Decolonizing and Eliminating Stereotypes of "Primitive" Africa December 21, 2017

By (Berea College) - abroad from 08/01/2017 to 12/01/2017 with

CIEE: Cape Town - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that we live in a globalised society, that colonialism is still happening and its effects are devastating. I learned how different economies, systems of education and political structures function. I was very worthwhile and I'm so glad I went.

Review Photos

CIEE: Cape Town - Arts and Sciences Photo CIEE: Cape Town - Arts and Sciences Photo CIEE: Cape Town - Arts and Sciences Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This program was advertised as academically rigorous and many of the students who took part attend ivy leagues in the USA. While the work was not particularly difficult, there was a great volume of reading and independent learning.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Staff was helpful, while there were a few bumps in the road at the start of the program. Overall, administration was supportive and informative

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was very close to school and conveniently located next to restaurants and grocery stores. However, in comparison to the prices of other similar apartments nearby, the price of housing (over $1000 USD a month) was unfairly overpriced.

* Food:

While we were not supplied a food plan, each flat had a kitchen and many great restaurants were nearby

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I took full advantage of all cultural immersion engagements. I do wish there were more opportunities, but scheduling was difficult. There were some great opportunities for students to explore the local communities, but at the end of the day, we all came back to live in our comfortable American bubble of an apartment building.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A I did not have any healthcare issues and did not interact with any providers

* Safety:

The program did a great job of providing safety training, which was necessary and important.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I liked CIEE because of all the community engagement and excursion opportunities they provided.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

While many other students did not have difficulty living on a student's budget, this is because they were receiving money from their parents. Because my visa did not allow me to take a job, I found it difficult to live without a steady income or without receiving money from family. The cost of living here is lower, but 4 months without a job was tough for someone who is used to surviving on a steady income. I ended up having to use a credit card for the last month to pay for things.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent far more on transportation than I would like- $100 a week and $75 a week on food.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Have an emergency credit card just in case. And remember that your money has to stretch all the way to the end of your program. At the finish, you will want to have extra money to go out to final dinners and go on special excursions. Keep this in mind as you want to splurge in the beginning

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • community engagement
  • the university UCT & its classes
  • the two weeks of freedom before and after the start and end of the program
* What could be improved?
  • consideration for less wealthy students
  • pre-planning for excursions
  • making it less easy to live in an American bubble
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I was more aware of the politics of South Africa- prior knowledge would have helped me greatly.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.