He has dual citizenship of Morocco and France and studies in the Netherlands. Having lived in Mexico and Brazil, Reda Berrada is a citizen of the world. For the next six months the Cape Winelands will be home for the French student. He is one of about 400 international students who enrolled for studies at Stellenbosch University (SU) in the second semester.
The students from countries such as Germany, Hong Kong, Poland, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, China, Germany, Belgium, Zambia, Switzerland, Australia, Guinea and the USA are the second intake of international students for the year enrolling for short-term and full-degree programmes.
New at SU the students attended a weeklong Welcome and Orientation programme held by the Postgraduate & International Office (PGIO). Hosted from 11 -16 July, staff from the PGIO gave information on what to expect as Matie students.
Welcoming Reda and fellow international students to SU, Robert Kotze, Senior Director of the PGIO gave information about the university and town in a packed hall in the Wilcocks Building.
"You are at one of South Africa's top universities," he informed the diverse crowd of students highlighting the university's achievements. He told them SU excels in academics and sport and is actively involved within the surrounding communities. He encouraged them to participate in activities on and off campus and reach out to local students. "As you become part of the university engage and interact. Get used to the rhythm and smells of Africa," he told them.
It is advice Reda and fellow international students took note of when travelling to South Africa.
A master's students at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, Reda says he looks forward to his time at SU, learning more about international law. Focussing on private military and security companies in his studies, he says there is an opportunity to do research on the ground. "I also like to explore, go on adventures and hikes."
German citizen Hannah Baur will also be at SU for a semester and says looks forward to meet new people. "A friend has been here last semester and he had a great time, so I decided to come for the semester," the University of Konstanz student says.
Also in attendance were Kadiatou Bah, a master's student from Guinea and one of the few international students enrolled for full-time studies. Specialising in Agronomy the Gamal Abdel Nasser University of Conakry student says SU is the best university for her degree. "I want to be the best in agronomy have a successful career in agriculture."
- SU has more than 4000 international students representing over 100 countries.
Photo: Anton Jordaan