USD students set for study abroad opportunity to South Africa

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two students from The University of South Dakota will spend the fall 2010 semester studying at the University of Cape Town.

Nyah Vanterpool and Eric Wiedenman, both of Huron, S.D., will study abroad in South Africa through USD Global Learning in the Center for Academic Engagement and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).  Vanterpool is a double major in political science and English while Wiedenman is a double major in psychology and business management. Vanterpool said he is excited about the chance to experience a different culture first hand, but is not naïve about the conditions on the continent.

“There is, in Africa, a unique opportunity to expose myself to not only new cultures but real world issues that deserve real attention,” he added.

Based on a national survey, the fewest number of American study abroad students choose to study on the African continent. According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), only 4.5 percent of U.S. study abroad participants studied in Africa as recently as 2008.  For Wiedenman, this only adds to the appeal of traveling to South Africa.

“Studying in Africa for a semester will give me a very personal and intensive view of a culture vastly different than the one I have lived in,” he said.

As part of its strategic plan, USD is promoting study abroad opportunities for students to immerse themselves in another culture, explore their academic major from a different perspective and experience different customs, traditions and foods.