Health and Safety
An incredible experience within a culture so distant to any in the U.S.
Submitted by Michael Adams - California State Polytechnic University - Pomona | April 16, 2013
Studying in South Africa was a life changing experience. I wanted to study somewhere that had a culture far different than anything I was used to and it was the best choice I could have made. The university, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University has an extremely high international student population, and I became good friends with people from parts of Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia. So much can be learned from the different cultures in this country, which are all very diverse: from the Dutch settled Afrikaans and the tribal cultures of the Xhosa and Zulu people. The university also offers a class to international students for them to volunteer in different areas of the city; they have many options including working at after school programs, orphanages, abandoned babies homes, elderly homes, and a disabled persons' home. They provide transportation to the program and events related to it. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the experience as I became closely bonded with many children I met. Another awesome part of my journey was travelling through the country and surrounding areas. I travelled with other international students during the spring break, some weekends, and at the end of the finals.
Health and Safety:
Safety was the biggest concern of my parents and anyone else really. I personally never had any situation of danger or violence. I would say use common sense and act as if you would in any big downtown metropolitan area and use your basic instincts. In addition to this, it was unsafe to walk around at night, so this was rarely practiced unless in large groups.