Cape Town, South Africa

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

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

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2023

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: April 1, 2023
  • Dates: May 30 – Jul 26, 2023 (8 weeks)
  • Credit: 6 semester hours / 9 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Do you want to spend your summer supporting and engaging with marginalized communities? Bring your service-oriented work ethic to South Africa, where you can put learning into action to make a meaningful impact in Cape Town. 

Your summer in Cape Town will begin with theoretical work, followed by digging into hands-on projects to give you firsthand experience of post-Apartheid life in various Cape Town communities. This transformative study abroad opportunity will show you the real-world economic, political, and social challenges the people in this evolving, international city regularly face. In addition, you will have plenty of free time to explore the magnificent mountains, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife of this South African gem to fully immerse yourself in all that the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town has to offer.

Unique Experiences

  • Make a difference

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

  • Begin to learn

    about power, privilege, and the complexities of development aid in South Africa

  • 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


    4.8 M
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Location & Culture

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Cape Town is South Africa's most popular destination for many reasons. From the city's glorious climate to its natural attractions – like Table Mountain and stunning beaches – visitors from all around the world travel to this incredible port city. Cape Town is a microcosm of the challenges facing many African countries in transition. The city leads by example by demonstrating how to successfully operate within a global economy while grappling with the vast socioeconomic inequalities that are the legacy of the city's colonial and apartheid past.  

Cape Town's Mediterranean climate means the months from May to July bring cool days and some rain. Daily high temperatures are around 64°F, rarely falling below 57°F or exceeding 72°F. This summer program operates during Cape Town's winter season!  

CIEE Cape Town is conveniently located within 15 minutes of the Langa (isiXhosa for "Sun") community, where students serve local organizations and residents. Although there are 11 national languages spoken in South Africa, everyone in Cape Town speaks English, and students can easily communicate with residents and other students. Students don't need to speak isiXhosa, although learning a few casual greetings will open the pathway to new friendships. Molweni!

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


Featured excursion 

 Your program begins with an intensive, immersive Expectations Workshop. We retreat for two days with instructors who help prepare you for the daily life experiences, challenges, and opportunities of the communities you will serve. This workshop takes place in a beautiful location away from CIEE Cape Town. We can’t wait to show you! 

Other activities

  • Explore iconic areas like Cape Peninsula and the Cape Flats. 
  • Catch a rugby or soccer match, theater, music, or dance productions. 
  • Gain new perspectives on social challenges here as you serve a community in deep poverty with iKhaya le Langa (House of the Sun), or do similar work at another NGO, school, or orphanage. 
  • Visit one of the New Seven Wonders of the Natural World, Table Mountain. 
  • Enjoy your creative side while you cook up a feast at a Food Jam. 

Daily Life

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  • Housing

    Summer Community Development and Social Justice students will live in comfortable single-room apartments within a 10-minute walk from CIEE Cape Town. They will share the residence with other CIEE Study Abroad participants, as well as local and international students attending various universities and colleges across the city. All the rooms are fully furnished and include an ensuite bathroom, a fully fitted kitchen, Wi-Fi, 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 free time. Students can enjoy social interactions with their peers in a variety of communal areas and can also appreciate the quiet spaces that allow them to study on their own or work on tasks in a group. 

  • Meals

    Students are responsible for meals. They can cook at their home or eat at local cafes and restaurants. Cooking equipment is provided. 

  • Transportation

    Students usually make use of Uber or ride-share services rather than unreliable, infrequent public transport. Costs are approximately $0.60 USD per kilometer, which makes it an affordable option for many. 

Cape Town, South Africa

Where You'll Study

  • A


    Cape Town

What People are Saying

  • "The CIEE CDSJ program has been very integral to my learning experience and professional growth."

    Malcolm S., Occidental College


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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 in local community organizations. 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, Monday – Friday, with some activities taking place on weekends. Instruction is supported and augmented online by our learning management system, Canvas. 

CIEE 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. 

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 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 Engagement 

Program Credit

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

Course Credit

  • Poverty and Development Cape Town Case Study: 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 inclusive of 90 service 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

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 Cape Town Center 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. 

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


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
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • CIEE Stem Scholarship

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.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Summer 2023 8 weeks Apr 1, 2023 May 30, 2023 Jul 26, 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 = $6,328 **

Housing = $1,425

Insurance = $197

Total Fees = $8,250

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 = $800

International Airfare = $1,450

Local Transportation = $350

Books & Supplies = $50

Personal expenses = $1,000

Other = $80

Total Estimated Costs = $3,730

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.

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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

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.