Since I have been living and working in the city it has been easy to overlook the fact that I’m living in a nation that is still very much developing. I can see implications of poverty by the amount of homeless around the city but still not enough to make me really understand the destitution many face living here today. It wasn't until this past weekend when I visited a township called Langa that I really got it.
Cape Town is a huge urban center of South Africa, however, it also boasts a plethora of activities for those who love the great outdoors. Because of the surprisingly beautiful winter South Africa has been having, I have been fortunate enough to experience most of these exhilarating experiences firsthand!
Living in another country is definitely an experience that plummets you into the unknown. Everything you’re used to is completely turned upside down. It’s a scary, yet freeing feeling that creates independence at a whole new level. Nevertheless, adapting can sometimes be overwhelming when everywhere you look is unfamiliar. Here is my take on a few of the biggest challenges of living abroad from my experiences this summer.
I finally feel like I have the hang of getting around here. I also have come strides in what I know now and what I knew when I first came. The research projects I have been doing are definitely widening my knowledge about global health. I also had the opportunity to observe a mitral valve replacement surgery this week.
We had a three-day weekend here in SA because of the national holiday called Youth Day being commemorated Monday. Due to this my friends and I decided to pack up and head out to see the scenic Garden Route. This, by definition, is the beautiful stretch on the southeastern coast of South Africa. It hails numerous stunning towns and countless attractions all along the way. By 6:15 a.m. Saturday, we were on the road heading towards our next adventure!
Moving to Africa is a big enough change all on its own, but the day-to-day differences are definitely the ones that are the hardest to get used to. Here are a few differences I have really noticed in my daily life here in South Africa...
As I sit here in my downtown flat in Cape Town, South Africa it seems almost surreal that I am here right now. I was born and raised in rural Iowa, so being able to look outside my 18th story window and have a fantastic view of the mountain, the ocean AND downtown is something completely foreign to me. Thinking on the past few months and my decision to come to Cape Town, I am sure I made the right choice.
More University of Iowa students will be saying “ni hao” as the Confucius Institute continues to grow in popularity. Membership and participation in the institute has skyrocketed since its inception eight years ago.
In her second entry, Study Abroad blogger Haley Church shares her thoughts on her spring break travels through three countries in southern Africa; Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.
This except is from the blog of Christopher Roy as he recounts his journey through South Africa.
Studying abroad, both to the United States and overseas, has increased nationally and locally — which some University of Iowa officials say is due to a more interconnected world. “The world is getting smaller,” said Georgina Dodge, the UI chief diversity officer and an associate vice president. “It is becoming easier to travel abroad … [and more] information has traveled between countries.”
Dan Ojwang of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, will present a public talk at the UI Monday, Sept. 30, on “Queering the Indian Ocean: Gender, Sexuality and Language in Recent East African Indian Writing.” The talk begins at 11:30 a.m. in Gerber Lounge, 304 English Philosophy Building.