The “Study” Part of “Study Abroad”

So there are these things called classes that are really getting in the way of my exploration of Cape Town. Here is a post dedicated to academia.

The University of Cape Town is absolutely gorgeous. It is located on Devil’s Peak, one of the three mountains in Cape Town, and the university is built into the mountain which creates three levels of camps: Upper, Middle, and Lower. All of my classes are located on Upper Campus, whereas Middle consists mostly of offices and Lower has the gym and some other dorms.

Here is a video I took while studying on campus yesterday:

UCT has more than 25,000 students, of which nearly 5,000 are international students from all over the world. This is what Upper Campus looks like on a normal school day:

As much as I’d rather be out discovering the city, my classes here are really great. I am taking three courses (which equal to 5 US credits each) that meet at least 4 times a week for 45 minutes each. All classes are taught in a lecture fashion with no less than 75 students enrolled. It is definitely a big adjustment from my school American University back in the USA… which has very small class sizes and a total enrollment of 6,300.

UCT is the #1 ranked university in Africa as well as ranked in the top 150 schools in the world. I definitely feel those vibes of prestige walking around campus. Everyone here works really hard. From what I understand there aren’t enough universities in South Africa for the amount of young people, but the cost discourages many from attending. I feel so blessed for the opportunity to earn such an incredible education in both South Africa and the United States.

It is also great that my classes here are supplementing by goal to immerse myself in this country. I am taking “South African History in the 20th Century” which has been instrumental in understanding all of the changes that have happened here. South Africa only broke free of the apartheid state 17 years ago. It is such a different dynamic than the US, whose constitution was signed way back in 1787. I am taking a course called “Culture, Identity and Globalisation in Africa” which has completely altered my world view on issues. My professor is a fabulous art curator who questions everything. I find myself wondering – “What would Siona think about this?” regularly. We talk about forgiveness, art, archives, the violence of photography, liberation movements throughout Africa, etc. etc. She encourages us to think creatively and out of the box. I love it. My final class is on International Political Economies but, while interesting, I don’t spend too much of my free time discussing it.

It’s hard to believe – and it pains me to write this – but I only have 6 weeks left in South Africa. While everyone else’s school year is finally falling into place, mine is nearly over. Classes at UCT finish on 21 October and I take my last final on 3 November.

I am so in love with this place and right now I don’t want to think about leaving – so I’m not writing about it anymore! Instead all of my efforts are focused on finishing the rest of my schoolwork because my wonderful boyfriend Daniel is flying to Cape Town in 11 days! I can’t wait to show him around my new home.

So on that note, I’d better get back to work! Thanks to everyone for reading :)

3 thoughts on “The “Study” Part of “Study Abroad”

  1. I hope the “so I’m not writing about it anymore” line doesn’t mean you are going to stop blogging. Your love of place and experience come through beautifully.

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