Two weeks in South Africa for the Global Immersion Experience | Photo essay by UBC MBA student Ivonne Arens
After more than 30 hours travelling to reach one of the world's most distant cities from Vancouver, we finally arrived in South Africa to start our Global Immersion Experience.
For our welcome dinner, we visited an African restaurant where we learned how to play drums, listened to music accompanied by beautiful dances, and tried various types of local cuisine.
Reading the pre-trip materials made me understand the tremendous impact that Nelson Mandela had, and continues to have, on South Africa. Although his leadership brought significant improvements to the country, South Africa still has a long way to go. Last year, a World Bank report ranked it the most unequal country in the world.
During our visit to Boulders Beach, we were amazed to see many African penguins living in their natural habitat, and they were so close to us!
Working on the GIE project with my team was a fantastic experience. From our initial virtual meeting with the client while we were still in Vancouver, I knew that everything would go smoothly and that it would be an outstanding project. Meeting our client in person and carrying out the project abroad in a country very different from our own reality was an enriching experience.
After finishing the two weeks of the GIE, I took a few days off with some of my MBA friends to visit Kruger National Park, one of the best places to experience a safari. As you can see, we had the incredible opportunity to see lions just a few metres away from us, along with many other amazing animals.
I had heard incredible things about the GIE before starting my MBA, but it wasn't until I lived it myself that I truly understood.