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Isabel Brostella sends a postcard from Cape Town

Each month, CAMD encourages students on co-op to share a “Postcard” that gives a sense of the co-op experience. After seeing architecture major Isabel Brostella’s beautiful photos on Instagram, we asked her to create a slideshow and answer a few questions about her co-op placement in Cape Town, South Africa.

Where is your placement?

I am currently working for six months at Design Space Africa Architects, a firm located in Cape Town, South Africa.

Could you share a few photos from your placement?

Pictures can’t fully capture my experience living here but hopefully they can give a sense of it:


What are you learning?

Just by working in a city I have never been to before without anything from back home [Panama City, Panama], I have learned so much more than I expected. I have learned everything from the basics of folding plans to how to use new professional programs. Additionally, I have been able to reinforce skills I already had by using them regularly on the job.

What academic experiences helped prepare you for this placement?

Studying architecture at Northeastern University challenges you not only to learn about historical and modern architecture but also to adjust your approach for different types of projects. Studios helped me prepare for this internship by giving me an idea of how architecture works in real life.

How has this placement affected your plans for next semester and the future?

This co-op has shown me that by traveling, I am able to learn strategies for working in different contexts. Every country has different laws, restrictions, and construction techniques that are interesting to learn about – you never know what the future holds or where you might go next.

What’s the most fun/interesting/unique thing you’ve done/experienced in South Africa?

As part of my internship, I designed the presentation/exposition for Luyanda Mpahlwa in the 7th Milde McWilliams Memorial Lecture in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Every weekend there is something I learn, see, and do that changes my life a little. There is no place like South Africa and I wouldn’t think twice about recommending working here to other students.