HANNAH BECKE – STUDY ABROAD IN PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA

It’s hard to believe I have been here for over two months already! Time is certainly flying by because I am having a blast. I just got back from fall break, it’s so different to say fall break when I’m in March! We did so many things… touring an ostrich farm, walking around in caves, hiking mountains, sightseeing, stuffing our face with amazing food, driving, driving and more driving, taking lots of pictures, going to Robben Island, shopping at markets, and staying in a homestay. I want to tell you my favorite adventure that we did… but they were all so great! I think the most informative and inspirational event from this past week was staying at a homestay in a township. It was incredible to hear the stories our “Mama” told. She is a single woman who raised five children by working twelve hour days, five days a week. She filled us with tasty food – cornmeal, cabbage, butternut squash, chicken, and potatoes. It was only for one night but I feel like I learned so much.

Monday the 28th of March is a holiday here called “Family Day” so I didn’t have school. My mom arrives this week and I am so excited to show her my favorite places. Every time I talk to my parents they ask if I am homesick and the truth is, I’m not. I love it here and this is the best experience of my life so far. Of course I miss the people from home, but I’m happy to be here and can tell that I am changing. You really do learn a lot when you are on your own in another country. You grow and change with everything you learn, see and do. I’ve made friends from all over, learned how to get around in another country, and learned the customs and traditions of South African culture. Studying abroad truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you’re lucky and your major allows it, you can study abroad more than once. I can honestly say that studying in another country is way better than a vacation after you graduate. You’re here longer, and you get more experience out of studying somewhere else.

I enjoy my classes and it’s really important to actually study on your study abroad trip. Sure the weekend adventures are fun, but the whole reason you are here is to get credits that transfer back home. I am so glad I picked South Africa to be my home for five months. Two months down, three to go.

Cheers!

 

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