South Africa: University of Cape Town (Council on International Educational Exchange)

Cape Town is a lively city with an indecipherable atmosphere that seems both European and African.  It  is a product of First World and Third World with its affluent and impoverished areas.  In addition to the leisure activities of water sports, nightclubs, and gourmet restaurants, Cape Town is an example of an economy transitioning from the colonial period to the global period.  CIEE in Cape Town welcomes students from all academic disciplines who want to learn about contemporary South African life and society. 

Immersion/Cultural Activities:

CIEE Resident Assistants are an important aspect of helping students get accustomed to the South African culture.  These RAs are UCT students who assist CIEE participants during orientations and throughout the semester, introducing them to South African and international students as well as typical South African college life.  CIEE also provides volunteer programs and the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity.  The program hosts several field trips and excursions to sites around Cape Town and in the Western Cape Province.   Over the course of the program, students will take part in a three-day homestay with a local family in the community of Ocean View.

Course Work:

The South African academic year runs from early February through late November with two semesters.  Internships are not offered at this time.

Students study at the University of Cape Town, one of Africa‚Äôs leading research facilities, alongside University of Cape Town undergraduates.  CIEE requires students to enroll in at least one course with specific African content and encourages them to take part in community service.


Overall GPA of 3.0; Junior standing or above; college-level courses in African studies recommended.


UCT Residence Halls: Apartment-style UCT shared with other South African or African students.  Students have single rooms and share a kitchen and other facilities with two or three other students.  Meals are not included.  CIEE RAs live in the residence halls with the students.  Shuttle buses link UCT residence halls with all UCT campuses.

Off-Campus Houses/Apartments: Students have small single rooms (or double in some of the houses) and share a kitchen and other facilities with five to ten other students (CIEE participants and local students).  Meals are not included. 

Homestays: Homestay families are located throughout Cape Town.  Some students may rely on public transportation in a 20 to 30 minute commute.  Breakfast and lunch are provided during the week, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on the weekends. 


CIEE organizes an Online Pre-Departure Orientation, in which the Resident Director meets the students online and provides information about the program and site.  Once the students arrive in Cape Town, they participate in a mandatory orientation which introduces them to the city and country, culture, and academic program.  Students are informed about campus facilities and services.  A series of lectures on African history, politics, geography, safety, and survival skills is held.