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Posts tagged ‘johannesburg’

Thinking About Cape Town? Do it.

The following is a reflection from our student blogger, Sarah, after her return from the Interstudy University of Cape Town program last Spring:

Somehow I’ve already been back in the U.S. for a month, and my memory of leaving South Africa feels like a very strange dream. I went through the motions of packing and saying goodbye to everyone I had grown so close with in 5 months, but it was really hard to wrap my brain around the thought that I was actually leaving the beautiful place that had been my home for a semester. When it finally did hit me sometime on the 15-hour flight from Johannesburg to New York (the TVs weren’t working so there was a lot of time to think about these things), I didn’t know how to feel. I was very excited to see my family and friends back at home, but just couldn’t believe that my time in Cape Town was over. In 5 months I had made some amazing friends, and had incredible experiences that I know I will never forget. Read more

Lesedi Cultural Village

Lesedi Cultural Village was established in 1993 in order to provide locals and tourists alike an experience of the traditional cultures of well-known African tribes — the Zulu, Basotho, Xhosa and Pedi that have occupied South Africa for centuries. Representatives of these tribes put valuable input into the design and creation of the cultural village that is meant to recreate not only the portrayal of the cultures and traditional ways of life of these tribes but to also allow for interaction with those visiting the village. Read more

Looking Beyond What I Know

Study abroad is one of the most, if not the most valuable experience I have had to date in my academic career and personal life. My expectations have always been exceeded in a positive way, although adjusting to a foreign environment and new cultures can be challenging at times. However, this IS the unique opportunity of study abroad, writing one’s own survival guide to life, looking beyond the constraints of what one knows and allowing oneself to be pleasantly surprised. Having visited South Africa on two occasions, for volunteer work in Cape Town in 2008 and Johannesburg for the 2010 World Cup, I am of the opinion that this country, its history, politics and cultural melange are mired with paradoxes. I am fascinated by the entrepreneurial spirit and progressive thinking of the city of Johannesburg where races appear to have transcended the legacy of apartheid as opposed to the palpable sentiment of separation one feels in Cape Town. Read more

I’m Going to Travel Until My Time and Money Runs Out!

The best part about studying abroad in Botswana, is being able to travel to some amazing nearby places. For semester break I traveled with three other international students to Ponta de Ouro, Mozambique: a county that is said to have the most beautiful beaches in all of Africa. Just getting there, was an adventure within itself as we began our trip by not being let through the South African border, therefor missing our bus we had already paid for. Instead, we ended up hitchhiking to Johannesburg, then catching our next bus to Moputo, taking a ferry to Contembe, and then being driven by a jeep for the last three hours, until we finally reached our backpackers hostel. I four-wheeled up the coast, bought food from the local market, negotiated for local crafts, and spent my days laying on the beautiful beaches and trying to avoid the blue jellyfish as I swam in the warm ocean. It was a wonderful vacation filled with relaxation, adventure, and culture. Read more

Celebrating Human Rights

Today is Human Rights Day in South Africa. On this day, 51 years ago, 69 people were killed when police opened fire on a demonstration in Sharpeville, a township not far from Johannesburg. It was this event that motivated the start of an armed resistance in South Africa as well as world condemnation of the policies established during Apartheid. Read more

It’s the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make, Bru: Spring Break

Spring Break has (already) come and gone at UCT, and I must say that I earned every minute of my incredible get away. The week before we left, I shut down the library nearly every night working on not one, not two, but three research papers for my courses. Luckily, several of my friends were in the same boat, so we turned what we call “that week” into the most enjoyable experience possible, keeping each other laughing throughout the all-nighters. I love how even the most painful experiences can become cherished memories. Despite the acquired inside jokes from that week, we’re already planning ahead so we NEVER have to go through that again—gotta embrace those learning experiences. Read more

Adrift and Airborne and Arrived!

As I write, well-fed and rested, I have finally experienced my first day at the University of Botswana. The journey was hectic to say the least!
I began my adventure on Friday morning, when my family drove the 7 hours to Chicago, in order to catch my first plane. We arrived in the middle of a massive storm, and by 4 the next morning (2 hours before my flight), there was flooding and high wind across the area. As we waited in line, I quickly tried to remove all liquids and sharp objects from what would have been my checked luggage, for we had come to the conclusion that because of the delays I would experience, and the short time I had to make my connection flight in New York, I should carry on all my luggage. Finally getting on the airplane, I sat in horror as the delay became 30 minutes, then an hour, then an hour and a half. When we finally did take off, I lapsed into an exhaustion-and-frustration-induced slumber. Read more