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Why South Africa?

by Allison Ryan
stellenbosch university housing residence study abroad south africa

My name is Allison and I am a rising junior at the University of South Carolina. This summer I will be packing my bags and heading to Stellenbosch, South Africa to participate in the Service Learning Program. From the day that I first stumbled upon the AIFS website to the day that I will depart on June 12th, I have been planning, researching, and applying for this opportunity. During the course of the planning and applying, I have talked to many people, and my family and I are almost always asked: Why choose South Africa?

The biggest advice I can give to someone looking into studying abroad is find a program, a destination, or a cause that you are passionate about. Do not study abroad just to study abroad. There are thousands of programs out there, and something to fit each person’s passions and interests.

This summer, I will have the unique opportunity to interact with the local townships, while also giving back through various service projects centered around education, sustainability, and local culture.

I have figured out through this process that I am lucky to be asked “why on earth” I picked South Africa; because I have found a cause, a culture, and a program that I am passionate about. I hope that anyone planning to study abroad has the same experience, and is able to find a program they love.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with all of you.

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