In lieu of doing some very important finals work, I decided to blog instead. (Maybe doing this will clear my head and I'll be able to concentrate more!). All I've been able to think of lately is my semester in South Africa.
I was also thinking that I should maybe create a separate section of this site solely dedicated to my SA posts and pictures...that way it's easier for other people to find them and I'll be able to look back on that section if I want to just see those posts. Definitely some food for thought, and I'll probably sort that out once I'm back home (2 more weeks!!).
So, without further ado,
(Almost) 20 Reasons Why I'm Pumped for South Africa
- The plane ride. Yes, it's 20+ hours long and will be my first time on a plane, but it'll be an experience to remember, right?
- The culture. SA has a very rich culture and history - both good and bad - and I'm excited to be fully immersed in it.
- Stellenbosch University. The campus is gorgeous...no other words to describe it. And, while Lesley has about 2,000 undergrad students, my new school will have about 20,000. Talk about a culture shock. It'll be so nice to have a different campus scene for a few months!
- The courses. Sometimes I forget that I'm studying abroad and this isn't just a 5-month-long vacation...but a semester full of interesting South African electives, from HIV/AIDS history to art to language? Yes please!
- My housing. I'll have my own bedroom and bathroom (score!) and will be sharing a living space with 1-3 other AIFS students.
- The social scene. I'm so excited to get to know my fellow AIFS peers, as well as other international students and South African locals!
- Food...wine...and more food. I won't have a meal plan next semester, but I will get a card with money to eat out and make my own food. (Make my own food? It's a joke, I know...I will probably starve). Eating out in SA isn't as expensive as they would be in the US (about $5 there), so I'll definitely be looking into different restaurants and cafes. Plus, I will be of the legal drinking age, so...you know...yeah.
- Volunteering. I'm all about it, and when I learned that Stellenbosch has a program where students can volunteer with the people of a local township called Kayamandi, I was so excited.
- Sports. It's no secret that I love soccer, and SA is clearly a great place to watch and play some football (World Cup 2010 anyone?). Rugby is also something that I've never seen, but it's apparently huge in the country, so I'm excited to watch!
- Weather. While everyone New York and Boston will be freezing their asses off with below freezing weather, I will be enjoying some January rays with temperatures up to 95 degrees Farenheit. The seasons in Africa are the opposite of ours, and although I'll be experiencing fall and winter there, the weather shouldn't really be anything below 60 (I think I'll manage...).
- Excursions. There are several AIFS trips that I'll be able to participate in and three of them are: the Garden Route tour, the Cederberg Mountain excursion, and the Kalahari Transfrontier Park excursion. All really awesome trips that I will definitely photograph and post about throughout the semester.
- Shopping and souvenirs. I'm sure that there will be unique little stores and vendors who have some really great handmade pieces, like clothing items or jewelry. I definitely want to shop around and find cool things to bring back home to friends and family!
- Blogging. This experience will be a good way for me to really get this site going, and I have no excuse to not post, because I'll be sharing everything I do with friends and family, and I'll have all of these posts to look back on when I get back home.
- Day trips. I'll only be in South Africa for 5 months, so I should make the most of my time! No time to be lazy and stay in bed. Another day, another chance to explore!
- Fashion. Much of the fashion in SA is very European, and the fashion blogs that I like (http://anthonybila.tumblr.com/ and http://www.missmollyfashions.com/) show really cute and eccentric outfits. Despite my usual lazy efforts (sweatpants, t-shirt, sneakers), I should probably dress nicely while I'm away, since the weather will be beautiful and most of the girls dress up on the daily. So, expect many fashion posts while I'm away!
- Lifelong memories. I feel cheesy writing this, but I know that this will be one of the best - if not the best - experiences of my life. I'll learn so much about myself and this amazing country, create some great friendships, and have so much fun.
I can't think of enough to make this 20, so I'll stop at 16 - my favorite number. Maybe I should do some homework now? Maybe.
'Til next time,