CCC student embraces sustainability, explores cultures

Date: Tuesday, 21st March 2023

CCC student Kai Williams will be traveling to Mexico this summer as part of a Study Abroad program at the college.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The pandemic dashed her family's plans for a post-graduation trip to Europe, but she remains undeterred in her desire to travel the world.


Now CCC study abroad trip will give Williams the chance. The trip, organized by faculty member Katie Schwartz, will focus on culture, meaning no language prerequisite is required. Students will have the chance to visit several iconic destinations, including the capital of Mexico, La Ciudad de Mexico or Mexico City, the Teotihuacan Pyramids, the capital of the Aztec Empire Xochimilco, and the Frida Kahlo Museum.


Williams said, “I heard about the study abroad trip to Mexico from my Spanish teacher, Katie Schwartz, and others in the class seemed eager too.”


Growing up in Tucson, she yearned to break free from her hometown and seek out adventure elsewhere.  So, she jumped at the chance. Despite only having a basic grasp of the Spanish language, Kai knows immersing herself in a Spanish-speaking country will help her improve her language skills and gain a more nuanced understanding of the cultural contexts of her knowledge of Mexican culture.


Williams also embraces the college's commitment to sustainability by studying environmental sustainability. She is also excited to learn about how Mexico approaches sustainability and conservation challenges. Still, as it is for many others, the prospect of being in a foreign country can be daunting for Kai. The idea of stepping outside her comfort zone and emerging into a culture she hasn’t been a part of, and engaging with other people you have never met can be challenging.


Williams said she finds the time she will travel and have to communicate alone the most terrifying.


She said, “I also find it the most exciting.”


She added that she recognizes the importance of cross-cultural communication skills in today's increasingly globalized world.


“I look forward to exploring the city, trying new foods, and meeting locals,” she said.


Williams emphasized wanting to gain a unique perspective on the history and culture of Mexico. She also hopes that her experiences in Mexico will deepen her appreciation for Mexican culture and broaden her perspective on the world and her place in it. She said she believes that traveling abroad will help her to develop skills that will be invaluable in her future academic and professional pursuits.


In addition to her educational endeavors and vocational ventures, Williams said she is a lover of art and is particularly drawn to the works of Frida Kahlo. She wrote a report on Kahlo when she was younger and has always been fascinated by Kahlo's life and work.


“Being able to visit her home would be a dream come true,” Williams said, adding that she is inspired to learn about Kahlo’s rich history and gain a deeper understanding of Kahlo's artistic vision and the cultural context in which she lived.


The deadline for this summer’s trip has passed, but there are plenty of opportunities one can find by visiting


- Matthew Cowser

CCC PR/Marketing Intern




All Dates

  • Tuesday, 21st March 2023