iXperience Summer Study Abroad

iXperience

About

iXperience is a credit-bearing* summer abroad program, designed to develop the skills and knowledge you need to prepare for a rapidly changing career landscape.

With campuses in four beautiful cities around the world (Cape Town, Lisbon, Berlin, Tel Aviv), iX students take immersive classes in high-demand skills. Then, they drive real-world impact at an internship with a local company. All this, while exploring the history, culture, and nature of a breathtaking city, with new friends they’ll keep for life.

Starting out with just a Web Development course in 2013, iXperience now offers six courses, taught by industry experts, and academically sponsored by the University of Virginia.

Attracting the top students from universities around the world, we are not just teaching students skills, we are creating a movement—a network of like-minded, motivated individuals, serious on bettering themselves and the world.

*Credit transfer will depend on your university policy.

Website
ixperience.co
Founded
2013
Headquarters

Dock Road, 17
V&A Waterfront
Foreshore
Cape Town
8002
South Africa

2020 Early Applications Opening Soon!

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Reviews

Default avatar
Anonymous
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was a bit nervous at first because I had found this program through Facebook. However, the course was definitely challenging and being in Lisbon was an amazing experience. I'm grateful for the rigor provided as the program didn't just encourage pure memorization of CS concepts but rather the applications and self-learning (ex. asking instructors, Google, and peers). More importantly, this course empowered me to keep learning and creating as personal projects are great ways to dive into a topic. I also made great friends from other universities and explored and ate through what Portugal had to offer, from the seafood delicacies to amazing chicken at Frangasqueira Nacional. Lisbon is such a walking-friendly town and the cost of living is quite reasonable. Honestly, this summer was the perfect balance of work and fun.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would start exploring Lisbon more. Not just Lisbon, but also other cities like Porto.
Default avatar
Joëlle
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I think it was a great learning experience, not just academically speaking, but personally as well. I took the data science course and I learned quite a lot but I suggest you learn a bit of python (or the language you will use) before coming because you will not be able to keep up if you don't. Learning so much content in such a short amount of time is not ideal. There are definitely a lot of things they should improve but I am glad I was exposed to important aspects of machine learning and that I got to apply some of the concepts through the internship. It's a great opportunity if it's what you need.

It was also a great experience to learn more about another country, others and especially yourself!! You will definitely grow as a person!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Get ready to walk!! A lot of things are a little far from the hostel we were at and the streets are pretty steep. We had to walk a lot!
Response from iXperience

Hi Joëlle

Thanks for the helpful feedback. Glad that you enjoyed the course despite the challenges. We will definitely take your feedback into account for our 2020 program. So great to hear about your personal growth too.

Default avatar
Matthew
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This past summer I participated in iXperience's inaugural Immerse program in Cape Town, South Africa. The first four weeks of this program entailed a UVa Global Studies portion incorporating an art, archaeology or astronomy, conservation, and history element. During the next six weeks, I took the Management Consulting course. Collectively the liberal arts program and pre-professional program make iXperience a study abroad program like no other. The former instills an appreciation for South Africa, its inhabitants, and the country’s vibrant culture. All the while, the latter provides you with an opportunity to build a foundation in an area of your choice with industry experts (in my case a former project manager at McKinsey’s Johannesburg Office).
In the management consulting program, the clients are primarily South African startups with the governing logic being the smaller the firm the more likely that you, the students, get delegated meaningful work and that your final recommendations will be implemented. In my case, we consulted for a behavioral design agency that worked predominantly in the advertising space to develop a financial inclusion project that would enable township-based entrepreneurs to access their services. We delivered a business model which our client is moving to pilot this month.
Prospect students should be assured that they will have a great opportunity to experience personal growth and professional development while having ample time to take advantage of all of Cape Town’s recreational activities. Parents should know that their students will be working hard contrary to the reputation of most study abroad programs. Moreover, they are able to expand their network to include the iX staff, industry experts, and other students at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. The iXperience program is truly one of a kind and I imagine that it will only get better as they learn how to better integrate UVa’s institutional aims into their curriculum.

Response from iXperience

Hey Matt, thanks so much for the detailed feedback. It's super considerate of you to include considerations for both parents and students. We're so glad that you got so much from the program and love having you as part of the iX family.

Default avatar
Katherine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

When I found out about iXperience and the amazing opportunity it provided to not only study but also work abroad, I was immediately sold. I love traveling and exploring new places, but I thought that I needed to get some real work experience the summer after my sophomore year of college. iXperience allowed me to combine both in one summer. I met some of the most amazing people, explored some really cool spots around Portugal and made so many great memories. Our classes were interesting, but never too intense or overloaded with work, and the internships provided so many cool opportunities to learn a huge variety of skills. As well, the program made sure to provide us with plenty of opportunities to explore Lisbon on our own and through outings they planned. I will never forget this truly incredible summer with iXperience.

