foreign student in South Africa

You know you’re a foreign student in South Africa when…

1. People say “now”, “now now” and “just now” all the time and you’re constantly confused as to when, exactly.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

2. Someone’s explained rugby to you.  You pretended to understand.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

3. You’re constantly converting to miles, pounds or degrees Fahrenheit.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

4. You find the South African accent ‘sexy’.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

5. Never ever has free WiFi made you this happy.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

6. You want locals to pronounce their names at least four times.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

7. The exchange rate has you feeling like a high roller…

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

8. But you tell your parents everything is “crazy expensive”.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

9. You thought you aced your first assignment in the third world. You didn’t.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

10. After all the queues and paperwork, your student visa finally gets approved.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

11. You see good-looking people everywhere.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

12. You’ve started calling traffic roundabouts, “circles”.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

13. You’ve never  seen so many people walk around barefoot.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

14. Someone you hardly know has greeted you with a kiss on the mouth.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

15. Power’s out…

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

16. You’re disproportionately excited when you meet someone from back home.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

17. You think calling traffic lights ‘Robots’ is ridiculous, but do it to prove you’re ‘down with the local lingo’.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

18. Someone spoke to you in a local language and you just stood there like…

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

19. Your approach to all the cheap South African food is…

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

20. You’ve been shunned for calling a ‘braai’ a ‘barbeque’.

You know you're an exchange student in SA when.

Let us know what quirky South African-isms we’ve left out in the comments section below. Keen to study in South Africa? Get a Free Assessment for your South African visa now, or read more about South African study visas. SAvisas.com – The South African visa experts.

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Posted in blog, Live In SA, Study in SA, Study visa and tagged .

24 Comments

  1. You are surprised in a restaurant that you were given “fries” instead of “potato chips”.

  2. Pingback: Changing the World One Book at a Time | South African Journey

  3. People say ASwell as apposed to asWELL which i personally started saying without even knowing it!

  4. 1.Calling Ketchup “Tomato Sauce” so people don’t look at you funny.
    2. Also speaking English in weird accents because everyone here (who cant really speak English) do it to make their English seem better and you don’t want to seem like the only one in a group of people not talking in say… a Russian accent?
    3. Everyone (even the university) using PC’s instead of mac’s
    4. The places to go an have a drink and dance a bit aren’t called clubs, bars, or pubs…. they are called “kuier plekke”
    5. The “kuier plekke” are characterized by the the form of dancing. The places that don’t have dancing, the places that have club dancing and the places that have coupled dancing. Oh and then to screw with your mind there are places where one side is “boere” music for couples dancing and the other side for club dancing… where the dub step and remix music is never ending.
    6. …”SOKKIE” when guys try to dance with you but you cant figure out which beats they are stepping on. When a guy blames you for not being able to dance cuz you are not from South Africa but actually he has the rhythm of a rock…
    7. Prepaid EVERYTHING!!! Airtime, electricity, even internet. (Cant I just have my minutes and data on my phone on a monthly bases without it being a contract phone?

  5. A bakkie is a yut
    Sweets are lollies
    End every sentence with, really shame man or SERIOUS
    When your tannie or pom is really your biological aunt or uncle!

  6. You take a sip of your white wine and it’s warm… So thAt’s what the bowl of ice is for…

  7. -When the alphabet as you know it… does not exist
    g = kh/back of the throat dry sounding thingy
    tj = ch
    c= click of sorts
    x= another cllick of sorts
    _insert-letter-here +j = another ch sound
    -When you hate being THE black person in either a) a predominantly black area or b) a shop where the patron may not be black but the person who’s tending to you is and you all of a sudden have to do that long awkward explanation of why your skin is black but your Understanding of languages does not extend to any 9 of the 11 official languages…

  8. Eraser = rubber
    Filling station = garage
    their ID document is a booklet, not a card.
    Most of your South African friends/ classmates dont have passports

  9. You absolutely love biltong but get shunned for calling it jerkey.
    You’ve learnt what ouma rusks are and that it goes well with coffee.
    It annoys you to bits that the movies here always appear later than at home.
    You now know that the closest thing to lions in our back yards are in fact just house cats.
    People stare at you when you take photos of hadidas.

  10. Hahahahah I live in South Africa and I have never really noticed how much I use the word “Shame”…I actually do that allot! haha

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