High School Students Stories

Stories from the heart by YOU……  'You must talk to Africa so that Africa can talk to you'

My High School year in Cape Town

Sebastian Wollenhaupt
Project: High School prgram

My year in Cape Town

 

My year in Cape Town was the most amazing and very challenging life experience which I ever had. Before I came to South Africa, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew that I would learn a lot about the country the language. But what I didn’t realize, was the biggest improvement of this year, myself.

Putting yourself in a challenge which you have to cooperate with is not always easy, but I think especially my host family made it very for me to feel home in a different country, by including me since the first day as a part of the family and treating me like their own son.

It is very hard for me to point out the highlights of the year because there are so many.

First of all I want to start which the beautiful culture(s) of South Africa. I really learned to love a very tight family life with much love and a lot of interest in each other. This kind of behavior is so nice and warm comparable to the German culture. It did create a very nice atmosphere at home and made home a place of laugh, peace and …………. well not always silence J but a place of desire.

The second highlight was the nature. In my short life I traveled a lot but a never saw a place with the same beauty auf fauna and flora. I enjoyed living 100 meter away from one of the most beautiful beaches I ever saw. The mountain range is so beautiful and I never saw a mountain standing so close to the sea. If you had to ask me a year before, if I will ever enjoy hiking in my life, I would have answered: “NO WAYS”, but this nature even leaded me to that kind of activity which I really love to do in Cape Town.

The highlight moments where: The garden route tour, the you2africa outings and all the times when I spend time with family or friends, doesn’t matter which activity we did.

The garden route tour was really nice and specially to see this beautiful countryside. Of course one of the biggest challenges was standing at the edge of the 216 meter deep bungee bridge and doing a little step towards the nothing, which was a life changing experience.

I will remember all the beautiful places like: Table Mountain, JBay, Hout Bay, Cape Town center, Waterfront, Canal Walk and Robben Island.

The South African school system was first very strange to me but I adapt myself very quickly. It really did wide my horizon in register of history, music and sports. I really enjoyed learning about South Africa and the whole Apartheid history and it helped me a lot to understand the country and culture.

 

I was very impressed with the music department from my school, because they were used to a very different style of music comparable to the whole German Classical style. I learned a lot about Jazz and music in general. I never expected that the whole world is dealing with the German music history and the composers and it made me having proud for my country.

Playing 1st team Rugby for my school was one of the best things which I achieved in the year. I had to train for a half year to become good enough to participate in a real match.  Now, just before I leave, I can call me part of the standard 15 and a very respectful and hard working team.

These all were aspects which made my year in South Africa the best experience which my 17-years old life ever had to challenge.