A group of IES Abroad Cape Town students at the coast
Study Abroad
Cape Town - Health, Culture & Development Add to favorites
  • Cape Town, South Africa

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Why South Africa?

Southern Africa is a rich, vibrant region and has become one of the world’s fastest growing economic zones despite facing challenges of poverty, disease, and economic imbalance. Its burgeoning economy, youthful population, ecological and ethnic diversity, and evolving politics make the continent an increasingly important player in the world of the 21st century. Cape Town’s idyllic setting on the South African coast makes it the perfect base from which to study this fascinating region, and our Health, Culture & Development Program is designed to offer insight into the complexity and breadth of the contemporary issues facing the southern part of this continent.

What You'll Study

You have the opportunity to take specially designed courses with other IES Abroad students in a variety of disciplines. These English-taught IES Abroad courses were created with a comparative and interrelated curricular focus in order to help you learn more about South Africa and its neighboring countries. Choose from several Health Science or Sociology courses taught by local lecturers and learn how globalization, development, and disease affect different communities. You can also study relevant cultural aspects of Southern African literature, music and dance, or language, or learn about the power of protest, gender and sexuality, or the environment in the region. Through your instructors, you’ll learn new perspectives focused on the Southern African experience. Course-related trips will provide additional insight and enhance what you’ve learned in class.

Daily Life

We want you to feel at home in Cape Town so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events and tours of the city and local sites, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible, and offer you numerous opportunities to get to know South Africa and some of her closest neighbors.

Two amazing multi-day field trips through South Africa and its neighboring countries will further expand your understanding of the region, with visits to many stunningly beautiful and culturally significant places like the Drakensberg Mountains and Chobe National Park in Botswana.

The final field trip ends in Johannesburg, where the program concludes. Cape Town will be your classroom, as well as your base. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of everything this diverse, beautiful city has to offer—the fascinating people and languages, politics and culture, outdoor adventures, and so much more.

Click to launch the virtual tour.

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Academics

We offer unique courses that explore Health Studies, Sociology, Cultural and African Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and more through an in-depth and hands-on approach. These courses will include comparative perspectives based on Southern African examples. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

While in Cape Town, you take 15-17 credits per semester; all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified.

Courses

This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.

African Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/AN/AF 330 - African Music & Dance Fall, Spring English 3
LT/AF 314 - The Literature of Change Fall, Spring English 3
PO/HS/AF 352 - Power & Protest: Apartheid to Present Fall, Spring English 3
Anthropology
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/SO 321 - Childhood & Youth Fall, Spring English 3
CU/AN/AF 330 - African Music & Dance Fall, Spring English 3
WS/AN/GS 315 - Sexuality and Gender Fall, Spring English 3
Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/AN/AF 330 - African Music & Dance Fall, Spring English 3
CU/XH 101 - Introduction to Xhosa Language & Culture Fall, Spring English 1
IC/CU 221 - Dialogues on Difference Fall, Spring English 1
Environmental Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
HE/GE/ES 320 - Environment, Health & Development Fall, Spring English 3
Geography
Course Name Term Language Credits
HE/GE/ES 320 - Environment, Health & Development Fall, Spring English 3
SO/GE/HE 332 - The Impact of Globalization on Health & Development Fall, Spring English 3
Gender Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
WS/AN/GS 315 - Sexuality and Gender Fall, Spring English 3
Health Sciences
Course Name Term Language Credits
HE/GE/ES 320 - Environment, Health & Development Fall, Spring English 3
SO/GE/HE 332 - The Impact of Globalization on Health & Development Fall, Spring English 3
SO/HE 323 - Endemic Diseases & Their Socioeconomic Context Fall, Spring, Summer English 3
SO/HE 347 - Health & Community Fall, Spring, Summer English 3
SO/PH/HE 325 - Decolonizing Health Care: The Ethics of Global Health Fall, Spring English 3
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/HS/AF 352 - Power & Protest: Apartheid to Present Fall, Spring English 3
Intercultural Communication
Course Name Term Language Credits
IC/CU 221 - Dialogues on Difference Fall, Spring English 1
Literature
Course Name Term Language Credits
LT/AF 314 - The Literature of Change Fall, Spring English 3
Philosophy
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/PH/HE 325 - Decolonizing Health Care: The Ethics of Global Health Fall, Spring English 3
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/HS/AF 352 - Power & Protest: Apartheid to Present Fall, Spring English 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN/SO 321 - Childhood & Youth Fall, Spring English 3
SO/GE/HE 332 - The Impact of Globalization on Health & Development Fall, Spring English 3
SO/HE 323 - Endemic Diseases & Their Socioeconomic Context Fall, Spring, Summer English 3
SO/HE 347 - Health & Community Fall, Spring, Summer English 3
SO/PH/HE 325 - Decolonizing Health Care: The Ethics of Global Health Fall, Spring English 3
Women's Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
WS/AN/GS 315 - Sexuality and Gender Fall, Spring English 3
Xhosa Language
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/XH 101 - Introduction to Xhosa Language & Culture Fall, Spring English 1

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure begins in Cape Town, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country and beyond.  In addition to trips and activities in and around Cape Town (such as a walking tour of Langa Township, a trip around Cape Peninsula, a District Six Cycling Tour, and a visit to Robben Island), the Eastern Neighbors field trip and Northern Neighbors field trip open you up to a range of cultures and experiences in and out of South Africa. Both the Eastern Neighbors and Northern Neighbors field trips are fully subsidized by IES Abroad and are included in your program fee. There is also the optional Garden Route Trip, which takes place at the beginning of the program and is partially subsidized by IES Abroad: 

Garden Route
3 Days | Orientation
This optional, partially subsidized trip takes place shortly after orientation. Travel along the southern coastline of South Africa, better known as the Garden Route. Explore the Cango Cave system, and visit an ostrich farm and an animal sanctuary.  Experience the beauty and diversity of the South African landscape as you hike and canoe along the Garden Route.

Eastern Neighbors Trip
10 Days | Mid-semester
Experience a range of Southern African cultures. Starting in Durban, you explore South Africa’s third largest city, cycle along its beachfront promenade, and learn about the city’s strong Indian identity. From here you make your way inland through the Valley of a Thousand Hills where you visit an HIV/AIDS-focused community organization before heading into the Drakensberg Mountains. Next you enter into the Kingdom of Lesotho (a mountainous landlocked country within South Africa’s borders). You then head north to Zululand, where you’ll learn more about the rich Zulu culture and history. You then visit community and public health projects in the little country of Swaziland, and enter Mozambique to see its beauty and learn about its unique cultural identity, before finally returning to Cape Town.

The cost for this trip is included in the cost for the program.

Northern Neighbors Trip
5 Days | End of semester
This end of semester field trip begins by flying to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, one of Southern Africa’s most exciting adventure hubs. Here you visit Mosi-ao-Tunya one of the world’s largest waterfalls at roughly twice the size of Niagara Falls. You will learn about Zimbabwean culture and taste some of the country’s delicious food. You then head west and cross the border into Botswana. In the town of Kasane, you enjoy a sunset cruise on the river that marks the border between Botswana and Namibia. The next day you board safari vehicles and head into Chobe National Park to see the game reserve’s famous elephants, as well as lions, hippos, giraffes and other wildlife. The field trip ends in Johannesburg where the program also comes to an end. You will fly home from Johannesburg.

The cost for this trip is included in the cost for the program.

Daily Life

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 and walking tours that take you to places off the beaten path— we’re all about our student services. 

Orientation

The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Cape Town staff, your fellow students, academic matters, and the city of Cape Town and its surrounding areas.

Orientation continues with an optional trip along the Garden Route, the southern coastline of South Africa, where you explore cave systems, visit beautiful beaches, canoe, hike, and experience the breathtaking beauty of the South African landscape. During our orientation, you also enjoy a scenic drive through parts of Cape Town and a visit to a local township led by members of that community.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience CORE™ begins right when you arrive and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.

Detailed information about housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

Housing

Residence Hall - Live in a private residence hall with IES Abroad, South African, and other international students. Students live in a furnished single room with a kitchenette, private bathroom, and a digital safe is provided. Living spaces are shared, and there is a gym on site. Internet access is available but not guaranteed. Meals are not included.

Shared Houses - Live with other IES Abroad students in a furnished house. Furnished houses offer single and double rooms, a communal lounge, and a fully-equipped kitchen area. All houses are equipped with digital safes for storage of personal belongings. Internet access is available but not guaranteed. Meals are not included.

In both housing options, an IES Abroad Resident Assistant lives in each student residence, and can serve as a great resource for tips on integrating into the local culture.

Get to Know Your New City

Hit the Beach(es)!

Cape Town has miles of coastline and beautiful white sand beaches. Clifton and Camps Bay beaches are some of our favorites!

See the Waves Crash Against Cape Point

stand on the most southwesterly point in Africa and enjoy the spectacular clifftop views. If you're lucky, you may see an ostrich or baboon!

Meet the Penguins

You'll come face to face with adorable residents of Boulders Beach!

Relax in Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, this spectacular garden is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic, catch an outdoor concert, or just take a contemplative walk.

Climb Table Mountain

No stay in Cape town is complete without taking in the views from the top of this iconic mountain. If the hike up sounds too daunting, you can take a leisurely ride to the top of the cableway.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Spring 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2019 $14,570 $4,135 $395 $19,100


Term: Fall 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2018 $13,410 $3,795 $395 $17,600


Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our Center

The Fall and Spring Cape Town programs are based by the IES Abroad Cape Town Center and supported by IES Abroad staff.  The IES Abroad Cape Town Center is located by the University of Cape Town campus. The Center is a place where  students can stop by and talk to staff, use WiFi, pick up their mail, and study in the library. IES Abroad courses are also offered in the Center classroom, and special guest lectures and other events may be held in the Center space.

Features at our Center include:

  • Reception area
  • Library and lounge
  • Classrooms
  • Meeting space
  • Staff offices

SEMESTER UCT STUDENTS:
The University of Cape Town campus offers several amenities for students enrolled in the UCT semester program, such as: access to libraries, museums, theaters, cafés, and university sports facilities. There is a free UCT shuttle service (the Jammie shuttle) around campus and nearby areas for UCT students.  Please note that while Health, Culture, and Development students are also semester students, they are not enrolled at UCT, and therefore do not have access to UCT courses, facilities, or amenities.

Our Staff

Natanya van der Lingen

Center Director

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 KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa where she majored in Spanish and French, and also studied Linguistics, Sociology, Drama, Zulu, and Afrikaans. She spent a year studying abroad in California as a Rotary International Exchange student and has also lived in the UK, Argentina, and France, and has traveled to over 40 other countries around the world.

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Staff

Devonne Bobbert
Short Programmes Manager

Sarah Lowe
Programming & Internships Manager

Jody Felton
Housing & Office Manager

David Reiersgord
Academic Manager

Carrie Grochowski
Programme Co-ordinator