Studying Abroad, Serving Others

For Carolina student Tianzhen Nie, studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, means classes at the University of Cape Town, learning the country’s history, politics and current state.

“One of the main themes in our classes is deconstructing the categories outlined by society, and for the science major such as myself, they have been interesting and thought-provoking to say the least, and at times even mind-boggling,” Nie said.

But her study abroad experience also includes a four-day-a-week internship with a local organization. As an environmental studies major and aspiring urban planner, she was placed to work with Development Action Group, a nonprofit focused on affordable housing, community development and advocacy issues in Cape Town. The project she’s involved with focuses on strengthening and capacitating a well-located community, which has over the past years faced numerous external market pressures for gentrification.

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Tianzhen Nie was one of five undergraduates awarded Undergraduate International Studies Fellowships (UISF) by the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. The fellowships support international study by undergraduate students from underrepresented groups.They are made possible by the gifts of private donors.

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