Student of the Term - Jacob Kaady

Please meet PSU Education Abroad's Student of the Term, Jacob Kaady. Jacob studied abroad with CIEE Open Campus in three locations (England, South Africa, and Italy) during the winter and spring terms 2019. Over the 18 weeks, he was able to earn 27 credits and have the time of his life! Read more about Jacob's experience below.


THAT EXPERIENCE [in a South African township] made me realize that the people who have the least are the people who give the most."

- Jacob Kaady


"In my time abroad I spent 6 weeks in 3 different cities starting in London, then going down to Cape Town, finally finishing in Rome. Along the way I took a lot of little weekend trips, the first one being to Lagos Portugal. It was an amazing weekend, we stayed in an Airbnb right on the beach and one of the days we chartered a yacht. The last morning we decided to go paddle boarding around the coast, where we were able to go into small caves and see some really cool fish in the shallow parts. One of my favorite weekend trips was to Bath, England where I got to see the ancient Roman baths and on the way back we stopped at Stonehenge, such an amazing experience! I also took weekend trips to Florence, Madrid, Amsterdam, and Sicily. I was able to experience all of these amazing cities with friends I made within the program.

When I was in London and Rome I didn’t really feel that much of cultural difference from the states. The only time I experienced the difference was when I was on The Tube in London and an elderly lady was looking me up and down, which is weird because a part of their culture is to not look at anyone or make eye contact on the tube. When I noticed this woman looking at me I simply said, “Hi how are you?”

She responded with “You’re from America aren’t you?”

“It’s that obvious? What was the giveaway?”

She looked at me for a second before she responded and you could tell she was really thinking. Then she said, “YOU’RE HUGE!” I just laughed and got off The Tube since we had just arrived at my station.

The real cultural differences were in Cape Town. Though it is such a naturally beautiful city, you can just feel the inequality as you walk the streets. The divide between rich/poor and white/black is so clear. You could be at the beach in the morning and see all the mega-mansions, then drive out to the wine lands and pass all the townships where extreme poverty is. One day my friend and I decided to go walk around one of these townships and talk to the people of the community. Not many gave us the time of day, but one man was nice enough to talk to us for about an hour. His name is Babusi, he has a wife and two kids. He had lived in the township his entire life and has had opportunities to leave but he can’t bring himself to do it because he is so connected to the community. After this amazing conversation, my friend and I were about to walk away when Babusi says “My wife has just finished making dinner, we would love for you two to join us.” Of course, we said yes. The food was amazing and the conversation even better. They made us feel like family, sharing everything they had with us, from their food and clean water to their stories, all the way to the kids showing us some of the things that they were learning in school. That experience made me realize that the people who have the least are the people who give the most."

- Jacob Kaady (June 2019)

Leaning Tower of Pisa Jacob Kaady

Jacob Kaady  Jacob Kaady

Jacob Kaady