Friday, August 14, 2009

Head Spinning

So after 1 week in Cape Town...

There's a bit of information overload going on in my head right now. Especially after attending a really cool, unexpected lunch meeting with a professor in the Environmental and Geographical Science department at the University of Cape Town. My head is swirling with ideas about urban water management, sustainability, integrating disciplines... All of that stuff that sounds wonderful in theory, but is very hard to put into practice. But, I have hope!

Next up: A word to the wise, for anyone who wants to register as a full-time student at UCT, especially as an international student.

Have patience, have patience, have patience.

To apply, I was bounced back and forth between the international student office (IAPO), the regular admissions office, and the Faculty office for Engineering and the Built Environment. Starting during the second semester is unheard of (wouldn't recommend it).

Be insistent because if you're not, you might just be shuffled off into an infinite loop of offices telling you that you must do this one thing first before registering, yet you can't register without doing this other thing first.

Pay up front. International students are something of a money machine for the university, which I'm actually okay with considering the overarching global disparity that exists between sub-saharan Africa and most of the "western world". But still, on a personal level it hurts the pocket book.

Try to find accommodations with people who are of a different nationality and experience than yourself. It is a wonderful way to informally learn about the world and yourself, and is probably waaay better than forced "cross-cultural" experiences.

Those are my general tips for now. If anyone has any questions about the nitty gritty details of applying and/or registering let me know.

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