Africa Study Away 2013 Furman University

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Faris Armaly

Neuroscience major

"This trip will challenge you. It will push you to think in ways you never have. Africa has been an incredible experience for me that has had a lasting impact on me. I didn't realized it until I had been in the US for a few weeks, but something about my thinking has fundamentally shifted. This trip is sincerely a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you're looking to escape the day-to-day Furman grind and go on an adventure, this trip is for you.

If you choose to go, at various times on the trip you will:

  • freak out about packing
  • be so busy that you start to develop an "Africa bubble"
  • be so happy you'd give anything to freeze time
  • want to stay in Africa forever
  • want to go home to your bed
  • feel motivated, empowered, and hopeful
  • feel disheartened and hopeless
  • have sand, everywhere
  • have grass, everywhere
  • stay in luxury hotels, shower, eat great food, and hit the beach
  • stay in tents without toilets or showers
  • be close enough to touch an elephant
  • be close enough to be stepped on by an elephant
  • see magnificent and amazing animals
  • see springbok
  • get annoyed with every person on the trip
  • love every person on the trip.

 If you go on this trip, guaranteed, you will not regret it. If you go, you will return with experience that you and the 19 other students will hold on to and share forever."

Mary Pat Bradshaw

Sociology major

"The Africa trip will challenge you in ways that you have never dreamed of. It will challenge you physically, spiritually, emotionally, and academically. But if you can stick with it through all of the challenges you will come out of it just having the most incredible experience of your life."

Theta Brown

Health Sciences major

"Africa was amazing! If you get the chance, I encourage you to take advantage of it. Traveling to Southern Africa was not only an opportunity for me to grow and change as a person, but it helped me to learn aspects of a different culture and teach others about my own. I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone many times during this trip, and those experiences are the ones that will be most memorable. Getting away from the structure of the Furman environment was nice too because it made learning much more exciting and many of the things that I did learn will remain with me!"

Danielle Burt

Health Sciences major

"This trip taught me more than I ever could have imagined about the world and about myself. Not only was it the most academically stimulating semester of my college career, but it also challenged me personally and emotionally. The incredible assortment of speakers and site visits exposed me to perspectives that have forever altered the way I look at the world, and have also shown me how much I have left to learn. Winston Ntshona, a South African playwright and actor, said it best when he spoke these simple, yet profound words: "never stop thinking." This statement, and the knowledge I gained on this trip, will forever resonate with me and inspire me as I strive to find a way to make a positive impact in this world."

Casey Evans

Psychology major with a concentration in Poverty Studies

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the one's we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."  - President Barack Obama

Wesley Gillette

Chemistry major

"You will learn: patience, humility, sadness, joy, what you are passionate about, how you can serve people well, whether or not you can grow a beard, how to handwrite papers in the dark with a headlamp, and how to overcome your fears (shark cage diving, large bugs, using the restroom on airplanes). You will never forget what you saw." 

Molly Gunson

Communication Studies and Sociology major

"There's no way to sum up my feelings about this trip in just a few sentences, you can only fully understand it once you immerse yourself in it--and that's what this trip does. We had amazing experiences, met wonderful people, and saw things I never would have dreamed I'd see in my lifetime.  This trip is a challenge to grow, think, and question and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. "

Rhodes Hambrick

Biochemistry major

"Go, to the extent that you can, with a recognition of the potential fallibility of your preconceptions. Listen to those you meet with a degree of intentional, compassionate curiosity that allows you to hear what they are actually saying, not what you think they will say. And above all else, even when you get worn down, cherish the time you have - it will be gone before you know it." 

Sarah Harris

Economics and Poverty Studies major

"It's impossible to sum up this trip in just a few sentences so I'll do it in 3 words: take me back!"

Emily Jeske

Psychology and Sociology major

"This trip will challenge you intellectually and ideologically from the moment you step off the plane in Johannesburg. Take every day as it comes and never pass up any opportunity that presents itself; you never know if it'll happen again. Prepare yourself to be confronted every day with things that you never imagined you'd experience. At the end of the day though, enjoy yourself! You'll be going non-stop from sun up to sun down, but try to take time to process and digest everything that you're seeing and doing. Once you get back, you're not going to want to forget a single moment, so appreciate it while it's happening. The people you meet will stick with you forever. It's exhausting, but it is in every way worth it." 

"Find life experience and swallow them whole. Travel. Meet many people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life." -Lawrence K. Fish

Sarah Killebrew

Health Sciences major

"Go to Africa. Experience new things. Try new foods. Meet people completely different from you. Put to the test everything you ever thought to be true. Open your heart and your mind. Get a chaco tan line. Form forever friendships and life long memories. Write down everything. Most importantly, allow your life to be changed."

