Tuesday, June 12, 2012

South Africa: A Little Background

I wanted to start this section of a blog as a place for me to share my adventures with friends, family and loved ones back at home while I am off experiencing all that Cape Town has to offer. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I plan to share my greatest moments here as a way for me to remember and a chance for you to keep up with me while I am gone for six weeks.

A brief history on how I came to choose Cape Town:

While I was attending HWS for freshman and sophomore years of college I had dreamt of studying abroad in some lovely european city with easy access to numerous other cities--a way for me to see ALL of Europe in one semester so to speak--isn't that every students dream while studying abroad?

I applied to three programs in the fall of my sophomore year (an Honors program in Maastrict, Netherlands; Galway, Ireland; and Copenhagen, Denmark).  I was accepted to the honors program and decided that it would be the most academically rewarding program and a special opportunity for me to represent HWS.  However, I did not feel the excitement I was hoping to feel upon receiving my acceptance letter.

Since I ended up transferring to UR this past fall I gave up my spot on the Netherlands program--a decision that took much consideration since I have ALWAYS known that I wanted to study abroad.  I was left with the excitement of starting at a new school but also serious confusion over if I was missing out on a major part of college and letting go of one of my biggest dreams.

Come this past winter I knew that I had to go abroad.  The travel bug had bitten again (not to sound completely ridiculous) and I decided to apply to an internship program in London, England where  I would expand my work in public health by working with local hospital administration.  I was dead set on studying in London and told everyone I knew that I would most likely be going. While applying I came across the IES South Africa program and on a whim decided to apply as a backup.

By the time I had finished both applications and awaited a reply from the abroad office, I had this instinctual feeling that I belonged in South Africa not London.  My acceptance letter came a day or so later and I can remember the feeling of joy, excitement and the strong desire to go up and yell to every person I passed that I was accepted--this was the feeling I had always thought I would have and I knew at that moment that I would accept South Africa despite my acceptance to London.

So here I am, one month out from boarding a plane to South Africa.  I am beyond excited (though I'm sure you know this already) and cannot wait to pack, board and arrive!

For further posts on South Africa please refer to the upper section of my blog labeled, "South Africa 2012"

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