Nursing '22 Serena Schwartz

PGS: Travel to South Africa

Programs Abroad:

  • Penn Global Seminars (PGS): South Africa Rising: Past and Present in the New South Africa

Ask me about...

  • Traveling abroad for the first time and being an inexperienced traveler--I applied to this class not having traveled abroad before and it was an absolutely incredible experience. I was an inexperienced traveler, previously only went on a plane for one domestic trip, and am a local to Philadelphia, so this experience was like nothing I had ever been a part of before!

  • Financial aid and budgeting--I also receive financial aid and the cost of traveling was an issue for me, but Penn Abroad was able to provide some support to afford the trip.

My Experience Abroad:

Spending time abroad while being an undergraduate nursing student can be difficult to fit into my academic calendar, but a PGS was the perfect opportunity. Instead of spending a semester or summer away, taking a trip for a mere 10 days was the perfect length of time for me to be able to delve into another culture while also having an academic experience. Additionally, I am pursuing a Global Health minor through the school of nursing which requires an experience abroad. My time in South Africa not only fulfilled the writing seminar requirement, but it also filled an abroad experience! Can you say knocking two birds out with one stone?

Other Highlights:

  • Trying crazy foods! When in South Africa, I recommend you try ostrich, worms, crocodile, tripe, impala, bunny chow, and the classic South African oyster shot. I tried all of these for the first time!

  • Going on a safari. This was such a bittersweet moment. The ability to see these animals in their natural environment, especially the endangered white rhinos, made me much more appreciative of wildlife and their environments. My two favorites were elephants, including the super cute baby elephants, and penguins!

  • Building relationships with my classmates. Although we spent an entire semester in class together, I created so many bonds during this trip and we all grew so much closer. They definitely will be friendships that will last a lifetime.

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