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by Maya Byrne
university of stellenbosch campus stellenbosch south africa study abroad

Rooiplein, University of Stellenbosch

 

I have been here in Stellenbosch for about 5 weeks now, so I have established a pretty good routine between a social life and classes. There are so many differences between classes here and what my schedule would be like back home.

For starters, last semester at home I worked two jobs while keeping up with a full schedule of classes all week. I don’t work here so I have much more free time. It has been a bit of an adjustment dealing with all this new free time but luckily I am in a beautiful place surrounded by incredible people so there is always something to do!

At Stellenbosch all of my classmates are other international students from around the world on a similar journey. I only have one class a day here except on Tuesdays when I have two, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. All of my classes are 3 hours long so we only meet once a week, which is a huge difference than what I’m used to!

I don’t have any classes on Friday here which means every weekend is a long weekend so more time for adventure! My favorite class that I am taking here is a class on the South African perspective on HIV/AIDS. I always knew it was a big issue here compared to the States but until I started taking this class I was not aware of how bad the circumstances really are. There is so much we can do to help and its really incredible how far South Africa has come but there is certainly still a long way to go. I am most excited about this course because our end of the semester project will give us the opportunity to go to an HIV clinic and design our own sort of healthcare program. This is one of the biggest reasons I chose to come to South Africa, so I could get involved in programs like this, so needless to say I am very excited about learning more about the issues and what I can do to help!

Above is a picture of the rooiplein, the center of campus where many people meet to socialize and have coffee. It’s really cool because the library here is underground, and the rooiplein is right above the library. The campus is relatively small so it is not uncommon to bump into a friend or two here which I really love!

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