The University of Cape town (UCT) is magnificent! To this day I still walk around the campus in just amazement by the beauty of the school. The best way to try and explain it is UCT would be one of those colleges you see in movies and TV and think to yourself, “No colleges actually look like that.” Wrong. UCT is that college. Vines crawl up all the buildings completely covering everything. A fountain is placed in the middle of the court yard on upper campus with a stunning 7 pillared building labeled as Jamesons hall sits behind it. UCT was built about 120 years ago, so most of the buildings looks on the outside are very well designed, like Concordia.
UCT is nestled in the side of the mountains so walking up to the very top of campus is a hike, but very rewarding needless to say. Walking from my student apartments to upper campus would take me about 45 minutes. Luckily UCT offers there own bus services, the Jammies, which pick students up at different stops and dropping students off at multiple stops around campus. The campus is split into three parts: Upper campus where most of students classes are located, Middle campus where most classes consists of technology and computer based and lower campus where college of music, dance, and theater are located. The Student population of UCT is roughly 25,000 students which is significantly greater then Concordia which has a student population of 1,500 at the most. Being that the student population is significantly greater then Concordia my class sizes are also very big in comparison. At Concordia my class size would be 15-25 students about. At UCT my classes are 300+ students. I am currently taking a music and dance class at UCT. Being that the college of Music and dance is separate from UCT my classes are also a little different. My class size for my dance and music course is about 35 students, so more like what it would be like at Concordia.
The meeting times of classes for UCT is different then Concordia. At Concordia most classes run on a block schedule meaning that my class lecture would either be held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 55 minutes or they would be on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour and a half. Here at UCT the class lectures are more like what they would be in high school. Where the class times depends on the period they are in, so period 6 meets Monday-Friday from 1-2 pm. It was hard to get into the swing of classes having them everyday, versus every other day. Also, on top of meeting up for class everyday at UCT they have these things called ‘TUTS’ that are mandatory. TUTS are essentially like having another class lecture except you meet up with your specific tut group at a different time then normal lecture and talk about what the main points have been in lecture that week. Tuts are nice because they usually are only about 15-20 students versus the 300+, so in tuts it would be the ideal time to ask questions about the lecture. So, for example, for my cell biology course I have lecture Mondays- Fridays from noon-1pm. Lab on Wednesdays from 2-5pm and my tut for the course is Thursdays from 10-10:45 am. My dance and music class I only meet 3 times a week, so more like how Concordia would run.
Another huge difference between UCT and Concordia, or I should say South Africa and the United States is the flip of the seasons! I left the US in winter and came to South Africa in the season of their summer which was amazing! But now all my friends back at home at Concordia are talking about the amazing weather as I am here and currently preparing myself, once again, for winter 😛 But it’s okay because Cape town is still breath taking 🙂
Another similarity of Concordia and UCT is that they both offer sports for people who weren’t recruited to play for a team! Concordia offers some clubs like Zumba and some intramural sports like volleyball and soccer. UCT offers SO MANY!!! Any club you can think of UCT has it. Different singing groups, dance groups, yoga, sports, drama, theater, hiking, surfing, gymnastics and so much more! And a perk of being a studies abroad student is that we get to do any three clubs for free. Any more after that we have to pay for. So I was thinking to myself, “What would be a better way to meet people then to join a club?” So, I joined several different groups! I joined The Art Of Living, which does sunset yoga on the beach. I also joined UCT’s surf and yacht (wind surfing not just sailing on a yacht) club. Being that the ocean is all around, several different water sport clubs were available. Which was AWESOME! And I also joined UCT’s Football team. Football as in Soccer team. I love it! I have meet so many cool people from joining the clubs and I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to join them 🙂