There are hundreds of reasons why you should study abroad. Kaplan thought that writing each one would be too hard. We decided to list the top ten reasons instead.
1. Making Friends
Studying abroad might seem scary but it is a great opportunity to make new friends. You will meet people from different countries who are doing the same thing. Sharing your experience with them will create friendships that can last forever.
2. Gaining Confidence
Traveling to a different country to study takes courage. You will do things that you have never done before. Succeeding at new challenges will give you extra confidence and turn you into a stronger person.
3. Becoming Independent
Some people might not be used to do things for themselves. Studying abroad makes you learn to look after yourself without the help of family. Gaining greater independence will help you to achieve more in life.
Why study abroad? For food of course! Every country has amazing local dishes. If you travel abroad to the UK, you can try a delicious plate of fish and chips. Students in the USA can enjoy mouth-watering hot dogs. Nothing beats a barbeque in sunny Australia.
5. Make People Jealous
Friends back home will be very jealous of your adventures abroad. Posting Facebook photos and Twitter updates will show everyone how much of a great time you are having. This leads nicely into the next reason to study abroad …
6. Invite Your Friends To Visit
People will love to visit if you are studying abroad. You will be able to show friends around a new country and feel like a native. Friends will also be very impressed with your new confidence and independence.
7. Improve Your C.V.
Studying abroad looks fantastic on your C.V. Employers often look for confident people who
have done interesting things. Showing that you have studied abroad will improve your chances of getting a job.
8. Experience New Cultures
Traveling allows you to learn about the local art, history and culture of a new country. Discover exciting and unusual customs that will amaze you. Living with a host family is a great way to learn about local traditions.
9. Record Your Experience
Studying abroad is a great reason to start a blog. Keeping a blog or a journal will help you record and share your experiences. Look back at the start of your journey and see how much progress you have made.
10. Learn Languages
The last and probably most important reason to study abroad is that it is much easier to learn the local language. Living and studying in a country makes learning a language quicker. You might even pick up the local accent.
There are few places in the world that offer some of the greatest things in life in one neat and easily accessible package: Stunning nature, interesting history, awesome adventure, great food and wine, and some of the most exciting wildlife in the world. Cape Town in South Africa manages to do just that.
Here’s why my vote for the best city in the world goes to Cape Town – and why I think you should book a flight over right now. Or at least right after reading this article.
1. Stunning nature
At almost any location in or around Cape Town, you only have to look up to see the magnificent Table Mountain. At 1100 m tall, it dominates the horizon around the city and is, without doubt, Cape Town’s most famous landmark. If you ever get tired of seeing it from below, head on up the mountain to see the vista from a different perspective. You can jump on the cable cars to enjoy an easy glide up or take one of a few different trails ranging from 3-10 km that lead up to the top.
Directly across from Table Mountain sits Lion’s Head at 670 m above sea level. A 5 km hike to the top provides sweet views with little sweat. Interested in more adrenaline? Schedule a tandem paragliding trip off the top and soar above the city, off the coast and back.
2. A rich and raw history
Robben Island, where South Africa’s most famous civil rights activist and former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, is a must-see. Used as a criminal prison by the Dutch, Robben Island became a prison used by the apartheid-era South African government to lock up civil and political activists who opposed the government. Walking through the compound you can visit the cell where Mandela spent 18 years of his life. Walking outside the compound gives you a view of the iconic skyline of Cape Town, ominously out of reach.
Coming back to the city center you can learn about the trials and tribulations of what was once the city’s soul – District Six. While nothing much stands in this location now there was once a booming neighborhood that used to be home to 60,000+ merchants and immigrants. Under apartheid law District Six was made a white only sector and by 1968 families were forcibly removed and relocated over 25 km away to the Cape Flats. Taking a walking tour of the now vacant area with guides who were themselves evicted in 1968 gives you very raw and real insights into what life in the city was like for decades. Don’t forget to visit the District Six Museum for further insights into what life in the area used to be like.
3. Adventure that’s all around
Adventure is part of the very DNA of this city. You can surf, hike and paraglide off mountains in one single day, and if you’re really, really brave you can go cage diving with great white sharks. Head out to Birkenhead Peninsula and you’ll find many companies eager to take you out to safely view one of the largest marine predators on the planet. Take your GoPro – but be careful with that selfie stick.
When cage diving with Great White Sharks isn’t enough take a drive to Tsitsikamma National Park where you’ll find many more opportunities to cross off your bucket list. Bungee jump off Bloukrans Bridge, the 4th tallest bungee jump in the world, then do a spot of kayaking, scuba diving or mountain biking in the park.
4. World-class wining and dining
The Garden Route is arguably one of the most iconic and idyllic places in the world to sample outstanding wines and eat outstanding food. And it’s easily accessible from the city. It sports beautiful coastal views, picturesque lakes and gorgeous farmlands and makes for a perfect road trip. It’s here that you’ll find South Africa’s best and most famous wine growing regions and vineyards, including Stellenbosch, Constantia and Paarl.
For some world-class (casual) dining, make a short trek to the Hout Bay Market on a weekend to check out a bustling marketplace with local vendors and eat oysters the size of your head. There you’ll find endless types of artisan foods, including hearty meats cooked on a brai (a South African barbecue), cured biltong (dried meat), fire-baked pizzas, (more) gigantic oysters and plenty of other fresh seafood. It’s also a bit of a shopping mecca, with art, clothes and jewelry being sold by local artisans.
