Miles College Students Study and Research Abroad in South Africa
Miles College Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence Program conducted a research and study abroad trip to South Africa in March 2013. Since the inception of our program, members from the IC have prodded us to research and study abroad in South Africa. Due to the competitive nature of the Center of Academic Excellence Program, only 5 out 13 Scholars were selected to participate in this Research and Study Abroad Excursion. Prior to the selection process, we underwent an extensive panel interview and were notified that we were on our way to the “Motherland” South Africa.
Although most of us have had the distinct privilege of traveling abroad to other countries, we were very ecstatic to be in the “Mother City”. We couldn’t believe we were standing on the grounds where our Ancestors started. We arrived in Cape Town and visited Table Mountain and Cape Peninsula, one of the most resplendent sites in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
We also had the pleasure of visiting Cape Town University. Our visit to Cape Town University, allowed us to discuss international study and learned about South African culture. The University has similar programs to the United States. Also, we conducted primary research and read books on South African culture while in Cape Town.
In Cape Town, we had the honor of going to Robben’s Island. Robben’s Island is located where Nelson Mandela, the first black President of South Africa, spent 27 years of imprisonment. We were able to see the maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela was housed as a political prisoner. Robben’s Island is a well preserved landmark monument that signifies the triumph of freedom, determination over humiliation, and oppression. We were overwhelmed to have had such an opportunity to be able to say we went to the prison that Mandela spent over 18 years his life.
Next, we were headed to the Safari. We stayed in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve and Lodge overlooking a river where animals spend time drinking water. While in the Safari, we saw a number of animals (Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Hippos, Crocodiles, Kadors, Zebras, Cheetahs, Giraffes, and Neolas).The last day in the Safari was filled with emotions. We had such a good time with our tour guides, Mathew and Helen “H”. The individuals we met were friendly, the Safari was gorgeous, and the weather was magnificent.
We departed to Johannesburg, to begin our scheduled activities to Soweto. Soweto is a multi-lingual, multi-culture, composite of South Africa today. Soweto is an acronym for South Western Townships and Soweto. It is where Nelson Mandela grew up. We actually had the opportunity to get out and walk through some of the townships which was very remarkable. We treaded the paths to greatness taken by Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, and Desmond Tutu. Nelson Mandela’s House was a museum for tourist attraction. We returned to Johannesburg to the Mandela’s Square Library where we worked on our research topics. The next day we visited the most prestigious and well-known museum “Apartheid Museum”. To get a feel of separation during the apartheid period, the entry tickets separated how the groups should enter the museum. The museum told us the story of Apartheid precisely. Emotions arose and tears fell while touring the museum. We had an amazing time and if we had the opportunity we would travel to South Africa again.
Center of Academic Excellence Scholar