News & Features, October 2016

He came a long way to SAU but feels right at home

Andreas Castro is a junior from Colombia – no, not Columbia, South Carolina. Castro travelled a bit farther than to come to Saint Augustine’s University. He is from Colombia, the country in South America.

The systems engineering major is one of a small number of students from overseas that the university gets each year. They come for a variety of reasons. For Castro, it was a desire to perfect his English and to experience something new.

He has not been disappointed. “Coming to the city of Raleigh and being in America was different” from being back home, he said. “It has been an amazing experience because, here, there is a mix of every culture and it gives you the opportunity to relate to all the people who live right here in America.”

But Castro does not regret his decision to attend college so far from home. “My relationship with [other students] is amazing because they make me feel at home,” he said. “They are so friendly and nice.”

Had Castro attended college in his home country, he would not have had the opportunity to live in a college environment. The universities he could have attended in Colombia do not offer on-campus housing, he explained. Castro lives in the Falk Crest dormitory.

But, though the American college experience may help students forge closer bonds, it does not last as long as the college experience in Colombia. “Back in South America, going to school is required for five years,” he explained.

Because of the different requirements to graduate, Castro will have to return home to Colombia after graduating from Saint Augustine’s for an extra year of study. After that, he plans to attend graduate school – though he is not sure exactly where.

Castro does know that he intends to start his own company some day. For now, he is continuing to learn about the United States – and making a few friends and admirers along the way. Among them is Kendrick Cunningham, a junior elementary education major.

“Andreas is a very intellectually well rounded man who has strong desire to create mutual awareness of different cultures in the world,” Cunningham said.

— Sterling Raynor