5. The Big 5 (up close and personal)
The Garden Route Game Lodge is a great place to spot the famous “Big 5”: the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and the rhinoceros. Jump in the back of an open Land Rover and get your binoculars and cameras out for a beautiful sunset safari. Sunrise safaris are wonderful too, especially if you stay overnight and take advantage of the early hours of the day when lions and other big predators are at their most active.
Not close enough? The De Hoop Game Reserve is another great place to continue your wildlife spotting. This private game reserve is next to the famous Whale Trail – a common backpacking trail with coastal viewing of whales. Better yet, stay a night or two in the reserve surrounded by the (non-predatory) wildlife. Watch out for those baboons though.
All sound a little too good to be true? It isn’t. Don’t take my word for it and just go see it for yourself.
Here are ten things that you may not have known about this wonderful language of ours:
1. It is the only major language without an academy to guide it
L’Académie française, based in Paris, is in charge of overseeing the French language. Part of its job is suggesting alternatives for the English words that are pouring into French. That’s how email became courriel, for example (although you will still hear it called e-mail in French).
For Spanish there is the Real Academia Española. German has the Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung. There is no equivalent to L’Académie for English. Of the 10 most-widely spoken languages in the world, only English has no academy guiding it.
There are political reasons for this. The closest Britain ever came to having a language academy was at the start of the eighteenth century, when Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift was lobbying hard for an academy because “our Language is extremely imperfect… its daily Improvements are by no means in proportion to its daily Corruptions (and) in many Instances it offends against every Part of Grammar.” Queen Anne supported the idea but died before a decision could be made, and the issue was largely forgotten.
In the USA, a bill for the incorporation of a national academy was unsuccessfully introduced into congress in 1806. Fourteen years later, an American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres was launched with John Quincy Adams as president, but broke up after two years after receiving little political or public support.
Nowadays, the only English-speaking country to have a language academy is South Africa. Because the English language has become so ubiquitous without any guidance, there is little prospect of anyone starting an academy any time soon. Where would it be? In Britain, the home of the language? Or the USA, where the largest English-speaking population lives?
2. More than 1 billion people are learning English as you read this
According to the British Council, around 1 billion people around the world were learning English in 2000. This figure is now likely to be significantly higher.
3. 96 of the 100 most common English words are Germanic
Of the hundred most frequently used words in English, 96 have Germanic roots. Together, those 100 words make up more than 50% of the Oxford English Corpus, which currently contains over 2 billion words found in writing around the world.
Surprised? The most frequently used words are the meat and bones of the language, the essentials that make communication work, including I, you, go, eat, and so on. Old English developed from various Germanic languages that came to the British Isles in the second half of the first millennium AD.
Whereas the language has changed almost unrecognisably since then, including the grammar, the basic words have remained.
4. …but most words that have entered the language since 1066 have Latin origins
If English is your first language but you find French or Spanish easier to understand than German, you are not alone. This may seem strange when English and German are on the same branch of the Indo-European language tree.
The Renaissance, which started in Italy and reached England via France, was a massive source of new vocabulary. New ideas, or old ideas rediscovered, started flooding out of the southern cities but there were no words to describe them in English. So the language adopted or adapted the Latin words. During the Renaissance, the English lexicon roughly doubled in size.
The shift away from the Germanic languages, however, had started much earlier, because…
5. For more than a century, the English aristocracy couldn’t speak English
William the Conqueror tried to learn English at the age of 43 but gave up. He didn’t seem especially fond of the land he had conquered in 1066, spending half of his reign in France and not visiting England at all for five years when in power. Naturally, French-speaking barons were appointed to rule the land.
Within 20 years of the Normans taking power in England, almost all of the local religious institutions were French-speaking. The aristocrats brought with them large retinues and were followed by French tradesmen, who almost certainly mixed bilingually with the English tradesmen. In turn, ambitious Englishmen would have learned French to get ahead in life and mix with the new rulers. Around 10,000 French words entered English in the century after the Norman invasion.
There is little to suggest that aristocrats themselves spoke English. It isn’t until the end of the 12th Century that we have evidence of the children of the English aristocracy with English as a first language. In 1204, the English nobility lost their estates in France and adopted English partly as a matter of national pride!
6. …which is why Latin words sound more prestigious than Germanic ones
Think about the difference between a house (Germanic) and a mansion (French), or between startingsomething and commencing, between calling something kingly or regal. English has a huge number of close synonyms, where the major difference is the level of formality or prestige. The prestigious form is almost always the Latin one.
The names of animals and meats also reflect this phenomenon. The old story goes that, in English, the animals have Germanic names but the cooked meats have French ones. For example, swine is Germanic but pork is French, sheep is Germanic but mutton is French. Was this because the English speakers worked on the farms whereas the French speakers ate the produce? It’s certainly possible.
7. The concept of “correct” spelling is fairly recent
There are many reasons why English spelling is so erratic including the lack of an academy, the contributions of Noah Webster (see below) and the introduction of William Caxton’s printing press just before major changes in pronunciation. But the idea of correct or incorrect spelling wasn’t really considered important until the 17th Century when the first dictionaries were published. Even then, it was largely a debate for academics and writers.
Shakespeare, for example, was liberal in his spellings of words, often using multiple variants within a single text; his name itself has been spelt in many different ways over the centuries.
8. One man is largely responsible for the differences between American and British spelling
Noah Webster, whose name you still find on the front of many American dictionaries, was a patriotic man. Born in West Hartford, Connecticut in 1758, he believed that a great emerging nation such as the USA needed a language of its own: American English.
