Sterling Craig checks in from Johannesburg

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa! I arrived in this beautiful city on July 15th and just started school on the 23rd. The flight was 23 grueling hours long with a 4 hour layover in Dubai (which felt more like 10 if I’m being honest), but it would be insane if I didn’t say it was completely and utterly worth it. Immediately after I arrived in Joburg, I was greeted by my amazing exchange family; father, mother, brother, and all! I felt so welcomed and excited to finally be out of an airport and into my new home of six weeks. Once I stepped outside I knew that I would be having the summer of a lifetime, one that I could never compare to anything else.

When I first arrived, it took me about a week to settle in with the time zones, but naturally that wasn’t going to keep me from watching France win the World Cup. The same night I arrived, my exchange, Catherine, and I went to an outdoor event at a shopping complex in Joburg, where they played the final game up on a giant screen. I got to meet some of Catherine’s good friends from school. This was a great opportunity because it helped me a lot when I started school at Crawford. That night was also the first time I realized South Africa is a lot colder then I expected.

A week into my exchange experience I started school at Crawford College Lonehill. I had no idea what to expect. I probably spent hours trying to find pictures of the school and contemplating how the students there would react to me. In the end, I could not come up with a conclusion on how my first day would be. I must admit waking up at 5:30 am is not something I’m very “keen on” (as we’d say in South Africa) and getting in the school uniform was definitely something I am not used to.On that Monday morning I arrived at school and it was nothing like Athenian. It was intimidating to walk into a large building only knowing a few people. I was relieved to find that every single person I met was so kind and introduced themselves to me with a big hug. By the third day at Crawford I had so many great friends and was having the time of my life.

It is currently my 3rd week here in Joburg. Although I miss my family, I am already dreading having to leave. The classes here have been such an amazing experience so far and the teachers have been sweet and accommodating. I have made some amazing friends that it will be so difficult to say good-bye to. Let’s just say there will definitely be some tears. For now I’m trying to forget about that and live in the moment. I am having such a great time in South Africa and I am over-the-moon excited for what’s to come!