Jasmine Garnes Reflects on her Study Abroad to South Africa
What I loved about my time in South Africa was that I was constantly learning; Learning about the country, learning about the people, and learning about myself. Through the courses I took and the experiences I had, I learned how much of an impact dance has regarding social justice issues and on an individual's life. Dance serves as a way of escape from the harsh realities of the world and can be a coping mechanism for issues of social justice. Dance has been used worldwide and throughout time as a source of comfort, happiness, and unity. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and learn firsthand the impact that different art forms can have in peoples’ lives.
My experience during the service learning component of the program allowed me to form bonds with the students we worked with, learn about their culture, and learn about them as individuals. I saw so much drive and determination in them. We became a family in a few short weeks. My advice for students who are considering study abroad is to DO IT! Get out of your comfort zone. Experience new things and new people. Do something that scares you. Do something that you would not be able to do back home. Talk to people; Not just the people on the trip with you, but with the locals. Talk to your Uber driver, your waiter, the person in line behind you at the store because you never know what knowledge you will gain from these random conversations. Study abroad was one of the most formative and life changing experiences I have ever had and I will carry the lessons I have learned with me for the rest of my life.