IES Abroad Cape Town DE - UCT
95% Rating
(17 Reviews)

IES Abroad Cape Town DE - UCT

University Of Cape Town
Service learning in and around Cape Town is a core component in our program. Students taking one of the IES Abroad courses are required to complete 60 hours of volunteer work while in Cape Town. Twenty of your 60 hours of volunteer work will be at Egoli, a settlement that receives no government services like water or electricity.

Interested in seeing our Center through a Virtual Tour? Check out https://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/virtual-tours to learn more!

Locations
Africa » South Africa » Cape Town
Africa » South Africa
Program Type
Provider
Degree Level
Bachelors
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Apartment
Steps
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    81%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    89%
  • Housing
    94%
  • Safety
    76%

Program Reviews (17)

woman standing by mural
Sarah
Female

The Coolest Thing I have Ever Done

10/10

If I had the opportunity to go to Cape Town with IES Abroad all over again, I would go in a heartbeat. Being in Cape Town was amazing! The IES Abroad staff was helpful and super friendly. Our housing was nice and close to campus. Our RA's were knowledgable about Cape Town and easy to get along with. IES even puts together optional trips, such as our mid semester break trip to Kruger National Park. In Cape Town there are a million things to do and see. The hardest part about being in Cape Town was probably trying to get everything done!!

How can this program be improved?

The biggest way the program could be improved is by more clearly explaining the gradings system that is put in place at UCT so students can make preparations before arriving in Cape Town.

Default avatar
Sally
Female
22 years old
St. Louis
Washington University in Saint Louis

the best semester!!

10/10

I had the most amazing time in Cape Town. I honestly cannot think of one thing I would change. IES did an amazing job of planning activities for us while also giving us enough free time to explore on our own. The academics in Cape Town are pretty different from in the states, but the program did a really good job of helping us prepare for that. We lived in an awesome location, right at the bottom of campus. Because it was a small program this year, we all lived on the same property which allowed all the IES students to get really close. Our RAs were amazing too. They were really supportive when needed, and were really helpful with respect to helping us get acclimated to the city. I am obsessed with Cape Town, as it had everything I wanted in an abroad experience. I was the only person from my home university going, which allowed me to really branch out. It's a large city, but I was still able to do a lot of things outdoors. I spent a lot of time hiking, which is one of my favorite activities. The people in Cape Town are amazing, and I met so many amazing South Africans that I am still in contact with. While there are challenging aspects of going abroad anywhere, I think the challenges I faced in Cape Town (like being faced with the realization of how much privilege I have) really stretched me in positive ways. Going to Cape Town was the best decision I have ever made.

How can this program be improved?

I truly cannot think of one thing that I would change.

Default avatar
Ellen
Female
23 years old
Chicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago

Home Away From Home

10/10

To say that my experience in Cape Town was life changing would be an understatement. My time in South Africa will be forever imprinted in my memory. There is not a single moment that I did not love, waking up in the morning and seeing Table Mountain, looking out at the view from the University of Cape Town, seeing the amazing IES staff almost every day, exploring this beautiful city, and meeting the amazing people in South Africa.

IES ensures that you have a support system while you are abroad. They keep you in the loop with what is going on, they make sure you are safe and healthy, and they always welcome you into the office. They truly become your abroad family.

Cape Town is not just a place I visited or studied. It is a place that changed my life and became a home... and I cannot wait to go back home again soon.

Default avatar
Lily
Female
22 years old
Newton
University of Vermont

Semester to remember

10/10

Everything from the breathtaking views from Table Mountain to the dynamic and passionate student body at the University of Cape Town to the abundant opportunities for adventure attributed to a truly life-changing study abroad experience. The programs and staff at IES helped us integrate into a place that was so different from what many of us were used to and helped us find a home in South Africa.

