When I first decided to study abroad, Cape Town was nowhere on my radar. In fact, I didn't really discover the opportunities that the CIEE Open Campus Block program offered until close to the application deadline. After speaking with my advisors from my home school, they told me I could do different blocks in different locations. So I did a little research on the different places I could travel and I had my heart set on Cape Town. Between the beautiful landscape, vibrant city, and diverse range of people, I felt like there wasn't a better place to immerse myself for six weeks.
I did a little bit of research on the history of Cape Town and South Africa prior to my departure, but I still was so excited for all that I was going to learn. After a long 24 hours of traveling through Germany and wasting time in airports, I had arrived. When I got to CIEE, I was immediately welcomed by the friendly staff and as much as I wasn't excited for the orientations, they really helped me prepare and get adjusted to life here in Cape Town.
I got really fortunate because all the people in my cohort were so friendly and from the start we all got along really well. The remainder of my time flew by as I hiked Table Mountain, watched the waves go by at Camps Bay, went on a safari at Aquila, surfed in Muizenberg, discovered the night life of Long Street, went on a variety of co-curriculars exursions through class, and so much more. Through all this, I have already developed friendships which I can see lasting much further than when I depart CIEE.
As I get ready to leave Cape Town and spend my next block in Paris, I have bittersweet feelings. I do not want to leave the mother city and all it has to offer, but I will never forget the friendships and memories I made here. It has been a blessing to spend the last six weeks in Cape Town and if the opportunity presents itself down the line, I will most definitley find my way back here.