Cape Town study abroad student photo of the campus
Study Abroad
Cape Town - University Of Cape Town Add to favorites
  • Cape Town, South Africa
Why Cape Town?

In Cape Town, every day will be like a choose-your-own-adventure book: imagine breathtaking views from atop Table Mountain, hiking Lion's Head at sunset, visiting beaches-there's even a beach with penguins!-and more. 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. 

What You'll Study

When you study with us in South Africa, you will 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 Health Studies and Sociology include completing 60 hours of volunteer work and research while in Cape Town.

Students will have options for their community-based service work, either through IES Abroad courses or by volunteering with other local organizations. In addition, UCT students often join SHAWCO, the University's volunteer progra.Through these opportunities, you will get a first-hand look at the city's social and economic issues affecting different groups in Cape Town.

Daily Life

Cape Town will be your classroom. In your free time, visit local gems like the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site) beautiful Camps Bay Beach, or climb the iconic Table Mountain and catch the cable car back down. We challenge you to take full advantage of South Africa’s beautiful climate and geography. We take you on optional field trips to the Eastern Cape's beautiful Garden Route and to the Kruger National Park where you can enjoy game drives experienced game rangers. Hopefully your adventure will include seeing the “Big Five":  the lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino. Other optional day trip excursions may include visiting the District 6 Museum and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for many years. 

You are here

Why Cape Town?

In Cape Town, every day will be like a choose-your-own-adventure book: imagine breathtaking views from atop Table Mountain, hiking Lion's Head at sunset, visiting beaches-there's even a beach with penguins!-and more. 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. 

What You'll Study

When you study with us in South Africa, you will 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 Health Studies and Sociology include completing 60 hours of volunteer work and research while in Cape Town.

Students will have options for their community-based service work, either through IES Abroad courses or by volunteering with other local organizations. In addition, UCT students often join SHAWCO, the University's volunteer progra.Through these opportunities, you will get a first-hand look at the city's social and economic issues affecting different groups in Cape Town.

Daily Life

Cape Town will be your classroom. In your free time, visit local gems like the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site) beautiful Camps Bay Beach, or climb the iconic Table Mountain and catch the cable car back down. We challenge you to take full advantage of South Africa’s beautiful climate and geography. We take you on optional field trips to the Eastern Cape's beautiful Garden Route and to the Kruger National Park where you can enjoy game drives experienced game rangers. Hopefully your adventure will include seeing the “Big Five":  the lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino. Other optional day trip excursions may include visiting the District 6 Museum and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for many years. 

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$4 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 more then $4 million each year to our financial aid programs.

Academics

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 as you enroll in University of Cape Town courses. You may also elect to take one of the IES Abroad courses. 



Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:

  • IES Abroad Service Learning Course: Focused on South Africa, the service learning project includes community service (60 hours over the course of the semester) at a local organization (3 credits). 
  • 3-5 Courses at the University of Cape Town: Enroll in a minimum of 15-19 IES Abroad credits at the University of Cape Town. We require that one of your courses be South Africa-focused. If you choose to take an IES Abroad course (3 credits), then you will take a minimum of 12 IES Abroad credits at UCT, in addition to the IES Abroad course. Students are encouraged to take mostly 2000-level or 3000-level courses, with a maximum of one 1000-level course. 

IES Abroad syllabi are available in the "Courses" section below.

Courses

After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.  

Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU 221 - Dialogues on Difference Fall, Spring English 1
Economics
Course Name Term Language Credits
SL/EC/SO 335 - Polity, Community Development, Urban Life in South Africa Fall, Spring English 3
Health Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/SL/HL 345 - Health and Community Development in South Africa Fall, Spring English 3
Service Learning
Course Name Term Language Credits
SL/EC/SO 335 - Polity, Community Development, Urban Life in South Africa Fall, Spring English 3
SO/SL/HL 345 - Health and Community Development in South Africa Fall, Spring English 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
SL/EC/SO 335 - Polity, Community Development, Urban Life in South Africa Fall, Spring English 3
SO/SL/HL 345 - Health and Community Development in South Africa Fall, Spring English 3

Partner Institution(s)

About the University of Cape Town

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 four miles from the Cape Town City Center. Your commute time to campus is between 15-30 minutes, which is common for local students.

Most courses at UCT are lecture-based, some with very large classes, and they usually meet between two and five days per week.  Lectures are often accompanied by tutorials, which are much smaller and allow discussion of topics and concepts covered during the lecture.  Past students have found these tutorials to be extremely useful.

Choose from many courses in the following faculties at the University of Cape Town. 

  • Commerce – Accounting, Business Law, Economics, Finance & Tax, Information Systems, Marketing, Mathematics, Statistics
  • Engineering & the Built Environment – Architecture, Civil Engineering, Chemical/Electrical/Mechanical Engineering
  • Humanities – Communication, Dance, Drama, English Literature and Language, Film & Media, Fine Art, Gender Studies, History, Languages and Literature, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Social Anthropology, Social Development, Social Work, Sociology
  • Natural Sciences – Archaeology, Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental & Geographical Science, Geographical Sciences, Mathematics & Applied Materials, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Oceanography, Physics, Statistical Sciences

South Africa-focused courses are available in fields such as Cultural Studies, Dance, History, Language, Literature, Music, 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. Specific course listings and options are available to view on the University of Cape Town website at http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/study/handbooks/current

Service Learning

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:

  • Sisters4Sisters
  • The Sozo Foundation
  • Ikhamva Ubomi
  • Brooklyn Chest Hospital

You may also participate in UCT-organized service learning opportunities through an organization called SHAWCO (UCT Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation).  Here you can volunteer your time to ongoing educational and healthcare service projects.  These are non-credit bearing, so many IES Abroad students join SHAWCO as part of their student life experience in Cape Town.

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.  In addition to trips to the District 6 Museum and Robben Island, these two major field trips are optional and partially subsidized by IES Abroad: 

Garden Route

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 select a visit to an animal sanctuary. Experience the beauty and diversity of the South African landscape as you hike and canoe along the Route.

Kruger National Park/Soweto Township

3-4 Days

Explore the beauty and cultures of South Africa on this three-to-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 east to the Kruger National Park, where you'll spend a day and a half looking for the wide variety of animals who live there, including elephant, lion, leopard, hippo, giraffe, and rhino

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

Orientation in Cape Town is spread over two weeks. It starts with an IES Abroad orientation (3 days) where you are introduced to the IES Abroad Cape Town staff, your fellow students, the city of Cape Town and its surrounding areas, in addition to the University of Cape Town campus.   Orientation continues with a trip along the Garden Route, the south-eastern coast line 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 tour of downtown Cape Town and a local township.   You will then attend the University of Cape Town’s orientation (5-6 days) that gives you details on academics, extracurricular activities, and volunteer opportunities. The International Academic Programs Office’s activities include a tour around the Cape Peninsula and the chance to participate in an African-style drumming event.   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.

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.

Housing

Shared Houses - Live with other IES Abroad students in a furnished house near the University of Cape Town. 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.

Residence Halls - Live in a private residence hall close to the University of Cape Town. You will stay in a furnished single room with a kitchenette and private bathroom. All rooms are equipped with a digital safe. Students can access WiFi from their rooms. Internet access is available but not guaranteed. Meals are not included.

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 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2018 $13,085 $3,665 $340 $17,090


Term: Fall 2017
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2017
Academic Year
$12,880
$23,170
$3,645
$7,290
$230
$550
$16,755
$31,010

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$4 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 more then $4 million each year to our financial aid programs.