CIEE: Design Your Own Semester Abroad

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, CIEE has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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With CIEE's, you can design your very own semester program in up to three amazing cities! Whether you want to study for 6, 12, or 18 weeks, you can build the ideal study abroad experience that offers mobility, cultural immersion, and an academically rich experience – tailored to fit your needs.

See all the study abroad city combinations using our custom study abroad tool, spin the globe, or take a look at experiences around some of our most popular open campus combinations!

Select from ten cities in our CIEE network in Europe, Latin American, and Africa and view flexible courses offered to meet your needs including Business; Communication, Journalism, and New Media; Global and Community Health; International Relations and Political Science; Language, Literature, and Culture; Sustainability and Environmental Sciences; and Internships and Research Projects.

  • Study abroad in up to 3 amazing cities in one semester
  • Customize semester to meet degree requirements, personal interests, time frame and budget
  • Add internships or research projects as part of your semester
  • Block system allows for flexibility with all institutional calendars
  • Scholarships and grants are available - don't miss out!

Updated refund & cancellation policy for flexible, secure booking due to COVID-19

In the unusual event CIEE has to cancel your summer ’20, fall '20, January '21, or spring '21 study abroad or internship program due to a health, safety, or security concern, you’re covered with Program Assurance Advantage.


CIEE Scholarships
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


9.5 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 10
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Cape Town, you have my heart!

Arriving in Cape Town for CIEE's "Fall Block I Open Campus," I was unsure what to expect. I felt ready to experience a new part of the continent (my family is from Kenya and I lived there for 10 years, but was born in the US) in a new light. After staying in an AirBnB the first night, I arrived in Rondebosch from an Uber across from the CIEE building. The first day there was great. Meeting everyone, from the staff to the other students excited me for the next 6 weeks. The first week was a learning curve with orientation and getting to know the 4 other roommates in my apartment. There were only 5 guys out of 18 in the program which is one thing I can say I was surprised about - but I suppose guys are less likely to do study abroad programs.

I took two classes, "Poverty, Development, & Human Rights," with the amazing Professor Nompilo, and, "Intercultural Communication and Leadership," with Akisha. Both courses were excellent, and all very discussion based. The only true busy weeks were week 3 and 5-6 as our midterm essays and finals commenced. Other than that, they were a good balance of work and experiential learning as we went out on excursions nearly every Thursday or Friday. It so happened that my classes were scheduled the same day, which was good and bad. The con was that it made for very long days with each class being three hours a piece with an hour or so in between, and the pro being the fact since classes were only on Monday and Wednesday, I had the ability to plan full day trips, events, and experiences without having to worry about coming back to CIEE on time for class. The other class offered, "Atlantic Crossings," I heard was excellent as well, with many saying it was one of the best classes they had ever taken during their time in college.

During our amazing study tour we embarked on to Muizenberg, Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope), Boulder Beach (African Penguins). Besides that, we also had numerous excursions to places such as Khayelitsha, Zeitz MOCAA, and others, and of course - we made sure to go out and have fun on our own. With the South African Rand trading in favor of the dollar (about 15.5 - 16 Rand = 1 USD during our time there), we were able to truly capitalize on all Cape Town had to offer. From Long Street to Sea Point, we visited many clubs, bars, and restaurants, with one of our staples being Stones in Observatory due to its laid back conversational nature. Personally, I was able to go skydiving with Skydive Cape Town (about $300 USD with the video/pictures - beyond worth it), visit the historic Robben Island, hike up Table Mountain via Skeleton Gorge (if you truly want to experience the mountain, this is the way - great day trip, but hard hike if you don't usually hike. There are easier routes like Platteklip) and Lion's Head, spend many days at the beach at Camp's Bay or Clifton, venture to Stellenbosch for an amazing full-day wine tour, and so much more. I did all of this and much more during six weeks, actually staying under budget.

Overall, I would do CIEE again if I could. It was so worth it. I made lifelong friends of whom I am already planning to meet up with early next year, was able to reconnect with myself in a way I didn't think I would, and was able to learn so much about a country that has been so successful but faced so much hardship. Even though I only did one block as I had to return to Seattle, I must say 6 weeks is just enough to fully immerse yourself in this amazing city and country. If you want to learn more about my personal experience, we sure to check out my 5 part VLOG series I made during my time there on my Youtube channel, Alfred Mugho - the link is below!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would try to meet more locals earlier in the program. One of my goals was to meet entrepreneurs while I was there, and even though I did meet a few, I feel like I should have ventured out more into UCT to meet just people my age, from different places in South Africa.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

CIEE was wonderful to work with. They did the groundwork for me. They found my placement, my housing, and took care of the work permit, almost everything. I was a volunteer. I don't think they find your housing if you are paid. In CIEE's pre-departure class, I felt like I learned as much as I did in my entire 2-year teaching credential degree at the university. In addition, it was FUN. My Spanish improved so much and I made lots of friends!

What would you improve about this program?
CIEE did everything, so there's not much that could be improved on. The only suggestion I have, is that I did not find out about the post-teaching warm-down/reflection session until I'd already made my plane rickets, so I missed it. I would have enjoyed talking to the other volunteers about their experiences.