CIEE Arts + Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa

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Take your arts and sciences studies a step further with study abroad in South Africa. Cape Town is all about exploring the wonders of nature while learning about contemporary South African society. The prestigious University of Cape Town (UCT) is CIEE’s partner school and your host for coursework in English on anthropology, business, economics, engineering, history, liberal arts, linguistics, literature, media, science, and more. All courses are complemented with CIEE activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and enhance intercultural understanding.

  • Connect with a South African family in a homestay.
  • Serve Cape Town people in need – students say it is a pinnacle of their study abroad experience.
  • Live and learn where natural beauty and outdoor fun are part of everyday life.

Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship to Ireland!

Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship is a unique international program to develop change leaders who make an impact on their community and the world.

This fully funded summer 2021 study abroad program to Dublin, Ireland is developed for students of color with special emphasis on leadership, social justice, agitation for positive change and cross-cultural understanding.


CIEE Offers More Than $8 Million in Scholarships Every Year!

We know cost is one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At CIEE, we dedicate real resources to help break down the cost barriers so every student who wants to study abroad, can do so.

$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers


8.36 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 54.55%
  • 7-8 rating 36.36%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 9.09%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 7.4
  • Fun 7.4
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 6.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 11
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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime!

The classes were difficult but I know I am walking away with a lot more knowledge not only from the university, but from all over South Africa in general. Of course studying at UCT was the most irritating thing because nobody wants to study and do school work when you are in such a beautiful place like this! There is always something to do here in Cape town, the list is never ending (good thing you have a lot of time to fit it all in!). What really made it the best time was the CIEE staff. They supported us from day one and always had the best advice on what to eat, where to go, and were extremely helpful in providing all of the information we need to stay safe in South Africa. I would definitely recommend this program for everyone who is looking for adventures of all sorts!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
One thing I would change is getting to really know the CIEE staff sooner because they are so amazing and helpful, even if you just want to talk about life.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience!

I loved my time in Cape Town with CIEE! I spent a semester studying at UCT. The classes were challenging but I learned a lot. UCT is one of the best ranked universities in Africa, and is known worldwide. The CIEE staff in Cape Town were so helpful and kind, they supported us from beginning to end and I made some great connections with them. Additionally, the staff were extremely helpful in providing all of the information we need to stay safe in South Africa. Cape Town is beautiful and had so much to do. You have a city, mountains and the beach all in one! I came to South Africa alone, without knowing anyone here, and left with lifelong friends who were also on this program. I would definitely recommend this program for someone who is looking to get out of their comfort zone!

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Yes, I recommend this program

The Cape Town Connection.

Studying abroad in Cape Town through the CIEE program was without question the best life experience I have had to date. I walked out of the Cape Town Airport knowing not a single person in the country, and left with a heart full of fondness for the country, memories with the many students I came to call best friends, and an eagerness to return to the home that Cape Town became for me.

The most profound aspects and impacts of this experience, for me, emerged in the connections I made with other people. First and foremost, the students in my program truly became a family. Upon our arrival, my apartment complex, Rondebosch Court, became filled with American students just as wifi-deprived, homesick, and scared as I was. After only a week of orientation and bonding activities, we each turned into confident, excited, and supportive individuals who each came to recognize the extraordinary experience we were going to share with one another in the 5 months to follow. I walked out of Rondebosch court for the last time on June 11, followed by a teary group of people (strangers as of January), who came to see me off. Out of the many "unexpecteds" of this study abroad experience, I would say that the profound and deep connections I made with the students in my program, the staff in my program, and the students at UCT by far surprised me the most. The "Cape Town Connection", as I would call it, has lasted beyond the end of the trip. I have taken so many fond memories of the country and lasting friendships into the next chapter of my life and I could not be more thankful for that.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Superb Experience

Studying abroad with CIEE in Cape Town was incredible. The city itself is a beautiful, vibrant city always buzzing with things to do, places to go, things to see or try. It was also a very interesting and difficult time to be in Cape Town amidst the recent sociopolitical unrest especially amongst students, but even that was a very perspective broadening experience. My fun and happy adventures were balanced and challenged by times of times of critical self-reflection both in and out of the classroom which allowed for a richer educational experience than what I believe I would have received elsewhere.
CIEE as a program did a great job supporting me socially, by planning several dinners, outings and excursions for the students. They also effectively coordinated community service trips, cultural events and homestay weekends which added to my time in Cape Town by getting me plugged into the local scene. This was also facilitated by a fantastic RA staff.

