Majors: Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Leadership
University of Cape Town, South Africa
The cost of living in South Africa is immensely cheaper than in the USA because as of right now the exchange rate 16 Rand to $1 USD; so the exchange rate is very much in my favor. It is very interesting to me that it is almost cheaper to eat out for every single meal than to cook at home. This is completely the opposite as it is in the states. At home, I would cook almost every day and eat in as much as possible. So, this is a huge adjustment for me (but not a bad one!). Yes this is great for foreigners visiting SA (like myself) but this is not at all good for the local people. Although it may be cheap for us to eat out and enjoy all of the local activities, it is actually very expensive for the local people to eat out or do anything extra with their families. I have to catch myself when I make comments like “WOW, this is cheap!” or “I can get used to eating out for every meal” in public.
All of the international students want to explore and see more of South Africa and because of the exchange rate, we are able to do that easily. For example, I went on a 4 day Garden Route Tour which included housing, all transportation, an Ostrich Farm, canoeing, entry to the Tsikskamma National park and the Cango Caves and then optional bungy jumping for about $55 or R890, and ziplining for $24 or about R375.
All in all, the trip cost me (with food and all the extra activities) about $350, whereas in the US, a similar trip would of been at least $1500-2000!