For those of you who don't know me, My name is Mary Afton. This is a Southern double name like Mary Catherine or Jo Ann. No hyphen. I was named after Afton, Virginia where my parents bought their first house, and yes I had to explain this every time a teacher would call roll-call in a new class. When teased I've been called Mary Afganistan and Mary Africa. The latter turned out to be quite appropriate as I now live in Bethlehem, South Africa.

I started this journal in 2010 when I studied abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa. However, after a period of not using the account, it was deleted and purged. So, I'm going to start again from scratch. I grew up in the little town of York, South Carolina and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Winthrop University. In my second year at Winthrop, two of my roommates decided that they were going to study abroad and encouraged me to do the same. So, I ventured out to South Africa where I fell in love, got married two years later and then yes, immigrated to Africa.

Global Citizen Year

Have you guys ever heard of Global Citizen Year?

This program looks amazing!!!

"Global Citizen Year is a nine-month program bridging high school and college with an immersive educational experience abroad. You will develop the critical knowledge, skills and perspectives for a life of engaged global citizenship."

There are blogs posts and videos from the students that are overseas now doing work in Senegal and Guatemala... very interesting and insightful stuff!!

Foreign Exchange to the USA?

Hello, I was looking to join a foreign exchange programme that would allow me to study in an American High School for up to a year but i've only been able to find programmes for people who come from a non-english speaking background.

Has anyone here ever gone on an exchange trip for to America from an english speaking background or do any of you have any information that might be able to help me?

Thank you in advance :)

Repeat Study Abroaders?

Hi all,

How many of you have been on more than one study abroad trip?

I went to France with Rotary in high school, and then did a study abroad trip to Japan through my college.

And now, I'm applying to grad school (to study higher ed admin) and wondering if I can somehow manage to do a year of it abroad somewhere -- South Africa perhaps??? Have any of you done study abroad during grad school?

Let me here from ya! I'm excited that we have 300+ members in this group!

Coming Home

Hi Everyone!
I just returned from my exchange year in Taiwan.
I've been home for 2 months now and I don't feel any better.
I feel home sick in my own house.
After having such an exciting 6 months I totally don't want to be here.
Everything about my life is as great as it was when I left.
Over there I realized so many things I love about the USA.
But now that I'm back I'm starting the see the things I don't like about it.
I don't know why I'm so unhappy about the whole situation.
Has anybody else felt this way?
  • Current Mood
    depressed depressed

Good Organizations?

So I'd really like to spend a semester or so abroad, but I missed my chance to do it in high school. Does anyone know of good, reputable programs for college students or volunteering? The other thing about choosing a program is that race-wise I'm mixed with several things, but I look black. I don't personally care about it, but I've heard stories about different countries (Russia, specifically) being particularly dangerous because of rising numbers of neo-Nazis. Also, I'd like to stay away from countries with turbulence in their government (like Venezuela or Iraq). Just out of curiousity, what are you guys' opinions? I'd hate to restrict experiences based on things like skin color and governments, but it's important...
Anyway! The reason I'm not going through the college directly is that their information on it is sketchy (they said they had exchanges to 'the orient') and it's a community college, so I'm not sure if that helps or worsens anything.

  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative