CSU welcomes South African exchange students
Lifting their voices in sweet harmony, students from the University of the Free State (UFS) in South Africa gathered around a microphone clutched by their mentor, Sipho Mnaykeni, and transfixed a crowd on a recent afternoon in the Julka Hall atrium with a stirring rendition of their homeland’s national anthem.
The guests of honor – Thabang Mabuya, Prudence Mphatsoe, Phakamani Msibi, Izak Scholtz, Leonie Seesink, Aldine van der Merwe and Lize van der Merwe – arrived at Cleveland State University on September 21. They’re here under the auspices of Leadership for Change, which aims to expose students to positive models of diversity and racial integration. The exchange program is the brainchild of Professor Jonathan Jansen, vice chancellor of UFS and recipient of an honorary CSU degree.
On hand to officially welcome the South African delegation to CSU during a reception September 25 were Dr. Byron White and Dr. Ralph Mawdsley, as well as Harlan Smith of CSU’s Center for International Services and Programs and other University officials. Dr. Donna Whyte, program manager of the CSU-UFS initiative, emceed the event.
“This is about students learning from each other,” Dr. Whyte said.
CSU students are serving as peer mentors for the UFS students, showing them around campus (they’re staying in the Fenn Tower and Euclid Commons residence halls) and around Cleveland. They’ll be here through October 2.
“Everyone at CSU is so friendly,” said exchange student Prudence Mphatsoe. “We feel like family at this point.”