You're only in Africa once!!! Past Review

By (University of Northern Iowa) - abroad from 05/28/2012 to 06/19/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in South Africa

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
SO WORTHWHILE!! The service learning projects we worked with changed my life. I am looking into doing a long term volunteer program next year because of what I experienced while working with the orphanage. I also saw and did so many awesome things while in South Africa that I wouldn't have had a chance to do anywhere else in the world or with any other program.

Review Photos

Study Abroad Programs in South Africa Photo Study Abroad Programs in South Africa Photo Study Abroad Programs in South Africa Photo Study Abroad Programs in South Africa Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I got more hands-on experience by taking this class abroad rather than taking it in the classroom, but I didn't feel like I learned as much "textbook information." I don't know yet if that's good or bad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My professor could have been more organized with the in-country experiences we did as a group. At times we followed our typed out schedule too much, when in reality we needed more flexibility.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Great housing!! Minus having to tiptoe around 24 hours a day because the other people living in the building have never been around college students and would complain to the landlord. I felt on edge at all times toward the end of the trip because I never knew when we would get in trouble because of our downstairs neighbors.

* Food:

It was great being able to cook in our apartments and to also have restaurant meals planned for some nights. There was way too much budgeted for food though. Budgeting less will help the overall cost of the program go down.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We did a few cultural activities (i.e. African Drumming Session), but I would have loved to experience more with the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We were told what shots we needed and didn't need. When people were sick in our group, they were taken to the doctor or pharmacy if needed.

* Safety:

I felt relatively safe at all times while abroad. I always made it a point to never go anywhere alone or without a group of people. We were warned many times from our professor and landlord about how our neighborhood wasn't safe. I think the things they were saying were a bit extreme at times, but it is important to emphasize safety.

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


* 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)

Most everything was paid for prior to the trip so while in South Africa I didn't feel like I was spending any money except souvenirs and I chose to buy what I bought. The entire trip was a little expensive, but everything was included and they gave us an estimate number as soon as they knew about how much it would cost.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Every time I get a paycheck I put half away into savings to save for trips like this.


* 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

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Bungee jumping off the world's highest bungee bridge
  • Holding penguins at the aquarium.
  • African drumming session.
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between adults and students.
  • Not spending so much time at the apartments everyday...we're only here once let's see and do stuff!!
  • Working with the service projects sooner in the trip rather than the last week.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Cape Town is freezing. I should have packed more than one sweatshirt and one pair of sweatpants, especially since our apartment wasn't heated.