What would you improve about this program?
If I could improve one thing about this program, I would simply ask for a little more information before I got there. I did not know very much about the internships or the class before I got there. It would've been nice to know what the internship possibilities might be before the program started.
Response from iXperience

Thanks for the epic review, Katherine! We're so glad that you had an unforgettable summer with us. We loved having you a part of the program.

Default avatar
John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I thought that overall iXperience was an incredibly enriching experience. I took the full stack coding course and learned so much (learning how to build front/back-end applications/APIs/databases/applications in multiple frameworks etc...). The administration was run very well. The program director and legal assistant lived very close to the accommodation and were able to tend to students very quickly should the need arise. Students mainly worked on projects/assignments throughout the program. However, weekends are free, and students are allowed to explore the surrounding towns as they wish. iXperience even provides included excursions to certain sites as well. Would highly recommend to anyone interested in getting into web/software development!

What would you improve about this program?
The dining and transportation could have been improved upon.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Ayman Siraj

Ayman is currently majoring in Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California.

Why did you choose this program?

It was the last year I could really pick my 'own' intern destination and I wanted to experience a new country I had never been to. Next year I'll be a junior which means I'll be at the mercy of companies to place me.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The application process is pretty straightforward. You apply, do an interview and wait for your acceptance. They provide all the documents you need if a visa is required. The stuff I organized on my own is the weekend excursions with other interns.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Take a travel adapter that works in South Africa, some of the travel adapters you buy from Amazon don't work there. Plan out weekends so you don't waste the weekend planning what to do. South Africa has too much to offer so know what you want to do.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

You have class twice a day, each session is 1.5 hours. Time between and after classes is spent finishing exercises/projects, and nights are usually spent working or eating/going out with others. During the internship you're pretty much free to do what you want after work!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

The only fear I had was not being picked up from the airport, but I was! Other than that the rooms and internet speed could use some improving.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Russell Cunningham

Job Title
VP Global Operations

Russell's experience stems from 7 years as a Naval Officer, complemented by formal education in the Industrial Psychology sphere - bolstering iXperience's operational portfolio in each international location through high attention to detail, a keen understanding of human motivation in the world of work, and a general love for travel and adventure.

What is your favorite travel memory?

As a Rotary Youth Ambassador, I exchanged at a High School in Chaska, Minnesota for my senior year in 2004. This was a series of firsts for me - my first flight in an airplane, first time experiencing snow, and first stint 'out of the nest'. This was also a time before Facebook and Skype, so the 17-year-old version of myself was not tethered to my homeland and I was truly able to immerse myself in all that foreign travel has to offer. I still consider it one of the most formative experiences of my life.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

With my foundation combining the rawness of the military with the awareness of human sciences, there was little room to be exposed to tech. Joining iXperience has opened my eyes to the sheer power that technology has on the world of work today. I now consider having a basic understanding of digital platforms to be a form of professional literacy, and it has shaped my ability to strategize, plan and track all of my efforts, both within my role at iXperience and within my personal life.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

It is always special to hear testimonials from students about how their experience with iX has impacted their lives. I have been fortunate enough to have heard many such stories, but one that really resonates with me is from a student that came to iX without fully understanding what to expect from this journey. He left some weeks later having made meaningful friendships and falling in love with Cape Town - so much so that he decided to take the leap and make a permanent relocation to work for the international tech-based company that he interned for.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Currently living in Cape Town, I may be a bit bias, but this place is truly special to me - within a 50-mile radius, there is truly so much to see and do. From mountain ranges to wine farms to world-class surf to safari's to amazing food and stunning scenery, this place really does have it all. These are just a few of the many reasons that launched the success of our first location.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We are truly a team of A-players that have banded together to create something meaningful within the international education space. Our passion for unlocking human potential through challenging the status quo aligns us, and our rich tapestry of backgrounds keeps our vantage points unique and fresh. I am always the proudest just before we gear up for the arrival fo our first batch of students for the summer - this is when I get to witness what ot really means to be a team, with everyone contributing, caring and focussing on delivering a world-class product.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Being people-centric. I believe that emphasizing the happiness and feeling of fulfillment of the men and women that make up a company is the cornerstone of success. Yes, there is loads of literature that supports this notion, but it can be practiced in many different ways - finding which way supports your companies vision and having everyone buy into it is crucial, and this dovetails with hiring people that will embrace the companies policies. Ensuring that all staff gain some form of intrinsic reward in their roles means that their personal success will be aligned with the companies success. I believe that iXperience does this incredibly well!

Professional Associations

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