Elise Kambou is a student at Towson University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Durban, South Africa.
If we’re going to be honest, South Africa was the last place I ever imagined I would study abroad. In fact, South Africa has never even really been on my radar; not even during the 2010 World Cup. Yet somehow I ended up in the beautiful city of Durban, a city I feel is often disregarded by students that choose to study abroad in South Africa. Although I had originally been interested in Cape Town, I wanted to breakaway from the norm and go somewhere completely foreign to me. From the moment my plane landed in Durban, I knew I had made the right decision.
There are plenty of opportunities and adventures that await you in Durban, and if you’re looking for a reason to study abroad here. Let me give you 6.
1) Not only is the country beautiful, but so is the community. The people I have met in Durban have been some of the friendliest and most genuine people I have ever come across. People in Durban are eager to show you around their city, teach you their language, and make sure you feel as if you were right at home.
2) South Africa, in my opinion, is one of the most unique countries in Africa. The country is filled with so much diversity, and it is amazing to see how far the country has come just 20 years after the abolishment of apartheid. However, from what I have learned during my time here, Durban is a better portrayal of how integrated the country is.
3) Culturally, South Africa will fuel your curiosity. With a blend of African, European, South Asian and a mixed race culture, you’ll come across people from all walks of life.
4) There are plenty of fun, engaging activities, both indoors and outdoors. Whether it’s going to the beach, hiking in Drakensberg, shopping at Victoria Market or visiting religious sites, South Africa has it all.
5) Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, let’s talk about the food! The South African diet consists of a lot of meat, and every meal is well prepared and gives you that homemade feel. Although there are not as many vegetarian options, South Africa is home to the largest population of Indian’s outside of India. Indians tend to have a vegetarian diet, and prepare some of the best food I have eaten in Durban.
6) Channel your inner Eliza Thornberry! You and I both know you’ve always wanted to go on a safari, and if you come to Durban.. it can happen. St. Lucia is just an afternoons drive away!
You haven’t seen South Africa until you’ve experienced Durban.
Want to read more about South Africa? Check out “How to Learn a Language in South Africa”