Katrina Morgan

Biology major

"We should not stop trying.  The cause is too important, the cost of failure is too high: 'If Jesus hasn't given up on man, then how can we give up on him?'" Timberg and Halperin

Brian Neumann

History Major major

"This trip was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Because it showed me the beauty and strength of the human spirit. Because it taught me that the love that unites us is more powerful than the fear and hatred that divide us. And because I spent it with some of the greatest people I've ever known. So go! Get soaked in the mist of Victoria Falls. Stand in the starlight of a Botswana sky. Watch the sunset over the sand dunes. Climb trees. Climb mountains. Ride a hot-air balloon. Swim in the Indian Ocean. Sing karaoke and swing dance in the park. Cherish every moment. Embrace every opportunity. Because when this trip is over, you'll look back and miss it more than you could ever possibly imagine."

"Find the journey's end in every step of the road." --Emerson

Jessica Pate

Communication Studies and Sociology major

"Be bold and make friends with strangers in a market in Zimbabwe, marvel at how gorgeous and how heartbreaking things are (sometimes simultaneously), realize how much you don't know, wrestle with how to create positive change, and slide face-first down a sand dune (believe me, I was scared to death but it was SO worth it). Never has my coursework felt so relevant and important as on this trip: I thoroughly valued our time on the ground traveling to hospitals, art museums, schools, townships, NGOs. The Southern Africa study abroad was an exhausting and incredibly enriching experience that has challenged me in ways I will never forget.

Shelby Price

Sociology major

"Know this: this trip will change you, whether you like it or not. It may not be in the way you expected, but Africa will leave a mark. The best way to go about it is to be open to it. Allow yourself to be affected - by the things you see and experience, by the relationships you develop, by the knowledge you gain. Wrestle with it, challenge it, and may it challenge you. It might end up being your hardest semester at Furman - but it will also likely be the best. Keep your eyes open and write it all down so you remember it when you're gone. If there's something you want to do upon returning to the States, do it right away. Don't wait to get involved. Ask yourself: what can I do to live out what I've learned, how can I contribute to the fight for justice and equality in the world, and to a greater understanding of and appreciation for the humanity that we all share. Never forget that you were born into a position of privilege, and you have the opportunity - and, perhaps, the responsibility - to give of yourself in solidarity with those who were not."

Shelby Rimmler

Health Sciences major

"Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it.- African proverb

This trip means more to me than any other experience I have had in my life. I grew as a individual, grew in community, and grew in wisdom. My wisdom was not solely self-discovered, though. Most of the things I learned on this trip came from the people I met, the people I surrounded myself with, and the people I read about in my studies. All of these people have encouraged my discovery of new things and have challenged me, whether they know it or not, to search for the good and wisdom in every person I will come to meet."

Rachel Sease

Education major

"By the time you're 16...or 17...or 18, you're just as likely to get skin cancer as everyone else, so experience the world NOW! And wear sunscreen."

Carolina Seigler

Sociology and Poverty Studies major

"This Africa experience is a journey of learning, processing, and discovering the self. It is not a study abroad trip of opulence and comfort. It is a time to be made aware of the limitations of your own world views, to be exposed to the reality of injustice and inequality, and to meditate on how you will live in light of what you have learned (and cannot unlearn).

 Recognize the fact that these are opportunities that may never again be made available to you in this capacity. It's all so golden. So. Go and do and be. And bring a frisbee."

Callie Washburn

Psychology major

"Never stop thinking"- Winston Notosha said while we talked with the famous South African actor in Port Elizabeth. This statement resonated with me throughout this trip and still does after being back and settled in my "normal" American routine (but what is normal now after I went to the bathroom under a tree, swam with sharks, and having class around a campfire?). Every site visit from hospitals, to orphanages, to homestays, to Botswana's beautiful safari country; I was always reminded to look with a critical eye and seek new knowledge and experiences. To ultimately never stop thinking about what is in front of me and how I can learn from it. This trip truly has made me analyze about how my stewardship in actions, words and academia can impact some one or change myself and perceptions of the world. If you are looking to study abroad and not only see some amazing African animals but also experience a world and cultures far different than your own, I highly suggest this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!! I was a bit skeptical at first- looking at the loads of work to do while there and only having 19 other people on it; but I left with an unforgettable and enlightening experience that has changed me for the better."

Summer Woods

English and History major

"Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it." – Cesare Pavese

 "Go to Southern Africa and really commit to everything beautiful and wonderful and heartbreaking you can find there.  Commit to feeling off balanced, to your chaco tan, and to learning about people and places you will carry in your heart forever.  Really commit to opening your eyes, ears, and your heart and you'll be amazed how much things can change you if you let them."

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