Cape Town girl kissing elephant
Cape Town, South Africa

Arts + Sciences

Study Program

Dates

-

20 weeks

Credit

15 - 18 semester hours

22.5 -27 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

TBD

Credit

15 - 18 semester hours

22.5 -27 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

-

42 weeks

Credit

15 - 18 semester hours

22.5 -27 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

-

19 weeks

Costs

Credit

15 - 18 semester hours

22.5 -27 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Tentative Dates

-

20 weeks

Credit

15 - 18 semester hours

22.5 -27 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Overview

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. 

Unique Experiences

Connect

with South African students in your shared student accommodation.

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.

11

official languages

2

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

114

curves on the breathtaking Chapman’s Peak Drive

Experience
  • Cape Town city aerial
  • Cape Town squash cooking

Your Destination

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 an Arts and Sciences student, you’ll take classes at the University of Cape Town (UCT), the top-ranked university in Africa. Cape Town challenges you to understand 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

cape town good hope sign square

Excursions & Activities

Featured Excursion:  

Visit the most southwestern point of the African continent, the Cape of Good Hope, stopping along the way to see the African penguins in Simonstown.  On this day trip, you explore the beauty of the south peninsula and have fun browsing shops and stalls at the vibrant Hout Bay market.

Other activities and study tours:

  • Explore iconic sites like Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. 
    Join local fans at a sports stadium to watch cricket or rugby. 
  • See culture come to life with art on First Thursdays, theater, music, and other productions. 
  • Visit local communities to experience daily life in marginalized townships. 
    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. 
cape town girls coast

Internship and/or Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering: Receive more than you give by participating in an Impact Project in a local community or donating 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. Join one of many UCT clubs to participate in community service alongside fellow students. This is a not-for-credit opportunity.

Local engagement: Resident Assistants (RAs) are UCT students, recruited and trained by CIEE to help with cultural excursions, who live with CIEE students in CIEE’s off-campus apartments and introduce CIEE students to the UCT campus community.  

Meet with local community members through various CIEE initiatives, such as Sunday lunches with a host family, or by visiting community organizations in the Langa community.  

Program Blogs

From CIEE

Equestrian Getaway in Cape Town

By Cape Town Centre at CIEE

Authored by Haroni Sahilu (she/her) (Haroni is a rising senior at Arizona State University, majoring in Philosophy and Justice Studies. During her time in Cape Town, she hopes to aid... keep reading

From CIEE

Wildlife Sightings on Safari Trip in Kruger National Park

By Cape Town Centre at CIEE

Authored by Heather Wang (she/her) (Heather is a 2nd-year undergraduate student at Dartmouth College, majoring in Engineering Physics and Philosophy. She hopes to research astronomy and photometry during her time... keep reading

From CIEE

A Foreigner's Guide to Cape Town

By Cape Town Centre at CIEE

Author: Heather Wang (she/her) (Heather is a 2nd-year undergraduate student at Dartmouth College, U.S., majoring in Engineering Physics and Philosophy. She hopes to research astronomy and photometry during her time... keep reading

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

Housing
Academics

Academics

This CIEE program allows students to continue their studies while they explore contemporary South African society. Courses are taken together with other local and international students from all University of Cape Town faculties, except health sciences and the Graduate School of Business. Areas of study include languages and literatures, gender studies, economics, sociology, history, economics, political studies, engineering, business, film and media, STEM fields, law, and environmental and geographical sciences. In addition, students can choose to take the Intercultural Communication and Leadership course offered by CIEE faculty.

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, is internationally recognized as the top-ranked African research university. In 2022, UCT ranked 160th in the world (QS rankings). The UCT campus has beautiful grounds and attractive facilities which include a range of commercial, medical, recreational, and sporting facilities. 

CIEE students will have access to AACSB courses offered by UCT's Faculty of Commerce.

GPA

3.0

Additional Requirements

Minimum of sophomore standing by the time of application. 

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

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.

Requirements

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

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 Directed Independent Research (optional): 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 contact hours, 100-120 research hours
  • CIEE Intercultural Communication and Leadership course (optional): 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 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. 

Grading

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

English

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.

Courses

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. 

Academic Projects

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Academic Projects

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Course
Language
Semester Credit

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN

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

Faculty of Commerce 
Accounting 
Finance and Tax 
Management 
Actuarial Science 
Economics 
Commerce IT (Information Systems) 
Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance

Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment  
Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, and Electrical Engineering  
Geomatics   
Architecture and Planning 

Faculty of Humanities 
African Languages and Literature  
African Studies  
Afrikaans and Netherlandic Studies  
Classics  
Drama  
English Literature  
Film and Media Studies  
Fine Art  
Hebrew and Jewish Studies  
History  
History of Art  
Independent Research  
Linguistics  
Music  
Philosophy  
Political Studies  
Psychology  
Religious Studies  
Social Anthropology  
Sociology  
Theory of Literature 

Faculty of Science 
Archaeology  
Astronomy  
Botany  
Chemistry  
Computer Science  
Environmental and Geographical Science  
Geological Sciences  
Mathematics  
Oceanography  
Physics  
Statistical Sciences  
Zoology 

Faculty of Law  
Criminology 

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.

Scholarships

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
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application.

Learn more about scholarships

Dates & Fees

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. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Fall 2024 20 weeks Start Date End Date
Program Academic year 2024-2025 Start Date * End Date TBD*
Program Calendar year 2024 42 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date
Program Spring 2024 19 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $20,850
Program Spring 2025 20 weeks Start Date * End Date *

*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.

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 protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

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

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

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 protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

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

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

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 protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

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

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

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 protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $16,606**

Housing = $3,750

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $20,850

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 = $1,235

International Airfare = $1,450††

Local Transportation = $500

Books & Supplies = $100

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

Personal expenses = $235††††

Total Costs = $4,020

Optional Housing

CIEE accommodation options are detailed in the Housing section. Based on availability, Select or Select Plus Housing can be chosen during the application process for an additional fee:

Select Housing Fee = $750^

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

*non-refundable

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

For groceries if you plan on making your own meals, budget more money if you plan on eating out regularly.

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

†††If no consulate in your home area

††††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries

^first-come, first serve, based on availability

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 protection with benefits.

Estimated Costs

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

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

What's Included

Tuition

Housing

Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet

Orientation

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 travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support

Staff

Our Staff

Nompilo Ndlovu

Center Director

Dr. Nompilo Ndlovu has over a decade of experience working within the academic, policy and non-profit sectors, focused on the African continent.

Caleb Kay

Student Life Coordinator

Caleb has a degree in Political Science, Governance, and Sociology from the University of Cape Town.

Shalom Chitanda

Student Life Coordinator

Shalom is a two-time graduate of the University of Cape Town, with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a B.A. in History and Law. She currently holds the portfolio of...

Max Hoffenberg 

Academic Coordinator

Max graduated from the University of Cape Town with majors in Environmental/Geographical Science and Media Writing/Journalism.

Get Started Steps

Get Started

Here’s what you need to do to take the next steps:

1

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

2

Connect With Your Campus Study Abroad Office 
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.

Request Info