10 Undeniable Reasons Cape Town is the Best Place to Study Abroad

Mary Kaitlin Enright
March 23, 2020

If you’re on the fence about studying abroad, or if you’re sure you want to and not sure where to go, or even if you’ve already decided where to study abroad, here’s why to change your mind and go to Cape Town—even in a nifty little 10 Reasons Why!

1. The weather

I’m writing this after an 82-degree day at the beach in mid- March. Need I say more? Because Cape Town is on the other side of the equator, the seasons are flipped upside down. This means that if you study abroad in the Spring, and arrive in January, you will be arriving at the peak of Summer! The weather is beautiful, not to mention the scenery that goes along with it (more to come on that later...) and it makes the experience just that much better.

2. It’s affordable

The economy is very different in South Africa than it is in other countries, and that means that our U.S. Dollar, as well as the currencies in many other countries, are very powerful in South Africa. Additionally, generally speaking, the cost of living is much lower in Cape Town than in other cities of popular study abroad programs. It is relatively inexpensive to spend a semester here while being able to truly enjoy everything that it has the offer.

3. The people

One of the trademark characteristics of Cape Town, and South Africa as a whole, is the friendliness of its people, and it shows. Upon arrival in Cape Town, everyone that I met was and has continued to be kind, welcoming, and so excited to share their beautiful city with me. Students are eager to learn about you, and the IES Abroad staff are a group of the warmest and friendliest people you’ll come to know. So much so, that the friendliness just might rub off on you. 

4. You’re never bored 

Cape Town is the kind of place that turns couch potatoes into mountaineers. Say goodbye to Netflix binging (well, not all of your Netflix binging...), because there is so much to do you actually won’t want to stay in and watch Netflix. (I know, hard to believe). Whether you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee (Cape Town has some of the best…), a hike (the whole city is covered in trails), a beach day (which ocean do you want to swim in?), a walk in the park (how's the National Botanic Gardens for ya?), there’s a spot for every mood. You’ll never be bored with Cape Town as your playground, trust me. If anything, you’ll feel like you can’t get enough. 

5. This picture just speaks for itself 

This is where you go to school. And not only is the University of Cape Town beautiful and breathtaking, it is also one of the best upper-level institutions on the entire continent of Africa. There is so much to be seen, to be learned, and to love about UCT, and you are sure to see, learn, and love it all. 

6. The sunsets 

Yeah, the sunsets are so good they deserve a whole reason dedicated to them. They don’t even need a description. Just look at this:

And believe it or not, they’re all #nofilter.

7. The learning opportunity 

There is so much to learn from the rich political, economic, and cultural history in Cape Town. For lack of a better cliche, it is truly a melting pot in the most accurate sense of the word. The diversity of background, culture, and thought in this city is spectacular, and I have found myself learning more and more each day. If you’re looking to expand your horizons in a way beyond just the horizons in the sunsets above, Cape Town is the place to do it.

8. The landscape is truly breathtaking

No matter where you are on your way to, take a look out your window in Cape Town and you’ll see the beautiful landscape it has to offer. Home to the 3 peaks: Lion’s Head, Table Mountain, and Devil’s Peak, Cape Town’s cityscape overlooks the beauty of that landscape from every angle. You are sure to see some of the most beautiful views you’ve seen in a while—or ever—while you are in Cape Town. 

9. There’s something for everybody

    What are you looking for? 

    An art scene?

    A sports scene? 

    A music scene? 

    A fashion scene? 

    A foodie scene? 

Cape Town has it all, and it’s all waiting for you to explore it, whichever scene is for you. 

10. The wildlife

South Africa is home to some of the most spectacular wildlife that the world has to offer. Whether or not you go on a safari, you are still sure to see the gamut of animals you have yet to see, just going about your everyday life! From baboons on hikes (take a look at one going through our bags in the video below…) to ostriches at farms and peacocks at hotels, you’ll get a glimpse of a whole zoo in Cape Town!

If the reasons above haven’t convinced you yet, I’d be surprised. But! There are so many more reasons to fall in love with Cape Town, just a plane ride (or two) away! Take a chance on Cape Town and, I promise, you won’t regret it!

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Mary Kaitlin Enright

<p>I was born and raised in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of the beautiful city of Chicago. When I was fifteen, I was surprised by the unexpected opportunity to move to Hong Kong, when my family was transferred there. That was the very beginning of my relationship with the travel bug, by which I have been afflicted ever since. I spent time traveling around Asia with my family throughout high school, then traveling through Europe in my first year of college while studying abroad in London. Now a Marketing student at Villanova University with minors in Creative Writing and Communication, my next stop is Cape Town, South Africa, and I am excited to share my experience with the world.</p>

2020 Spring
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Villanova University
Glenview, IL
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