Student tells of an Enriching 2017 Exchange Programme
Third-year Bachelor of Social Science student, Miss Shaneece Chanderpaul, was one of eight students who participated in UKZN’s Student Exchange Programme in 2017.
Chanderpaul, who spent a semester at the University of Wilfrid Laurier in Ontario, Canada, said it was a ‘privilege to experience first world education.’ She was impressed with the academic side of the university, and its focus on interaction and community. ‘The University of Wilfrid Laurier is much more than a place of tertiary education, it is a community of professors, lecturers, tutors, staff and students who care for one another not just at an academic level but also on a personal level,’ said Chanderpaul.
She believes the time spent there will benefit her personally and professionally. ‘Being enrolled in the Community Service Learning component, I had the privilege of watching theory come to life in my course of Psychology which has enriched my knowledge in this field.’
Chanderpaul said she was ‘honoured’ to be mentored by an academic at the University of Wilfrid Laurier. ‘One of the fondest memories I have is with my Psychology Professor, Deb Glebe, who took time off her busy schedule just to encourage and advise me about my future career in Psychology which led to us talking about life on a personal level, opening up new dimensions to my perspective on life.’
The twenty-four-year old student from Phoenix, Durban, managed to acclimatise to sub-zero temperatures and coped with a heavy course load and being far away from home. ‘Being in a foreign land all alone has taught me that family is much more than blood relations and having the same last name, but it’s love that connects us to people despite having a different language, culture and lifestyle.’
Chanderpaul is grateful to her father, a Captain in the South African Police Service and her mother for everything they have done for her. She said: ‘I thank God Almighty throughout my journey for His absolute guidance and strength to help me cope with being away from home for four entire months.’ She added: ‘This exchange programme has been a life changing experience for me spiritually, personally and academically. With this wealth of knowledge I have acquired in a first world country, I want to impart it to the professors, lecturers and students of UKZN.’
Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer