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Happy 2nd birthday to one of our youngest honorary YFU members and hopefully one of our future exchange students: Rynette Scholtz' lovely granddaughter Zara! We hope you had a wonderful day <3 ... See MoreSee Less

Departure day. It's always bitter-sweet to say good bye to our students as they return to their home countries. The first three students have already left and the others are slowly but surely making their way to the airport. We hope you leave South Africa with many wonderful memories and would love to see you again, sometime, somewhere 🌍 ... See MoreSee Less

Food for thought - Some very inspiring words and reflections by our exchange student from Norway, Olve Haugdahl Solberg. ... See MoreSee Less

Ons uitruilstudent v Noorweë, Olwe Haugdahl Solberg wat tot einde Junie by #Klofies kuier en skoolgaan, het hierdie artikel geskryf oor Suid-Afrika, lees gerus: South Africans I have now lived in South Africa for eight months, and at several occasions I’ve been asked both from South Africans and from people back home: “What do you think of the people of South Africa?” It is a good question, yet usually I have trouble answering it. Because while there are a million things to say about South Africans, it is quite difficult to jam it all together into a simple summation. South Africa has been nicknamed the rainbow nation, prominently because of the astonishing diversity in cultures, groups of people and ways of living. I have seen many sides of this beautiful country, and while the differences are obvious, I full-heartedly believe there are certain traits almost all South Africans can be attributed. If we look back in history, the people living in the South of Africa didn’t belong to states or borders, but rather chiefdoms or tribes. There is a total of eleven official languages in South Africa (excluding sign language), most of them originating from different African societies. As colonization became a reality, European languages and culture also became a part of the mix. All these different people were more or less part of separate fractions, but as time passed, borders started to shape the land to what we now call South Africa. The problem is that even though you put a line around some land and claim that everyone inside is part of the same country, it doesn’t mean that the people inside will necessarily feel a sense of fellowship. Even today, most people will rather feel an attachment to their old heritage. I would claim that the majority in this country look at themselves as maybe Afrikaans, Zulu or Tswana more than South African. This lack of unity has of course been strengthened by the deep segregation policies of the past. I have had the privilege to live both in a township and a suburb. I went to a school where all the subjects have been taught in Afrikaans, and I have spent two weeks living with a family in a rural area in Mpumalanga. I have been able spend time and get to know people from completely different life situations. I have first-hand seen some of the vast contrasts this country holds, and I believe all these experiences have helped me gain a broader and better perspective on what it means to be South African. So what am I talking about? Well, no matter where I went, or who I was with, I have always been welcomed with open arms. As good as all South Africans I have met, possess a remarkable openness and forthcomingness. And don’t mistake this friendliness for just superficial politeness. South Africans are genuine people that show true interest and concern for you. I am a visitor in this country, an outsider. Yet regardless of where or whom I am with, in just a few moments, I feel like I belong here. Like I am part of these people. As long as you keep an open mind and maintain a respectful attitude, South Africans will take you in, and treat you like one of their own. South Africa has without a doubt many problems, and unfortunately tension and mistrust between different types of people, is still one of them. This sad reality is what I find the most frustrating about South Africa, because I have seen with my own eyes the love that all South Africans can give. I believe South Africans’ greatest characteristic is their ability to open up, bond and create true connections. If every South African treated each other with only half of the openness and respect I have received, I am convinced the people would feel the same way I feel, and the country would truly become a better place. Because a collection of colours is not a rainbow before they come together.

Happy 60th birthday, YFU Deutschland!!!
YFU South Africa and all the exchange students we have sent to Germany over the years wish you a wonderful birthday celebration and all the best for the next 60 years and beyond.
Alles Gute und herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!
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Last weekend out inbound students got together for the last time before they return to their home countries in a few weeks. A big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers for making this weekend a success! And to our students: Enjoy your last few weeks in South Africa! <3 ... See MoreSee Less