Johan at the Helsinki Summer School, Finland


Visa application:

When applying for the visa, go to the website of the Finnish Embassy of Pretoria to read the important information and to download the application form. One very important thing to note is that there will be no fee charged for the visa if you state on your form that you are applying as a student going to follow a course. However, with this option, you will only receive a Schengen visa for the dates of your departure and return to South Africa and it will only be for one entry into Finland. You thus need to keep this in mind if you will be visiting other countries except for Finland.  To apply for the visa, you will need your letter of acceptance from the summer school, bank statement showing you have at least R10,000 available, proof of registration at SU and a letter of recommendation from the SU International stating that you will return to Stellenbosch to finish your studies. 

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Eileen at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand


Planning my Thailand elective was by far one of the most challenging things I have had to do. I had decided at the end of last year already that I wanted to do my 5th year elective in Thailand so that gave me a nice head start. A friend of mine who was planning on doing his elective in Thailand too, suggested a university that we could apply to. So, we decided to do our elective at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. The hospital was established in 1947 and consists of 21 medical departments. There are 1500 beds, 409 physicians and 1177 nurses. Our decision though was mainly based on the fact that the hospital is located in Bangkok, meaning most of the people we would encounter would be able to understand some basic English and so communication would not be a huge obstacle.

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"When it comes to suitcases: backpack beats duffle bag, suitcase with wheels beats backpack and convertible backpack with wheels trumps everything. " Summer School Traveler Corneli Smit