Trying to picture yourself studying abroad in South Africa? We asked IES Abroad Cape Town students and staff to answer some of the most common questions we hear.
Why study abroad in Cape Town?
Mountains for hiking? Beaches for surfing? Lively city life? Check, check, and check. When you study abroad in Cape Town, you “won’t be bored” according to IES Abroad Cape Town Center Director Natanya van der Lingen.
“If you want to experience Tuscany, Miami, a tiny bit of Colorado, and maybe a little bit of New York – come here. You have everything, all the cities put together into one beautiful package,” Francesco Sautto (University of Miami) says.
Take in all that studying abroad in Cape Town has to offer – without worrying about learning a new language. Take classes with local students, volunteer in the community, and travel in South Africa where one of the official languages is English.
What is it like to study at the University of Cape Town?
In this video, four students share what excites them about the coursework they are taking. With a full range of course offerings, the University of Cape Town has opportunities for students in a wide variety of majors. Pursue your academic interests at South Africa’s oldest institution of higher education whether that is Engineering, Health Studies, the humanities, or another discipline.
Manal Sidi (University of Rochester) shares how much she appreciates the perspective of her UCT courses, “For me, I’m more excited about how they’re teaching these subjects in Cape Town because I’ve had such an American, Euro-centric education. It’s kind of cool to see just how they interpret the world, or how Cape Town sees the world compared to itself.”
What kind of student goes to Cape Town?
Cape Town offers a little bit for everyone – from students focused on African Studies to those whose passion lies in service learning to others who are enthralled by the plethora of adventure that life in Cape Town offers. Most students can agree that the best thing about studying abroad in Cape Town is that it is a vibrant and dynamic where anyone can find a place for themselves.
Natanya van der Lingen, IES Abroad Cape Town Center Director, sums it up: “Cape Town offers a lot for students, and therefore attracts a wide range of students.”
What is service learning like in Cape Town?
If you’re interested in volunteering while studying abroad at UCT, consider enrolling in our service learning course. Cape Town, with its unique mix of cultures, and a rich and complex past and present, is a highly-rewarding place to participate in service learning. Students from a diverse array of majors and interests get hands-on experience volunteering at a local community organization in Cape Town. These experiences have the power to affirm students’ career paths, or conversely, to inspire them to pursue more unexpected paths.
When describing different service learning placements, IES Abroad Cape Town Center Director Natanya van der Lingen says: “They may be educational foundations, they may be health foundations, or NGOS, and a range of things that we will try to match students up with depending on their background and interest with the local community.”
Is Cape Town safe?
No matter where you choose to study abroad, safety is likely something you – and your parents! – are thinking of. We’re proud to offer some of the best health and safety policies and practices in the field of study abroad.
When it comes to feeling safe in Cape Town, students like Jackie Rodriguez (University of Miami) say they’ve “never felt threatened here” and remind you to be aware of your surroundings as you should be in any major city.
In this video, Oliver Lowe (Gettysburg College) touches on not letting fear get in your way. “You watch the news and there’s all these headlines, and it’s like, ‘Why am I traveling 2,800 miles overseas?’,” he says. “But for some reason I think that’s almost the best reason to do it...You come to a place like this, and you start to learn about the people and the place you are, and it helps you conquer that fear of what you can sometimes see in the media.”
What is the IES Abroad Cape Town Center like?
Our Centers around the world are hubs for our programs and are staffed with our experienced, trained, and dedicated team of local professionals who are on-site to assist you at all times, no matter what your need may be.
Natanya van der Lingen, IES Abroad Cape Town Center Director, encourages students to take advantage of all the Center has to offer. “We have a very open door policy,” she says. “Our Center is very well placed in the center of Rondebosch area, which is very popular with students. So it’s very easy for you to come in the Center, come and ask us a questions, come and use our Internet.”