Home South Africa The Halfway Point

The Halfway Point

by Maya Byrne
stellenbosch south africa study abroad university of stellenbosch

I cannot believe this week marks the halfway point for my semester abroad in South Africa. Time is truly flying by and I wish I knew how to make it slow down!

I remember when I first got here, everything I saw and every observation I made I compared to my familiar surroundings back home. But now I consider Stellenbosch my familiar surroundings and really see myself as part of this community. I have made some truly incredible relationships here both with fellow AIFS students and local South African students. Of course I am excited to see my friends and family at the end of the semester, but I feel very much a part of Stellenbosch now and I can say without a doubt that I will be back here again!

I was extremely lucky to be able to have two “spring breaks” in 2015 I just returned from my spring holiday on the Garden Route with my fellow AIFS students and it was one of the best weeks of my life! I did everything from ostrich riding to kloofing! Kloofing is an activity that originated in South Africa so when I heard we had the opportunity to do it I knew I wasn’t going to pass it up! For this activity you get suited up in a wetsuit, helmet, and a life jacket. You take a quick hike in the woods down to a canyon, and it involves swimming in the river, jumping off rocks, and trekking through the canyon. It was so much fun and such a beautiful place! Another big highlight was riding an ostrich, I only lasted for about 7 seconds but they were 7 very exciting seconds! My ostriches name was satan and lets just say his name suited his personality quite well.

All in all, as I reflect on my first half of the trip with nothing but positive experiences, I am excited to see what the second half of my journey will bring as I continue to explore what Stellenbosch and the rest of South Africa have to offer!

I will be attending Rocking the Daises in a couple of weeks, which is a music festival that promotes being green and doing your part to protect the environment. I also plan to hike Table Mountain in Cape Town and cage dive with sharks! I have a lot to look forward to and a lot to be grateful for!

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