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. 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, observational visits to local health facilities, service work in a township near 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 a unique course that explores 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. These guidelines are derived from the local agencies.
Students spend their time in morning observational sessions at local health facilities and their afternoons in lectures for the course.
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 by volunteering in the clinics and health centers.
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 IES Abroad students. Housing includes single or double bedrooms; shared bathrooms and kitchen; 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:
Also, several activities around Cape Town will be organized, such as a winery tour, a day trip to the Cape Peninsula and Robben Island, and attendance at a rugby match or concert. These are included in the cost of your program.
About the Center
Our main IES Abroad Cape Town Center is conveniently located near the lower campus of the University of Cape Town in Mowbray right next to UCT Student Wellness Centre. 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.
In our Center space, you may meet with IES Abroad staff and borrow books/videos from our small library. The University of Cape Town (UCT) features libraries, museums, theatres and cafes as well as robust sports facilities. There is also a small sitting area.
At UCT, there is a student shuttle service (the Jammie Shuttle) for those attending classes on its campus.
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
Errol ValentineProgram Manager
Mr. David Stephens
Mrs. Leticia PoggenpoelHealth and Community Development in South Africa
Ms. Liziwe McDaid
Mrs. Lynette MunroEco-Justice in Africa
TBCPolity, Community Development, Urban Life in South Africa