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Courtney Arnold

Political Science major with Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration

"Friends, if you really want to study abroad, go on this trip. Its completely unlike any other program you can go on and it completely encompases the idea "study abroad." Don't like camping? Nature? Bugs? Go anyway! If I survived, you will survive. Deciding to do this program was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Seriously, though. Write down everything. Be prepared to see and do the unexpected. Climb Dune 7 (to the top). Eat and drink (in no particular order) Appletiser, Simba Chips, Liqui-Fruit, Cadbury Dairy Milk Biscuit, Magnum Bars. TALK about those sensitive subjects like gender and race-if you don't, you lose out a on a significant lesson and a chance to grow. Don't just apply what you learn to school work, but apply it to your everyday life, INCLUDING the experiences you have while you are still in Africa. Realize that no matter how hard you try, there is no way to fully explain or describe this magical experience to anyone else except by saying "amazing"-and that's okay! Most importantly, open your eyes, ears, and heart."

Liz Breen

Psychology major

"Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares, and the slavery of Home, man feels once more happy."

Mallory Boyd

Sociology major with a concentration in Poverty Studies

"Traveling to Southern Africa left me hyper-exposed to activists, politics, culture, and people unlike any other experience. I enjoyed every aspect of the trip; from climbing a sand dune to hearing from activists at Orange Farm in Johannesburg, study away with Furman professors allowed for learning first hand and extending my views beyond Greenville and the classroom on campus."

Melinda Cleveland

Psychology major

"We are all human. I have never been so overwhelmed by the bond of humanity until this trip, and I realized that we all need a little help. Each of us has been gifted uniquely, and we are all capable of making a difference if we allow ourselves to do so."

Charlee Coggins

Psychology major

"CAUTION: Going on this trip could dramatically alter your view of the world, your country, and yourself.  Prepare to be amazed."

Katie Coleman

Biology major

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime...

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." --Mark Twain

Kristen Layne

English major

"It's impossible to sum up the Africa trip in a sentence or two -- but that's not a surprise in the aftermath of an experience that was defined by two words: ubuntu, meaning togetherness and "I am because we are," and apartheid, which translates directly to "separateness." Once you have seen what we've seen you can never forget it -- and it profoundly impacts your experience of the world, the U.S., and the Furman community."

Cameron Maxwell

Political Science Major

"If you are like I was before going on the trip, desperately wanting to get out of the everyday academic grind of Furman and the lack of truly challenging experiences, this trip is definitely for you. I can't stress enough how much this trip will make you think about your life in a different way and ultimately change you for the better. That is not to say that you will immediately re-evaluate your life and decide to live in a completely different way, but it will undoubtedly give you a sense of what the world is like outside of the Furman bubble. It's a tremendous opportunity to step outside of your own comfort zone and meet people who are passionate, people who live life in a completely different manner than anyone you will encounter in the states. If you simply want an escape with little challenge in terms of academics or emotional engagements, this trip will not be for you. Every day of the trip is draining and will cause you to think about things you rarely have to while on Furman campus. However, if you want to get the most out of an abroad trip and help figure out some of the things you want to do with your education after graduation, this trip simply cannot be beat. All I can say is, if you want to experience actual academic engagement, go on this trip."

Emily McClimon

Sociology major

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."

Alicia McDaniel

Bio-Chemistry major

"I was told after I answered yes to the question, "Are you an American?", that In Namibia poeple live and that in America people exist. This statement has stayed with me throughout the course of the Africa 2011 trip and I hope its something I never forget. This statement for me is a reminder to not simply exist, it urges one to do something, stimulate change, make a difference and to remember to live! It reminds me and I hope others to enjoy life and the small things that make it worth living."

Sophie Mire

Political Science major with concentration in Poverty Studies

"If you want to change the world start with yourself. Go to Africa and while you are there you will undoubtedly grow, change, and learn. Take to heart the words of Mr. Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Return with a new vigor and zest which will ignite profound reaction and action towards the inequalities of the world; and you will surely not regret your decision."

Catherine Pate

Studio Art major with a concentration in Poverty Studies

"Everyone seems to know what Africa needs, but sometimes I think our minds are not really on it.  Most of us see only Africa's contours, and we use them to map out problems of our own.  Africa is a career move, an adventure, an experiment. It fades into an idea." -Helen Epstein from The Invisible Cure

Sarah Prickett

Psychology and Health Science major

"Never in my life did I imagine that my trip to southern Africa would be as challenging emotionally, mentally, and physically as it was. But the opportunities to grow and learn were endless and climbing Dune 7 was one of the moments I will always remember"

Laura Rast

History major

Josh Russell

Political Science and History major

"This trip was easily my best experience at Furman.  If it is at all possible, you should take this opportunity.  I cannot think of a better way to spend a semester.  I don't care how much you already know about Africa, poverty, healthcare, or anything else; you will be exposed to more on this trip than you could ever imagine."

Munazza Shums

Communication Studies major

"I absolutely loved this trip. I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn so much in so little time. It made me rethink many notions I previously had about poverty, the implications of history, consequences of existing structures and various avenues and methods of economic development and allowed me to reflect deeply about all four of these areas. Visiting Southern Africa has affected the life I lead currently and helped me choose better the life I plan to lead in the future."

Ana Spratley

Psychology & Poverty Studies major

"If you don't do anything else at Furman, make you sure you study away.  The experience of learning and traveling in a completely foreign environment is priceless.  If you have to choose between going to Europe or the Global South, my (humble) opinion is that you should seize the opportunity NOW to visit the developing world.  Europe is relatively easy to visit and tour on your own later on in life -- but visiting informal settlements in Johannesburg, riding a donkey cart on a rural homestay in Namibia, or learning about traditional healing practices from the Bushmen in Botswana is much harder to arrange on your own.  Going on the Africa trip this semester has been the most wonderful and soul-searching two months of my life and undoubtedly the best decision I ever made!"

Sarah Tandy

Biochemistry major

"There are some things a book can never teach you; some sights that pictures can't give justice; smells that can't be described; tastes that can't be replicated; sounds that can't be imitated; friendships that can't be forgotten. Go. See. Smell. Taste. Hear. Experience. Dream. Discover. Learn how small the world really is. Be challenged. Grow. Change. You won't regret it."

Hillary Taylor

Psychology major with Poverty Studies Concentration

"Everyone is a story, but we are not all a "Single Story." We are made of many smaller stories, and it is only through swallowing those many stories that you can understand a single human life. This trip is just one more epic chapter in the legend I will come back to tell you all. The thing I learned most about on this trip? In a word, Ubuntu--the idea that "a person is a person through other people." In other words, "I AM because WE ARE." If you so choose to let this journey be a part of your life's tale, know that you must allow yourself to be vulnerable. Form friendships with complete strangers, even people you will never see again. Let your heart break for those afflicted. Become a passionate advocate for the violently-ill in South Africa. Learn to listen to your thoughts after you milk goats in rural Namibia. Ponder the existance of the cosmos with Bushmen in Botswana. Do not hide from what you cannot aviod seeing outside of the ordinary. It is all to convenient to hide from inequality. Strive for truth. Aim for reconciliation. But most of all, love the adventure. The Africa experience is a process, not a state. A journey, not a destination. May you come to know that an ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge, may ubuntu surround you like a mystical experience, and let your story begin..."

Matt Wessinger

Religion major

"We're going to look back on these days..... and we're gonna miss them."

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