Cape Town, South Africa

Arts + Sciences

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Information for term Arts + Sciences

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

October 1, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Jan 23 – Jun 7, 2023 (19 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 -27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA


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Take your studies to one of South Africa's most important ports and capital cities: Cape Town! This diverse, picturesque, and cosmopolitan gem is an ideal destination to study abroad. From its challenging hiking trails up Table Mountain to its vibrant, bustling Langa township to its remarkable variety of art museums and galleries, Cape Town is home to endless captivating landmarks and memorable activities to keep you entertained while studying abroad.

Designed for students of all academic backgrounds, CIEE's Arts and Sciences program features courses in anthropology, business, economics, engineering, history, liberal arts, linguistics, literature, media, science, engineering, information technology, politics, gender studies, and more - all delivered in English. Earn credits alongside students from around the world at the University of Cape Town (UCT), a top-ranked university in Africa internationally recognized by QS World University Rankings as ninth in the world for Development Studies, 23rd for Environmental Science and Engineering, 48th for Oceanography, and many other disciplines in the top 100.

CIEE complements all your courses with activities and excursions beyond Cape Town to enhance your classroom learning and intercultural understanding of South Africa's incredible culture, landscape, and natural beauty. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

Unique Experiences

  • Connect

    with a South African family in a homestay.

  • Serve

    Cape Town people in need – students say it is a pinnacle of their study abroad experience.

  • Live and learn

    where natural beauty and outdoor fun are part of everyday life.

  • official languages

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • curves on the breathtaking Chapman’s Peak Drive


Location & Culture

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With a glorious climate and natural icons like Table Mountain and stunning beaches, it is no wonder that Cape Town is Africa’s number-one tourist destination. Day and night, this multicultural city offers much to do: water sports, mountaineering, nightclubs, and restaurants. As a microcosm of many African countries in transition, Cape Town also illuminates the issues of joining the global economy while grappling with vast socioeconomic inequalities born from its colonial and apartheid past.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Cape Town.

The Culture


  • Explore iconic sites like the Cape Peninsula, Cape Flats, and Robben Island.
  • Join local fans at Newlands Stadium to watch cricket or rugby.
  • See culture come to life with theater, music, and dance productions.
  • Visit rural cooperatives to experience daily life beyond the city.
  • Immerse yourself in campus life at the University of Cape Town by joining a social, sport, or cultural club – select up to three activities, and we’ll cover the cost.


Volunteering: Receive more than you give by participating in an Impact Project in a local community or giving your time on a weekly basis by tutoring students, working with health and medical organizations, providing services for the homeless, or using your administrative skills for the benefit of a local organization.

Peer-to-peer connections: Resident Assistants (RAs) are top UCT students, recruited and trained by CIEE to help with cultural excursions, live with CIEE students in UCT residence halls or CIEE’s off-campus apartments, and introduce CIEE students to the UCT campus community.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    Arts and Sciences students will live in comfortable single roomed apartments that are within a 10 min walking distance from UCT and the study centre. They will share the residence with other CIEE Study Aboard participants together with both local and international students attending a variety of universities and colleges across the city All the rooms are fully furnished and include an en-suite bathroom, a fully fitted kitchen, uncapped wifi and a wall-mounted TV. The accommodation also offers a fully equipped gym, a laundry facility on each floor and a recreational social space on the ground floor for anytime relaxation. Students can enjoy social interaction with their peers in a variety of communal areas and can also appreciate the quiet study spaces that allow them to study on their own or work on tasks in a group.


    Homestays: Breakfast and dinner are provided on weekdays. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on weekends. Students are responsible for lunch on weekdays.

    UCT Residence Halls and Shared Apartments: Students are responsible for all meals. They can prepare their own meals at their hall or apartment, or eat on or off campus.

Cape Town, South Africa

Where You'll Study

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    Getting Around

    Students take a free university shuttle to get from their housing to campus.

What People are Saying

  • "The program exceeded my expectations and provided us with not only fun trips and great info, but an amazing group of faculty that I became close with."

    Jaleesa P., Eckerd College
  • "Really rich programming around cultural immersion and very considerate staff who care about the wellbeing of students"

    Emily M., Brown University
  • "It is a great organization that figures out many of the administrative side of study abroad with UCT for the students, which is very convenient."