Webster found the English in the textbooks of the time to be corrupted by the British aristocracy, with too much French and Classical influence. He was to write American books for American learners, representing a young, proud and forward-thinking nation.
Between 1783 and 1785, he produced three books on the English language for American schoolchildren. During his lifetime, 385 editions of his Speller were published. The modern US spelling of color was initially spelt in the British way, colour, but this changed in later editions. Other differences include the US spelling of center as opposed to the British centre, and traveler instead of traveller. Webster wanted to make spelling more logical, as befitting a nation that was founded on progressive principles. This is a rare example of a dictionary writer trying to lead the English language instead of describe it.
In Britain, the use of “Americanisms” is almost guaranteed to upset people. But not all Americanisms are what they seem. For example…
9. -ize is not an American suffix
There is a popular belief that words such as popularise/ize, maximise/ize and digitise/ize have different spellings in British and American English.
Look at that z – isn’t it snazzy? It’s got to be American, hasn’t it?
Not according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which rejects the French s for a good old British z:
…there is no reason why in English the special French spelling should be followed, in opposition to that which is at once etymological and phonetic. In this Dictionary the termination is uniformly written -ize. (In the Gr. -ιζ-, the i was short, so originally in L., but the double consonant z (= dz, ts) made the syllable long; when the z became a simple consonant, (-idz) became īz, whence Eng. (-aɪz).)
10. The English language will change a lot during your lifetime, like it or not!
The only thing that is consistent in language is change. When a language stops changing, it becomes purely academic, like Latin or Ancient Greek.
New words are being coined all the time. If you asked someone twenty years ago whether they had googled the person they had just friended on facebook, they would stare at you blankly (spell-check still gives them wiggly red lines of disapproval).
Vocabulary changes more rapidly than grammar, but even English grammar is evolving. For example, the dative whom is increasingly being replaced by who. Who can you blame? Decades ago, this would have jumped off the page as a grammatical error, but doesn’t it look ok now?
Similarly, in the first part of this post, “Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift” is an example of grammar that would have sounded very strange even fifty years ago. Did it seem strange to you?
One thing is certain: with well over a billion people speaking English around the world and, for the first time, most of them speaking it as a second language, there are plenty of changes to come!
Pronunciation is the most important and difficult problem that non-native English speakers have to face when studying English. Improper pronunciation can lead to negative impression, misunderstanding and ineffective communication. This page is designed to indicate some negative impacts of poor pronunciation and to provide you with some tips for the improvement.
When you talk to people in the real life, your pronunciation is the first thing they notice during a conversation. In everyday communication, you usually do not have to use many complicated words, so your limited vocabulary is not a big issue since you can use more simple words to express the word that you do not know. In fact, they will notice right away if your pronunciation is good or bad only the first few simple words. If you have a poor pronunciation with very strong foreign accent, they will think of you as a bad English speaker and your good vocabulary and grammar cannot help you.
Knowing a lot of vocabularies is meaningless if you cannot pronounce those words correctly and no one can understand the words that you are trying to use. Even worse, pronunciation mistakes can lead to some serious misunderstanding. For example, let’s think of the misunderstanding about the signal “sinking” in a video clip on Youtube called “I am sinking.” Many people believe that they can communicate in English because they can communicate with their teachers and other students. However, it is not true. The teachers have been listening to bad English for years so they can understand your poor pronunciation, and your friends are from the same country with you and speak English with the same accent so that they can understand your words easier. The best way is to talk to native English speakers, and if they can understand what you are saying, you have a good pronunciation.
You are making it difficult for people who listen to you with your strong foreign accent. It is irritated for other people if they have to keep asking you to repeat, but they still cannot figure out what you are saying. Consequently, if it takes a lot of efforts to understand your English, people will avoid communicating with you as much as they can. In contrast, they will enjoy talking to you when you have a pleasant accent that is easy for them hear and understand you.
Tips for proper pronunciation
Here are some tips for you to improve your pronunciation.
With every new word, you should look it up in the dictionary to find the correct pronunciation.
Listen to native speakers to get used to their accent. Instead of boring listening lessons, you can listen to English songs, watch movies or listen to your native English speaking friends and relatives.
Practice in front of a mirror and make sure you move your mouth in the correct way.
Do a lot of practices. Remember that practices make perfect.
Be patient and determined. The journey may be tough, but the result will be worth.
1. Being bilingual has positive effects on the brain
Studies show that being bilingual has many cognitive benefits. According to research, speaking a second language can mean that you have a better attention span and can multi-task better than monolinguals. This is because being bilingual means you are constantly switching from one language to the other. Numerous other studies suggest that bilingualism can also reduce the risk of having a stroke.
Cognitive benefits effect both bilingual kids and bilingual adults. Children as young as seven months who are exposed to more than one language tend to adjust better to changes in the environment. For older bilinguals, there tends to be less cognitive decline.
2. Bilingualism gives you the educational advantage
Many of the cognitive benefits mentioned above can also mean that bilinguals have an advantage at school or further education. Many studies show that those who speak a second language are more likely to be less distracted and more focused on tasks.
Even bilingual children who are educated in their second language, have actually been seen to outperform monolingual students in their native language.
The recent Millennum Cohort Study found many educational benefits for bilingual children. Their research showed that even though children who are educated in their second language may initially lag behind around three, four and five years old, they soon catch up and outperform their peers by age seven.
3. Languages are highly valued in the workplace
Speaking a second language has numerous employment benefits. Being bilingual means that there are more job opportunities depending on which languages you speak. Communication in the workplace is important, and more companies, especially those with international offices, are considering bilingualism a high priority.
