Surrounded by mountains and the sea near the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is also an ideal location to experience the dynamic change in a country that is highly developed, but where millions live in poverty. You witness and participate in the South African effort to deliver health care effectively to the country’s poorer urban and rural residents.
Designed for students interested in health-related careers, this program enables you to examine health care delivery in South Africa. Field visits and placements in the townships surrounding Cape Town and a week-long rural excursion in the northern part of South Africa provide firsthand experience with the many health issues that plague South Africa, and the national effort to improve public health.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible, which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Health Studies and Health Care through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our worldclass professors enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
You take one core course on health care in South Africa with a service learning component. The course focuses on community and township health care services, prevention and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and the efforts to alleviate the country's crisis with HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis.
The course complements the 16-20 hours per week you spend in local community-based learning placements. All student activities take place in terms of strictly administered ethical guidelines. In as far as possible, these guidelines are derived from the local agencies themselves.
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
You participate in a service learning component that improves your understanding of health issues in South Africa. Placements may include:
IES Abroad Cape Town organizes field study trips to health facilities and organizations that complement what you’re learning in the classroom, and contribute to your general knowledge of South African culture and society.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Cape Town, it will feel like home.
You will live in a furnished house or apartment with other students near the University of Cape Town. Housing includes single or double bedrooms; shared bathrooms and kitchens; linens and laundry. Meals are not included. Resident Assistants provide support and cultural exchange.
Part of making you feel at home in Cape Town is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
Begin the program with a trip to Bo-Kaap Kombuis, then visit Muizenberg and Kalk Bay. Orientation sessions also address:
While studying abroad in Cape Town, you will have the opportunity to participate in unique field trips to:
Our main IES Abroad Cape Town Center is conveniently located near the lower campus of the University of Cape Town. Located on the slope of Devil’s Peak in a pleasant suburban area of Cape Town, the scenic campus blends into the natural scenery and provides beautiful views.
We also maintain an office at the University of the Western Cape, in Bellville.
Features at our main Center include computers and a small library and sitting area. Both the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the University of the Western Cape (UWC), feature libraries, museums, theatres and cafes as well as robust sports facilities. At UCT, there is a student shuttle service (the Jammie Shuttle) for those attending classes on its campus. Students at UWC are often within 10-15 minutes walking distance from their classes.
Naomi ClaassenIES Abroad Center Director
Naomi Claassen has been the Director of IES Abroad Cape Town since 2006. She came to IES Abroad from the University of Cape Town, where she served as coordinator of study abroad students for nine years and as a recruiter for the University for six years. Naomi was also a resident Warden at Rochester House, a UCT residence. Naomi earned her diploma in Education at the Western Cape College of Education and has completed an Associate in Management at UCT’s Graduate School of Business. She also has an Advanced Certificate in Adult Education.
IES Abroad Staff
Portia AdamsAdministrative and Finance Officer
Nick ShepherdAcademic Coordinator
Devonne BobbertProgram Assistant
Mr. David StephensHealth and Community Development in South Africa
Ms. Liziwe McDaidEco-Justice in Africa
Dr. Firdouza WaggiePolity, Community Development, Urban Life in South Africa