CASO project blog Yvonne Bekx
Hello everyone, my name is Yvonne Bekx (22 years old), I am a nurse student at the Avans University of applied science. I had the honour to be one of the eight Dutch students that where joining the short-term mobility in Cape Town this February.
To be honest, I did not really know what to expect from the project before we arrived in Cape Town. But during the first project week, the goals of the short term mobility became clear to me, and I became very excited about the program that was put together. After a long flight from over 14 hours, a long waiting time at the airport, and a stressful drive at the left side of the road, we finally arrived at hour accommodation. And guess what, the accommodations where beautiful. I was staying in a big apartment with my classmate Emily. We had a great view from our balcony and there were a lot of good restaurants close to the building.
The same day we arrived, we had our first meeting with the other students from Finland, Belgium and South Africa. The first impressions were good but a little overwhelming. So was the first day of the project at the University of the Western Cape. We were all very excited but also a little nervous. But during the first week, we got plenty of time to meet each other and to become comfortable in the project groups.
During my stay in Cape Town, I learned a lot. We got a few great workshops at the university and did some visiting at high schools. We felt very welcome and special. One of the teachers who gave a workshop drove over 4 hours to meet us. We worked together in a team with mixed nationalities to organise a pilot day at a high school in the city centre. The aim of this pilot day was to learn the children physical activities and to develop a healthy lifestyle. This day was challenging because we discovered the difference of our cultures and had to motivate the children in multiple ways. We worked together and made sure the children had a lot of fun. And I think that making fun was the key to this successful day.
The project week brought us also to a lot of beautiful places. My favourite was the spice route, where we have been visiting lovely vineyards with great views and excellent glasses of white and red wine. Another great experience was a lions park that we were visiting. We got the change to face lions within a distance of two meters and only a small fence in between. Another dangerous part of the program that was organized for us, was a cage dive with crocodiles. Where we only had a distance of 30 centimetres from the animals. After this program, I am definitely able to say that I fell in love with South-Africa!
These project weeks were an experience to never forget. The CASO project was very meaningful. It was a great way to connect with other people from different countries and to share our knowledge. But it was also a great way to work with these people from different countries as well. I discovered the different ways we are used to working and the different programs we are used to. And I discovered new working programs. I am not used to speaking English a lot and I also had never made a paperwork in English. For me, this was a great way to practise this and to develop my English speaking and writing skills.
The contact with other nurse students and to discover their experience in the work field was very meaningful as well. The experience they have shared with me are things I keep in mind during my study and after graduation. As a nurse working in a team is a big part of our job. This project shows the impotency of working together as a team. But it also shows what different studies can achieve by working together. It shows the impotency of sharing your ideas. This is something I will be aware of and keep continuing in the future.
I am very grateful to be able to participate in this program and got to know these wonderful people! What an experience and what a beautiful country!