    Joanne L., University of Southern California - Dornsife
  • "It was a well-run and organized program"

    Libby L., George Washington University


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This CIEE program allows students to continue their studies while they explore contemporary South African society. Courses may be taken in all University of Cape Town faculties, except health sciences and the Graduate School of Business. Areas of study include Afrikaans, gender studies, economics, sociology, history, economics, political studies, and environmental and geographical sciences.

Students participate in a variety of cultural activities and are strongly encouraged to participate in community service opportunities offered by UCT and CIEE.

University of Cape Town (UCT) Established as South African College in 1829, UCT is internationally recognized as one of Africa’s leading research universities, with beautiful grounds and attractive buildings. The UCT campus includes a range of commercial, medical, recreational, and sporting facilities.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

Minimum of sophomore standing by time of application.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Program Requirements

Students must enroll in 3-4 courses for 15-18 U.S. semester credits (or approximately 70-82 local HEQF credits)

  • At least 1 course must have specific African content or offer an African perspective. Most UCT courses fulfill this requirement (applicable through spring 2020)
  • Students may take all UCT courses or a combination of UCT and CIEE courses

Program Credit

Total credit: 15-18 U.S. semester/22.5-27 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • CIEE Directed Independent Research: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 contact hours, 100-120 research hours
  • University of Cape Town (UCT) courses: typically, 2.5-6.5 U.S. semester/3.75-9.75 quarter credits; typically, 120-300 notional hours

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

Students typically find that UCT courses require greater responsibility and initiative in a less structured environment than they are accustomed to. It is important to be motivated, self-sufficient, and deeply interested in the subject matter. Teaching methods at UCT include a mixture of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and, in the sciences, laboratory classes. CIEE courses are designed to follow U.S. academic culture and standards. The class environment typically features a combination of traditional lecture and discussion with co-curricular excursions and activities. Heavy emphasis is placed on student participation. To avoid falling behind, students should not plan personal travel out of the city when classes are in session.

Class Format

Classes are scheduled Monday-Friday and typically meet two to three times per week. Attendance is strictly enforced. Students should expect an average of two hours of preparation required for each hour in class. UCT courses include UCT undergraduates and CIEE courses are for CIEE students only. Class sizes at UCT range from 100 to 300 with larger lectures and smaller tutorials (sections) of 20 to 40 students.


UCT courses all include continuous assessment, with 50% of the final grade based on the final exam, which is moderated by external examiners. Grades are based on a South African scale of 100 and later converted to the U.S. system of A-F. For CIEE courses, the U.S. grading scale of A-F is used. Students are graded based on their attendance, class participation, homework, project work, presentations, and midterm and final examinations. The assessment of learning outcomes is continuous through these methods of evaluation as set out in course syllabi.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction


Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


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Course Information

  • University of Cape Town follows the South African Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF) credit system.
    • 1 HEQF credit typically equals .222 U.S. semester credits and represents approximately 10 notional hours
    • Most courses are worth 12-30 HEQF credits
  • Courses may be taken in all University of Cape Town Departments, except Health Sciences and the Graduate School of Business.
  • Students applying for the Directed Independent Research are required to submit additional materials during the course selection process.

Host Institution Courses

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Below is a list of the faculties available at University of Cape Town. For specific course listings, please refer to the UCT website. Please note that not all courses within UCT faculties or departments are suitable for program participants, and many have pre-requisites.

Faculty of Commerce
Actuarial Science
Information Systems

Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
Architecture and Planning

Faculty of Humanities
African Languages and Literature
African Studies
Afrikaans and Netherlandic Studies
English Literature
Fine Art
Hebrew and Jewish Studies
History of Art
Independent Research
Political Studies
Religious Studies
Social Anthropology
Theory of Literature

Faculty of Science
Computer Science
Environmental and Geographical Science
Geological Sciences
Statistical Sciences

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance with no hidden charges.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2023 19 weeks Oct 1, 2022 Jan 23, 2023* Jun 7, 2023*
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $16,083 **

Housing = $3,400 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $19,950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $1,650

International Airfare = $1,450 ††

Local Transportation = $500

Books & Supplies = $100

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500 †††

Personal expenses = $2,000

Total Estimated Costs = $6,200

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** students placed in homestays will have breakfast and dinner provided during the week and three meals a day on weekends

For self-catering apartments

†† round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

††† If no consulate in your home area

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Our Staff

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Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.