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A T-bird’s First Flight: My Summerim in South Africa

October 4, 2017

Summerim in South Africa

By Daisy Jasmine '18, Master of Arts in Global Affairs & Management
Das Tor Staff Writer

During my first year at Thunderbird, I sometimes felt like a bit of an odd one out. Every classmate I spoke with had amazing stories to share of their experiences around the world—their home countries or the far-off places they’d visited. I, meanwhile, had never gone farther than New York, and though New York does feel like a completely different world from Phoenix, it still meant that I wasn’t a Traveler with a capital T. Not in the way that my classmates were. I didn’t even have a passport. The world felt prohibitively huge.

I surprised myself with how attached I got to the idea of participating in the Summerim program. I had heard very little about it, and I had no idea what to expect, but I knew that I had to try. So try I did, and after just a few short months of bureaucratic red tape, paperwork, and the occasional moth flying out of my wallet, I found myself on an airplane—then another—then another—and suddenly I was in my hotel room in Cape Town, a day and a half before the program began. It was early evening, and I went straight to bed. I spent the free day doing the tourist thing, posing a photocopied Flat Stanley in front of every scenic view for my cousin’s third-grade summer homework. (Flat Stanley also visited a liquor store, not that I sent that one to my cousin.) Eventually the rest of my classmates began to arrive, and not a moment too soon—any longer and I probably would have started having conversations with the paper doll.

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Das Tor, Thunderbird Student Newspaper