Student Profiles - Kelsey Sevenski

Kelsey Sevenski

Class: 2014
Major: Social Work
Hometown: Quakertown, PA

Why did you decide to study abroad in South Africa?

Africa as a whole intrigued me due to its vast size and varied countries, cultures, and social practices. In particular, South Africa has so many social policy issues including Apartheid and HIV/AIDS. In addition, people here live in astonishing conditions compared to many of the impoverished people of the states. I was really curious to find out what these townships were like and see how the government and it’s many flaws influences South African society as a whole, like the stigma of illness, treatment of women and children, and many religious beliefs. Lastly, I felt that it was important that the main language of South Africa was English, but also that it had many different languages to explore.

Describe a specific memory of your time abroad. Why do you remember that particular moment and what was meaningful about it?

When I first arrived and my driver drove me back to my accommodation and I was just taking it all in. I never saw a landscape so beautiful. I kept thinking.. “this is not something you see back home.” The view of Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain, and Lion’s Head was truly breathtaking. Plus, this was my first image of South Africa, and it was an amazing one.

Do you think it is important that MU students should study abroad? Why should MU make study/intern abroad a priority part of a student’s education?

Absolutely. After participating in this internship abroad program, I have realized how much traveling and experiencing new cultures and meeting new people forever changes you. You get to meet people from all over and learn about their countries and way of life. This allows you to learn about your own nationality, your values and beliefs, and the culture of your country of origin. Ultimately, it opens up your eyes entirely. Going abroad gives you an experience that you cannot get elsewhere. 

What are some things you did for the first time while abroad? 

Bungee jumped off the highest bungee jump in the world; rode many forms of public transportation specific to South Africa (mini bus/taxis); saw and interacted with all different types of wildlife like elephants, baby tigers, great white sharks, penguins, and ostriches; stayed at many different backpackers/hostels and met a lot of different people traveling from all over the world; participated and watched African dancing; explored several different wineries and tasted many different wines; hiked beautiful trails up massive mountains.