Semester Abroad #1

This blog is about my semester abroad.

So, during 2016, in my second year at UCT, I did a semester abroad at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, in the USA. This is a very brief blog post about a couple of tips that I have to offer. I will probably have more posts about my experiences and advice that I can offer.

  1. Plan your excursions and make a list of what you want to do.
    When I went over, I had done very little planning and research on places to go. I would suggest that you have a clear idea of what you want to do while you are there. One of my friends had a “The Carolinas” guidebook with which we planned several adventures. Thorough research beforehand makes it easier to plan your exploration as soon as you have received your term dates. By planning in advance you will be able to avoid wasting precious time. With this I am not trying to say that you have to be out and about every weekend but rather that you will be able to achieve more and see more.
  2. Try to get a part-time job.
    During my semester I was fortunate enough to be offered a part-time job on campus. This is something that I would definitely recommend, especially coming from a country where our currency isn’t very strong. The job’s income allowed me to do some travelling as well as buy myself some very necessary (lifetime investment) items like a pair of Docs (for the terribly cold northern winter) and a suitcase set (for the feature travels). This job also took up some of the time that I would have spent procrastinating but instead spent learning new skills and actually being productive.
  3. Make friends and talk to people.
    I was fortunate enough to be placed in the international residence with two other international students as roommates. Through them and some university organised events, I got to know loads of the other internationals as well. I found that, because they realise that they are only there for a while, the internationals are a bit more adventurous. However, I did meet loads of local students who were super nice and very eager to show me around and introduce me to the culture. During my semester I met so many people with whom I hope to stay in contact with for a large part of the future.

Sondag melankolie

Ek is seker meeste van julle is bekend met die Sondag-middaggevoel. Die besef dat ‘n heerlike, rustige naweek (of besige naweek) verby is en dat ‘n hele besigheidsweek voorlê.

Ek onthou as kind was dit altyd ‘n mismoedige gevoel want dan moes ons ‘n middagslapie neem. Ek het dikwels by my kamervenster uitgeklim en in die tuin gaan speel. As dit voel asof die ouers gaan begin ontwaak, het ek teruggeklim en gemaak of ek slaap. Ek sou met oordrewe strekbewegings uit my kamer kom en sê dat dit nou ‘n heerlike middagslapie was (nes al die grootmense).
Nou dat ek terugdink is ek reddelik seker dat hulle bewus was van my truuks.

Deesdae is dit amper ‘n rustelose gevoel. Een waar ek dikwels voel dat ek nie veel uitgerig gekry het nie of dat ek nie rerig uitgerus het nie. Daars gewoonlik ‘n gejaagdheid om die finale paragrawe te tik vir opstelle wat die week ingehandig moet word. Dis ‘n geskarrel om seker te maak ek het genoeg klere vir die week of ‘n gejaagde sortering van vuil klere wat Maandag oggend in die wasmasjien gestop word en dan êrens die middag, na klasse, opgehang word. Dis egter baie lekker as ek net ‘n rustige Sondag het. Een waar ek wakker word, kerk toe gaan en dan rustig middagete nuttig saam met ‘n paar vriende. Of as ek vir ‘n naweek by my ouerhuis was en ons na kerk ‘n hoender in die oond druk en tamatiebroodjies maak.
Sulke Sondae het ek baie tyd om te dink. Letterlik die  lang pad van die Overberg na die Moederstad. Dan dink ek aan die week wat voorlê en die week wat verby is. Ek dink aan hoe die pad elke keer anders lyk as gevolg van die seisoenale veranderinge. Ek dink aan aandete. En ek dink aan die Sondagmiddag verkeer. Dan sink die melankolie in. Dan draai ek die radio harder en dan, dan verbeel ek myself dat ek later, as die grootmense ‘n middagslapie neem, in die tuin gaan gaan speel.