In Cape Town, every day will be like a choose-your-own-adventure book, with outdoor activities to enjoy, South African residents to meet, and African cultures to learn.
While in South Africa, register for three to five courses at South Africa's leading research university, the University of Cape Town (UCT), which is located in a pleasant suburban area five miles from the City Center. UCT is South Africa's oldest university and has undergone incredible change since its opening, particularly since the end of apartheid, working to make quality higher education available to students regardless of race. UCT is officially recognized for its strengths in African Studies, Biology, Botany, Business, Environmental Sciences, History, Mathematics, Engineering, Sociology, and Anthropology.
Service learning in and around Cape Town is a core component in our program as it helps you understand some of Cape Town's most pressing social issues, while contributing your skills toward a community-driven solution. Our service learning course options in Environmental Studies, Health Studies and Sociology include completing 60 hours of volunteer work while in Cape Town. With your help, you can make a small, but life-changing contribution through community-driven projects. These hours can be spent volunteering with other local organizations as you prepare for your final research paper. UCT students often join SHAWCO, the Unversity's volunteer program, as their organized placements will give you practical exposure to topics you're learning about at UCT. Through these opportunities, you will get a first-hand look at the city's society and issues affecting different groups in Cape Town.
Cape Town will be your classroom. From visiting local gems like the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Castle of Good Hope, we challenge you to take full advantage of South Africa’s beautiful climate and geography. We also take you on an optional field trip to Kruger National Park for a game drive with one of Kruger’s experienced game rangers. Hopefully your adventure will include seeing the “Big Five” game animals: the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros.
We want you to feel at home in South Africa, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible. Get to know South Africa in a way only IES Abroad can show you.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Arrive at the airport between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in order to be picked up by IES Abroad staff. You will be responsible for making your way to your IES Abroad housing if your flight falls outside of this timeframe. If your flight arrives before or after this time, please be sure to that your arrival information is reflected in your Arrival form and that your IES Abroad advisor is informed of your plans as soon as possible.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with the University of Cape Town.
You take 15–19 credit hours per semester. IES Abroad offers service learning courses in Community Development for Health Studies and Polity through an in-depth and hands-on approach. While optional, these courses are strongly recommended.
You create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
IES Abroad syllabi are available at http://www.IESAbroad.org/capetown.
After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
About the University of Cape Townwww.uct.ac.za
The oldest university in South Africa, the University of Cape Town is also South Africa’s leading research institution. International students make up about 20% of the total enrollment at the University. UCT is located in the suburbs near the Cape Town City Center. Your commute time to campus will be between 15-30 minutes, which is common for local students.
Most courses at UCT are lecture-based, and usually met between two and five days per week. Lectures are often accompanied by tutorials, which are much smaller classes and allow you to work through concepts covered during the lecture. Past students have found these tutorials to be extremely useful.
You can choose from a variety of courses in the following faculties at the University of Cape Town. For course descriptions, visit the University's Handbooks site.
South Africa-focused courses are available in fields such as Cultural Studies, History, Literature, Photography, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology. You may not enroll in courses in the Health Sciences faculty.
IES Abroad and the University of Cape Town reserve the right to cancel a course due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond our control.
Participating in a service learning experience in Cape Town is one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the city's culture and society. Working alongside local people towards a common goal, you experience first-hand some of the social issues that affect Cape Town, while contributing your skills towards a community-driven solution.
A service learning placement consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by a weekly academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar, you have structure time for reflection, discussion, and research on the issues of your host community. Many of the community organization connections are created through relationships with the IES Abroad faculty. IES Abroad will assist your efforts by facilitating introductions to organizations and through the coordination of group transportation to the location (for IES Abroad class-based community-service).
Each semester, our students work on a different project, depending on the needs of the community or organization where they are volunteering. You will visit the community at the beginning of the semester and return several times during the semester to work on projects that will contribute to the organization long after you return home. At the end of the semester, you are welcome to donate clothing, toiletries, and supplies left from your time in Cape Town to local organizations.
Recent community engagement placements for IES Abroad students include:
You may also participate in UCT-organized service learning opportunities through an organization called SHAWCO (UCT Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation). SHAWCO offers other opportunities for study abroad students to volunteer their time to ongoing service projects. These are non-credit bearing, so many IES Abroad students join SHAWCO as part of their student life experience in Cape Town in addition to spending time working at Egoli.