Fast growing fields such as tourism, journalism and translation put great value on bilingual employees. Additional languages on the resume could have your application moved to the top of the pile and give you a better chance at getting the job, even if you aren’t as qualified as another monolingual applicant.
4. Being Bilingual has been linked to health benefits
There have been many studies proving that being bilingual can benefit ones health. Researches recently found that there is growing evidence to suggest that bilingualism can delay the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for example. Other benefits of being bilingual include things such as a faster stroke recovery, lower stress levels, and delay many effects of old to name a few.
5. Speaking more than one language makes you more open minded
Have you ever heard the bilingual quote “To have another language is to possess a second soul” by Charlemagne? One of the benefits of being bilingual can mean that you see the world in different ways. Some even say that speaking two different languages can sometimes feel like having two different personalities.
Bilinguals are used to constant change. This means that they are usually less effected by changes in the environment, and more open minded to new things and new experiences, because they have more than one view of the world already.
6. Speaking a foreign language can be highly beneficial when you travel
Of course you can get around many countries without speaking the language. However, think of how much more you can experience if you speak the local language of the place you are visiting. No need for a phrase book or a translation app on the phone. Being able to communicate with the locals and immerse yourself in the language and culture can make your travel experience so much more enjoyable.
7. Being Bilingual opens up new social opportunities
Bilinguals can make friends in more than one language meaning more opportunities to meet new people, and enjoy different hobbies and activities. Being able to communicate with people from other cultures is a huge social advantage and can open up so many more doors in life.
8. Knowing more than one language helps you to learn additional languages
An amazing benefit of being bilingual is that you can learn additional languages more easily that monolinguals. This is because language skills reinforce each other. So if you have learned a second language already, then learning a third means transferring those skills over.
9. Being bilingual means you can raise bilingual kids
What better advantage, than being able to pass on your languages to your own children so they can reap the benefits of being bilingual too! Give your children the best start in life and raise them bilingual from birth. Your bilingual kids can then have bilingual kids of their own and languages can be passed on through generations.
10. You are not the minority if you are bilingual
One of the biggest misconceptions is that bilingualism is a rare phenomenon. But, in fact being bilingual means you are NOT the minority. More than half the world speaks more than one language on a daily basis. In many countries around the world, bilingualism is actually considered the norm, and I’m sure it won’t be long until the rest of the world catches on. Everyone should have the chance to learn a second language and reap the benefits of being bilingual.
Another year has come to an end, and here at the Cape Town Tourism offices, we’re ready to stride into 2018. When you live in one of most beautiful cities on earth, it’s not hard to find ways to make your future more exciting, fulfilling, and fun. We asked the Cape Town Tourism team to name some of the things they’d love to do before 2018 is over. Here is a list of 52 things to do in Cape Town in 2018—one for every week—to make it your most memorable year yet.
Take a ride on the Franschhoek Wine Tram
The Wine Tram is the best way to take in the Winelands. You don’t have to worry about driving or directions—you can just relax and journey through rolling vineyards, stopping at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.
Go horse riding on Noordhoek beach
Noordhoek beach is a picture-perfect stretch of white sand, backed by mountains and forest. There are few better ways to experience it than by horse-back, and Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding can take you on a guided trail no matter your level of experience.
Swim at Silvermine
Silvermine Nature Reserve is located in the middle of the Table Mountain National Park and offers some truly exquisite hiking opportunities. Take the trails leading through the fynbos, overlooking the whole city and the sea, to Elephants Eye cave. On the way back down, cool off in the beautiful Silvermine Reservoir. It’s a wonderful way to spend a summer day and is great for kids.
Learn how to surf at Little Bay
This beach, next to Big Bay ear Bloubergstrand, offers amazing views of Table Mountain across the bay. Aspiring surfers of any age and skill level can hit the waves here, and there are a number of schools around to help you find your feet. It’s also a popular kite-surfing spot.
Eat fish and chips at Salty Sea Dog in Simon’s Town
Cape Town does some of the best fish ‘n chips in the world, and it couldn’t get any fresher than at Salty Sea Dog. Get takeaways from here and take a stroll down the dock to enjoy your lunch overlooking the whole of False Bay.
Attend a Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert
The Summer Sunset Concerts at Kirstenbosch are a summer favourite with locals. Take along a picnic blanket, drinks, and your favourite snacks and set up camp on the rolling lawns. There are great local acts as well as a few international headliners on the line-up every Sunday between November and April.
Jeremy Loops performing at Kirstenbosch, by Craig Howes
Picnic at Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek
Cape Point Vineyards is the perfect place for a picnic. There are terraced lawns, shady tables, and comfy cushions to set up your spot with. The venue is alongside a dam, with views of Noordhoek beach. Kids will have an amazing time here, and so will the adults. The Cape Point wines are award-winning and the Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect summer drink. The picnic baskets contain generous servings of gourmet food.
Have tapas at Bistro 1682 at Steenburg
Bistro 1682 has an idyllic location on the Steenberg Estate. The dinner menu consists of tapas-style cuisine with a fine-dining flair. The wines made right on the estate are fantastic, and there are4 few better ways to spend an evening than by washing down fresh oysters with a glass of Steenberg MCC.
Kloofing at Crystal Pools
Kloofing is the South African word for “canyoning”. For those who want a little more adrenaline than your standard hike offers, take a trip out to the Steenbras River Gorge, known locally as Crystal Pools, located near Gordon’s Bay. It’s a scenic but sweaty day of jumping into pools from heights of between 3 and 24 metres, as well as 45-metre waterfall abseil.