Default avatar
Manal
Female
24 years old
Decatur
University of Rochester

Feels Like Home--But Much More Vibrant and Exciting

8/10

Cape Town is very much an vibrant city that looks/feels like any other western city. There is this prospection that Africa isn't as 'developed' or 'modern' as other continents. But honestly, South Africa has the same kinds of malls, 'organic' food stores, technology, pop cultural; essentially everything you find at your home can be found there as well. The biggest difference you notice right way once you arrive is how unfairly distributed these 'developments' are. My program director put it perfect, she says that South Africa has one leg in the developed world and the other in the underdeveloped world. (I recognize that the terms 'developed' and 'underdeveloped' aren't respective of the country's growth in other areas and seen as disrespectful to describe countries as such, so please disregard my lack of a more appropriate terminology.) But yes, the divide is very prominent.
Anyway, Cape Town was still incredible as it has several attractions to keep you busy for weeks (seal snorkeling, paragliding, hiking the three mountains there, festivals, the wine country, SO MUCH FOOD, the two oceans!..). But there are also various communities available that host cultural events for study abroad students (traditional Xhosa dinners, attend a famous braii restaurant, visit Nelson Mandela's home and IES even organizes homestay weekends) that allows you to experience the rich customs of South Africa. So if you are an adrenaline junky or inquisitive butterfly, Cape Town provides a lot of options to explore.
In terms of safety, it is simple: don't do something in Cape Town, that you wont do in a big US city (like NYC). Theft (pickpocketing especially) is a common crime in Cape Town and it happens because you're not aware of your surroundings, walking around with your Iphone out, or not properly putting your things away. Some friends of mine had their things taken because of these reasons, but it didn't happen to me because I tried to be cautious when I was in public streets. The IES program provides a lot of info that address how to protect your stuff and it really helps if you follow those rules, nevertheless they are available in case it happens to you, so don't worry too much!

How can this program be improved?

I think the program needs to prepare students about how difficult UCT's standards are. The standards aren't impossible; they work on the system where there is less work meaning they weight extremely heavily ( i.e. the final is 50 to 60% of your final grade for example). Having some sort of sample syllabus or IES alumni testimonies about each class they took as to give students a look into what their prospective class' classwork is like, might help a lot.

Default avatar
Sarah
Female
22 years old
Long Island
University of Pittsburgh

Cape Town- Spring 2016

10/10

Making the decision to study abroad in South Africa was a daunting one, as I watched most of my friends leave for Europe/Australia. From the moment I landed in Cape Town, however, IES made the transition into a new continent and culture not only effortless, but also fun. The staff is incredible; they put the students first, and ensure that our happiness and safety are always taken care of. One of my first nights, I got extremely sick and had to be taken to an emergency room. Not only did my IES RA accompany me, but the director of the program came and stayed with me until I was able to go home. They assisted us with choosing classes, finding extracurriculars, and other travel plans! They also provided opportunities for all of the students to become close, which I really appreciated. I miss Cape Town and the IES faculty dearly!

How can this program be improved?

The program was great; the only thing that could slightly be improved is the transition into the University of Cape Town. That was the only time that I felt particularly stressed out!

Default avatar
Anna
Female
22 years old
Auburn
University of Rochester

An Incredible Experience

9/10

Going abroad with IES was potentially one of the best decisions I’ve made—other than the decision to study abroad, of course. The IES Cape Town staff were amazing, friendly, and helpful, especially when it came to registering for classes and adjusting to the difficulty of classes at UCT. They were always willing to listen to me and took my questions and concerns seriously. They were also happy to give restaurant recommendations as well! The activities that IES Cape Town planned, like going to a rugby match, a bicycle tour through a township, and a ferry ride to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela served his prison sentence, helped me to understand more about South African history and helped us bond as a group. I've definitely made friends that I'll keep for the rest of my life, and it's all because of this program. IES Abroad made my time in South Africa even more amazing than I could have imagined before leaving, and I'm so grateful to them for helping me make my study abroad experience so incredible.

How can this program be improved?