Get involved in the community and learn about the local culture through field work or field research. For students who take one of the IES Abroad Service Learning courses, 60 hours of your time is committed to field work or research as well as completing a supervised field research project on a topic relating to your course. 20 hours of that requirement will be spent working and volunteering with the community at Egoli, a local informal community that receives no government services like electricity or water.
You may also do your field work or research with a local business, or with various non-governmental organizations. Once on-site, you work with your IES Abroad professor to determine the topic and location of your field research. All placements provide cultural experience and development of professional and personal skills.
In Cape Town, you have two housing options. You may live with other IES Abroad students in a furnished house or apartment near the University of Cape Town. Furnished houses and apartments offer single and double rooms, a communal lounge, and a fully-equipped kitchen area. All houses and apartments are equipped with digital safes and lockable latches on cupboards and wardrobes for safety. Internet access is available but not guaranteed.
You may also choose to live in one of the University of Cape Town Residence Halls with South African and international students. In a furnished single room in a shared living suite, you will have access to a shared kitchen and a private or shared bathroom. All residence hall rooms are equipped with lockable latches to secure your belongings. Internet access is available but not guaranteed.
Part of making you feel at home in Cape Town is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, 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.
Our two-day orientation introduces you to our IES Abroad Cape Town staff, your fellow students, and the city of Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The program begins with a trip along the Garden Route to to Bo-Kaap Kombuis, followed by a visit to Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, situated on the beautiful shores of False Bay. Topics such as academics, housing,transportation, and health and safety are covered during this time.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
During our orientation, you also enjoy a tour of downtown Cape Town and a local township. You also participate in the University of Cape Town’s orientation that gives you details on academics, extracurricular activities, and volunteer opportunities. The international academic program’s office activities include a day-tour around the Cape and the chance to participate in an African-style drumming performance.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Cape Town through cultural events, such as:
Even thoughyour adventure begins in Cape Town, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. These trips are partially subsidized by IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:
3 Days / Orientation
Travel along the south-eastern coast line of South Africa, better known as the Garden Route. Explore the Cango Cave system, tour a wildlife ranch, an ostrich farm, and an elephant sanctuary, and experience the beauty and diversity of the South African landscape as you hike and canoe along the Route.
Kruger National Park/Soweto Township
Explore the beauty and cultures of South Africa on this five-day excursion. This trip begins with a flight to Johannesburg where you will visit the Apartheid Museum and take a bicycle tour through the historic Soweto township. The next day, you’ll travel along the Panorama Route to reach Kruger National Park. A day and a half is spent in Kruger National Park looking for the wide variety of animals who live there, including the Big Five—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo. The final day includes canoeing and relaxing along the Sabie River and Lions Rock. Activities at Victoria Falls and in Mozambique may be added for an additional fee.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Cape Town Center is conveniently located on the Main Road by the University of Cape Town campus. The IES Abroad Cape Town Center is a place where students can stop by and talk to staff, use Wi-Fi, pick up their mail, and read books in the library. The IES Abroad courses are also offered in the Center classroom, and special guest lectures and other events may be held in the Center Space.
Near the Center on Main Road are shops and restaurants, and it is conveniently located within walking distance of the IES Abroad housing as well. 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. The University of Cape Town (UCT) features libraries, museums, theatres and cafes as well as robust sports facilities.
At UCT, there is a free student shuttle service (the Jammie Shuttle) for those attending classes on its campus.
Natanya took up the position of Center Director at the IES Abroad Cape Town Center after working as the Assistant Director of the IES Abroad Center in London and as the Resident Director of an IES Abroad French language summer program in Quebec City, Canada. Originally from South Africa, she graduated from the University Natal (now the University KwaZulu-Natal) in Durban, South Africa where she majored in Spanish and French, and also studied Linguistics, Sociology, Drama, Zulu, and Afrikaans. She has lived in the UK, Argentina and France and has travelled to over 40 other countries around the world. Her prior positions in international education have included the Directorship of the International House in Durham and International Relationship Manager for Western Europe of the CFA Institute.
Along with her devotion to international education, Natanya has a passion for all forms of performing and visual arts from stand up and theater, to dance, photography, and fine art. She has worked as a freelance arts and culture journalist, a copywriter, a script writer, and photographer for a number of publications including the Africa Travel Channel, Saturday Star (part of the Independent Group of newspapers) and a London-based dance magazine, Dance Today.
IES Abroad Staff
Devonne BobbertService Learning & Short Programmes Manager
Mugove ChiwashiraAcademic & Internships Manager
Jody FeltonHousing & Office Manager