I just returned from 3 months abroad. I did an exchange program at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa. At first I was very apprehensive about missing the first spring term, especially since the two-year MBA really does fly by. However, I really regretted not taking advantage of study abroad opportunities during undergrad, and I vowed that if I had the chance to do it again, I would. So, I certainly couldn’t pass it up this time!
I decided to do some traveling for 3 weeks prior to the term start, so I went to Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda by myself. Don’t be alarmed. I’ve actually travelled quite a bit by myself, and sometimes prefer it, because it gives me a chance to experience new things and meet new people that I may otherwise not get a chance to, had I been traveling in a group. Following my initial travels, I headed to UCT in Cape Town where I joined 7 Fuquans and 13 other MBA students from around the globe. At times, it felt like being on The Real World, which inspired us to do this video.
I was very excited to get a chance to live in Africa. It had always been a dream of mine to live in a foreign country, and being in Africa gave me a chance to gain a very unique perspective on a completely different culture and lifestyle. I realized that Cape Town is much more cosmopolitan and westernized than other parts of Africa, but their business world is still struggling with modernizing post-Apartheid, and integrating all races into a company (South Africa has one of the highest levels of segregation in the world). So, I greatly appreciated being able to immerse myself in the society to see what life in South Africa is really like.
I think the fact that Fuqua offers a chance to actually live in another country, and to experience what the culture and business environments are like first-hand, is a truly remarkable opportunity. To me, it proved that Fuqua isn’t just touting global opportunities, but it actually embraces and lives by that mantra.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that I bought a business class flight for my trip? For that long of a route, it was definitely nice to stretch out my legs, and if possible, I highly recommend it for anyone else planning on doing a long-haul trip.