Check out ‘Roller Derby-ing’
Roller Derby is a full-impact women’s sport that’s taken Cape Town by storm. Women of all shapes and sizes take to the track for an hour of high-intensity skating. It’s not a sport for the faint of heart. Players smack into one another and falls are frequent. Try your hand at it, or head to one of the “bouts” as a spectator.
Go on a street art tour of Woodstock
Woodstock is a diverse and ever-changing Neighbourhood, and it’s at the forefront of Cape Town’s street art scene. There are walking tours available that take you around the neighbourhood to explore the art and get into the spirit of this eclectic, arty area. We recommend taking a tour with the enthusiastic and knowledgeable mural artist, Juma Mkwela.
Stroke a cheetah at Cheetah Outreach Aisha
By now we all know that posing with baby animals is a big no-no, so it’s great to find establishments that take conservation and rehabilitation seriously. Cheetah Outreach Aisha is a sanctuary and retirement home for cheetahs, where you can meet ambassador cats, or watch the world’s fastest land mammal go for its morning run. Unfortunately, no kids are allowed.
Play putt-putt at the Promenade
Miniature golf is a great time for both young and old, and where better to tee off than along the spectacular Atlantic Seaboard? It’s really affordable fun for the whole family and makes for an amazing post-lunch activity.
Catch a play at the Fugard
The Fugard Theatre is one of the best places to see theatre in Cape Town. This is where you’ll catch most of the city’s biggest productions. There’s a lot going on year-round, but if you’re here in January don’t miss the Fugard Bioscope National Theatre Encore Season. It’s a chance to see some of the most popular theatre titles of the 2017 bioscope season. The productions are filmed live and shown on the Fugard’s full-size high definition cinema screen with high-quality surround sound.
OMG Quiz Night at Alexander Bar
The Alexander Bar is an eclectic bar and theatre in the City Bowl. It’s a great place for a drink and a show, and their Wednesday night quiz-night is a hit with locals. It’s not like most quiz nights… check it out for yourself!
Walk the Cape Camino Trail
The Cape Camino Trail is walking pilgrimage route around the Cape Peninsula. It is inspired by the well-known Camino de Santiago, (the pilgrimage route in Europe) but is adapted for our South African conditions. The route takes in the diverse sacred spaces found in Cape Town, from the iconic Table Mountain to Cape Point, then back to the city along the Atlantic seaboard.
Go snorkelling in a kelp forest
Under the surface of the sea on Cape Town’s coastline is a truly magical landscape most of us have never seen. The kelp sways gently in the current and light streams in from the surface. The plants can rise 30 metres from the sea floor, and many fish, crustaceans, and even seals flit about in this other-worldly scene.
Visit a market
Cape Town is spoilt for choice when it comes to markets, selling food, vintage clothing, antiques, crafts, art, and just about anything else you can imagine. Try the ever-popular Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock on Saturday mornings, or the Earth Fair Food Market in the City Bowl on Thursdays.
Sample some local craft beers
This is the year for tracking down the best craft beer in Cape Town. This is no easy task—there is a seemingly endless list of local breweries making some of the finest beer you can find, and new ones are popping up all the time.
Have a braai at Oudekraal
Braai (barbeque) is one of South Africa’s favourite ways to eat. Make a fire, open a cold drink, and sit around with your favourite people watching the coals cook your food. Cape Town has a number of great braai spots, but Oudekraal, between Camp’s Bay and Llandudno, is one of our favourites. The braai areas are secluded and the view of the ocean is unbeatable.
Indulge in a spa day
Take your pick of one of the best spas in Cape Town, where you can find world-class treatments to suit any tastes. We’d recommend the Heavenly Spa at the Westin, with its amazing views over the city and bay.
Have high tea at the Mount Nelson
Your visit to Cape Town should definitely include a visit to the iconic Pink Lady. The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is famous for its lush gardens, luxurious quarters, and its traditional British high tea service. Get dressed up and enjoy sumptuous cakes, pastries, and sandwiches while a live pianist music sets the mood.
Go for a picnic in Kirstenbosch
The Mother City is picknicking heaven, where you can find all sorts of amazing pre-packed picnic baskets in beautiful settings. Kirstenbosch is an attraction in its own right, and arguably the best place of all to spread your blanket and snacks. You can pre-order picnic baskets or pack your own, and there’s plenty of space on the rolling lawns to set up.
Have sundowners on one of the Bakoven boulders
It’s not difficult to find a good spot to watch the sunset in Cape Town, but the Bakoven boulders are hard to beat. Soak in the view with a cold drink, ice cream, or some snacks, perched atop the amazing granite boulders that make this beach so distinctive.
Have brunch and unlimited bubbly at the Potluck Club
Sundays at the Potluck Club are for those who need to level up their brunch game. It’s a tapas-style restaurant started by Luke Dale-Roberts, of La Colombe fame. Here, brunch is a fine-dining set menu that kicks off at 11 am, on Sundays only. Tapas platters are served with many delectable treats. For an extra fee, you can also enjoy bottomless bubbly.
Go on the Newlands Brewery Beer Tour
The historic Newlands Brewery dates back to 1820 is the oldest operating brewery in South Africa. The tour lasts about an hour and explores the craftsmanship that goes into the beers. It ends with a beer tasting and a couple of pints in the brewery’s historic pub.
Have lunch at Mariner’s Wharf
Hout Bay is a fantastic sea-side neighbourhood in Cape Town that offers something for everyone, any day of the week. If you’re looking for some of the freshest fish and chips in the area, Mariner’s Wharf is where to find it. It’s situated right at the edge of the Harbour, and not only can you buy great food, but also marine artefacts, souvenirs, and antiques.