The first week of the program was an intensive orientation and field trip up the coast of South Africa, but after that there were two weeks of downtime before classes started at UCT. Those two weeks made me feel pretty isolated, and I found I had a difficult time adjusting to living in a different country. If there had been more scheduled activities in those two weeks, or if the program had started a little bit later, it probably would have been a little easier to adjust.

Default avatar
Annie
Female
22 years old
Houston
Washington University in Saint Louis

Fantastic staff and great experience

8/10

The IES staff in Cape Town have created an absolutely fantastic program. The activities and trips they organized - an overnight stay in a local township, a day trip to Robben Island and an outing to a local rugby match, just to name a few! - deepened my understanding of South Africa's history and current struggles, and gave me a chance to immerse myself further into their culture. On top of that the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. Whether I was missing home or having trouble registering for my classes, they were there to help and served as my support system. My time in Cape Town wouldn't have been the same without them and I couldn't ask for a better experience!

How can this program be improved?

We arrived 3 weeks before classes started. Orientation and a trip filled up the first week, but after that it was mostly free time. I had a rough time adjusting in those first couple weeks and spent much of my free time missing home - I think the program could have started a bit later to avoid so much empty time in the beginning.

Default avatar
Brenna
Female
22 years old
Rochester, NY
Villanova University

Creating a Home away from Home

10/10

My experience studying abroad with IES is difficult to sum up in a paragraph, or in any amount of words for that matter. Cape Town stole my heart in so many ways and I miss it every single day. It is a fantastic location to spend a semester- the people, the natural beauty, the history, the culture, the opportunities for adventure, etc. will completely envelop you and open your eyes to a whole new perspective. One of the reasons why I was able to have such a positive experience is without a doubt because of the IES staff. They provided us with an extensive orientation, planned several fun and informative field trips for us throughout the semester, and were always a constant source of support and guidance. They helped make Cape Town home. The students in IES became like a community to me as well, who I shared many of my favorite memories and made lifelong friends with. The spring break trip that IES planned to Kruger National Park was one of my favorite weeks for sure. I cannot wait to go back to Cape Town someday.

Default avatar
Shayna
Female
22 years old
Hewlett, New York
Lehigh University

The most magical city I could imagine

10/10

I had never traveled abroad before going to Cape Town so I was extremely anxious going into the semester. The IES staff made me feel comfortable and at home. The center literally acted as a hangout space for all of the students on my program, quickly enabling us to become friends. The city has so much to offer between the beach, mountains to hike, museums to venture through, wineries, and so much more. Studying at UCT allowed me to immerse myself in Cape Town's culture and I truly left the country feeling like it was home.

Default avatar
Alexis
Female
22 years old
HIllsborough
Lehigh University

Immersed in Cape Town

10/10

Studying abroad in Cape Town is something I miss everyday. I really enjoyed everything the city offered and I am grateful I was able to see so much of it. I was very pleased that IES offered us two long trips outside of school and made available to us smaller day activities as well. Because of these I was really able to bond with the other people in my program as well as the staff. I never thought I would miss my friends and the staff as much as I do now. They really helped shape the experience for me. Cape Town is a wonderful city that I wish more people had the opportunity to see.

How can this program be improved?

There is not much that could be done to improve the program. I really enjoyed all the trips that they offered, but it would be nice if they offered a detailed itinerary of the trips before we signed up so we knew better what it involved.

Adrianna
Female
22 years old
Columbia, South Carolina
University of South Carolina- Columbia

An experience that I wouldn't trade for the world!

10/10

While abroad, I learned to view the world from a non-western perspective. I learned to compare and contrast inequalities you learn in the classroom with inequalities you see every day. I learned to take risks, to live in the moment, and to try things outside of my comfort zone. It was so incredibly worthwhile. I went to beaches, climbed mountains, and visited historic sites. You will feel out of place at times. That's okay. It's part of growing up and learning new things. Take the time to listen to local students, to learn about the lives and experiences of others, and to not be taken aback by things that are 'different'. If you choose IES Cape Town, you will not regret it!!!!

