Sofia Spjuth and Sara Elomri, Nursing programme, Minor Field Studies in South Africa

In our 6th semester we, Sofia and Sara, traveled to South Africa for 8 weeks to conduct our bachelor thesis in nursing.

We had quite spontaneously went to a meeting regarding minor field studies and decided on the spot to apply for the scholarship. We had both always been interested in global affairs and traveling, and could not think of any better way to do that simultaneously with the remaining studies of our bachelor programme. After the meeting we begun thinking about where in the world we would like to conduct our thesis and quickly narrowed down the approximately 150 available countries, down to two remaining ones, Vietnam and South Africa.

A few days later we decided that we wanted to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, and begun the process of applying for the scholarship. We wanted to do a semi-structured interview study regarding ‘the nursesrole in the care of females with urinary incontinence and found a private hospital in Cape Town. We had to, in addition to the MFS application, send in an application to the hospitals’ Research Operations Committee. The research application at the hospital took a great deal of time and energy, and turned out to be a lot more difficult than imagined. However, the application was finally approved and so was the one for the MFS scholarship.

We booked the flights and an apartment through ‘Airbnb’, received all the necessary vaccinations and were on the 24th of August - 18, on our way to Cape Town. Approximately 20h later we arrived and it did not take long until we both had fallen in love with this fantastic city.

We loved the city, the people, the food, the nature, the climate and the lifestyle. The people were so kind and helpful, the food was absolutely amazing, with all kinds of different food from everywhere in the world. The nature was incredible, there was so many beautiful places we got to see during our time in Cape Town. The lifestyle they have in Cape Town was very relaxed, there is not as much noticeable stress as we are used to, you take everyday as it comes and try to live the best way possible.

This experience was one of the best in our lives. We learnt so much about ourselves, we became more independent when we were in a whole new country. We had to learn everything from the start and everything was completely new. We got to know new people and see new places. During this time, as we both wrote our thesis in English and spoke english everyday, it made us feel even more confident in using the English language.

The advice we would like to give other students is to take the chance and do MFS, go to another country and experience a new world. It will be the best time of your life and you are not going to regret it. It is a lot of work before you end up going, with all the paperwork and finding an organisation to use for the thesis method. But it is worth it, every hour and every minute.