Our combined TCLoc/CAWEB study trip to Cape Town marked an excellent start for the TCLoc program, since Cape Town is currently Africa’s biggest tech and digital marketing hub.

The program included no less than five full days of presentations, discussions, and visits to some of Africa’s most well-known universities, language service providers, and communication and digital marketing agencies. It was very useful and stimulating, and we manage to take the following five benefits from the experience:

1. The importance of mingling

Despite coming from different places, backgrounds, and cultures, the students quickly warmed up to each other during the first group dinner. We got to know more about each other’s backgrounds, interests, and professional experiences. This was, and remains, vital to building collaborations, and will enable us to accomplish joint projects both during, and after, our studies.

2. Networking with businesses leaders

The second highlight was networking with the people in the companies we visited, such as Rhino Africa, Folio Online and ST Communications. They, in turn, did not hesitate to show their interest in us as potential future employees or business partners.

3. Exploring the practical side

Getting to know the inner workings of global agencies like Rhino Africa and Infestation was very useful for us. We gained a clearer understanding of what digital marketing, web development, project management, and technical communication look like in the real job market. The trip gave us a good picture of the kinds of careers we can pursue after our master’s studies.

4. Going international

Almost all localization companies are multicultural because of the nature of their work. They have clients around the world, in addition to many international partners. Visiting these companies showed us the type of markets in which they are looking to to find a niche. We are now more aware of what our future careers will involve, as well as the benefits of working with multicultural colleagues.

5. Choosing a path

The TCLoc and CAWEB master’s programs lead to different specialities, including technical writing, web design, project management, marketing, translation, and localization. However, at the beginning of the trip, the majority of students did not have a clear idea of what career paths they wanted to follow. Our time in Cape Town was a good opportunity for each student to select a domain on which to focus during his/her studies.

The benefits of the Cape Town trip, of course, are not limited to these points. Many thanks to Dr. Renate de la Paix for the innovative idea of organizing this trip, and best wishes for a successful continuation of the program to all those who joined us.