One of the most fun aspects of traveling to a new country is learning the difference in language, specifically ‘slang’ types of words of which are not familiar to those entering a new land. South Africa is no different. In fact, with the eleven (yes, eleven) national languages of the nation one could argue that this foreign slang is epitomized in South Africa. So, in honor of our students finally arriving at their respective universities across the country, we at Interstudy thought it would be nice to provide them with a guide to some of the most popular local phrases. A keen study of this list and they will be convincing locals they have grown up in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Durban etc. their whole lives! Read more
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 thought I would devote a bit to the seemingly random activities I end up involved in here in Cape Town…what would life be like without the usual (very usual, in my case) randomness, hey? The thing I’ve realized since I’ve been here is that South African life, in all it’s wonder, excitement, and seemingly primitive nature at times, it is surprisingly familiar. As the mystery has worn off, the sense of home emerges. This is no longer a vacation; it is a lifestyle (perhaps a luxurious lifestyle, but yet I will count it as such). And what would “life” be like without the usual patterns and the moments that, although seem silly, make all the difference. When I leave South Africa, it’s not the beaches and shopping and sights that I will miss most; it is the life, my life. Here is a sneak peak into my “normal” life. Read more
With three bursting bags packed and four final exams completed, it’s time to say goodbye to South Africa. It’s hard to believe that nearly five months have passed, yet at the same time life in America seems like a distant memory. In reflecting on my amazing experience studying abroad, I’ve decided to celebrate all of the incredible moments, places, and people I’ve come across rather than dwelling in the bittersweet emotions I feel. Hence, I’d like to introduce the first (and last) Katie’s Cape Town Awards. The following superlatives sufficiently encompass a few of the many highlights of my time here and have earned special places in my memory. Hopefully this list will inspire a few of your own experiences in Cape Town someday!
The award for the biggest contributor to ‘The Big 10’ goes to… CADBURY CHOCOLATES
In case anyone hasn’t heard, the Big 5 are five of the most dangerous animals safari-goers used to hunt. They include lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo. Well, being the cheeky interstuds that we are, some of my peers and I have termed the ten extra pounds we’ve gained abroad ‘the Big 10.’ We figure ‘The Big 10’ is an appropriately South African way to describe the biggest thing we’re bringing back to the states—ourselves. It’s not uncommon for study abroad students to gain weight during their term since we’re always looking to experience all that our host country has to offer, and food is a great way to get a taste of the country. Upon arriving in our apartments on the first day, the interstudy staff gave us our first taste of heaven in square form (Cadbury chocolate bars). It’s all been downhill since then. Biscuit chocolate is my favorite, so I may or may not be bringing home three bars of Biscuit milk chocolate and three bars of biscuit white chocolate.
The award for being the most likely to make someone run off the side of a mountain goes out to…CAPE TOWN TANDEM PARAGLIDING
It’s official: I’ve survived my first day as a full time UCT student. After two weeks of settling in, figuring out where to buy groceries, finding my way around classes, and (finally) discovering how to assemble a chain of electrical plug adapters in order to use ONE American appliance, it’s finally starting to sink in that Cape Town is not just a vacation, but rather my home for the next few months. Read more
World Cup drawings took place an hour ago. USA drew England, Algeria and Slovenia. Hype starts today for South Africa 2010!