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Category: Culture

Wrapping Up

We have one week remaining in South Africa, and only two more days of course work. The weather is transitioning from Summer to Autumn, and I’m wearing a sweater and jeans as I write this while sitting outside a café – an unthinkable prospect when we stepped off the plane in January into the blazing

Orientation to South Africa

The first two weeks of our program were incredible, but also, at times, emotionally heavy. Even in the first couple of days we jumped right in, as we quickly began to get exposure to the history of South Africa more in depth. We visited the Apartheid museum in Johannesburg, which gave us amazing insight into

Contrasts

Our first two weeks in South Africa were spent traveling the northeast corner of the country, with Johannesburg acting as a sort of home base. During that time, the “rainbow nation” was on full display. The diversity of thought, culture, language, wealth, priorities, wildlife, and landscape were, at many points, overwhelming. Of course, the United

Settling in, but seeing new places

We have finally settled in at Stellenbosch for a few weeks, and we have begun to get into a routine. As someone studying Industrial Engineering at Northwestern, our classes have exposed me to a lot of new content, especially pertaining to global health and biomedical engineering. In addition to classes about technology, a large component

Racism in Post-Apartheid South Africa

In 1994, South Africa officially ended apartheid, a period of segregation, violence, and discrimination on the basis of race. It is what Mandela and thousands of activists fought bravely against whilst enduring unfair imprisonment, torture, and even death. It has now been a little over 20 years since the end of such atrocities, but the

What Comes Next?

I’ve been home for about two weeks now, and in the meantime, I’ve quickly reintegrated into my normal Northwestern student routine of taking some summer classes and working in my research lab, but I still think of our South African adventures every day. So, in the wise words of Hamilton’s as King George, “what comes

Sundays were the Highlight

Every Sunday we were in Stellenbosch, Anna (a fellow program member) and I tried to attend church. We did for the most part. We both come from Christian faith backgrounds, so coming to South Africa, I felt that it was critical for me to find a church to attend while living here. Kaley, the NU

Justice Under a Tree

Upon arriving to Johannesburg, I could feel an immediate difference in the atmosphere of the city. While Cape Town felt more California-esque, Johannesburg felt more like the bustling cities of Chicago and New York City back home in the US. Endless mountains were replaced with a skyline filled with towers – although it has nothing

Sala kakuhle! Sobonana emva kwexeshana Mzantsi Afrika.

In case you’re wondering what the title translates to: “Goodbye, stay well! I’ll see you later South Africa!” I’ve been back in the suburbs of Chicago for a little more than 2 weeks now, and all I can say is that I miss South Africa so much. I’ve had so much reverse culture shock the

The Animal-Human Interaction

Our trip to Kruger National Park was amazing and certainly something I will remember fondly for the rest of my life. We were led by David Bunn, Cleo Graf, and their team of incredibly knowledgeable guides, who helped us learn about Kruger and HaMakuya, the rural area where we’d be going for our homestay experience.