My Dream Come True--Studying Abroad 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.