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps by having better academic support from CIEE staff as sometimes adjusting to the educational climate of such a large university with different teaching styles can be hard. Maybe having a staff member that does more than oversee the logistics of academics but can actually help struggling students.
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Yes, I recommend this program

a MUST for anyone interested in Studying Abroad!

I cannot recommend this program more!! The 5 months I spent in Cape Town with CIEE were absolutely incredible and life changing. I was able to explore an amazing country with the support of a well trained staff and expand my academic capacity while studying at the University of Cape Town. This country is truly unlike any other and CIEE strives to demonstrate and highlight its unique characteristics through various programs and opportunities. Specifically, their integration of Resident Assistants throughout the different housing spaces were not only a way for us to have a source of reliable information and aide in times of need, but also a great way for us to interact directly with local residents. I fell ill during my experience, but CIEE individuals were alongside me every step of the process, from taking me to doctor's appointments to helping me fill out insurance forms. In the words of many of the individuals who spent time studying in Cape Town, there is simply no better program to do it with!

What would you improve about this program?
More emphasis on understanding the region's history prior to arrival.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Cape Town is Amazing, CIEE is horrible.

I love Cape Town! It is such an amazing city, however there are plenty of reviews on that. What I would like to warn future participants of, is CIEE. I am recommending Cape Town, absolutely not the CIEE program. CIEE is not a good program, please look elsewhere if possible. I haven't heard a positive thing about CIEE from a single one of the two hundred and something participants. In fact, everyone I have spoken with about CIEE is upset with them as well. I feel like I was lied to when signing up they were disorganized and unhelpful. They cancelled several of the activities (for example the summer concert AND Johannesburg trip) due to poor communication and planning on their part. CIEE ended up becoming more of an obstacle than a help during my time in Cape Town.

What would you improve about this program?
CIEE should get organized. Trips that were promised when signing up were cancelled. No one gave us advance notice of when certain activities were going to happen. The ones that were planned, were cancelled due to poor planning by CIEE. CIEE made it extremely difficult for me to succeed in school, in fact, they became more of an obstacle then help. Every time I was supposed to receive an email about an event, it was sent out around 9pm the evening before, or the event was cancelled. Not only that, I feel as if CIEE did not give us full information when signing up for the program. And once I arrived in Cape Town, I did not feel like CIEE was supporting me at all. If anything the information they gave me, for example how to open up a bank account and the letter required to do so, only furthered my frustration.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience, poorly organized program

The program housing and orientation were a great start to the semester. The campus where classes were held was beautiful, and the city has so much to offer from hiking, nightlife, shopping, and lots of eating. The CIEE staff was very unorganized, and once the semester started, I received very little support from program staff. Overall, I had a wonderful, life-changing semester.

What would you improve about this program?
Support of the on-campus staff.
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No, I don't recommend this program

Love Cape Town, Dissatisfied with CIEE

Studying abroad in Cape Town was a great experience. The local people were typically very welcoming, the food was amazing, and the culture and city are incredibly. I would advise anyone considering studying in Cape Town to take the leap and go for it. Its a great place to explore. However, I would not recommend going through the CIEE program. The staff that coordinates the CIEE Cape Town program is extremely unorganized. They made it very difficult to succeed at our coursework. We were constantly given incorrect or misinformation regarding where we needed to be, what time events were occurring, or when assignment or outings were taking place.