Studying Abroad at the University of Cape Town

Studying Abroad at the University of Cape Town

Studying Abroad at the University of Cape Town

While I was studying in the United States for my B.A. I decided to spend a semester at the University of Cape Town. I had heard that the University was very good. In January 2004, I flew to Cape Town via Italy. I landed there exhausted. Luckily, my program had organized a very colorful bus to drive me and other students to the University of Cape Town.

The University itself is really big and beautiful. It is technologically very well equipped. There are thousands of students enrolled. The atmosphere is really friendly and colorful and you can make friends easily. The University residences are very well equipped, at least the one I was staying in. They have cooking utensils and there is a friendly atmosphere. However, you need your own blankets.

I was living in an apartment with two other girls and each of us had her own rooms. Some of the rooms were really big, some smaller. I was in the smallest room. My roommates were very studious girls and very considerate, so I did not have problems sharing the apartment with them.

I made the mistake of taking five courses and I ended up only sleeping three hours per night for six months, as the courses were really demanding. The economics courses were the hardest.

I took courses in  economics, history and politics and I really enjoyed them. The professors were incredibly friendly and helpful. However, you need to study very hard to pass your courses. I definitely do not recommend taking more than four courses per semester. I made the mistake of taking five courses and I ended up only sleeping three hours per night for six months, as the courses were really demanding. The economics courses were the hardest.

The classrooms are really big, and most classed had fifty to one hundred students. Usually, you have lectures, but you can also go to tutorials and get to know the professors personally. This is very important as it is difficult to understand their requirements in big lectures.

While studying at the University of Cape Town, I volunteered with SHAWCO, a local student-run volunteer organization, which runs programs in the townships. I taught computer skills to a local student in a township. I would go to SHAWCO on Saturdays on their bus, which would drive me to the township. It was a very interesting experience.

Cape Town itself is gorgeous. You have an amazing view of the city from Table Mountain. The city center is also really nice, with many pubs and clubs.

Cape Town itself is gorgeous. You have an amazing view of the city from Table Mountain. The city center is also really nice, with many pubs and clubs. The most common way of getting around is via combie, which is run by local people. However, you have to be careful as muggings do sometimes occur.

There are many attractions in Cape Town, such as the National Parliament, the Waterfront, and the Cape of Good Hope. I enjoyed the Cape very much, as it is the most south-western point of Africa. Another interesting place to visit is Robben Island.

I took the boat out there one morning, and was given a tour of the prison where Nelson Mandela lived for twenty seven years. I even saw his cell. Visiting Robben Island can be heartbreaking, and can connect you to the history of South Africa and its struggle against Apartheid.

The climate in Cape Town is perfect, although it can get very hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I wore a t-shirt and skirts most of the time.

I also visited the Museum of District Six in Cape Town. This district was a place where colored people used to live, and was run down by the Apartheid regime. The museum collects the memories of this area, which was very lively. Visiting the museums is a very touching experience.

The climate in Cape Town is perfect, although it can get very hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I wore a t-shirt and skirts most of the time. During the winter it’s necessary to wear a warm woolen sweater. Since the University of Cape Town is on top of a hill, I would often hike the steep mountain in the hot weather. Of course you can take the bus, too.

I definitely recommend Cape Town for a visit, and especially the University to study. It is a remarkable experience.

 

Studying Abroad at the University of Cape Town

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About Giorgia Scribellito

Giorgia ScribellitoI hold a B.A and an M.A in Literature from Ca’ Foscari University. I have studied and lived in Europe, southern Africa, and the United States. I have self-published three books.

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