Hike in the Helderberg Nature Reserve
The Somerset West area is known for its natural beauty, and the Helderberg Nature Reserve is no exception. There are hiking trails to suit every fitness level, and the bird life is rich. There are also beautiful shady lawns which are perfect for picnics.
Cape Town is famous for its wine, but there’s also a burgeoning gin scene in the city. There are many little gin bars and distilleries to visit. Check out Hope on Hopkins in Salt River. Don’t miss the amazing Bloedlemoen gin, infused with Blood Orange flavours!
Have lunch at Nomzamo Butchery in Langa
Langa is a township just outside of Cape Town, and Nonzamo does the best meat in town. There are also delicious sides, so even vegetarians won’t go hungry.
Visit the Hard Rock Café
The Hard Rock Café is a relative newbie on the Cape Town bar scene, but it’s rocketed to the top of our bucket list. Grab a burger and beer, and don’t forget the t-shirt.
Go up Table Mountain on the cable car and take in the magnificent views
No Cape Town bucket list would be complete without a trip up Table Mountain. The Aerial Cableway affords 360° views of the city on your way to the top of the mountain. At the top are unbeatable views of the city, along with a restaurant where you can grab some lunch.
Go for a walk on the Sea Point promenade
The promenade is where Capetonians from all walks of life come together. You’ll see everyone here—joggers, dog walkers, families, cyclists, skateboarders, couples… you name it! The views are fantastic and the sea breeze is enlivening. Top it off with an ice cream at The Creamery Café to enjoy while you walk.
Have breakfast at Starlings Café
Starlings is one of the best brunch spots in Cape Town, and they specialise in tasty, healthy, fresh food. The eggs benedict is amazing, as are their fresh juices and home-baked pastries and desserts.
Visit Langa Quarter
Langa Quarter is one of Cape Town’s coolest hubs. The non-profit organisation Ikhaya leLanga has turned the area into a vibrant hotspot where Capetonians and tourists can and enjoy what that local community has to offer. There are jazz venues, art galleries, and restaurants to explore.
See an open-air movie
The Galileo Open Air Cinema has screenings almost every day in the summer. The venues are amazing, and you can take along picnic baskets and drinks. They screen classics, with a different line-up every year.
Enjoy bubbly and oysters at Sea Breeze
This trendy Bree Street eatery is one of the best places to get fresh seafood in the city, and their Happy Hour special is incredible—between 12-1 pm and 5-6 pm daily you can get oysters for R10 a pop!
Check out the duck parade at Vergenoegd
Vergenoegd Wine Estate is a little outside Cape Town, in Stellenbosch, but it’s worth the trip for the ducks! Over 1000 ducks live on the estate as a natural method of pest control. They take care of any snails and bugs that might otherwise spoil the vines. Between 9 and 10 am on weekdays you can watch the army of ducks parade around the estate. It’s a fantastic option for families.
Take a tunnel tour under the city
Beneath Cape Town’s streets, there is a massive network of underground canals and rivers, some of them dating back as far as 1652. You can take tours of the underground tunnels for a totally different perspective on the city. Check the website first to make sure they’re open, and don’t forget your torch!
Take a township tour in Imizamo Yethu
Imizamo Yethu is the township located on the slopes of Hout Bay. You can hop off the City Sightseeing bus here to take a tour with a local guide. You’ll explore the community, visit a tavern for a drink, and taste amagwinya (a deep fried dough served with savoury mince or jam).
Go kayaking with the penguins in Simon’s Town
Visit Cape Town’s favourite monochromatic friends without having to get into the cool waters when you take to a kayak in Simon’s Town. Boulder’s Beach is the best place to see the penguins in Cape Town, but kayaking is a great way to beat the traffic and see the penguins and other sea life while letting your legs get a rest while your arms do the work. Just remember to apply tons of sunblock!
Swim in the Silvermine Dam
The Silvermine part of Table Mountain National Park is a beautiful green oasis where you can braai, picnic, and swim with the whole family. You can also take a hike up to Elephant’s Eye for an incredible view of the southern side of Cape Town or take a guided hike to Noordhoek Peak. With the rich biodiversity in the area, there is much to see and appreciate and the water will cool you down on a hot summer’s day. There is an entry fee to pay at the gate (cash only), but you can get a great discount with a Green Card or Wild Card.
Go to the Cape Point vineyards Thursday night market
You’ll find everything from vegan sushi to beefy burgers (and amazing wine to compliment it) at the Cape Point Thursday night market. It’s a must-do for locals and visitors and for good reason. You’ll be spoilt with views of Noordhoek’s mountain and the awe-inspiring verdant vineyards.
Do the Hoerikwaggo trail
Envisaged as a great Cape trek that stretches from Cape Point to the Cableway station on Table Mountain, the Hoerikwaggo trail was supposed to be a five or six-day hike with tented campsites along the route. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to do an uninterrupted hike, but you can still take advantage of the incredible views and unique camping spots on this route. The tented camps at Orangekloof in Kommetjie are legendary and you can use them as a base to when you walk the Twelve Apostles trail, the contour trail or the reservoir trail.
Walk in Newlands Forest
Nature lovers will feel rights at home in this green paradise that feels like the home of fairies, gnomes, and unicorns. It’s right on the slopes of Table Mountain so you know you’re in for some inspiring natural sights and flora. Enjoy a peaceful walk or run under the trees or pack charcoal and meat for a braai at the nearby braai facilities.
