Tygerberg’s newest ‘Abe’ awed by UK tour

Fifth-year medical student, Nick Wayne, received the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary.
Last year the fifth-year medical student and former Tygerberg Student Council (TSC) chairperson, Nick Wayne, was awarded the prestigious Abe Bailey Scholarship that gives selected students the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom. The objective of this travel bursary is to broaden the views of young South Africans by enabling outstanding students who show exceptional leadership qualities and a strong service ethic. Wayne recounts his experience:
 
In July 2016 I was selected for the Abe Bailey Scholarship that includes a travel bursary to the UK. The Scholarship was inaugurated in the 1950s and has seen over 800 influential alumni in spheres of business, politics and academia. The scholarship is described as follows:
 
“Bursaries are awarded to persons who are academically strong and who show exceptional leadership qualities and service, not only in student affairs, but also within a wider social context and who are able to function as part of a select and highly skilled group.”
 
It is a grueling bursary selection process: 40 students applied from Stellenbosch University alone, and there were hundreds of eligible and impressive applications from all over the country. But only 17 students were selected – one from each university in the country. Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen was the last Tygermatie to receive the scholarship in 2013. 
 
On 22 November 2017 the tour started right here in Cape Town with a three-day tour of the fairest Cape. During this time, each student had to present a topic to the group and I prepared a talk on Addiction and Substance-Use Disorders.
 
On November 25 we left for Ethiopia where we visited the African Union Headquarters and met South African delegates and ministers attending a Trade Summit. The following day we set off to London where we stayed at the historic Goodenough College, where “Abes” (as Abe Bailey Bursars are affectionately called) have stayed for the past 50 years. 
 
We spent a week in London, visiting museums, castles and galleries in the day and enjoying different plays on the West-End every evening. The tour met with MPs from the House of Commons, Lords from the House of Lords and a London Mayor. Some students even met with her majesty, the Queen of England at Goodenough College, but unfortunately most of the group, including myself, was in Bath at the time.
 
The tour was incomparable and no expense was spared to ensure that we experienced every aspect of British culture. The food was one of my favourite parts of the tour as we enjoyed three-course dinners most nights. Everything was paid for including inner-city travel, entrance to all sites and tickets to all events. Each bursar was also gifted some pocket money, which allowed me to travel to Europe after the completion of the tour.
 
The following week we visited Bath, and then we were off to Cambridge for two days where we stayed at Corpus Christi College. We also visited Oxford, where we stayed in the famous Randolph Hotel, and met with old “Abes” and Rhodes scholars studying at Oxford. 
 
Travelling in the symbolic red coach, the tour set off to Stratford-upon-Avon where we spent the evening watching The Tempest. After a long bus ride, we arrived in Edinburgh, which was unanimously everyone’s favourite city. The tour ended in the Highlands of Scotland at a breath-taking lodge called The Burn where we spent four days lazing around and reading books. During the day we would also discuss pertinent South African issues, and walk to ancient Scottish forts and glens. 
 
I was fortunate enough, with the money I saved on Abe Bailey, to travel to Bohemia and Germany. 
 
It was a life-changing experience!
 
A special vote of thanks to the offices of the Vice-Rectors, the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and most notably to the International Office of Stellenbosch University for affording me this opportunity.
 
Nicholas Wayne