South Africa through the eyes of Canadian Students

Taken from letters of international volunteers from the Ottawa University in Canada…

Try everything you can; take public transport; even try third class on the train; go out for drinks after work; talk to everyone you meet; be yourself; have an amazing adventure; listen to the people of South Africa, they have incredible stories to tell and lastly – Your experience will only be as good as make it, you will get out what you put in.

Tips for surviving South Africa:
• If you will be visiting during May to August pack warm clothing with rain jackets and coats;
• Don’t judge too quickly, first impressions of South Africa are not true of the country;
• Budget extra money, there are so many things to do that cost of living is rather high;
• Learn to use public transport ASAP, its effective, but has a time limit and for a reason;
• Don’t be afraid to try new things but be cautious – keyword is EXPERIENCE!!!
• Limit your time outdoors alone during the night, when you go do so in groups for safety;
• Do not under estimate your work and capabilities, 3 months can make a difference;
• Be patient with house families, you both having to adjust;
• Pack clothes for any weather because South Africa’s weather is not constant and the nightlife is Amazing.

Recommended areas to visit:
• Muizenberg – The Surf Shack, The Melting Pot, Shark cage diving
• Fish Hoek – Circle cycles
• Woodstock – The Old Biscuit Mill
• Newlands – Bon Fromage
• Cape Town – Cape Point
• Chapman’s Peak drive
• Franschoek
• Hermanus 
• Gugulethu – Mzoli’s
• Stellenbosch – Hemel en G
• Robben Island
• Table mountain hike
• Langa – Guga S’Thebe
• Camps Bay
• Hout Bay – Seal island
• Kirstenbosch gardens
• Kalk Bay
• Long street – Shopping and Night life