Traveler Bio

Molo (Xhosa for "Hello")! My name is Mattie Webb and I am currently living abroad in South Africa. I was raised in the small town of Crozet, Virginia, and I am currently a 28-year old PhD candidate and teacher at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The similarities between the United States and South Africa always fascinated me, and as an undergraduate at North Carolina State University, I decided to write my thesis on that topic. After completing my Master's degree in Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I moved to California for my PhD in History.

After a few years of taking courses, I was fortunate to receive a US. Fulbright Research Grant to do oral historical and archival research in South Africa. Since arriving in June, I’ve traveled all over the country, and most recently have plans to split time between Makhanda and Cape Town. My research involves speaking with locals about their experiences living and working during the apartheid era, which was a period of legalized separation of the races in South Africa. I love learning new languages, and thankfully South Africa has 11 of them. I have learned some Xhosa, Zulu, and Afrikaans, all of which have helped me communicate with others.

I am so excited to share my experiences with you throughout the year!