IES Abroad Cape Town Direct Enrollment – University of Cape Town

Video and Photos

Students riding elephants in South Africa
Students riding elephants in South Africa
Students on a hike
Students on a hike
Students enjoying ice cream
Students enjoying ice cream
Aerial view of Cape Town
Aerial view of Cape Town
Students on a hike
Students on a hike
UCT
UCT
Students on a hike
Students on a hike
The sunset at Camps Bay- the photo doesn't do it justice. One either side of the photo, there is Table Mountain, Lions' Head, and Devil's Peak facing the sea!

About

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.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 26 reviews
  • Academics 8.5
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 7.8
Showing 16 - 26 of 26
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Anna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible Experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Annie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic staff and great experience

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Brenna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Creating a Home away from Home

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.

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Shayna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The most magical city I could imagine

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.

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Alexis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersed in Cape Town

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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!!!!

What would you improve about this program?
University of Cape Town has some logistical problems, but this was not the error of my program.
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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Semester

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Ted
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Semester Abroad At Home

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.

What would you improve about this program?
I would possibly encourage more mandatory group activities so enhance the entire bond of the group.
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Elizabeth
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
The program could be improved with a more organized and engaging course provided to the students.
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Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life on the Flip-Side

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Anna
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Multicultural Cape Town

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.