My Dream Come True-- Studying Abroad in South Africa!

Jamyra Salley Start Date: May 25, 2018 - End Date: Jul 29, 2018
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Leadership/Training Program
  • Study/Degree Abroad
  • Cape Town, South Africa

My Travel Story

by: Jamyra Salley Start Date: May 25, 2018 - End Date: Jul 29, 2018
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Leadership/Training Program
  • Study/Degree Abroad
I am completing my junior year at Eugene Lang College, The New School, majoring in Urban Studies and minoring in dance. This summer I have the opportunity of a lifetime: to travel to Cape Town, South Africa. I have been accepted into CIEE's Cape Town Summer Community Development and Social Justice: Theory + Practice study abroad program! I have never travelled outside of New York City, except for brief car trips to neighboring places and I have never been on an airplane. For me, six weeks abroad is a dream come true! I have been awarded scholarships that cover my airfare and nearly three-quarters of my tuition and room and board. I need to raise $2350 plus an additional $650 to cover food, transportation in country, and other miscellaneous expenses while I am in South Africa.

My focus on Urban Studies has given me many opportunities to expand my knowledge of the complex lives of cities and to place my own personal experiences, as a young Black woman growing up in an impoverished neighborhood of Brooklyn, within a larger context. Being able to study in South Africa will broaden this context, contrasting my reality of Blackness in America against the layered reality of being Black in a country led by Black people, but that's still very much impacted by the legacy of colonization and apartheid. Just as American Blacks live with a legacy of slavery, racism and segregation.

Being able to study abroad will be the capstone to my experiences at the New School which have exposed me to a many new possibilities and models for composing a life that I now know is in my reach. Spending six-weeks in South Africa will not just be an opportunity to learn about and interact with a new culture first hand, but to also see myself through a different lens and to expand my knowledge of social justice and community building.

Besides all of the deeper understanding, wisdom and knowledge I will attain from my academic studies and community work in Africa, there will be the joy, excitement and fun of exploring a new place, meeting new people, having new experiences, and having the creative freedom international travel can bring. I am passionate about studying abroad because want to see and experience more of the world while gaining a new perspective on things. Through my program, I will be making a difference by participating in a series of small-scale projects and a two-week endeavor to boost Cape Flat community schools, orphanages, and NGOs, learning Afrikaans and IsiXhosa languages, all while doing weekend home-stays where I'll be able to see what South African family life is like for people who have overcome disadvantages with a three-homestay. Through my study abroad program I will get a new perspective on the social challenges in Africa and have the opportunity to help revitalize a community in deep poverty.

  • Cape Town, South Africa