August 24, 2011

Marketing and Finance Major Studies Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa

College of Business Administration student Hans Christensen had a unique experience even by some of his fellow students study abroad travels. Christensen, a marketing and finance major at UNL, visited Cape Town, South Africa during the spring semester.

Hans Christensen

Hans Christensen

Christensen studied at the University of Cape Town and served as an intern for the the Southern Africa Sustainable Development Initiative. He took a variety of business classes as well as an African music class. Although the class experience was a bit frustrating considering the lack of some modern technology, Christensen learned to adapt.

"As time went on, however, I ended up working harder and probably retaining more knowledge as a result of the added paperwork," Christensen said.

The internship was even more beneficial.

"The most influential academic experience I’ve ever had was most definitely the internship. My team created a new e-marketing strategy and worked on a website for SASDI, all the while taking full-time classes, acclimating to a new culture and vacationing in between. I learned a new definition of busy, and gained a tremendous amount of work ethic and confidence as a result. Expectations were high, and it pushed our team to accomplish more than we thought we were capable."

Christensen's leisure time was also an eye opening adventure as he experienced many things for the first time.

"Some of my favorite memories were from the road trips around the country with my group of friends. We saw a lot of beaches along the southern coast of Africa and the eastern coast of Mozambique. We also found time to bungee jump, shark dive, and horseback ride on sand dunes."

Christensen said that the customs agent told him he would fall in love with South Africa when he was checking his passport. That's exactly what happened.

"My favorite part of Africa had to be the people. I heard stories every day from locals that I will never forget, and by truly listening during my time there, many of my life viewpoints have changed."