Kathryn is an Ambassador who studied abroad in South Africa
Major: Political Science
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
When deciding on where to study abroad I looked for places that I believed would challenge me and my world perspective. There were a few choices I was going between but I kept hearing about South Africa from previous participants. When I heard about going to a local university along with working at a local service site, I was hooked. I am also an active participant on choir at CSB/SJU and this program offers an amazing opportunity to join the university’s choir and meet local students.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
While I was on the program I got the wonderful opportunity to perform with the university’s choir. We got to wear traditional outfits while performing songs in Afrikaans, English and Xhosa. It was amazing to meet people from different backgrounds and interact with students from all over South Africa along with a large number of international students.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My study abroad experience was one that challenged me and taught me a lot about myself. I got to experience everything from an African safari to teaching kids in a school. Working with kids was probably my most rewarding experience. Even though there was a language barrier getting to interact with the kids and the staff at my school was what I learned the most from during my experience.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Studying abroad teaches you a lot about yourself. When you are in a foreign country you learn how to react to new situations and how to better communicate across cultural barriers. It can help you better understand future career fields or even introduce to a profession you may never have thought of doing before.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
I can't recommend studying abroad enough. You learn so much about yourself and other cultures, it is a life changing experience. While studying abroad can be challenging, you come back with new experiences and perspectives that you will carry throughout your life.