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UGA - SPIA - GLOBIS: Stellenbosch Study Abroad Program : Testimonials (Cape Town)

The following program testimonial responses have been selected for publication by Education Abroad
Final Reflection Questions
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
Both professors were wonderful! They were both well informed and passionate on the subject they were teaching. Everything from food, classes and excursions- it was all very well planned and put together.
— Minal Bhatia, Maymester 2016
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
Learning about the development of South Africa was incredible. I learned so much about apartheid and development by working with the children in Kayamandi and through my classes.
— Raleigh Conerly, Maymester 2016
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
I learned and gained so much from my experiences in Stellenbosch and Kayamandi. The most important lessons in my opinion were learned in Kayamandi through the kids. By helping the after school program I learned that you can't change yourself or your outlook unless you put yourself in uncomfortable situations. I had never been in the middle of such poverty and it taught me that poverty doesn't mean unhappy or defeated. Those kids showed me what it means to be truly happy without depending on material things.
— Haley Folmar, Maymester 2016
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
The most significant take-way from my experience is how connected the world is. Everything we do, everything we say has the possibility to make an impact half way across the world. It is so important to experience a different culture and engulf to community around you.
— Sarah Henning, Maymester 2016
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
The classes taught you so much about what you were observing, but working with the students in Kayamandi put it all in perspective. Being able to see that there were more similarities than differences between myself and these students made me realize that we don't live in different worlds. People need to experience other cultures to realize the impact of their own and be able to realize that we are still all part of the human race. So, a major take-away was the realization of all these similarities I shared with these students in Kayamandi, but also, how different our needs are. And obviously, another major take-away was also all the memories I have about my adventures!
— Jordan Shoemaker, Maymester 2016
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
I've never had a trip as meaningful to me as the Stellenbosch study abroad trip. Through this program I was able to truly experience South Africa from multiple points of view, whether we were in high end vineyards or working in a township. These varying perspectives gave me an intimate glimpse of the city that I would not have obtained without professors and group full of like-minded passionate students to take this adventure with!
— Grace Walker, Maymester 2016
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
The visits to this township provided me with an understanding of life for the amaXhosa that I could have gotten from nowhere else. Working with those children allowed me to form memorable bonds with some that will hopefully impact them for the remainder of their schooling, and possibly even longer. I truly appreciate how much I could connect with everyone simply on the basis of humanity. Ubuntu was an enlightening philosophy, and it showed the important of our networks, and the relationships we make. This experience also helped me recognize and embrace differences. I was surprised to see such stark contrast between demographic groups in terms of language, culture, living conditions, and employment. Although the US is still struggling with effects from slavery and Jim Crow laws, I did not expect inequalities to be as evident in South Africa as they were. I now have a better understanding of the injustices stemming from a legacy of discriminatory polices.
— Solomon Greene, Maymester 2017
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
the time spent with students, teachers and citizens of stellenbosch and kayamandi.
— Molly Retter, Maymester 2017
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
The "on the ground" political development experience and the eye witnessing of continuing racial divides today in South Africa shifted my perspective on people, humanity and life itself. The most significant take-aways were the experiences that enhanced my knowledge on the topics we were learning in class like meeting H.F. Verwoerd's grandson and discussing his approach to life.
— Mary Coffee, Maymester 2018
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
I got to learn a lot about myself and how my perceptions of development could be improved. I got to learn from the kids at Kayamandi when I thought going in that I would be "teaching" them. There's a to of things that I appreciate now that I'm back in America that I did not before going to South Africa.
— Taylor Ogden, Maymester 2018
What were the most significant take-aways from your experience?
Program Testimonials
It absolutely changed how I viewed Africa and reaffirmed my thoughts on at the same time. the kids, seeing modern African cities, and looking at history in the making helped tune my ideas and see Africa differently. But also the Safaris, Victoria falls, and the culture reaffirmed my idea that Africa is magnificent.
— Matthew Sartor, Maymester 2018
What are your words of advice to students considering this program?
Program Testimonials
There will be plenty of evenings when you're tired and unwilling to go on a hike or to the city with fellow students- don't let the tiredness hold you back! You won't EVER be back in that setting again so it is best to indulge in every moment possible. Be adventurous! Definitely do something out of your comfort zone whether it's trying a new local food or going shark cage diving- this is the prime time to experience anything and everything.
— Minal Bhatia, Maymester 2016
What are your words of advice to students considering this program?
Program Testimonials
DO IT! I was unsure about applying but I am so thankful that I did, this program is life changing!
— Raleigh Conerly, Maymester 2016
What are your words of advice to students considering this program?
Program Testimonials
Leave your expectations at home, open your heart to be pushed outside your comfort zone, and accept your limitations.
— Sarah Henning, Maymester 2016
What are your words of advice to students considering this program?
Program Testimonials
Just do it! It was my first time out of the country and it was not too shocking, but still different enough for me to experience a different culture. The professors are supportive and just an absolute blast to travel with. The information learned in class is immediately applicable. The pictures and memories you will get will be unbelievable. I only have great things to say...stop just considering and sign up!
— Jordan Shoemaker, Maymester 2016
What are your words of advice to students considering this program?
Program Testimonials
Use every minute you have to explore! You learn more from the real life experiences and interactions with people, so be present and observe. This program teaches you so much out of the classroom.
— Mary Coffee, Maymester 2018
How did the experience impact you and your future educational/career/personal goals?
Program Testimonials
This has impacted me because it's taught me that it's always important to keep your own beliefs and expectations in check. Just because someone may have a life that's different than yours does not mean that they "need" you and your resources. I want to use this experience as a way for me to work towards a future that help everyone reach their full potential even though it may not be in a way I see needed initially.
— Taylor Ogden, Maymester 2018