Ride the City Sightseeing bus wine route
City Sightseeing has combined three of Cape Town’s favourite things all in one tour: Wine, beautiful scenery and great food. Their Constantia Wine Valley bus stops at Groot Constantia, Eagles’ Nest and Beau Constantia while driving on some of the most beautiful roads in the city. These three green wine estates have incredible wine and food on offer and the views are unparalleled. Plus you’ll hear some fascinating facts (in no less than 15 languages) while you drive, so it’s something we’d recommend for locals and visitors as you’re bound to learn something new. To take this tour you’ll need to take the Mini Peninsula Tour and hop off at Constantia Nek.
See the city from a bird’s eye view (literally) as you float about the Atlantic Sea Board on a tandem paragliding jump with reputable companies like Skywings, Fly Cape Town or Cape Town Tandem Paragliding. It’s not a scary experience as you don’t fall but rather float and have a chance to appreciate the view of the buildings, ocean, and Lion’s Head and Table Mountain. It’s a bucket list item we’d recommend you do annually for some fresh perspective on the beautiful Mother City.
Abseil down Table Mountain
Abseiling down a world icon is something all adrenaline junkies and adventure lovers should try at least once. Table Mountain, one of the seven new Wonders of the World, is over 1000 metres tall and you’ll get to abseil down at least 100 metres as you see the city like not many others have. It’s quite a rush! Be sure to take the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway up and down for a 360-degree view of the city.
Visit the Zeitz MOCAA
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is the largest art museum in Africa, and the largest museum in the world showcasing the art of Africa and its diaspora. It opened in 2017, and it’s on everyone’s to-do list for 2018. The exhibitions change regularly, so even if you’ve been before, add it to your list!
Ride the train to Ceres
The Ceres Rail Company offers rides on a steam train from the 40s. It’s a fun and unique experience and takes you through some of the most picturesque areas of the Cape to Ceres. Onboard, you’ll find snacks, meals, and drinks to keep you going.
Have a cup of joe at Department of Coffee in Khayelitsha
The Department of Coffee is the first township-based artisan coffee shop in South Africa. It’s run by Khayelitsha locals who wanted to bring good quality coffee home with them, and they make a mean brew.
Walk down to Smitswinkel Bay and spend a day on the beach
Between Simon’s Town and Cape Point Nature Reserve, you’ll find the picturesque Smitswinkel Bay. Take a short walk down to the beach for an incredible view of the mountains and sea and the opportunity to snorkel, picnic, or go diving. Take a dip in the pretty rock pools when you feel warm and be sure to pack lightly for the trek up and down.
Let’s compare two classes. In terms of teacher ability, student levels, and student behavior, they are essentially identical. The only difference is that one class has 10 students and the other has 30. Which class would you want to teach? Which class is better for the students? The smaller one is the obvious answer, but do you know exactly why? Here are the 10 reasons why smaller class size is so important:
1. More one-on-one time
In our 10-student class, it stands to reason that each student will have three times more individual face time with their teacher. This type of educating is critical, both for development of skills and for inspiring students. With more one-on-one time with their teacher, students are certain to have a greater sense that their teacher cares for them, and when students feel like someone they look up to cares about their work, they excel.
2. Student’s can’t hide
In a 30-student class, it becomes much easier for the quiet kids, or the unmotivated kids, to hide in a clique of friends or the back of the class. With fewer students, the teacher is more capable of ensuring everyone participates and engages the material. This ensures students can’t fake it, thus must keep up, while teachers can prevent declining engagement and scores.
3. Easier to identify issues
In large classes, teachers can struggle to identify where problems might be arising, and then because their time is so valuable, they further struggle to adequately address these issues. When a teacher has 30 essays to grade, they will spend less time on each one and potentially glaze over flaws in writing skills that could be fixed with minimal instruction. Within these kinds of spaces, where teachers are spending too little time watching for and addressing individual issues, students begin to slip through the cracks.
4. More cohesive class culture
A smaller class will ultimately make a more cohesive unit than a larger one. A class of 30+ students allows for the formation of cliques even within the class, as well as ensures not all students need to engage each other – students can often stick to who they are comfortable with. However, in a smaller classroom setting, students will have the opportunity to interact with and form relationships with all of their classmates, ensuring that the class is more supportive of each other.
5. Teachers can form better relationships
Related to the increased amount of individual time spent is the quality of relationships teachers are able to build with each student. In smaller classes, teachers better know the strengths, weaknesses, and needs of each pupil. With this increased level of attention, teachers can more successfully relate and instruct, thus becoming more than a simple instructor, but a genuine role model.
6. Students are more engaged
When students have a strong relationship with their teacher and know they are responsible for their work and level of participation, they are bound to be more engaged with the curriculum. This has two roots: first, students are in an environment where engagement and quality work is simply expected of everyone – it becomes something of a cultural norm; second, when students have strong relationships with teachers – when they care what their teacher thinks of their performance – they are certain to produce better work.
7. Go faster
Simply put, with a small group, teacher attention is more focused, students are more inclined to engage and be enthusiastic towards the material, and when this happens, work gets done faster. When work is done faster, classes can cover more ground, explore more topics, and more completely experience the curriculum and ideas presented. And when all the work is done? Now everyone has time for more fun in class, thus improving class culture and cohesion.
8. Much less chaotic
In a 10-student class, there will simply be less noise – it’s a matter of physics. Furthermore, it will be easier to avoid letting the group get out of hand, and as mentioned in #3, it is vastly easier to identify issues as they arise, thus ensuring a tranquil learning environment. And with a peaceful class, all of the other benefits presented above are amplified.
