What I Did in Cape Town
Past Cape Town Student Ambassadors
Paloma Moreno Jimenez
...I ended up taking some of my favorite classes during my time in Cape Town. I loved the focus on a more interdependent and critically engaging style of teaching. In various of my courses, professors went beyond my expectations of usual Stanford classes and pushed me to engage critically, internally and externally, with my peers and with myself, on the topics we discussed. Many times the discussions extended outside the classroom time and to our dorms and dinnertime.
I'm originally from Ethiopia and I've always wanted to travel to other African nations. Seeing that Cape Town is the only full-quarter study abroad program in Africa, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to travel and learn about colonialism from a country that has and continues to address its colonial past. I was also really interested in the internship opportunities the program offered. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience in Cape Town!
Studying abroad in Cape Town allowed me to open my mind to a completely new field of study that I likely would never have had the opportunity to consider while on campus. So, while my time in Cape Town did not have the direct academic benefits of contributing to my major of Biology, I was able to widen the breadth of my learning at Stanford in a way that I find extremely beneficial.
I was strongly encouraged by my major and other peers to apply to the program to not only compliment my studies by engaging in race relations in a different context, but to take advantage of the many opportunities that Stanford provides.
Lilia Chang (Management Science and Engineering) - Winter 2017-18
Being abroad forces you to take classes normally not in your catalog. I chose to take a class in Xhosa, one of the eleven officially recognized languages in South Africa and the most dominant black ethnic language. Although it was just two units, it allowed me to converse with Uber drivers and students of mine -- being a little bit conversational in another's native language can take you a long way.
Lucy Arnold (Human Biology) - Winter 2017-18
The Cape region is an incredible place to study and learn because virtually everywhere you go, the apartheid legacy is fresh and mixed with ongoing social, cultural, and political struggles. Whether your classes focus on local history, social injustices in urban planning, or Xhosa language, it is all surrounding you in daily Cape Town life.
Dan Trunzo (English) - Winter 2016-17
Before I went to Cape Town, I was very excited about the program but also fairly nervous. I vaguely knew one or two people going out of our entire cohort which was intimidating. When I met with Julie-Anne, the engaged learning coordinator, about my placement in Autumn, we were still trying to find the best fit. I was excited about the class offerings, meeting an entirely new group of people, and experience a new place with an incredibly rich history. My goal was to arrive in Cape Town with an open mind. I knew that as long as I was open to new experiences and stories, I would grow.
I found that approaching Cape Town with an open mind was essential because as I found out, any preconceived notions I did have were shattered.
Malia Wakinekona (Psychology) - Winter 2016-17
On a whim, I enrolled in the course History of South African during my freshman fall at Stanford. It was the second class of my college career and I was scared and nervous to be in a room full of mostly upperclass-men. From the moment Professor Campbell began his first lecture, I knew it was and still would be one of the greatest classes I took while at Stanford. In short, I choose to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa because it was a once in a lifetime experience to contextualize, experience, and feel the history of a place that I was so mesmerized by in those first 10 weeks of my freshman fall.
Divya Gopisetty (Human Biology) - Spring 2015-16
I chose to study abroad to allow myself to grow and learn in new ways, particularly through interacting with South Africans who work and study in Cape Town. Cape Town also appealed to me because of the complexities of post-apartheid society, as well as the beautiful scenery of the region.
Alex Ramsey (African and African American Studies) - Winter 2015-16
Studying in Cape Town gave me the chance to take classes I wouldn’t have had time to at Stanford, as well as classes I would have never thought to take at Stanford. It also gave me space to reflect on my academic career and thinking about my future more clearly.
Alec Hogan (International Relations) - Winter 2014-15
My decision to study abroad in Cape Town was directly tied to my personal and academic interests surrounding race, politics, urban studies and African history, as well as my desire to explore the natural beauty of the city and surrounding areas.