from Colombia to Cape Town for High School Exchange

Isabel Gallego
Project: High School prgram

During the first half-year of 2013 I made an exchange program in Cape Town, South Africa. It is not normal for a Colombian to go to South Africa, and I thought it was going to be a nice and different experience. And actually it was the best experience I could ever had. I learnt much more than I expected. I lived in an amazing host family, and they taught me a lot about their culture and about their ways of living, that actually weren´t that different to my hometown. They opened their doors for me, and they made me feel part of the family.

Beside my host family I met a lot of nice people at school, where I went during the exchange.

I made stronger friendships in six months than I could ever had made here in a lifetime. I met people I will never forget and I was in places I would always remember. Even though the culture is not so different as the culture in Colombia, I had a completely different life there. I went to the school walking and I lived near to the beach. I used public transport, while in Colombia I am used to get everywhere with the car. It was amazing to take the train and the taxi. It helped me to become more independent. Cape Town is a beautiful and huge city. At the beginning I never thought I could ever be able to get to any place alone. But actually it was very easy to take the public trasnport and I had the opportunity to see beautiful places by my own.


Sometimes it is sad to look back and think about the amazing people I met and left there. But I am lucky to have those beautiful memories, and I would never change this experience for anything.


Someone told me once that everyone who goes to South Africa leave a part of their hearts there. I thought he was exagerating, but at the moment I left South Africa I knew he was right, and a part of my heart was left behind.


Isabel Gallego