The applications for the last-minute exchange are open! Do you still have doubts about the destination? One of the last-minute destinations is Potchefstroom in South-Africa. Astrid Dohmen has been to Potchefstroom on exchange and shares her experiences! 

Potchefstroom (or Potch) is a relatively small city about 1,5 hours from Johannesburg. There is not a city centre like we know it, but near the university there is a street called De Bult which has nice restaurants and bars.

The university has a gym on campus. For R10 (about €0,60) you can join group classes or you can use the fitness facilities. The university also has a big sports ground with an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, an athletics track and so on. Besides, braaiing is a big thing in South Africa. Braaiing is a kind of barbecue, but South African style. Braaiing is not just about the food, but also about meeting (new) people and having a great time. If you want to go out, you can go to “Die Mystic Boer”. It’s too far to walk (and more important: not safe at night), but you will always meet South African students who have a car and can take you there. River Café was a very nice restaurant, but unfortunately this place burnt down a few months ago.

During my exchange, I was enrolled in the master Comparative Child Law. This master consisted of only two courses: International Juvenile Criminal Justice and International Children’s Human Rights. There were only seven students who were enrolled in this master, so the classes were very personal. For every class, we had to make a presentation of about 40 minutes. We also had quite some assignments to make (at least 20 pages). For our final exams we had 24 or 30 hours to write a paper of 40 pages. You can imagine that we didn’t catch a lot of sleep then.

In South Africa, you can travel to so many beautiful places. Free State and Johannesburg are quite close to Potch. Going to De Drakensbergen, Lesotho and Kruger National Park is a 6-8 hour drive and you can fly to Cape Town in 2 hours. Horse riding in De Drakensbergen during sunset is beautiful. Definitely go to Lesotho as well. Cape Town is a very modern and beautiful city, it almost feels like a European city. In Soweto, the biggest township of South Africa located in Johannesburg, you can do a biking tour. This is a great and safe way to experience the culture. You will meet local people and children and try their local food.

In short, I had a great time in South Africa. You will not regret your exchange if you choose to go to South Africa. Go experience it yourself!


Did Astrid convince you to go on exchange to Potchefstroom? Click here to apply or to check the other last-minute destinations.