My name is Marlon Smith. I’m an exchange student from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, but I’m originally from the mother city of Cape Town. My home languages are Afrikaans and English but I’m studying Chinese and French as well. So far my time here at Willamette University has been great, I’m having the time of my life and gaining an experience that will go with me forever. I’m only here for the fall semester though (2010) and it will be really sad for me to leave Salem in Dec, because I have made so many friends here – not only just international friends but Americans as well.
I have traveled to places all around the world, but experiencing new cultures, languages, food, music and environments is always an amazing and exciting experience. Leaving Stellenbosch was really hard for me in the beginning because I have never been away from home for four months (and because I knew I was going to miss our SA wine and cheese) but I knew there was an amazing trip ahead of me.
There are many things here in the USA that is similar to back home, yet different as well.
I still can’t believe that I’m in the USA. It has always been a dream for me to come and study here in the USA and now I’m here and so proud of myself for getting this far. I hope to take many different experiences home from Willamette and I’m so blessed to have made all the amazing friends that I have made here.
My University is located in the Western Cape in a town called Stellenbosch that’s surrounded by vineyards and mountains and is only a 30-minute drive from Cape Town. Stellenbosch is well known for its world famous wines, arts and festivals, and history. I have been to so many places in the USA: Washington DC, Portland and Seattle, and seeing the big cities has been one of the highlights of my stay here.