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September 30, 2012

Word Vomit: HolyMolyIGotAcceptedToStudyAbroadInSouthAfrica

cape-town-photo

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Excuse the excitement. This past Wednesday afternoon was judgement day, for my study abroad program that is. If you haven’t guessed by now, I got in! In just a few short months, that may feel like years, I will be flying to Cape Town, South Africa with the CIEE Service Learning Study Abroad Program. After receiving the exciting news, I was on an emotional roller coaster and felt as if I was in some surreal alternate reality for the remainder of my day. The fact of the matter is, I went into the application knowing that this specific program was extremely competitive and only accepted a maximum of four students from Clark each year. Not only that, but I also knew I would be applying against my roommate and another good friend of mine. Awkward? You could say that again. But here comes the even MORE exciting news, they got in too! So shot out to Jenna and Tali- and congratulations to everyone who has been (and soon will be) accepted into their programs for studying abroad in the spring.

Studying abroad is a memorable experience that I strongly encourage everyone to look into and at least consider during their undergraduate years. Clark offers a variety of programs that differ in length, location, and focus. Whether it is studying art in Siena, Italy, traveling throughout Europe with the EuroScholars Program, or even going to Luxembourg for a May term (like Rebecca did), there is a program for every Clarkie. Though I am beyond thrilled to be embarking on this new journey, there is a lot to miss at Clark in the spring.

Spring at Clark:

Spree Day- If you were to ask any Clarkie what they look forward to the most during the year, or what their favorite memory at Clark is, it most likely includes the infamous “Spree Day”. On a random weekday in April, the university cancels all classes and informs the students the night before. With musical performances, a rock climbing wall, food, and inflatables, Spree Day is basically a mandatory fun day, with little to no rules.

My friends and I on Spree Day!

Gala- From New Zealand to Trinidad and Tobago, virtually every country is represented during Clark’s annual International Gala performance. This is the largest event put on as dances are choreographed and performed completely by Clark students, international or not. Members from the Worcester community, students from other campuses, and a variety of interested citizens come to comprise the massive crowd. Every Clarkie needs to be involved with Gala one way or another, as it is a unique cultural experience.

India's performance

Euphoria- With glow sticks, black lights, and raging music galore, Euphoria only happens once a semester. This campus organized dance emulates a rave at it’s finest. Whether you are a first year or a senior, virtually everyone comes out for a good time. The event is run by International Student Association (ISA), the largest club on campus.

GLOWSTICKS, GLOWSTICKS, GLOWSTICKS

The Green- I consider a day laying out on the campus green as the best possible way to be unproductive. When the warm weather approaches students flock to “the green” to play frisbee, smoke hookah, lay out, and enjoy each other. In the spring the green is by far the most sociable environment you will encounter at Clark.

A typical day on The Green

Spring in South Africa:

While all of that is well and good- I am ready for my new journey to Cape Town where I will be living, studying, volunteering, creating my own research, and interning. I have already started my own bucket list:

Bungee jumping- Well, this is just a no brainer… right? Studying abroad in the country where the highest bungee jump is located is just way too tempting. I am the kind of “I’ll try anything once” person and bungee jumping is definitely that “anything”.

Tattoo- My sister and I have been talking about getting matching tattoos for awhile now, but before we do, I would like to get one for myself. The problem is, I have never felt so deeply about something to have it on my body for the rest of my life. But I have a feeling that being in South Africa will be that “something” too.

Shark cage diving- Okay, so I have this weird obsession with sharks… and shark attacks. I will pass up any TV show to watch Shark Week or a special edition on The Discovery Channel. As you may know, a significant amount of shark attacks occur in Cape Town. Enough said.

Now I promise I don’t have a death wish, I just have a need for excitement and will do my best to come out alive of all these endeavors. I’m sure my parents are reading this and reevaluating this trip too. But nevertheless:

“It’s Time for Africa!” Sorry I couldn’t resist…

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