South Africa

One semester spent in South Africa

After five weeks of travelling in Europe and the Middle East I arrived the place where I was supposed to study in Cape Town, South Africa in September.

To study in Africa was a decision I had put a lot of thought into, as I wanted to experience something new, and get to know a a place very different from Norway. And South Africa has lived fully up to my expectations. It is a country full of contrasts and a rich variety, when it comes to nature, food, people and lots of other things.Ostrich Rodeo

Here we are 5 boys and 50 girls, who live in the Beverly Hills of Cape Town: Camps Bay. Where common sights are Ferraris and celebrities like Michael Schumacher, Captain Kirk from Star Trek and Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter, I share a villa with 13 other students and a local who work here full time as housekeeper and driver.
When we arrived the place where we would study for three and a half months, we were told a lot of things that we had to keep in mind, when it comes to risks and safety. Because yes: there is a lot of poverty and crime here. Very few walk by themselves when it is dark outside, and not all trains, buses and even taxi companies are safe in the evenings. But I have not yet been in situations where I have felt uncomfortable and felt unsafe in any way. Of course one have to be a bit more observant, and it is important to know which parts of the city is considered safe.
South Africa is an exiting country with a lot of new things to discover and experience. It has been nice to travel around in the country, to see what it has to offer. The nature is diverse, with long stretching beaches, high mountains and deep forests. There are a lot of possibilities for surfing, safaris, shopping and hiking.
Together with the other students I have gotten the chance to travel a lot. We had a 5 days paddling trip through the wilderness of Namibia, where we cooked all our meals on a bonfire and slept under the starlit open sky. We have been on safari where we have seen animals such as giraffe, elephant, lion, penguin and ostrich. Last animal mentioned, we also got to ride on. We have gone for bicycle rides through wine yards, where we tasted lots of excellent wines. I have also been invited to barbecues where food such as crocodile, ostrich, gnu and the national animal springbook have been on the menu. I have seen and experienced a lot which only South Africa could have shown me, and it has been worth every penny spent.
To sum up it has been great living here. Living is cheap, there is a lot to do, and people are very interested in who we are. They ask where we come from, which language we speak and why we are here. Many take initiatives to get in touch, and seem genuinely interested in us.
With a new gotten friend and travelpartner, Elise. I will soon leave for India. Even though I am really exited about this, I cannot help being a bit sad leaving this beautiful place. Because it is not hard, having a good time in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
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The view from our villa; Mount Manor, in Camps Bay