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Eliza Siordia
      Eliza Siordia

Hometown: Kenosha, Wisconsin
Program: University of Cape Town | Interstudy
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Semester Abroad: Spring 2010
Major: Communication & Media Studies
Minor: International Politics; Business Administration
Memorable Experience:
One of the most memorable experiences of my semester abroad was the opportunity to meet Bishop Desmund Tutu. This extraordinary man served as a South African beacon of hope during the Apartheid, and he continues his work today of raising awareness of the oppressed. Meeting a man who has seen so much despair and indifference, yet still manages to be cheerful and hopeful, is almost unexplainable. I was also blessed enough to experience the World Cup atmosphere, cage dive with great white sharks, study in a prestigious African university, and spend my “winter” break in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Ultimately, living in a developing country for five months was unbelievably eye opening.

Benefits of Studying Abroad:
Ever since my performance as an elephant in the Kindergarten Circus, I have desired to visit the African continent. When the opportunity to transform my dream into a reality presented itself, I naturally did not think twice. To me, it did not matter that no other St. Norbert student (in my semester) selected anywhere in Africa as their destination. Remember, studying abroad experience is about YOU.

I think one of the benefits of spending a semester abroad in a nontraditional setting is that it grants you the ability to truly understand why Americans are so blessed. Ultimately, so many of our “necessities” are not that at all, rather luxuries that we take for granted. I truly have a deeper understanding of international issues in politics, development, and the United States’ importance. I feel that studying and traveling through the continent truly allowed me to exonerate my previous mindset and adopt a unique mindset regarding multiple life facets. I am determined to return to the continent at some point in my career, and I am quite certain after my educational experience at the University of Cape Town, I want to pursue a Masters in Business Administration.

Advice & Tips:
I know that there are many misconceptions regarding Africa in terms of culture, safety, and general lifestyle. Yet one must experience it to actually grasp where such misconceptions originated and how they can be overcome. Wherever one selects to study abroad, I recommend that they truly immerse themselves in their host cities. I am quite grateful that I spent the vast majority of my weekends in Cape Town because I adopted the local lifestyle. South Africa is a gorgeous, beautifully diverse country, and its transformation post-Apartheid is astounding, and it is still progressing. The breathtaking, exuberant country and its people truly stole my heart, which I left in Cape Town, South Africa.

Study Abroad Office

Phone: (920) 403-4068
Fax: (920) 403-4083

St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181