University of Denver Hosts UKZN Exchange Student
Reverend Nhlakanipho Dlamini, a third-year Bachelor of Social Science candidate majoring in Law and History, was an exchange student at the University of Denver in Colorado in the United States last year.
Every year UKZN students are selected to participate in an exchange programme facilitated by the International Office to internationalise the University as well as to give them an opportunity to experience Higher Education Institutions all over the world.
Dlamini enjoyed Denver’s small classes - an average of about 20 students in each class - and the state-of-the-art technology in every department.
Dlamini says he relished being a student at the prestigious university and enjoyed learning about the American way of life and their academic approach.
A highlight was working at an NGO - Casa de Paz in Denver - which deals with illegal immigrants who have been released after being detained.
‘Time spent at this organisation was highly fulfilling,’ said Dlamini. ‘Listening to stories of people from Mexico, South America and Africa who fled persecution, war and famine only to be detained at the US border, some for up to five years, was something I will never forget,’ he said.
He was pleasantly surprised at how much people in the US respect South Africans, but concerned at negative media reports, which damage brand South Africa. ‘I was also highly impressed by the culture of excellence in America – it permeates throughout all sectors of society.’
Dlamini said the rand/dollar exchange rate ‘resulted in everything being very expensive’, while the time difference meant he often felt alienated from friends and family.
A major highlight of his trip was visiting New York!
Dlamini (35) is married to Vuyiseka, and they have two children, Zoe and Samuel.
Student Exchange/Study Abroad Co-ordinator Ms Preshantha Reddy said the Programme was very successful giving UKZN students an opportunity to learn while seeing the world. ‘Students also gain approval for their courses before they go on exchange, so they don’t lose out on a semester as the credits are transferred when they return from abroad. It is a wonderful opportunity to have an experience of a lifetime while still being a student,’ said Reddy.
‘There are endless benefits in participating from living in a new country to experiencing a different lifestyle and even a different language.’
Eight UKZN students travelled to the United States, Canada, Korea and Sweden on the programme in 2017.
Words by Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer