When you are in college or high school, the world of opportunities in front of you is enormous. You can live on your own, choose your classes, and make new friends. An even greater opportunity is the chance to study abroad in Africa. Because Africa is so large and encompasses so many diverse cultures, you can experience so many new things. Whether you are looking to study in a city or learn from the culture of an African tribe, you will be able to find a program that really fits with what you want to learn and what you want to do with your life experience.
Africa is going to be extremely different from what you are used to. No matter where you are from, the culture, the weather, and the people are going to be new things for you. Try to think of it as an adventure and keep an open mind. Explore the world around you, but do so with these things in mind:
Do not expect to see lions and rhinos around every corner. In fact, many of the African animals you expect to see do not live everywhere. Animals are known to be in certain areas of the country and tend to stay in those areas unless they live on an animal reserve or in a park.
Expect different weather for different areas of the country. Many think that Africa is completely made up of the savanna areas that we see in movies, but actually it is a very diverse country when it comes to ecosystems. You can expect deserts, jungles, savannas, and grasslands.
Culture shock is going to happen to you as you travel, learn, and explore Africa. The city culture may seem fairly familiar, but it will also be different. You will see more poverty and as you travel, you are most likely going to come across communities that have way less than you do.
Be sure to keep an open mind as you study in Africa. This is a time for you to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. Expect to be surprised by the things you see, the things you do, and the people you meet. Think of this opportunity as an adventure.
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Since Africa is such a large continent, the things you can see and do are almost limitless. Deciding where you want to visit in Africa can be extremely difficult because you are most likely going to have a limited amount of time to travel and explore. Here are some things you do not want to miss out on:
Mount Kilimanjaro—As the tallest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro provides some breathtaking views. If you enjoy hiking, being in nature, and seeing some of Africa’s wildlife, then visiting Mount Kilimanjaro is a great trip to take while you study in Africa.
Victoria Falls—Located at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls is the largest “curtain falls” on earth. Not only will you be able to see the Falls, but you can swim in the natural pools at the top of the falls and experience some of the most diverse wildlife in the world.
The Pyramids—Egypt is often forgotten as an African country, but it offers some of the most amazing things to see in the world. If you are able to travel to Egypt make sure you visit the Pyramids and wonder in the marvel of them.
Wildebeest Migration—The wildebeest migration takes plains in Kenya and Tanzania. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebras migrate as the seasons change. The migration is regarded as one of the most spectacular natural events to occur and the greatest wildlife show.
Krugar National Park—One of the biggest draws for Africa is the wildlife and the best way to see that wildlife is to visit one of the many reserves or game parks. The Krugar National Park is located in South Africa and is known to have one of the biggest varieties of animals in Africa. The park is also a leader in environmental management techniques and policies.
Africa is an enormous continent and there are a few things and places you will want to avoid while you are traveling around. Stick to well lit areas in cities and always travel with at least one person. If you do decide to take trips, then be sure you use and hire a company that has a great reputation. Do not let some of the unrest in Africa keep you from exploring the continent. There is so much to see and do while you study in Africa. Just remember to be safe and do research before you go anywhere new!
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