By Brittany Waddell-Allen, ISA South Africa Site Specialist
This Fall, consider discovering the hidden gems of South Africa’s Eastern coastline. Both Port Elizabeth and Durban are amazing locations and have so much to offer students. Here are some of the highlights of living and studying in these two beautiful locations!
In Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) draws students from all over the world. NMMU is in a very unique location, having the ocean and nature reserves as its backdrop. With its diverse academic and cultural life, NMMU is the perfect place for students to explore their educational pursuits. The University also offers a hands-on service-learning component that allows students to volunteer in several capacities—childcare, tutoring, healthcare, recreation/sports, etc. It’s not only a great way for students to grow academically, but also to give back to the local community!
The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban is one of Africa’s top universities, known for their ground-breaking work in HIV/AIDS research, engineering, music, international development, and environmental studies. Similar to NMMU, UKZN, it set in a beautiful natural environment, steps from the sea and botanical gardens.
In Port Elizabeth, students will have the opportunity to visit the Addo Elephant National Park—one of the largest elephant sanctuaries in the world. Students will spend the whole day in the park and may be able to spot other members of South Africa’s “Big 5”, including lions, water buffalo as well as other wildlife. Students will also have the chance to visit the frontier land of the Eastern Cape and participate in activities such as sheep herding and four-wheeling!
Students in Durban will take a trip to St. Lucia, a natural oasis on the Indian Ocean. There they will be able to participate in a variety of outdoor activities in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, where mongoose, vervet monkeys, leatherback sea turtles and red duiker (small reddish-colored antelope) can be spotted! Students will also be able to enjoy beautiful beaches and hiking trails.
There is so much to discover in both Durban and Port Elizabeth! The rich culture and beautiful scenery offers students the experience of a lifetime. From the delicious local food, to the gorgeous beaches, why not travel off the beaten path and experience what South Africa has to offer?!