Sunday, July 19, 2009

IAPO experience

I am currently working as an Orientation Leader for the second semester study abroad program (SSA) for IAPO. The last week has been a whirlwind of activity, notably fetching students and answering all their random questions.

Orientation started last wednesday with a planning meeting for the Orientation Leaders to meet and set up a timetable amongst ourselves. 30 seconds proved to be a successful icebreaker and proved that girls rule!

Thursday started a lot earlier than most of us ever wished. 8 am pick ups of our first international students from the airport. IAPO tried a new system this year of moving students into Tugwell Hall as they arrived and then into their houses on the same day to minimise the moving chaos. The students arrived in drips and drabs all day with various horror stories of missed planes, missing visas, missing luggage and long flights.

Matt and James played tour guides around Rondebosch and campus and Claremont. It is safe to say none of us will ever be actual tour guides. For our sins we volunteered to take students to Tiger Tiger on Thursday night. Now normally this isn't so bad, but you need to take into account the crowd. American exchange students are not allowed to drink at home before 21, but are allowed from 18 in SA. And the alcohol is cheaper, much cheaper. Let the good times roll.

I was on early airport pickup the next day and the remainder of our 150 students arrived. Saturday was true chaos as buses did not arrive on time to collect the students to go to their houses. We eventually all arrived safely for "House Meetings" and signing of leases etc. I have 4 Germans and an American in one house and 3 Norweigens, 1 Dutch and 1 American in the other.

Sunday was the first day of the official orientation plan. By this stage all 400 SSA students have arrived through their various programs and were picked up for the Peninsula tour. The tour went around the City Bowl, through the V&A Waterfront, along the Seapoint promenade (Beach Road) and into Camps Bay. The tour continued to Hout Bay and then through Constantia. We finally arrived at Boulders Beach.

Boulders Beach is now a conservation project that is closed off and you have to buy a ticket to view. R30 for adults, R10 for children. A rip off as far as I'm concerned. Definitely not on my list of things to do again. Next we took a trip to Ocean View Community and had lunch and an informal show by members of the community. The tour concluded with a walk at Cape Point (R60 for adults).

All the OLs are exhausted and need a mini-holiday but alas we have another week to go.

No comments: