This trip to Cape Town, South Africa was my first time traveling to the African continent. Although it was a long flight to Cape Town the experience was worth the jet lag. This trip has changed my life through the amazing opportunities that I was able to experience on this trip. The course that is associated with this trip was designed to increase our educational awareness of international and South African business. While in Cape Town we as a group were able to visit businesses that ranged from startup money transfer firms to established long term investment firms. Many of the businesses that we were able to visit were extremely focused on their social impact and the betterment of the South African people. This trip allowed me to immerse myself in diverse culture of Cape Town which encouraged a new perspective of international business.
This class may be focused on the business of South Africa but was truly educational in many different regions; whether it be history, sociology, psychology, geography, and international relations. This course would be beneficial to people of all majors and areas of study. Some career benefits of studying aboard are increased communication skills, increased flexibility and adaptability, as well as other transferable skills that transcend college major barriers and apply to general professional advantages.
While in Cape Town we as a group were able to experience the culture through many different avenues. We took a language class in the prominent Bantu language of the city of Cape Town named Xhosa. One of the most influential moments of the trip was during our visit to Robben Island which was the historic jail that Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in for a large portion of his 27 year sentence. We also were able to visit the largest township in Cape Town, Khayelitsha. This township houses over 2.4 million people (around half of Cape Town’s population).
While in Cape Town and at the African safari within the trip extension; we were able to see lions, hippos, zebras, ostriches, baboons, elephants, and my favorite the South African penguins. The natural views of Cape Town included the view of the ocean (Atlantic and Indian Ocean) and beautiful beaches. On the first day the trip my flight arrived 12 hours before the rest of the group arrived therefore I was able to visit Camps Bay Beach and watch the sunset and walk on the beach in December. A few days in to the trip we were able to hike Lion’s Head Mountain, which is one of the mountains that overlooks the ocean and the city. On our free day a group of those on the trip went to visit a winery in the Stellenbosch area right outside of Cape Town. This is a historic part of the wine regions in South Africa.
This was one of the most educational and fun experiences in my life. South Africa will always have a special place in my heart. I have plans to study / travel aboard soon and have appreciated the UTC Rollins College of Business for making this opportunity available.
Myranda Westbrook is majoring in Business Analytics and participated in a Rollins College of Business faculty led trip to South Africa in December, 2019.
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