Spanish major, TESOL, Latin American Studies
"Keep a detailed journal; even if you are dead tired, you'll appreciate it later. Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable; physically, emotionally, and mentally. Talk to as many "locals" as you can and jot down the things they say that make you laugh, or want to cry. Ask questions. Ask A LOT of questions. Enjoy yourself! Don't overpack. Bring a few Ziploc bags. Reflect. Take advantage of all the optional activities and DON'T worry about studying and quizzes...just be in Africa! Bring a couple of leisure books. Fall in love."
"Don't worry about it--it's fine."
Political Science major
"Expect to see things that seem familiar and things that are very unfamiliar. Expect to re-evaluate who you are and what you believe. And above all, expect to leave part of your heart in Africa, and to keep Africa always in your heart."
Political Science and Philosophy major
"Bring keens and wear socks with them. It's an incredibly comfortable and stylish look. You'll never want to go back. And as Dr. Ching says, "it wicks away moisture."
On a serious note: Besides the fact that you are in Southern Africa, prepare to challenge and be challenged by a diverse group of people who make every moment worth the trip."
Chunyu (Ann) Duan
"Definitely one of the best Furman experiences I have had. Listening to real people talking about their lives as poticitians, activitists, people who are struggling for life opens my eyes. Not showering for 4 days and taking tests in a tent are pretty fun memories as well."
Sara Foster Fabiano
"Don't be afraid to ask questions, get to know your fellow travelers, and if the opportunity presents itself try to help out in the kitchen on the homestays (it's a blast :). Africa is always an amazing experience no matter how many times you go!" "Well, one of them...I actually messed up two or three cars when I was there." Dr. Britt sharing about his experiences in Liberia
"Adapt or Die!" -PW Botha
"I can now attest to the fact that Southern Africans are proactive in improving the harsh the conditions of their existence. Contrary to popular belief, they are not standing idly by, waiting for developed nations to step in and solve their problems. Having witnessed for myself the resilience of a people who have been oppressed for centuries gives me hope that the changes that need to occur in much of Africa may one day come to pass."
"Allow Africa to change you."
English and French majorm/p>
"The people we met were warm, welcoming, and ready to share their lives with us. We learned through talking to, listening to, and getting to know these people (and each other!). What we know of southern Africa is its realities in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, congregations, clinics, and local governments. We learned things that matter in a very personal way to many people."
Communication Studies major
"Advice for future travelers to Africa:
- DON'T TAKE (ma)LARIAM
- Take thousands of pictures
- - bring more memory cards than you think you'll use!
- Order a Springbok ASAP
- Make sure one person on the trip brings hair-cutting scissors (you might just find a hidden talent of yours & the guys will be very appreciative)
- Make the most of your time at the Megameno House - these are the most wonderful, good-willed and appreciative children you will ever meet
- Open your heart to the wonderful people you will encounter throughout your travels"
Earth and Environmental Sciences major
"Take a little time each day to journal and reflect. It will be the best way to absorb and process the most amazing experience of your college career."
History and French major
"Dr. Ching organized a voluntary reflection session within the first few days of the trip to discuss how we were feeling about being in Africa and seeing so much poverty, and we decided to continue this with spontaneous meetings almost every week to talk out other issues as they came up. It was at one of these reflections that I realized that Renaissance history was no longer relevant for me in a world where there are problems that require serious thought and action in the present. I want to do something more hands-on and useful in the here and now, something that can start to address these burning questions that I have just begun to ask. I have Africa to thank for that." :)
Sociology and English major
"Furman sends students to a variety of continents and countries, but don't miss the opportunity to travel somewhere truly inaccessible to the average American. Be unique. Get uncomfortable. Choose Africa."
Political Science major
"This trip was one of the most personally defining experiences of my life. I would encourage anyone to go, and would love to go back myself!"
German Studies major
"There's a fierce beauty about Africa that can't quite be described in words; rather, can only be experienced. Never have I felt more aware of the beauty, and also the fragility of life than when I was in Africa."
Political Science major, Poverty Studies and Environmental Studies concentrations
"Study abroad. You will not miss things at Furman more than you will appreciate your trip. Study abroad outside of Europe. You will learn more, and Europe is overrated. Study abroad outside of Europe by going on this trip. However cheesy repetitive taglines become, there is no better engaged living than traveling in and around the lands, peoples, history, and movements you are studying. The experiential learning traveling seminar format is unparalleled. Don't miss it. Go big or go home."
Political science major, environmental studies concentration
"Absolutely study abroad on the Africa trip if you have the chance - it is an extremely rare opportunity that will change you for the better. Come to Africa without expectations as to what you will find there or what your response to it should be, and prepare yourself to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Keep a journal consistently - later, you'll be surprised at how you need it to remind you. And yes, take every opportunity you can while youre here but leave time to process and reflect upon your experiences as well. On another note, if you decide to shave your head, wear big earrings so people know you're a girl!"
Biology, Pre-Med major
"Southern Africa was my classroom and it's people were my teachers." It was hands-down the most ENGAGED learning experience that I have ever had!
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