In Their Own Words: Students Reflect on 10 Days of Sport in South Africa

This past January, current USF Sport Management students from both Southern California and San Francisco completed their global immersion elective in South Africa. Under the leadership of marketing professor and native South African, Michael Goldman, the students engaged media conglomerates SuperSport International, Cricket South Africa, NBA Africa, and the legacy of the FIFA World Cup through visiting FNB Stadium, among other activities.

The purpose of the global immersion is to provide students with a unique opportunity to study a different culture's sport industry in a global context. As Isabelle Ignacio, '15, stated, "Traveling somewhere new always helps widen your perspective of the world".

Aaliyah Fowler, '15, said, "In South Africa, the country's dynamic and history has made the sports industry focus a lot on development and education. For the most part, they are using sport as a vehicle to unify, to teach, to motivate and inspire, all with the country's culture and ideals in mind."

Reflecting on her experience, Emma Mills, '15, stated, "Economic impact and popularity as a tourist destination can be argued over without end, but there is no question in anyone's mind that the (FIFA World Cup) brought the people of South Africa together."

The best moment of the program occurred when the students provided children of the DreamFields Project with new soccer equipment, the fruits of their fundraising campaign (which was featured in a previous news story). In her own words, Ignacio felt that "the highlight for me was distributing the DreamFields DreamBags (soccer kits) that our group had been fundraising for the past two months. Seeing how excited the students were...and seeing how thankful the school administration was for our gift was an unforgettable experience."