Beginning With A Single Step
There are a lot of reasons I have chosen to go on this trip. One being, a really near and dear friend of mine participated in this experience last year and insisted I take the opportunity to indulge in this once in a lifetime chance. I have always wanted to study abroad but never for an entire semester. I always felt that I would miss too much at the U if I left for an entire semester. When I was looking at all of my options as far as studying abroad, I struggled with finding just one program I liked. I liked a lot of them! Outside of the advice from my friend, I knew I wanted to go to Africa. Even from a young age the African culture had interested me, being it is so different from my own. The second really big thing I insisted on having in any study abroad experience I would consider venturing on was a service learning component. I always thought if I was to go anywhere, I would want to help there in whatever way I could. So from my list of numerous study abroad experiences that I liked, there was only one that I loved and this was the one I loved. This trip had everything I could have ever imagined and then so much more that I never even thought about. It's perfect!
My hope for this trip is to come back changed, not for better or worse, just different. I want to have had the experience of immersing myself into a culture completely different from my own. I hope I come out of this trip with not only a new found cultural awareness but also a new found self awareness. I am hoping this trip will teach me a lot about myself and provide me with the tools for inner reflection as I experience something totally foreign to me. I am also hoping to learn a lot about forgiveness, healing, and the history of South Africa as a nation. I am so excited to enrich myself with all the things this trip has to offer! I don't really have any pre-departure expectations but I am so excited to go, I cannot wait!