9. It is easier on the teachers
The above reasons are a list of the pedagogical benefits of smaller class sizes, but in aggregate they make for better, more productive, and easier-to-manage environments for the teachers. When teachers are given the space to be productive in a positive and peaceful class, they are simply happier and better at their jobs. The “grind” becomes less of one, teachers last longer in the field, and there is ultimately a net benefit for the field of education when teachers are happier.
10. Research shows tremendous benefits to small classes
Don’t just take our word for it – the vast majority of research shows that students perform better in all subjects, at all levels, in smaller classes. Furthermore, the research points to other benefits of smaller class sizes besides those listed here, including long-term performance benefits and greater teacher retention.
With so much evidence in favour of small class sizes, don’t we owe it to students and teachers to make sure education occurs in the more constructive environment that smaller classes allow for? For better academic results, happier teachers, and ultimately a more educated society, promoting smaller classes should be a priority for teachers, parents, districts, and government officials.
As the summer holidays draw to a close, you might be excited about a new year or dreading the early wake-ups. Either way, it’s a good idea to start your preparations early. While you may be tempted to ‘stick your head in the sand’ and try to forget about the fast-approaching first week back, there are a few simple things you can do to ease yourself back into your studies and prepare for the year ahead.
Set some goals
Before you begin the new semester, you should set some goals to work towards over the course of the year. Try to set goals that you can realistically achieve and consider what you can improve on from the previous year. You might want to achieve a certain grade, get better at completing work on time, organise work experience or make more of an effort to make new friends.
Complete administrative tasks
While most students avoid going back to campus until they have to, organising administrative matters (such as student and public transport concession cards) ahead of time will help you beat the long queues in week one. Arranging your textbooks and course materials during the holidays also allows you time to source second-hand books or scope out prices online. If you have access to subject guides, you can start noting down assessment due dates and planning for busy periods in advance.
Think about ways to expand your learning opportunities
The holidays are a good time to start thinking about how you can build your skills outside of the classroom — before assessments start to pile up and your free time becomes an issue. You may decide to research potential internship and volunteering opportunities or ways to get involved on campus. Also consider refreshing your résumé, adding any skills or experience you’ve gained since the last update.
Organise your study space
The simple act of clearing and tidying your study area, as well as sourcing new stationery and supplies, is a great way to ease yourself back into study mode and motivate you for the year ahead. After all, with the effort you’ve gone to, you’ll want to make use of your new space.
Plan a budget and save some money
While the summer break provides ample time for work — and the chance to move back home for students living on campus — earning and saving money during the semester can prove challenging. If you’re preparing to live on a student budget, now is a great time to start planning for the months ahead. You may also consider picking up some extra hours at work before classes start — you’ll have a little extra spending money for the semester.
1 ) Sleep: I usually come home from an exam and jump into bed to catch up on my lost sleep. The couple of days before my exam I find it difficult to get to sleep because of the looming exam but after my exams are finished, I need that period of rest to recuperate from the stressful exam period!
2 ) Go for a celebratory meal: This is something that gets me through many long periods of revision. The thought of going somewhere nice to eat and just having a generally pleasant meal and having a fun time with friends without that nagging feeling of having to revise at the back of my mind is a welcome end to revision and exams.
3 ) Pack/throw away notes: This is very satisfying. Its something that I almost see as a ritual. Packing away revision notes and folders full of lecture notes somewhere under my bed or in a dark cupboard somewhere is very satisfying indeed. And it is refreshing to wake up to an empty desk rather than one full of piles of paper and notes.
4 ) Catch up with my emails/Facebook: I try to restrict my social life as much as possible during exam period so I don’t get distracted whilst I am revising. This usually results in long lists of emails and Facebook posts needing to be read which I end up replying to very late!
5 ) Clean my room: I’m normally a very tidy person but during the exam period I don’t know what happens but I end up with clothes on the floor, my cupboard a tip and papers scattered around my room. However, its only when my exams finish that I see this mess and so clean it up. During exams its like I have beer goggles on and my eyes just skim over it all!
6 ) Make something yummy to eat: I love to bake cookies and cakes and the majority of the time they turn out to be quiet nice! I don’t get much time in between revision to bake something, and I’m usually so distracted that I end up adding the wrong quantities of ingredients so my final product is barely edible! After my exams are over, I enjoy baking something and then eating it whilst I relax.
7 ) Read a book: I have yet to find a book to read this time round. I love reading fiction, especially since it makes a nice break from all the textbooks and journals I have read throughout the year. Anyone have any recommendations?
8 ) Lounge about without feeling guilty: This always gives me a wonderful feeling! I can sleep in, relax in the sun and surf the internet for hours on end without that nagging thought of looming deadlines and exams.
9 ) Return my textbooks to the library and secretly feel smug about others still having exams: Ah its always great fun to watch my textbooks being carried away on the conveyor belt of the Books Returns machine in the library and knowing it will be at least a month before I need to bury my head in them again. Seeing other students furiously scribbling away and revising for their upcoming exams when I have already finished makes me feel just a bit guilty but mostly relieved that I am no longer in their situation.
10 ) Enjoy the sun: Not that the sun likes to wait around till after my exams are finished. (Just look at the weather now- all dull and wet compared to the bright sunny skies we had approximately two weeks ago)! When it does come back though, I shall thoroughly enjoy eating ice cream and soaking up the sun without a textbook or any revision notes in sight!