I have realized that this is my last blog post before I come home. I have two more weeks in Cape Town. It’s strange; I can’t decide if the time here went by slow or fast. I would not go so far as to say that I was very homesick during my time here but there have definitely been people and places I have missed time to time. The good thing about this program is that the length is ideal; it isn’t too short or too long. It’s long enough to do and see everything you want too, and short enough to not get a serious case of homesickness. Looking back on my experience and reading all my past blogs makes me smile; it is partly pride with all the fears and challenges I have made myself face as well as all of the people that have affected my experience for the better. This includes locals as well as Americans.
My time here has made me discover the viewpoint of an exchange student; it is at times scary but exciting. And while making local friends is certainly a challenge, it is so enriching to the whole study abroad experience. The local friends I have made have shown me insider spots in Cape Town, have studied with me and helped me adjust to the UCT system, and have discussed South Africa’s present and past through their viewpoints. This is one of the reasons I decided to come to South Africa, to really experience a different side of a country that is portrayed a certain way by Americans and the media. Talking to locals proves that South Africa is not so cut and dry as it seemed before.
The Americans have also proved to be significant to this experience. They are that middle ground between home and the new surroundings. We all have common reasons for deciding to come here, and can relate in the process of adjusting and maintaining relationships back home. And it is amazing to see how close we have all come, from the first dinner to our final dinner that was held last Friday. The first dinner was still a little awkward. People barely knew each other and every one seemed a bit on their toes with expectations of the semester to come. The second dinner proved to be much more intimate; people were jumping from table to table and taking pictures and reminiscing about the wonderful experiences they have had here. The atmosphere was happy but was tinged with sadness. Although my friends and I have all decided we will visit each other, it is known that we come from all over the country and that will be easier said than done. I guess that’s a preview for graduation from Georgetown.