Pre-Departure Post!

Nia Hill
January 17, 2019

Hello, beautiful people!

I hope life is treating you well!

Just a brief introduction: my name is Nia Hill and I am a junior Accounting major with a concentration in Information Systems as well as a minor in Sociology from Chicago, Illinois at the illustrious Howard University. I'm so excited to let you all know that I will be studying abroad at the University of Cape Town this upcoming semester! This decision was made after traveling to Kenya in August of 2017 for a mission trip. This trip changed my life for the better. I met citizens of Nairobi who inspired me to live a life that will change the lives of others around me. I volunteered at an orphanage, tried Kenyan cuisines, and even went on a safari. Although I was only in Kenya for about a week, at the end of that week, I felt as if those I had connected with there were my family. This is why I wanted to go back to Africa to experience the Motherland again. This is why I chose the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the number one ranked university in Africa, to study at.

Now, it’s currently 1:34 am in Chicago, and I am unable to sleep due to how EXCITED I am! I mean, for the next six months, I’m going to call Cape Town my home! This trip is beyond going to school in a different country. It’s about me breaking different barriers that’s been placed in my life due to my socioeconomic status, my race, and even my gender. Unfortunately, me studying abroad is a surprise to many; yes, an African-American woman from the west side of Chicago, an area notorious for its high amount of crime, is going to be living outside of the United States for half a year. This shouldn’t be a surprise, yet it is due to the astronomically low amount of Black, low-income female college students that study abroad. The percent of Blacks that studied abroad in the 2016 - 2017 academic year was only 6.1% (Institute of International Education). Imagine of that 6.1%, the percentage, those that fit my demographics...yeah, not many. So this trip abroad is not only about earning an education at a top institution in a different nation, but also inspiring those who might come from the same background as me to do the same.

So, I’ve been preparing to study abroad for the past month, not only mentally (i.e. - meditating on the fact that I won’t see my family for the next seven months, as I’ll be interning in Virginia right after I get back...that’s probably going to be one of the toughest things, not seeing my family for that long!), but also as it relates to packing. Typically, I overpack. I mean, I went to spend the night at my friend’s house who lives 20 minutes away, and I brought a suitcase filled to capacity, a bookbag, as well as a purse...and it was only for three days. Thus, one of my main goals is to learn how to pack better and more compact. So far I’m planning on bringing three suitcases, a duffle bag as a carry-on, and a bookbag for school. Here’s my logic:

I’m checking in three suitcases and bringing a carry-on. The suitcases are small, medium, and large. I plan on bringing clothes in the large suitcase, shoes in the medium sized suitcase, and my hygiene products in the small suitcase. The reason I’m bringing three suitcases is because one of those suitcases will be filled with souvenirs (the one in which the hygiene products will go in). The carry-on will have an extra outfit that I will change into during my layover (location to be announced soon), and also some items that’d I be able to freshen up with.

I had to break that down because some people are just speechless when I mention that I’ll be bringing that many suitcases, haha. But it’ll be worth it...I think (I’ll let y’all know)!

Now, my layover is in * insert drumroll * London! I am sooo excited! It’s an 11 hour layover, and I know that seems like a long time, but I feel as if it’s going to literally fly by. I’m honestly not too sure of what I’m going to do yet, though I leave in a couple of days. I want to do so much, but I know I won’t have that long. I’m going to continue doing some research, but if you all have any ideas, please let me know by commenting below!

That’s it folks! Thanks for tuning in to my very first blog post! I’ll be posting weekly, so if you all want me to talk about anything specifically, please let me know!



Nia Hill

<p>My name is Nia Hill and I am a junior Accounting major, Sociology minor from the west side of Chicago, Illinois at Howard University. The youngest of four, I enjoy traveling, thrifting, and spending time with my loved ones.</p>

2019 Spring
Home University:
Howard University
Chicago, IL
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