Land of the brave!
That’s the name of the National Anthem of one relatively young country located in Southern Africa called Namibia. It is also how Namibian people describe themselves. It is a land of many different ethnic groups living together nowadays in peace.
Going on exchange to Namibia was an easy decision after all. I didn’t know a lot about the country before I came here, so the decision was spontaneous. I only knew its location, language and a little bit of its geography. Like the photo shows, the whole land is basically a desert. Very few people live there and big cities are not to be found. However, the few people here are very friendly and warm. I never felt as if I wasn’t welcome.
Getting bored here is not an option. Even though it might sound like a place with not much to do, it is not the case. National parks with all the animals that you could wish to see, canyons, waterfalls, mountains and coast towns provide numbers of different kind of activities – just to mention a few. Local people love to take you to their homes and introduce you to their way of life, and it is always easy to get to know these laid back Africans.
The daily life is actually very similar to ours. People go to work, study and in the evening they do sports and maybe have some drinks at local bars. Or at least that’s the case in big towns. In the countryside you can find what we Finns usually think of as Africa, small villages with many various tribes, people hunting, clay huts and camp fires. Notable is that there is a big number of bars in small towns, with a lovely atmosphere.
Studying in Africa isn’t that different either. At least not at the universities. I got the opportunity to study at the Polytechnic of Namibia with approximately 12 000 other students. The classes resemble ours very closely. So called “African time” doesn’t exist that strongly there, some of the lecturers are even very strict with the timetables. Topics and the learning plans are just like the Finnish ones, and the premises are also fine. Sometimes projects with local people are a bit challenging due to the laid back attitude of the locals.
After all, I couldn’t be happier with the choice of going on exchange to Africa. Awesome people, many other exchange students, a laid back atmosphere and the spectacular landscape of Africa have made my time here unique.