Here’s a quick video from one of our students in South Africa:
I like that bit near the end where our narrator Bekah says, “Kind of surreal that I’m here right now.” World travel often has that effect on a person. It’s pretty awesome.
Located on the South African coast, Mossel Bay is believed to be where humans first developed many of the behaviors that differentiated us from other primates: using heat to make tools, harvesting shellfish and seafood, incorporating small blades to make more complex tools, and using dye as a decoration.
Shoreline’s South Africa Study Abroad group visited the bay and saw some of the caves where early humans built these skills.
Today, Mossel Bay continues to attract large groups of advanced primates (a.k.a. people), but this is mostly due to its warm and relatively dry climate and its beautiful Indian ocean beaches. And apparently, one place that you can stay is a train turned hostel. All of my five-year-old-self dreams come true! Sleeping in a train car on the beach! (Apparently my five-year-old self wanted to be some variety of exceedingly lucky hobo.)
Keep checking back for more from Shoreline’s South Africa Study Abroad group!
Our students in South Africa recently visited the Castle of Good Hope, which was built by the Dutch East India Company beginning in 1666. Today, it is the best-preserved example of a Dutch East India Company fort, and a representation of European colonialism—as a European colonial military structure, it served as a center for oppression of the local peoples.
From the castle, there is an excellent view of Table Mountain, Cape Town’s most iconic and instantly recognizable geographic feature.
Keep checking back for more updates on our study abroad group’s travels!
En route to Cape Town, Shoreline Community College’s South Africa Study Abroad group stopped in Dubai for a night. Obviously one of the things they had to do while there was see the Burj Khalifa. At more than half a mile tall (2,722 feet), the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.
That’s a big check off the ol’ bucket list.
The Challenge and Promise of a Multicultural South Africa
August 15 – September 15 Application Deadline: April 10, 2015
South Africa lies at the southern-most point of the African continent and borders Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Led by Shoreline Professor Ernest Johnson, this program will consist of a preparatory course in African Cultures and a 4-week summer program that will examine the social and cultural history of South Africa and the current efforts to create a democratic, multicultural nation. Less than two decades ago, during the apartheid era, South Africa divided its population into just four categories: Black, White, Colored, and Asian. At that time, Black South African languages lacked recognition. Today, South Africa recognizes 11 official languages—one of many positive signs that progress is being made.
On site, students will participate in social and historical lectures and tours in Cape Town and the surrounding area. Students will attend high school and elementary school classes, lectures by community leaders, and supervised home-stays inside “Black” townships and homelands. There will be numerous opportunities to interact with South Africans of different races, religions, ethnicities, and classes, as students work on their primary research. There will also be time to explore the beaches, markets, museums and other areas of interest.
On Tuesday, March 24, Rebekah Thorne, a Shoreline Community College student, was awarded over $1,800 by the Fund for Education Abroad. More than 1,600 students from across the United States applied for the scholarship; only 36 were selected as recipients. The money will be used to cover more than half of the cost of Rebekah’s trip to Cape Town, South Africa, with Shoreline’s summer study abroad program there, led by Dr. Ernest Johnson, a Multicultural Studies instructor.
Dr Johnson writes that the program, titled The Challenge and Promise of a Multicultural South Africa, “will examine the social and cultural history of South Africa and the current efforts to create a democratic, multicultural nation.” Rebekah first became interested in the program when she was in Dr. Johnson’s Multicultural Studies 105 course in 2012.
Rebekah, who is in the Career Education Options (CEO) program, isn’t what many people think of when they think of study abroad students. She’s not rich. She’s a first-generation college student. Her educational path hasn’t been a traditional one: the CEO program is for students who have not received a high school diploma; Rebekah earned her GED after taking classes at Shoreline.
“[Studying abroad] was a dream, but I didn’t think it was ever going to happen. When I heard about the South Africa program and saw the posters for it, I was really envious of the people in the pictures.” It was only after John Tankersley, an International Student Advisor, told her about study abroad scholarships that she ever thought of studying abroad as a possibility.
Rebekah plans to finish her studies at Shoreline in 2016 and hopes to transfer to Mt. Holyoke or Smith University to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a minor in Gender or Women’s Studies. She hopes one day to earn a Master’s degree and work in the field of animal sciences.