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Cape Town - Experience reports

Basecamp (http://www.basecampcapetown.com) is a promotional DVD developed by Magister student exchange company to give some information and feedback of experiences its’ students had in Cape Town.

Christian Kimmerle, student in Konstanz, Germany
As everyone knows South Africa is a place of different cultures and beautiful landscapes, why not to spend a longer time in this country? In 2004 I decided to study six months abroad at Stellenbosch University. On the verge of landing I caught a glimpse of Cape Town. All doubts and concerns disappeared immediately, what a beautiful view. The city is located directly at the sea with beautiful beaches and its landmark Table Mountain in the background.
Stellenbosch, half an hour east of Cape Town, is one of the most important wine regions in South Africa. The 20,000 students make the old town quite attractive and many restaurants, bars and pubs make the hard student life more bearable. To get accommodation was not that easy and it’s probably not that cheap you may think. In a student dormitory you have to spend some 300 Euros so I decided to look for a private flat. Together with 3 girls! I moved into a house with a nice garden close to university. Although most of the lectures were in Afrikaans, English is getting more and more common.
During my studies I had enough time to get familiar with the new culture. Try to find some local guys who can show you the real South Africa not just the tourist spots. Do not miss a rugby game, a snoek braai or just stroll around in the small streets. A wine tour as well as a sundowner at Camps Bay or Clifton can be strongly recommended. As the country has not really a good infrastructure it’s crucial to have a car or to know someone who has one. Don’t be afraid of crime, it’s not that bad everyone thinks. If you have in mind a few things it’s not different to other places in the world. The gap between the white and non-white population is still existent and although Apartheid has been abolished since the beginning of the 90’s there is still racial tension. The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg is an absolute must for everyone.
In November after the final exams I travelled with a friend of mine through the whole country. There are many backpackers in lovely places, especially at the east coast close to Mozambique or south of Durban. Why not to spend Christmas Eve at the beach? But also the west coast to Namibia with its totally different climate was fascinating for me.
When I returned to Germany all my friends asked me what’s so fascinating in this country? It’s not easy to respond, maybe the totally different nature with its beautiful beaches and mountains, maybe the cultural diversity and the friendly people, maybe the delicious wine and food……. I don’t know. You have to stay there for a longer time and get an idea of what I am talking about.
I don’t wanna miss the six months in South Africa where I got a lot of experience and got familiar with another country and culture.




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