Packing, Packing and More Packing: The Story of a Cape Town Exchange Student

Alexandra Szotka
January 21, 2014

It seems fitting that I write my first post about South Africa on Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, a day that celebrates a man,  like Nelson Mandela, who believed that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Officially there are t-minus five days until I drive to JFK in NYC and board my 18 hour flight to beautiful South Africa. I still can’t believe that I will get to live in the Mother City for five months, with my best friend living just down the road. However, these next five days are going to be tough. I know that I will be spending all my free time hugging my dog and praying that my bags will pack themselves, neither of which will make the coming 18 flight any easier. However, I did purchase some sleeping pills at the suggestion of a friend, to make the trip go a little more smoothly. I am lucky because my best friend Jessica is already in Cape Town, who is staying the semester with a different program. She already raved about Table mountain, the beauty of the city and just how much there is to do!

My puppy Gracie Mae, hugging Mom


Last minute shopping with the Pup!

Packing has tired us out!

On to packing the shoes…

I cannot wait to see my house, meet my housemates and all the other IES students and tour UCT for the first time. I had trouble thinking of what to bring to my host family, because I wasn’t quite sure what the state of CT is known for, luckily my Aunt Ellie thought of bringing Connecticut Maple syrup, made right in my home town!

Is there maple syrup in Cape Town? I guess we will find out!

While vacationing I always enjoy taking part in action packed activities, and I have already started to make my list for Cape Town.

So far, my high adrenaline bucket list for Cape Town includes:

  1. Skydiving
  2. Bungee Jumping
  3. Shark Cage
  4. Snorkeling
  5. Surf Lessons

Anyone feel free to make more suggestions!

I know my mother hopes that this list is a joke but I can ensure you it isn’t… But anyways, time to pretend to get back to packing or maybe ACTUALLY finish.

Guidebook reading break!


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Alexandra Szotka

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alexa is a sophomore at Ithaca College studying both Public Health and Politics, while also hoping to dapple in her new found interest in gender studies. She grew up in Windsor, Connecticut, famous for being the first town in Connecticut. When Alexa doesn&#39;t have her nose in a book, she can be found singing, eating (especially anything pumpkin), being sarcastic or exploring the fantastic world that we are lucky enough to call home. Studying in Cape Town in a dream come true, and Alexa is ready and willing to soak up every last bit of adventure that comes her way!</span></p>

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Ithaca College
Health Studies
Political Science
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