Education in South Africa: Why not Cape Town

Lovers of English Literature, looking to pursue higher studies in English, tend to follow the route to the renowned universities in the world like Oxford, Cambridge – the best places to study English Literature – and even Harvard among other American universities, which has world class reputation. India is also a great place for Literature lovers planning higher studies in English Literature, with not one but numerous universities offering different courses, including JNU and University of Delhi – one the very best across the globe. But due to limited seats in those leading Universities to study English, along with the high cost, many students dig deeper to find other locations to study English, which are comparatively cheaper than and are as effective as those top more expensive peddlers of a good education in the study of English Literature. Places in the entire Australasia opens up other options for students to study English Literature as they offer good courses at minimal cost coupled with affordable living expenses.

Things That Matter

Work permit along with the student visa is something that affects the priority for almost all students who seek education in a foreign country.

Specialization and research in certain areas also attracts students from different countries to specific destinations. For example, universities across the United States of America specifically attract students from all over the world, willing to pursue American Literature and Modernism in particular. Students studying in the United States also have the potential to experience better living conditions, advanced course material and tuition assistance and the potential for lucrative part-time work.

Studying English in Cape Town

Your dreams to pursue the study of English Literature abroad can be achieved quite easily in Cape Town – the coastal city on the southwestern side of South Africa. This foremost university in Africa – the University of Cape Town – has one of the best English Departments in the world. It is among the best places to pursue Postcolonial Literature. University of Cape Town gets numerous applications from all over the world every year. The city also features not one but many language schools which offer distinct courses in English Language. The city’s beauty is one of the main reasons students from all over the world wish to study here.

Higher Studies at UCT

University of Cape Town is listed at 103rd spot on the rankings of 2010-2011 issued by the Times Group for the best universities in the world. It is also featured on the list of QS World University Rankings at the 156th position in the year 2011. Holding the top spot among all universities within Africa, UCT offers various courses for scholars of English Literature. The faculty features Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee as well as eminent film critic and Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert Ebert, among its alumni. The University of Cape Town promises quality education for each student it admits. Apart from a highly diversified undergrad course, the university offers post-graduate programs ranging from Creative Writing to Linguistics. Research scholars in English Literature also have options at UCT to pursue their area of interest in an environment full of renowned scholars and philosophers. The University also has a spectacular placement record for both graduate and post graduate students, which promises great career opportunities.

3 Character Traits of Successful Vocal Students

This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it means different things to different people. Many students are extremely motivated in spurts-deciding that they will work on vocal exercises for two weeks, 8 hours a day, or that they will get that impossible Whitney Houston song down by doing nothing but singing it for a month. Much more successful are the patient students who, over the course of months or years rather than days or weeks, combine practicing vocal exercises and working on a song or two every day, even if they only have time to put in 10 to 15 minutes a day. Learning to sing well is much more comparable to an endurance race than to a sprint.

It’s not that putting hours of work into a song right before an audition or performance is a waste of time. If you have a strong foundation to build on, taking a week or two to devote long hours to a song can be just what you need to make you competitive. But a few weeks of very hard work is not going to make up for years of consistent work, any more than swimming 20 hours a day for a few weeks will prepare you to be an Olympic swimmer. Like any exercise, consistent vocal exercises will slowly strengthen your voice, increase your range, and build positive muscle memory over a period of time.

2. A playful, unselfconscious, fearless attitude

At the risk of making this sound like a self-help pamphlet, I’d like to say that I can’t stress this one enough. While doing regular vocal exercises is indispensable for significant improvement, so is having fun with your practice. Your voice teacher can explain technique to you and give you music to work on, but he or she probably only sees you, at the very most, a couple of hours a week. If he is only giving you feedback based on what your voice is doing at a given moment, and not what it can do in general, his advice is necessarily limited. My most successful students play around with songs to see what their voices can do at home. Often, one of them will come in with 6 different possible ways she found to hit a note and then ask me which one I prefer. Unsurprisingly, tinkering students like this will improve faster than ones who wait for voice lessons before thinking about how they might improve a song.

It is not only playfulness, but also a certain fearlessness that these students have. No matter how talented and hard-working a student is, if she is unwilling to sound silly and make mistakes while she tries new ways to sing, it will be a long haul before she breaks out of her current habits.

3. An aptitude for listening and imitating a wide range of music

I know this one may get me in trouble with a number of voice teachers, and with good reason, so please keep reading before writing me off. Let me preface this by saying that I do not believe students should simply copy other singers. Every singer has his or her own unique tone and set of abilities. Some students will very comfortably use a chesty mix (i.e. they will sound like they are belting) up to a high Eb, while others will strain if they try to pull the chesty sound past A above middle C. Imitating another singer too closely may get you into trouble if your voice is simply built differently from that singer.