I’ve just returned from the most amazing experience I have ever had, studying abroad in South Africa. The trip was educational, FUN, inspiring, and really helped my classmates and I to develop a better understanding of our world. We had an opportunity to meet with nongovernmental organizations, non-profit organizations, and some key contributors to the economy, tying in all that we were learning throughout daily lectures. For a visual learner like myself, this allowed me to comprehend the socio-economic condition of South Africa, which was fascinating!
I still can’t believe I can say I was a student at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The campus there was on a nature preserve, and we saw monkeys trying to steal snacks from students. Amazing! The U.S. dollar is strong in the South African economy, so nine of us would eat at a restaurant together, get appetizers and desserts, and order steaks, all for less than $10 a person. I will miss eating good for that cheap! However, I will not miss cars driving on the left side of the road and drivers sitting on the right side of the car, as that was pretty confusing.
I went into this program hoping to gain something, anything to make me a better person. I was awarded that and an abundance of knowledge and new friendships. I met people in South Africa who I made genuine connections with, and my classmates and I are now bonded as friends by this experience. I have a greater appreciation for my own country and our quality of life here. South Africa taught me how to help with less and accomplish more. Most importantly, I understand that education is key to mastering anything, and I am more determined learn.
I encourage everyone to pick a place, make it work with your schedule, and get out there and explore the world!
Click here to learn how to take part in opportunities such as the South Africa Study Abroad program!