Africa, South Africa

ACES: HDFS Study Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa

Aside from working at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, I was amazed at all the sights we were able to see during the trip. A meaningful aspect from the trip for me was when we visited some of the townships in South Africa. Since apartheid, these communities are historically impoverished areas inhabiting all Black populations. Although these areas look to be very poor, the sense of community that the residents have with each other is very inspiring. While visiting Ivy’s township of Delft, it was amazing to see all of the neighbors greeting her with such warmth and compassion. After dinner that evening, it was great that we got to interact with some of the other people in the township. After a long day at work and especially during the holiday, spending time with family continues to be an important aspect of this community. That is something I really admired and was inspired to see.

Some of our other adventures included hiking up the Cape of Good Hope, visiting Table Mountain, going to the beach, visiting the apartheid museum, Nelson Mandela’s home, bargaining for authentic souvenirs, and trying so many amazing new foods. Overall, my experience abroad was unforgettable and such a great learning experience. I would encourage everyone to partake in a program relating to their academic and extracurricular interests because the experiences you will have are well worth the journey. #ILLINOISabroad #ACESabroad #imagineaces

-Vanessa Farrow


Africa, South Africa

Tamarrian Johnson Cape Town, South Africa, University of Illinois UC GBL 298

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My experience in Cape Town was one that I will not forget. It took me out of my comfort zone, and ultimately, I learned so much, and took on a lot of firsts. The hostel we lived in was filled with the most friendly people I have interacted with in a long time. They made me feel comfortable and welcome the entire two weeks I was there with their hospitality. Within the first few days aside from learning, my group was able to go to Table Mountain National Park to watch the sunset. It was so breath taking! It’s definitely something that you wouldn’t see here in the US! The mountain hovered right above the Atlantic Ocean. I also cabled up Table Mountain! We were 1,067M high! When we got to the top, we were literally in the clouds! A day that stood out to me was when we went to the Cape Flats. The people we met had so much life in them despite of what they were going through. The most beautiful thing about them was that they wanted to be educated about their circumstances and how to fight them, and then they wanted to teach others like them to stop the cycle. The fact that they wanted to be aware and act on their issue is what I believe is the key to fighting adversity, as we have been shown throughout history.


Tamarrian Johnson