CIEE Arts + Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa
80% Rating
(9 Reviews)

CIEE Arts + Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa

Be an active participant in the hope-triumphs-over-oppression culture of Cape Town during CIEE’s Arts and Sciences program. You’ll get involved with the local community in so many ways – from community service to visits to local theater, museums, and historical sites – and take rigorous courses at the University of Cape Town. Don’t miss this chance to have an adventure to remember, while gaining a comprehensive understanding of social relations in South Africa.

Study abroad in Cape Town and you'll:
- Choose from a range of course offerings at the University of Cape Town in commerce, engineering, humanities, and science
- Immerse yourself in the culture through a township homestay, volunteering, and independent study opportunities
- Live, interact, and study with African students in a society in transition
- Visit local theater, music, and dance productions; museums; rural cooperatives; and cricket and rugby matches

Cape Town
South Africa
Program Type
Subject Areas
African Studies
Art History
Degree Level
Academic Year
Host Family
Official Transcripts
Letters of Recommendation
GPA Requirement
Starting Price
Price Details
The program fee includes:

- Tuition and housing
- Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
- Full-time program leadership and support
- Field trips and cultural activities
- CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits

CIEE also offers a wide variety of scholarships for participants; see website for details.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 9 reviews
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 6.8
  • Fun 6.8
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 6.7
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
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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.

Yes, I recommend
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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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Yes, I recommend
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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!

How can this program be improved?

More emphasis on understanding the region's history prior to arrival.

Yes, I recommend
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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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Yes, I recommend
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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.

How can this program be improved?

Support of the on-campus staff.

Yes, I recommend
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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.

No, I don't recommend
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Great program - daily service created an enjoyable and meaningful experience while enjoying South Africa. Not only were we able to fully appreciate the social and cultural atmosphere of Cape Town, but we were also able to further our understanding of the issues that plague the society as a result of a tormented history with hands on experience. Engaging in the public health sector offered me a first hand academic learning opportunity that I would not have gained in the class room, or even at a hospital in the USA.

Yes, I recommend
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Cape Town

CIEE offers both an Arts & Sciences program and a Service Learning one. Arts & Sciences students are enrolled in classes at the University of Cape Town, while Service Learning simply uses their facilities for classes. The main staff is amazing and often plans cultural events. The best thing about the service learning program is involvement in local NGOs, prisons, hospitals, and schools. Students generally spend three days a week working with their respective organizations. Cape Town itself is a beautiful city with amazing sites to see, great restaurants, markets, museums, and an amazing social scene. Be prepared to experience a culture thats very different from what you're used to!

Yes, I recommend
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Awesome Time: Terrible Housing

Lack of safety in the housing in 2008. Hopefully much improved by now. The location was good, however the housing I received was subpar and was not officially "ready" for inhabitants when we got there. The program staff was helpful as much as they could be, but they were a bit too small in number when we really needed action taken.

Cape Town is amazing though, and despite the grievances I had an awesome time. Go CIEE.

No, I don't recommend

About CIEE

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and...