My name is Matt Norring. I am a finance major in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Today, December 24th, is Christmas Eve, and I have just finished spending time with many of my family members. I am so thankful for everything in my life including this opportunity to go on a study abroad trip to Cape Town, South Africa.
I can not even begin to describe the feelings and emotions running through my mind as we are only 1 day away from departing. There are many things in life that we are all sometimes guilty of taking for granted - home, food, family, education, health to name a few. However, I am certain this study abroad trip is not one of those things for me. I am ready to leave all of my preconceived thoughts and expectations behind and open my eyes to something completely new. I can not wait to open my mind to another culture and experience something that will truly be 'life-changing'. I have always been fascinated by South Africa's will to never give up during the apartheid regime. I believe there is so much to learn from this country's rich history and how they have rebounded from such great adversity.
One thing that I am most excited for is helping out in the townships. I have always thoroughly enjoyed volunteering. To me, helping those in need is one of the greatest eye-opening experiences one can go through. I have never witnessed firsthand the levels of poverty in the townships that are discussed in Kevin Winge's book 'Never Give Up', but I can only hope that I will be coming in with the right mindset.
Until Next Time,