Upon arrival in South Africa I was still not sure what to expect. While driving from the airport to the hostel, I took in the gorgeous scenery of the skyline of the city. When I seen, this I thought, “maybe South Africa has more to offer than meets the eye.” The biggest issue I encountered when I first got to the hostel was how small it was. On top of that, it did not have air conditioning. The only thing I had to adjust to was the taste of the food. They had the same food as us, but it did not have to same taste at all. On top of that there was no ranch, which definitely took me a while to get used to.
My favorite thing about the host location was how beautiful and diverse Cape Town was. We went to an area there call Camps Bay, and I fell in love. The beach was stunning and the view from Table Mountain was indescribable. The thing I will miss the most is the upbeat pace of life in Cape Town. The nightlife was very fun to say the least.
Classes abroad were very different abroad. The program I went abroad with did not require us to go to actual classes. Although one day, we did take a trip to the University of Cape Town and sit in on an honors literature class. This class seemed more discussion based, and it was also very small. I came on the trip with eleven other girls from the University of Alabama. Therefore, I cannot speak of the academics in South Africa.
While staying in Johannesburg, we decided to go to the nicer area called Sandton. My three roommates went here with me. In Sandton, we ate great food and really enjoyed ourselves. The food was very cheap, and the meal was great. We ate at Rockets on our last day in Johannesburg. We ate a full three courses, to say the least we were stuffed.
The locals in Cape Town and Johannesburg were very friendly. People always came up to us and talked to us. They always told us we looked very different and stood out. We also were told our accents were nice. We met and talked to new people almost every single day we were abroad. We met people who lived in townships, in the city, in penthouses, etc. I did not really notice any major difference between the locals and myself. Although most of them seemed happier than us, and we very outgoing. I found the fact that they locals would touch you while they talked to you very interesting.
The languages in South Africa are very different. They have twelve official languages. Most people we met spoke three or more of these. A couple of ones that we most commonly spoken were Afrikaans, Zulu, English, and Xhosa. They spoke English well, but I found it very hard to understand through their thick accents. It was also hard for them to understand me because I spoke fast.
South Africa was beautiful as I have stated several times before. I seen so many gorgeous sights. There was not really a certain smell they’re as a whole. I tasted nothing. The food was extremely unseasoned. I ate Nando’s most of my days there. I felt cold at night due to the fact it was almost winter. I heard a lot there was always noise coming from somewhere at all times of night. As I mentioned the night life is very big.
As time in South Africa is coming to an end, I was more and more excited to go home. I had lots of fun in South Africa, but I was really missing American food. I stocked up on souvenirs for all of my family members. Most of these items were handmade which I thought was pretty neat. South Africa defiantly drained all of my energy, and I am just looking forward to rest and to get back on American soil. Overall, my time here changed my view on Africa as a whole. Many people do not understand that there is so much more to Africa than meets the eye, and I feel everyone needs to take a visit to this continent and the country of South Africa.