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Thembisile Gxuluwe

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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2016
Home Institution: 
Lincoln University
Heinz Programming Area: 
Arts & Culture
Study Abroad Country: 
South Africa
International Experience

Thembisile Gxuluwe studied abroad in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. During her study abroad experience, she had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town and Soweto, Gauteng. Her study experience focused on community service learning; she also took a class on Human Rights in South Africa. The trip consisted of various excursions, so her and her peers had the opportunity to experience so many different things such as the “City Culture Tour,” Kragga Kamma Game Park, Walmer Angels Projects, the South African Museum, Robben Island Prison, and Addo Elephant Park. Although she was able to do all those amazing things, the best part about her study abroad experience is the connections and bonds she created while in South Africa; Thembisile was able to meet her family for the first time and got a chance to see things she has never seen before. As stated before, Thembisile's study abroad experience focused on service learning, so she was placed at Kamma Primary School where she and her peers volunteered at a summer program for kids of the surrounding areas. The “learners” showed and taught her so much about so many different things. She bonded with them in so many different ways and loves all of the students that were in her group: Lungisa, Simamkele, Anelisiwe, Sebokazi, Kabelo, Mihahli, Emihle, and Luyiema. Thembisile was also blessed by the presence of the all the other students. She also made life changing connections with the international students who came along with her on the trip as well as the interns who worked with her and her peers during the program: Nontobeko Zungu, Nicole and Kellie. Thembisile loved every moment of her study abroad experience, even the challenging times. Thembisile felt at home and to this day, she still believes that South Africa is her true home.  

Community Engagement Experience
CEE Title: 
Water Wasted

My CEE was called, "Water Waster". It covered the issues of water deprivation, water contamination, and water scarcity. It also discussed the importance of having a sustainable amount of clean water in all areas where it is desperately needed. Along with the topics above, my CEE also analyzed different cultural differences and stereotypes; it encouraged the audience to dismantle such stereotypes and embrace cultural differences. My CEE used the workshop template in that it began with a presentation and was followed by hands-on activities. The presentation featured an interactive discussion about water scarcity and cultural differences. Various questions were posed to the audience to support interaction. My team members and I discussed our international experiences and how they related to water contamination, water deprivation, and water scarcity. Photos and videos were utilized to bring the issue to life for the audience members. Finally, the workshop ended with an exercise called, "Is it PUR?" which showed the audience how to turn contaminated water into clean water using PUR packets. 

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