This week I started classes at the illustrious University of Cape Town (UCT), and I must say…I’m actually pretty excited for the semester! I’m taking four courses: one at the IES Abroad Center, and three at UCT.
Course #1: Community Development in Context
Community Development in Context is one of many courses offered by the IES Center in Cape Town. I had other options when it came to taking courses at the Center, including Community Health in Context and Dialogues on Difference. However, I wanted to take Community Development in Context because I wanted to learn more about poverty in South Africa and community development. I also wanted to take this course so that I would have an opportunity to volunteer at a local nonprofit. Although this course is research heavy in addition to us having to read and write long essays/articles, I do believe this course will provide me with much knowledge that I would be able to bring back with me to the States to make an actual difference.
Course #2: Crime and Deviance in South African Cities
I knew I had to take this course just after looking at the name of it. As a Sociology minor, taking this class was a golden opportunity. In this class, we’ll be going over numerous answers to questions, such as…
- How is crime to be defined?
- How much crime is there in South Africa?
- Who are the victims of crime and who are the offenders?
- Why is crime in South Africa so violent?
This class has so much students (definitely over 100), which is not something I am used to. At Howard, I’m used to having no more than 25 students in my courses, especially as an Accounting major (there aren’t many Accounting majors at my school). Additionally, this course has been lecture heavy so far instead of discussion based, which is also something I’m not used to. However, I’m open to the experience and I’m psyched to talk about topics that are honestly overlooked, especially back at home.
Course #3: Business Law 1
Business Law is usually an intense class no matter where you take it. People who are nowhere near interested in law might find it impossible to understand, but at UCT, Business Law 1 has been pretty simple to comprehend. I really appreciate my professor because she is great at helping us understand the material – she repeats herself willingly, and she provides examples for topics that we could easily get lost in. This class is designed to provide us with an introduction to the South African legal system and the law of contract. Overall, so far so good in regards to this class!
Course #4: Introduction to Theater and Performance
Lastly, Introduction to Theater and Performance. When I signed up for this course, I don’t know why I thought I would automatically be assigned roles in plays and going through…I don’t know, breathing exercises. Yet this first week we’ve been assigned four readings, and we’ve been having interesting discussions, such as the meaning of performance (which I’ve discovered is not limited to plays in an actual theater…more to come soon on this!). In this class, the material we go over is intriguing, and I’m excited for what is to come as a result of taking this course.
My first week at UCT reminded me that this semester will not be an easy one – there’s going to be a lot of reading, writing, and exercise (UCT’s campus is huge – it takes me 15 minutes to walk from one class to the next, while at Howard, it’s a five minute shuttle ride). Yet that’s why I came all the way to South Africa to study! So I can have a different educational experience that may at times, make me uncomfortable, but undoubtedly will stretch me and help me grow.