Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town Summer Community Development and Social Justice: Theory + Practice

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This program has been suspended for summer 2021.

Explore our other active study abroad programs for summer 2021, or check out our travel assurances and updated health and safety guidelines.

Grab this chance to put learning into action and make an impact in Cape Town. Ramp up with theoretical work, then dig into hands-on projects where you’ll experience post-Apartheid life in various Cape Town communities. It’s a transformative summer experience that will leave you with a firm grip on the economic, political, and social picture in South Africa, and the challenges ahead for this evolving, international city.  

Unique Experiences

  • Make a difference

    with a series of small-scale projects and a two-week endeavor to boost Cape Flat community schools, orphanages, and NGOs.

  • Begin to learn

    Afrikaans and IsiXhosa languages.

  • Connect Locally

    Enjoy a braai (barbeque) with locals in the township community of Langa, and sample Cape Malay cuisine in the Bo-Kaap.

  • official languages

  • universities

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Location & Culture

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The Culture


  • Explore iconic areas like Cape Peninsula and the Cape Flats.
  • Catch a rugby or soccer match, theater, music, or dance productions, and local festivals.
  • Get new perspective on social challenges here as you help revitalize a community in deep poverty with iKhaya le Langa (House of the Sun), or do similar work at another NGO, school, or orphanage.

Daily Life

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  • Housing

    Students live in shared apartments that vary in size between 2 and 8 people per flat. There are combinations of double and single rooms. The apartments are centrally located to grocery stores, fast food restaurants and banks and the Global Institute. The building is equipped with security systems, Wi-Fi, laundry, common rooms with TVs, and kitchen facilities. 

  • Meals

    Students are responsible for meals. They can prepare meals at their house, or eat at local cafes and restaurants.

Cape Town, South Africa

Where You'll Study

  • A


    Cape Town


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In this 8-week program, all students take the required courses: Poverty and Development Cape Town Case Study and Community and Partnership: Theory and Engagement. The program begins with theoretical work that provides a foundation for projects and an understanding of the challenges of daily life in Cape Town. Then, students put theory into practice with community projects. Students come away with a strong grasp of South African history, politics, educational challenges, values, and traditions. In-class work is augmented with co-curricular visits to the city’s rich variety of cultural institutions and organizations relevant to the course offerings.

Courses are taught by CIEE faculty.

CIEE Global Institute – Cape Town is located in the Rondebosch district, near the University of Cape Town campus.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

Students should have prior experience in community service or volunteer work.

Program Requirements

Students take the two required courses:

  • AFST 3003 CTSU / DEVE 3001 CTSU: Poverty and Development Cape Town Case Study
  • CMBL 3001 CTSU: Community and Partnership: Theory and Engagemen

Program Credit

Total credit: 6 U.S. semester/9 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • Community and Partnership: 3 U.S. semester credits/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours; 90 service hours

Academic Culture

CIEE courses are designed to follow U.S. academic culture and standards. Each course is a full semester in content, so the pace is accelerated, and the workload is demanding given that a significant amount of time will be spent at students’ service site. To avoid falling behind, students should not plan personal travel out of Cape Town when classes are in session.

Class Format

Classes taught at the CIEE Global Institute are for CIEE students only. 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.


The U.S. grading scale of A-F is used. Students are graded based on participation, reflection papers, a presentation, and a final exam.

Language of Instruction



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Course Information


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.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in 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:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • 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.

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

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.