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University of Missouri

My journey with wanderlust: Why I chose to study abroad

Filed in Blog, South Africa by on May 2, 2019
by Anna D.

Let’s start this blog off with a quick story about my childhood. My parents like to constantly tell me about the time when I was three years old and my dad was on the roof repairing something. Then, I somehow wandered up the ladder and onto the roof and proceeded just to hangout and have the time of my life up there. Well, the neighbor saw little ole’ me up there and ran over yelling “Baby on the roof! Baby on the roof!” I was immediately taken down and chastised; which in hindsight was probably the best outcome that could come from that. Anyways, my point of this story is that I have always felt the need to push the limits of my own abilities and find new perspectives on life. Whether that is literally by climbing onto rooftops, or in a more conceptual way by learning more about other cultures and communities.

When I first came to college it felt like a fresh start, I made new friends, joined great organizations, stayed up way too late and eventually found a major that felt just right for me. Every semester at the University of Missouri – Mizzou for short – pushed me further in the world of health science. All the while learning these sciences I also held onto my creative side by minoring in art. This balance has helped me keep this well-rounded perspective on life. But my wanderlust has always been within me waiting to be appeased. Each semester I looked into studying abroad, just to be shut down by the restrictions of required courses, finances and poor timing. But nevertheless, she persisted. I found an opening for study abroad through this Cape Town summer internship.

It seems almost too perfect, if I’m being honest. It fulfills my required internship course along with giving me valuable real life experiences with companies that I want to work for. Don’t get me started on my excitement about the city of Cape Town. Every picture I look up of the landscape looks like a laptop screensaver. Coming from Missouri, where most of the landscape is flat farms and the occasional hill, the Cape Town landscape appears to be a paradise. But I also recognize that South Africa holds a population with vast socio-economic gaps. My curiosity about community dynamics has yet to be fully explored. This experience could create leaps and bounds in this area and help grow my own personal experience as a social justice advocate.

But also, I am scared. This will be the furthest and longest time I will be away from my home. In preparing to leave, I’m trying to practice being more independent on factors like socialization, professional endeavors and traveling. Deciding to do this internship was a huge step towards preparing myself for  life after I graduate. So, yeah, it is going to be new and, yeah, I am going to be in uncharted territory, but I know that by the end of this internship I will learn things about the world and myself that I will forever carry with me.


About the blogger

Anna D. is studying abroad on the Global Mizzou Internship: Cape Town program in Cape Town, South Africa.

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