How can this program be improved?

University of Cape Town has some logistical problems, but this was not the error of my program.

Default avatar
Hannah
Female
22 years old
Andover, Massachusetts
University of Rochester

An Unforgettable Semester

10/10

Choosing to spend the semester with IES Abroad in Cape Town is truly the best choice I've ever made. Being so far from home, it was absolutely essential to have a program which fully supported me and could provide me with the most information and resources possible. IES Abroad truly excelled in doing this. They provided housing options for us and I chose to live in Obz Square residence with many students from all over Africa. This provided so many opportunities for cultural immersion which is something I may not have gotten had I chosen another program. The trips and experiences IES planned were ones I’d only dreamt about. They organized trips to Kruger National Park as well as travelling along the Garden Route. They also provided many opportunities for service learning. Perhaps the most important thing IES Abroad did was help us adjust to the South African lifestyle regarding safety, budgeting and helping us get around in general. I’m so thankful IES was there helping me from the time I submitted my paperwork up until today.

How can this program be improved?

I can't think of anything huge I would change about this program however I think it would be great if there were even more chances to be culturally immersed through IES Abroad. They provided a lot but I did put in a bit of effort to truly communicate and learn from the South African people.

Default avatar
Ted
Male
24 years old
Memphis, TN
Rhodes College

A Semester Abroad At Home

9/10

Studying abroad usually means going to a foreign country and experience things that they have never. It was different for me as I grew up in South Africa and my family still lives there so I took the semester to not only go back to the place I once grew up, but also spend time with my family. Seeing the country you had so many memories in ten years later is a weird feeling as it feels familiar yet so strange. I've experienced a good amount of Cape Town life and spent a large amount of time with my family. I met a lot of good friends and soaked up every bit of fun with them. This was definitely an experience of a lifetime and I'd recommend it to anyone.

How can this program be improved?

I would possibly encourage more mandatory group activities so enhance the entire bond of the group.

Default avatar
Elizabeth
Female
24 years old
Caceres, Spain
Howard University

My Experience

9/10

My semester abroad with IES was nothing short of amazing!! IES provided support throughout my entire stay in South Africa. Going to UWC was the best decision I could've made. I absolutely loved my semester abroad. IES planned activities that made the experience worth while. IES is affordable and accessible.

How can this program be improved?

The program could be improved with a more organized and engaging course provided to the students.

Default avatar
Jordan
Male
24 years old
Chicago, Illinois
University of Illinois- Chicago

Life on the Flip-Side

10/10

My experiences with IES Abroad's Cape Town - UCT Direct Enrollment program were world class, life-changing, and unforgettable. The staff did a fantastic job of ensuring our safety and did everything possible to set us up for success in the classroom and - arguably more importantly - in the greater Cape Town area. IES equipped us with top-notch resources and truly did their best in allocating available scholarship funds to those in financial need. The field trips covered just about every experience of your typical 'Top 5 Things to do in South Africa' in addition to providing hands-on service learning within the community. These five months resulted in countless friendships including several of which I have since kept in touch with, visited, and even lived with post-college! This program was the perfect mix of structure and independence to result in a truly life-changing time abroad.

How can this program be improved?

Even as far as the university's surroundings were concerned, the housing was mediocre. However, I have been informed by the program director that it has since been vastly improved! Had that been the case back in 2012, the experience would have been a notch above.

Default avatar
Anna
Female
24 years old
San Antonio, TX
Trinity University

Multicultural Cape Town

8/10

Cape Town is a beautiful city and there is so much to do and see. I recommend ditching the Americans you came with and making as many local friends as you can! Everyone has a unique story and background; making local friends in Cape Town definitely made my experience more meaningful.

How can this program be improved?

Registering for classes was a difficult and confusing process. Our program directors helped but nothing was clear all of the time. You have to adapt to the "TIA" (This Is Africa) mindset.

About The Provider

Thumbnail

IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student should have the opportunity to

Read more...