Angela Estigoy, an International Studies major, spent her fall quarter studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. Along with nine other students from Washington state community college’s, Angela studied in Cape Town through the Washington State Community College Consortium for Study Abroad (WCCCSA) program. Students traveled over 15,000 miles to spend the fall quarter living and studying together in Cape Town. Students on the program visited townships, museums, memorials, street fairs, and markets learning about South African life and culture by experiencing and living it. The program was a mix of classroom-based learning with a heavy emphasis on experiential education.

In her own words:

Most memorable moment
“The most memorable moment for me was when we visited the Langa township because it was both so amazing and yet heartbreaking at the same time. The community is so close and happy with what they have that all you see is smiles on children’s faces. I can’t even begin to describe.”

Biggest learning outcome
“The biggest learning outcome I would say would be that the people in South Africa are not so different from us. They go through the same problems, talk about the same things, and are just like me and you. I’ve met some great people during my time there and have continued to keep in touch with them.”

How has studying abroad impacted your future?
“I’ve studied abroad twice now: Costa Rica and South Africa. And I must say that even though I hadn’t the slightest clue of what I wanted to do going into those two trips, I eventually found what I was looking for at the most unexpected time, place, and reason. After a couple years of being frustrated at myself for not knowing what I wanted to pursue, it came at the right time because studying abroad led me to it. It showed me that I didn’t want to be confined to just one space, one place in this huge world we are living in and that I wanted to leave it better than how I came into it. While I was in South Africa I declared my major and promised myself that I would do what makes me happy and what would make the people I help even happier.”

“I would definitely encourage other students to study abroad because there is just no substitute for experience. Out of the many things you should do in college, studying abroad has to be one of them. You not only learn a lot about yourself but about others and the world around you. It gives you the opportunity to see things in a whole new perspective and with an open mind and open heart, it will, no doubt, change your life.”