The CIEE program at the University of Cape Town
is a supported enrollment program based in cosmopolitan Cape Town. This program is appropriate for students from all academic disciplines who have an interest in learning about contemporary South African life, society, and the forces that have created it. Some former study abroad students would indicate that the university has an "activism vibe." In addition, South Africa is known for its diverse landscape, which includes natural beaches, forests and mountains. The program is offered during the fall, spring, and academic year. Students have a wide variety of housing choices and participate in various cultural activities with the CIEE group.
The academic system is geared toward the scholar who is motivated, self-sufficient, and deeply interested in the subject matter. Participants may notice striking differences between their home educational system and the UCT system. In some courses, the university allows students greater responsibility and initiative in a less structured environment, while in other courses the structure of the courses may mirror a US-style format. Student take regular classes alongside their South African counterparts in all UCT faculties except Health Sciences. You may undertake an independent study with faculty permission. Please note that any course you take with "Africa" in the title will probably have almost exclusively other international students in the course.
Students can choose from three different housing options. Students are STRONGLY encouraged to choose one of the first two options. With 6% of the UCT student body being American, it can at times feel like a struggle to meet local students. Staying in a homestay or living in a dorm with South African students, will give you greater access to local life and culture.
- Homestay with South African Family: This option provides an excellent opportunity for immersion into the local culture and is strongly recommended for students who wish to take full advantage of their experience in South Africa. Breakfast and dinner are provided during the week. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on weekends. Lunches during the week are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student.
- UCT residence hall: Students have small single rooms and share kitchen and other facilities with two or three other students. A majority of the students that reside in the residence halls are South African upperclassmen. CIEE Resident Assistants live in the residence hall with the students. All of the residents of the apartment share basic cleaning duties. Students are responsible for their own meals which are not included in the program fee.
- Off-Campus Houses or Apartments: Students share off-campus houses or apartments near campus with fellow CIEE program participants and a small number of local students. The CIEE Office is also located in this building for easy access for any student questions. Students have small single rooms (some houses have a small number of double rooms) and share kitchen and other facilities with five to ten other students (fewer in apartments). Students are responsible for their own meals which are not included in the program fee.
Students will participate in a variety of artistic and cultural activities with the other CIEE participants. In addition, students are encouraged to engage in community service and/or independent research projects. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Township homestay weekend.
All students should consult the OGP eligibility page to ensure that they meet all specific academic requirements for each school (CC, GS, SEAS) to study abroad.
There is a two-part application process for this program: an internal Columbia approval process called 'clearance' and an external admission application submitted directly to this program. Click "Start an Application" above for instructions and to begin.