Making contact: Master's graduand Faith Chirinda has made many friends at UCT. This photograph with vice-chancellor Dr Max Price was taken at his installation.
Faith Chirinda has become a well-known face - and always a happy persona, as far as we can tell - around campus. This week she graduates with a master of social science in social development, and here, especially for Monday Paper, she reflects on her time at UCT.
I came to UCT in 2005 to study towards a Bachelor of Social Science degree in social work. Initially, I just thought I would get my undergraduate degree, get a job and get married. But seven years down the line I am still here, and enjoying the highs of the UCT campus, graduating with a master's degree this week. I should point out that this is not the end of the academic road for me, as I intend to pursue doctoral studies.
As an international student I have been exposed to a lot of diversity, and being involved in various student leadership structures allowed me to meet many people from across the world. Of course I have experienced challenges - mostly financial - but I can say I received plenty of support from the university and my lecturers, who kept me in high spirits during those tough times. Now I have obtained all of my three degrees from UCT, and it is an experience I would not trade for anything. I believe - and am yet to be convinced otherwise - that there is no other university in Africa that can beat UCT.
The quality of learning and support that I received were of the highest standard, and now I am ready to face the world as a global citizen. I also had a lot of support from my father, who believes that education is the best inheritance you can give your child, and I owe him much. To my fellow students I want to say: do not give up, press on until you reach your goal, get involved and, most importantly, enjoy your campus days, as university days are the best days.
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