Ellie Zloty, a junior at the University of Alabama, highlights some great points about the LEAD Cape Town program! My personal favorite is #2–balance abroad is so important to keep your body and mind at their very best!
1. Yes, we actually do learn and do work. We are wrapping up our first week of LEAD Cape Town, and I have already increased my cultural knowledge and gained insight of the world around me I might have been oblivious to before. We start every day in the classroom learning about the history of South Africa, the culture of the native South Africans and the ideas and traditions of societies. The staff at Go Global gets you to think outside the box and ponder things you might not have thought about before studying in another country. 2. Many people think a vacation is the time to “cheat” on your diet or exercise plan and it’s just a time to relax. While studying abroad, it is important to take care of yourself and your body so that you can maintain your health and a healthy weight. You are not just here for a week, and a lot can happen in over a month, so be sure to keep up with your routines. 3. While packing, remember that this is not just a vacation, and you will be here for 5 weeks, so don’t forget anything! Pack for all types of weather including sun, rain, hot, cold, and anything in between. Also don’t forget toiletry items such as moisturizer, sunscreen and chapstick, as the changing weather may take a toll on your skin! 4. Unlike a vacation where it may be OK to be that “tacky tourist” for a week, while studying abroad it is important to not only observe the cultural norms, but embrace them and practice them so that you can make the most of your experience abroad. 5. The new connections you make through Go Global are amazing. Not only do you get a chance to connect with the locals, but also dozens of students sharing the same experiences as you are. The chance to have intelligent conversations about your experiences abroad is unlike a vacation where you merely observe and tend not to reflect. 6. Go Global gives you a chance to serve and give back to the community. Unlike vacations where you tend to relax and stray away from work, community service energizes you to help and contribute to making the world a better place.