Moritz Käsbach, Master Sports Business and Communication student at MBS, is currently spending his semester abroad at University of Cape Town in South Africa. Here, he shares his experiences.
There are many reasons why I decided to spend my semester abroad in the “Rainbow Nation” of South Africa with its “Mother City” Cape Town: I wanted to get to know a completely new culture, and at the same time improve my English skills. Since I had already lived in the USA for seven months, but didn’t know the African continent yet, I chose Cape Town.
Other reasons were that University of Cape Town is regarded as the best university in Africa, and that I, as a nature lover, hope to experience some exciting adventures in the wilderness.
I am getting to know Cape Town and South Africa as incredibly diverse – although the metropolis is the least characteristic African city for most Africans. The influence of the colonial era can be experienced on every corner: buildings are named after Spanish and Portuguese explorers and navigators, bus lines go to “Amsterdam” and “Eindhoven”.
The locals are mostly open and warm-hearted. Cape Town is carried by its multiculturalism, as many Asians come here as well as Europeans. But especially the people from the various African countries impress me the most: the Uber rides with drivers from Zimbabwe, Burundi, and Somalia are great experiences on their own.
In addition to the diversity, it is above all the stark contrasts that constitute the cityscape. At the coast, one apartment house follows the other, in the bays, one finds estates that belong to the most expensive ones of all Africa. On the other side, already during the ride from the airport to the city, one passes some endless townships, where millions of people live in corrugated shacks.
The city is enclosed by Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain, and Lion’s Head. Their sight is so impressive that I will not have got used to it even at the end of my semester abroad. The three mountains offer a spectacular view of the city, and countless possibilities for hiking and climbing.
Especially when it comes to nature, South Africa has more to offer than almost any other country: you can see the “Big 5”, and I watched whales here for the first time in my life – while jogging, right at the seaside of Cape Town.
Otherwise, it’s always a good idea to stick with local fellow students. They always have a good tip for leisure activities, and their “Braai” lifestyle is quite contagious. “Braai” is Afrikaans, and means nothing but barbecue. And that’s what South Africans like to do frequently.
My personal conclusion: Cape Town and South Africa are a great option for your semester abroad!