Greetings! I am still studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and am still loving every second of it!
As promised, here is a fun little list of lessons I compiled during my first day of classes at The University of Western Cape. Although I value my experience here, this eye-roll prompting list threaded with sarcasm after a long day of frustration certainly makes me miss The University of Scranton!
Throwback to Travel Journal Entry from July 23. Location: University of Western Cape campus.
“Today, I spend five-thousand unnecessary hours at UWC. Here are some lessons I learned today:
1. Coffee shops will never open when they say they will
2. Chocochino = Mochachino = Mocha
3. Practicals do not exist on any schedule anywhere
4. Neither do tutorials – especially when you are placed in the wrong one
5. Tutorials are called “Tuts” for short – which explains my confusion, thinking that my professor was referencing King Tut for the entire class
6. No one needs to arrive at UWC before 7:15AM
7. If your computer tells you that you need a library card, it is lying
8. If your computer tells you that you have 10 minutes remaining in your session, it’s lying. You have 4
9. There is no concept of silence in the library
10. The head of the University of Western Cape English department is called rude by everyone. I thought she was lovely. What does that say about Americans?
11. You can buy 2 bananas for 3 Rand – AKA 30 cents USA. Hellooooo groceries
12. Americans walk too fast/Everyone in South Africa walks like they have nowhere to be ever. Welcome to ‘Africa-time’
13. Speaking of Africa-time, class times mean nothing. Walk in 15 minutes late? Fine. Leave a half hour early? Not a problem.
14. Privacy in the bathroom will never happen and stalls will never close. Toilet paper? Paper towels? Forget about it
15. South Africans are really nice about giving directions. So it is okay to occasionally play ‘Lost American’”
Now I am loving The Universtiy of the Western Cape and all…But my heart goes out to Scranton for keeping me sane with regards to these little lessons I picked up on during my first few days on UWC campus. It made me realize how lucky I am to go to the University of Scranton, where not only do we have both toilet paper AND privacy in our bathrooms, as well as coffee shops that open on time (you should see the line at Starbucks and Java City every morning!), but we also have a super-efficient scheduling system, library, and just overall organization.
So here is what I miss about Scranton – my little list of those things that students at the UofS often take for granted, but really matter. Here’s to you, Scranton:
1. Coffee shops open on time – Shout out to the workers at both Starbucks and Java City for knowing my name and order, and for happily fueling my caffeine addiction.
2. Maintenance staff. You guys are AWESOME. Seriously. Thank you for keeping campus clean and beautiful, for cleaning our Residence Halls and dorm rooms, for chatting with me about your lives, and being some of the friendliest people on campus.
3. The Weineberg Memorial Library – oh how I miss your silent 5th floor and spacious study rooms! Also, I’ve heard a rumor that the 24-hour study room was revamped while I was away, and it looks great!
4. MyScranton – our online student portal. Thank you for being so user-friendly and organized.
5. Course Registration and Housing. Current UofS students: Never complain about registration or the housing lottery again. You want to talk about the “Housing Hunger Games” or the “chaos” that we call Course Registration? Try waiting in line at the University of the Western Cape for 4+ hours to register for anything – even to hand in a test. So thank you, MyScranton, the Housing Portal, Desire2Learn academic portal, and Online Course Registration. You just added 4 hours to my day.
6. Teachers who take the time to get to know each and every student – Teachers who offer to grab coffee with students after class, provide tons of office hours, and always give extra help. I miss the UofS teachers who care, and will go above and beyond to help students succeed.
7. Scranton food. Yum. I cannot express how much I miss the Fresh Food Company. UWC food can’t compare (Even if UWC’s samosas are excellent)!
8. Classes starting and ending on time, and students and professors making education a priority, attending classes regularly, paying attention, participating in exciting and intriguing lectures, etc.
9. All of the various clubs and opportunities that the UofS offers for students to get involved. You definitely don’t get that on every campus.
10. The happy, friendly, outgoing people, ready to reach out a helping hand or offer a warm smile, constantly spreading that Scranton sunshine. (This is what I miss the most).
Until next week!