class Facebook page almost daily. Read more
In addition to writing here, I have been recording my experiences on my own blog. In my first blog post about South Africa, I said that I’d already fallen in love with Durban. And now I’m going to take it back. I know, I know, you can’t just do that, but I just did, so give me a minute to explain.
I think I can say I had a slight crush. I had a crush in the way that you do when you meet a person who tells lots and lots of interesting stories and is nice, funny, and all those other basic adjectives. I like her presence and the way that she interacts with people. We’ve sat down and had some really good, yet brief conversations in public, but I still don’t really know her. She always leaves me wishing I could find out more, wanting a real friendship, and desiring that one-on-one connection. Read more
On Tuesday, August 8th a group of Interstudy students and staff had the opportunity to attend a session with US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Here’s an excellent recap of the event from Katherine, an Interstudy student studying at the University of Cape Town.
The event began late, but no one seemed to mind waiting. I found myself sitting at the front of a large room that looked like a hybrid of ballroom and lecture theatre, complete with a large organ on one wall. By chance, I was seated between two fascinating individuals and excellent conversationalists: the driver to the vice-chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, and a distinguished woman who spent her career working in the non-profit sector across Southern Africa. We chatted about U.S. politics, the relationship between the U.S. and South Africa, and – of course – what to see, do, and eat in Cape Town. We had just broached the topic of different systems of higher education when the crowd was asked to stand for two national anthems. First, the Star-Spangled Banner. Timid and outnumbered Americans could be heard humming or muttering the lyrics, but the room exploded with sound when the South African national anthem followed. We remained standing until U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped up to the podium. Read more
Today is my last day as the summer Enrollment Coordinator at Interstudy. It’s been a fantastic 10 weeks working here in Boston. Being able to witness first hand the other side of study abroad and has given me a greater appreciation for the experience I had with Interstudy in 2010 studying in South Africa because of the legwork done by those in this office that make it all possible.
Now, before I get all misty eyed from the realization that this is my last day in the office, I felt it appropriate to share my somewhat worldly wisdom to those who take the time to read the Interstudy blog. So here’s my list of things to live by. Whether it is during a semester/year abroad, traveling, working, or recently graduating (as I just did) I hope this list will help bring some insight into what I believe to be some true necessities to know and practice. Read more
As sad as it might be to admit, the summer will soon be coming to a close. At Interstudy that means we’re getting ready for the Fall semester and we’ll be coming to a campus near you! The majority of study abroad fairs happen at colleges and universities across the country during the beginning of the Fall semester. You’ll want to check in with your Study Abroad office on campus to see when and where their fair will be. Study abroad fairs are a great opportunity to browse all of the program options out there, and meet a representative from the program that you’re interested in face to face. If we’re being honest, we LOVE this time of year here at Interstudy since we know it’s when we’ll get to have the most valuable conversations with YOU – showing you why going on an Interstudy program will be the best decision. Read more
Soon you’ll be headed back to school, and it will be time to start finalizing your plans for your time abroad. Whether you’re thinking about going to the bustling city of London, the beautiful wine region of Stellenbosch, or perhaps the historic town of Galway, Ireland, you’re in for a fresh perspective and wonderful memories.
You might think that coming to a conclusion on where to study is an easy decision. I mean, no matter where you decide to go it is going to be a life changing experience right? While this is not completely wrong, there are still key elements to consider before finalizing the decision of where you want to go abroad. To help, we’d like to share a list of factors to consider when choosing a study abroad program. Read more