Lisa D’Oyen ‘09 Cape Town, South Africa, Spring 2008 Studying abroad in South Africa was one of the most unforgettable experiences in my life. Not only did I get to know South Africa, its history and its people, I also had the opportunity to travel to Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. I learned that there is no better way to learn about a place than being there, talking with people, and being a part of and embracing the culture. My initial reservations about studying abroad in South Africa included not knowing anyone and the racial tensions that might still exist there. I ended up becoming a more independent, responsible person, forming life long friendships, and embracing my unique perspective on racial issues to learn more about South Africa’s history and culture. I now consider South Africa my second home.
Nadine Beaupierre ’13 Durban, South Africa, Fall 2011 — Deciding to study abroad in South Africa was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made in my life. My trip to Durban was more than amazing; it was more than I could ask for. Before going away I was really scared because I didn’t know what to expect. People were telling me all kinds of things but when I got there, I experienced a different life that I know I could never live here in the States. In the end, I didn’t want to leave. Not only did I meet awesome new people and go to different places but my experience abroad opened up my eyes to see that the world in a new perspective. I also learned so much about myself. As an African American woman, I thought that I would fit right in but when people heard my voice or even my name, they were so curious to find out more about me. I grew to have more confidence in myself and speak out a lot more. My experience taught me the extent to which your worldview is shaped by where you grow up—and the benefits of having that challenged when you travel away. It reaffirmed my desire to study both Sociology and Education where cultural understanding was one of the key aspects. My time in South Africa was amazing. If I could go back to South Africa I would do it in a heartbeat!