Rousing welcome for semester abroad students

28 July 2003

Moving to the rhythm of the beat: Visiting international students take part in a drum café to celebrate their arrival at UCT.

To the adrenaline-pumping sound of pulsating African drums, 161 international students from 15 countries were welcomed to UCT as part of the International Academic Programmes Office's (IAPO) Semester Study Abroad programme.

Figures for the latest intake reveal that UCT is playing host to 105 American, 20 German and 18 Norwegian students. Other countries include Canada (with 5 students), Egypt and Italy (with 2 students each) and one student each for Chile, England, France, Japan, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Tanzania.

Women make up 58% of the international visitors with men accounting for 42% of the total number.

Speaking at the welcoming function held in the Kramer Building on July 8, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr Benito Khotseng invited the students to make the most of their "African experience".

He said that the arrival of international students provided the opportunity for the UCT community to interact with and learn about many different countries and cultures, while allowing the University to extend itself to the rest of the world.

"International students bring a unique experience to UCT," he said. "They allow us to learn how higher education institutions operate in other countries and we therefore attach great importance to you being here."

Khotseng challenged the visiting students to "make a difference in other people's lives", through SHAWCO.

"Get into the townships and communities and leave your signature somewhere, knowing you made a difference here in South Africa," he implored.

Formalities aside, the students moved into the atrium for an exhilarating drum café - each student, equipped with their own drum, was spurred on by an enthusiastic group leader to imitate certain rhythms. An appropriate start to an African adventure.

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