Africa 2015 Trip
Health Sciences and Poverty Studies
The Southern Africa Study Away program was everything that I ever wanted and more - I was able to not only visit 3 beautiful countries, but I was able to engage with concepts and course material out in the real world. I was pushed and challenged in my understanding of things and feel that I have grown so much as an individual from my experiences on this trip. I know that I will carry the lessons that I learned with me for the rest of my life!
Math major, pre-med
"The purpose of travel is not to know more but to feel more." Bishop Peter Storey, Simon's Town Methodist Church, Cape Town, South Africa. Our travels opened my eyes to an entirely new reality of my place in the broader global context. Go meet new people, eat new foods, see new places, do new things, work hard, and most importantly allow yourself to ask new questions. If you want to be challenged and to grow in ways you cannot imagine, go to Southern Africa. I promise you will not regret it.
Political science and spanish major, Latin American and Poverty Studies double minor.
This trip will change your entire outlook on life in the best way possible. It will challenge you to think in ways you never thought of before, and it will open your eyes to things that every person in the Western world should take the time to see. When you come back, you will be filled with knowledge and a desire to create change.
Economics and Poverty Studies
Study abroad in a place you can never experience as deeply and wholly if you were a tourist. Push your comfort zone and live for the experiences-the best times were equally the most terrifying and exhilarating! Know that Africa will teach you as much about itself as it will teach you about yourself. PS: You'll be given the choice to regularly keep up with your American/College/Normal life or not; use this as the only opportunity in your life to relish in unaccountability and simplicity!
If you open your heart to all the opportunities this trip provides, it can and will change your life. This study abroad will challenge you in every sense of the word, but in those moments you will learn the most about yourself, and the people around you. Go to Africa and talk to everyone, be curious, soak up as much you can, and most importantly embrace your inner spirit animal. You don't want to miss a second of this trip.
History and Psychology
It is a privilege to go on this trip. It is a privilege to live to the absolute fullest every day, to feel more deeply than you have before, to make lasting friendships, to laugh until you cry and cry until you laugh. This trip is very difficult, emotionally and academically, but just remember that is a privilege to get this opportunity.
Health sciences and poverty studies
This trip is impossible to describe, and the only way to explain it by calling it a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have seen and experienced things that will stay with me forever and have changed the rest of my life for the better. My only recommendation is to just hold off sleep until when you're dead because no moment is worth missing for a little extra sleep and to become very aware of your own bowel movements because no moment will stop for a bathroom break (assuming there even is a bathroom).
Africa will push you in ways you never thought possible. You may not realize the impact of the trip while in the moment but in the first few weeks home you will find yourself randomly crying from the impact of the experience. Expect your eyes to be opened in ways you never knew, your heart to be opened, and to find your identity while being uncomfortable. There is no way I can stress the impact of this trip in a paragraph, but just know the experience will change you in more ways than you will ever realize.
Health science and poverty studies
This trip WAS an enriching educational experience for me. I felt my feet were always on the ground during this adventure into the deepest part of Southern Africa's cultures and societies. Where else can you get an experience like this? You Only Live Once!
Business and poverty studies
We fell in love with Cape Town, sand boarded in the Namib dessert, ran through the mist (downpour) of Victoria Falls, went on sundown game drives every night of Safari...and yet none of that is what we now hold most dearly. It is the un-comfort you experience that allows you to go through the trip at a depth that changes you. And then you'll end up trying to describe an indescribable experience, wondering how you got from reading these quotes to writing one...so be open and enjoy every second! "The most valuable part of comparative work in another culture is the chance to be shaken by it and the experience of struggling to understand it" –Goldberg
Southern Africa is the trip of a lifetime. Textbooks cannot convey the real-world experiences gained through this experience. Throughout the entire journey, my previous views on poverty and inequality were challenged leaving me to meditate on who I am as a global citizen. Southern Africa is a whirl-wind of a trip with a plethora of adventures which opened a world I had never experienced or concieved. This trip makes you grow as a person in ways not always visible until coming back to the United States and many years after. "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." – Henry Miller
This study away is the opportunity of a lifetime where you have the chance to go to Southern Africa for 9 weeks as an undergraduate! During the time that you are in Southern Africa, your intellectual and personal growth will be immeasurable. It is true that you learn more outside of your comfort zone, and this trip will push you out of your comfort zone more times than you can count! You will gain priceless life skills that will definitely help you in the future and 19 friends who you will think of as family. The experiences you have in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana will be precious to you for the rest of your life.
Psychology and poverty studies
A few pieces of advice for those who choose to embark on this adventure:
- Allow your views to be challenged
Get out of your comfort zone
Say yes to every opportunity (with permission from the professors)
Make new friends
Live in the moment
Enjoy life away from social media
See the beauty in everything and everyone
Eat ice cream for breakfast (you only live once)
Laugh, cry, grow (in maturity and physical width and height), and learn
Prepare for the ride of a lifetime (both metaphorically and literally because the plane ride was seventeen hours no joke)
"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson
Political science and religion double and poverty studies
This trip was the best decision I could have possibly made while at Furman. I loved every second of it, and learned more about the world, myself, and my travel companions than I had hoped to. I already want to go back!
Political science and poverty studies
For those interested in this once-in-a-lifetime trip prepare to learn constantly, to have your mind stretched, to make steadfast relationships, to see both natural beauty and squalor, to cry for the suffering, to find new vocational direction, to be optimistic while hot and dirty, and to have one amazing adventure!
Chemistry and Environmental Studies Minor
If you have the opportunity to go on this trip, do it! It's a chance to have countless new experiences and grow immensely as a person. You will encounter just about anything and everything, so if you like adventures and unexpected challenges then you'll love this trip!
This trip will both challenge and reward you in ways you never thought possible. You are guaranteed to laugh, cry, become preoccupied with poop, make lasting friendships, see unbelievable places, and question your very own participation in the program. This experience will change the way you view the world and help you find your place within it. It will push you to overcome fear and uncertainty to embrace curiosity and adventure. It will change who you are and who you want to become. "If at some point you don't ask yourself, 'What have I gotten myself into?' then you're not doing it right" – Roland Gau
Psychology and political science
My experiences in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana were a critical turning point in my life. By traveling on the Furman Southern Africa program, I was able to have experiences that wouldn't have been possible in any other context. The program gave me the opportunity to see beautiful places and meet people who are doing amazing work within these countries, but just as importantly, the trip challenged me to grow intellectually and emotionally. Even beyond the experiences of the 9 weeks in-country, I know that I will take this knowledge and my newfound friendships forward into the future, and they will both continue to shape my view of the world.
Studio Art and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
This trip creates such a special bond between students. Through this program, I got to have some of the greatest experiences and make the most meaningful friendships!
Psychology and poverty studies
You will have intensive thinking processes that you think your brain is going to blow up. You will learn a lot from both local people and your peers. You will see a different part of the world that you definitely want to go back. You will learn how professors can possibly give you so much work that it is impossible to finish, and how loving and caring they are.