When it comes to studying overseas, finding a place to stay can be, at times stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. Many international studies students find edinburgh apartments to rent the best fit. International affairs education finds itself in an uncertain time. On the one hand, it is easy to be pessimistic. It would be understandable if the extraordinary divisiveness of this present moment of American politics, and the scorn poured upon public servants and members of the so-called “blob” or “swamp” — including by the president of the United States — chilled young people’s interest in pursuing studies that might lead to a career in government or diplomacy. This effect is much worse for students coming from abroad, an increasingly large pool of potential candidates for American schools of international affairs and other including the Ascot International School in Thailand. Moving from your home country to study for a year or two in the United States involves sacrifice, and no doubt young people from Beijing to Bogota to Berlin must wonder how they will be welcomed in the United States in this current political environment.
This paper examines the slummification of a university village in post-1994 South Africa. Universities are considered to be the main influence on the character of the host town and its spatial development. Although little work has been done in global southern rural contexts, researchers have studied the impact of students on host towns, and processes such as studentification. By examining the heterogeneous associations at play here it can be argued that relationships among actors are characterised by disconnections, and incongruent, often conflicting actions. In consequence, and ironically, these planning processes have transformed the village into a slum, a paradoxical response to the need for student housing. Drawing on qualitative methods, this paper examines the institutional actors and processes that led to the slummification of the village, drawing out the complex and conflicting roles of local and traditional authorities and the actions of the University.
Nothile P. Ndimande
University of Zululand, South Africa
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