Ubuntu. Day 1 at NMMU South Africa

Diversity, Excellence, Ubuntu, Intergity, Respect for the natural environment, Taking responsibility – the values of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. I feel like I am home.

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I am sitting and relaxing in my apartment in the Postgraduate Village in Port Elizabeth after my first, incredibly exciting day at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. I’m tired and it’s late but nevertheless I will try to collect my thoughts after all the exciting meetings today. I am overwhelmed by the fantastic reception I received from the colleagues at NMMU. My day began with my guide for the day, wonderful Nonto, picking me up at my guest house and taking me to the International office where I had several meetings with their staff, including Kate Mey, Manager of International Partnerships and Tohiera Moodien Snr Manager in the International Student Admin. They told me about the important work they do in terms of the reception of international students and staff. It was inspiring to see how dedicated they are to helping and encouraging  students with different cultural backgrounds to engage with outside community . We discussed our universities` visions and our way of working, and came to the conclusion that despite the geographical and cultural distance we work towards very similar goals and face similar challenges. For those who is interested in more details I will gladly tell more about the discussions when I am back home in Malmö in a couple of weeks.

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After these interesting talks I got introduced to International Office Staff by Janine Wagenaar, who, by the way, is responsible for arranging my whole visit here and she is doing a wonderful job. 

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Then the morning meetings followed by lunch talks with Kate about living in South Africa and a Campus Tour with Nonto. I had the privilege to see the vice chancellor office in the Main University Building and the amazing view over Port Elisabeth. 

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Then I spent the whole afternoon with Johan van Rensburg, Study Abroad Outgoing and Short Programmes Assistant and Claire Dullisear, Short Programmes Coordinator. They told me about the amazing projects they work with. You can find more info about their projects here: http://international.nmmu.ac.za/Short-Programmes-International-Summer-Programmes/Community-Service-Learning

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Truly satisfied I rounded up the workday by visiting a supermarket together with Nonto, who helped me pick up typical South African groceries and delicacies. On top of everything I saw a couple of monkeys on my way back to my apartment and was advised to keep my food locked away since the monkeys would steel it otherwise. 🙂

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That would be all for tonight. Good night everybody, wherever you are.

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