Slugs of the World: Sameer

Hi travelers! Slugs of the World is a feature where we’ll be interviewing a study abroad returnee once a week to give you some insight on what it’s really like to leave UCSC and experience the world!
Here is Sameer Saleh, a transfer student who studied in South Africa and India.
Sameer in South Africa
Sameer in South Africa

Q: Why did you choose to study in India and South Africa?

A: Choosing to study abroad in South Africa and India really came down to taking myself out my comfort zone and seeing new regions of the world I had not explored before.

Q: Did you experience culture shock?

A: I certainly experienced culture shock, but most of it was the experience of reverse-culture shock. I think going to South Africa and India, I had mentally prepared myself for any of the unexpected, but returning home was a different story. I had been advised on reverse-culture shock but really took none of it to heart and managed to be in disbelief about the whole idea. Of course the advice given wasn’t in vain and coming back home was a mix of emotions and a culture shock I was not expecting.
Q: What was the most interesting thing you ate?
A: Indian street food.
Q: What was your experience like with the academic culture in both countries compared to UCSC?
A: At the University of Cape Town, I felt that the academic culture was very similar to the culture at UCSC. In India, I was at a study center and felt that the culture was significantly different than at UCSC, but largely because the whole program consisted of ten students where classes had as little as two students in a class.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory or experience from your time in both countries?
A: My favorite memory in Cape Town was the time a friend and I were running late heading into town to see a jazz show on what are called taxis, but are actually hop-on hop-off rundown vans that are crammed full of people (significant majority usually being African) that ran out of gas. Helping to push this taxi full of people to the nearest gas station with a few other South Africans ended up being one of my most memorable experiences.
In India, I would have to say one of my most memorable experiences would have to be the general auto-rickshaw rides around town and the one time I randomly saw an elephant coming down the other side of the road while in one.
Q: Transfer students may not know that studying abroad is an option for them, but it definitley is! What would you say to other transfer students interested in studying abroad?
A: As a transfer student, I would encourage other transfer students to look into study abroad as soon as possible and to know that it is very possible to study abroad as a transfer.

Thanks Sameer for sharing! If you have studied abroad you can be featured on Slugs of the World! Send an email to and tell us where you studied.

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