UKZN Alumna Studies Political Science and French Abroad
If you fancy brushing up on your French, there’s no better place than France! UKZN alumna Ms Sibusisiwe Mngadi spent nine months at the Université de Tours as part of the Erasmus+ Mobility Scholarship.
Born in Esikhawini, a small township near Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, Mngadi holds a BA in International Studies (majoring in Political Science and French) from UKZN.
‘I was fortunate to be chosen to be part of an exchange programme to France that allowed me to improve my French and gain a broader understanding of politics,’ she said.
The medium of instruction was mostly French; however, some classes were taught in English. Mngadi attended her French classes in French and her Political Science ones in English. ‘The first three months were challenging because I was trying to adapt to my new surroundings, new people, the language, and the courses, but with help from the staff and students I got used to the way of life,’ she said.
‘My fondest memory is being able to use my French with local students and have a basic conversation and express myself because French is not my mother language, so expression and pronunciation are sometimes a challenge.’
Mngadi is currently reading for her honours in French, and looks forwards to a career in politics ‘where I can use the skills I gained from this programme in France. I gained a lot during this programme and the international exposure really motivated me to work hard for opportunities like this and opened my mind to many possibilities.’
While she loved the beautiful town of Tours with its ‘wonderful architecture’ and beautiful castles with a rich history, she managed to get in a spot of sightseeing between attending lectures. ‘One of my hobbies is travelling and during my stay, I visited Paris and got to see the Eiffel Tower which was so amazing and huge in person. I also visited Bordeaux, Toulouse, Le Mans and other beautiful places. I really enjoyed my time and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity and all the wonderful people I met from all parts of the world as well as the shared memories.’
Mngadi acknowledged her family for helping her achieve her goals. ‘I’m grateful for the support that I received from my family - they helped me a lot through this journey and supported me throughout my stay.’
Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer