High School Students Stories

Stories from the heart by YOU……  'You must talk to Africa so that Africa can talk to you'

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