Fall, Spring, Academic Year
Cape Town, South Africa
- 3.0 GPA or higher
- Good academic and disciplinary standing
Fall/Academic Year: 2/24
In Cape Town, every day will be like a choose-your-own-adventure book: imagine breathtaking views from atop Table Mountain, hiking Lion's Head at sunset, visiting beaches—there's even a beach with penguins!—and more.
When you study with IES in South Africa, you will register for three to five courses at South Africa's leading research university, the University of Cape Town (UCT), which is located in a pleasant suburban area five miles from the City Center. UCT is South Africa's oldest university and has undergone incredible change since its opening, particularly since the end of apartheid, and works to make quality higher education available to students regardless of race. UCT is officially recognized for its strengths in African Studies, Biology, Botany, Business, Environmental Sciences, History, Mathematics, Engineering, Sociology, and Anthropology.
Service learning in and around Cape Town is a core component in this program as it helps you understand some of Cape Town's most pressing social issues while contributing your skills toward a community-driven solution. Our service learning course options in Health Studies and Sociology include completing 60 hours of volunteer work and research while in Cape Town.
This program is offered for an academic year or a semester (fall or spring). Dates can be found on the IES Cape Town University of Cape Town webpage.
You take 15–19 credit hours per semester as you enroll in University of Cape Town courses. You may also elect to take one of the IES Abroad courses.
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
IES Center Courses: Academics
Participating in a service learning experience in Cape Town is one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the city's culture and society. Working alongside local people towards a common goal, you experience first-hand some of the social issues that affect Cape Town while contributing your skills towards a community-driven solution.
A service learning placement consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by a weekly academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Throughout the seminar, you have structure time for reflection, discussion, and research on the issues of your host community. Many of the community organization connections are created through relationships with the IES Abroad faculty. IES Abroad will assist your efforts by facilitating introductions to organizations and coordinating group transportation to the location (for IES Abroad class-based community-service).
Each semester, students work on a different project depending on the needs of the community or organization where they are volunteering. You will visit the community at the beginning of the semester and return several times during the semester to work on projects that will contribute to the organization long after you return home. At the end of the semester, you are welcome to donate clothing, toiletries, and supplies left from your time in Cape Town to local organizations.
Summer internships are available in Cape Town. Please see IES Internships Cape Town for more details.
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Perched between the ocean and the mountains, with a national park at its heart, there is nowhere like Cape Town. Cape Town, the "Mother City," is the oldest city in South Africa and has a cultural heritage spanning more than 300 years. Cape Town is the 2nd most populous city in South Africa, behind Johannesburg, with over a million people living within the city limits.
Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa has a landmass of 1,233,404 km². It is edged on 3 sides by a nearly 3,000-km coastline comprised of both the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered in the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and also wraps itself around two independent countries, the Lesotho and Swaziland.
The South African population of more than 49 million people is extremely diverse. Africans are in the majority, making up approx. 80% of the population, followed by the white population of approx. 4.4 million; the coloured population of approx. 4.2 million; and the Indian/Asian population at approx. 1.2 million.
Since the demise of apartheid, international tourist arrivals have surged, making tourism one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. The tourism industry is well-established with an exciting array of emerging entrepreneurs. The country is strong on adventure, sport, nature, and wildlife and is a pioneer and global leader in responsible tourism.
The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.
Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.
You may live with other IES Abroad students in a furnished house or apartment near the University of Cape Town. Furnished houses and apartments offer single and double rooms, a communal lounge, and a fully-equipped kitchen area. All houses and apartments are equipped with digital safes for storage of personal belongings. Internet access is available but not guaranteed.
You may also choose to live in one of the University of Cape Town Residence Halls or shared apartments with South African and international students. In a furnished single room in a residence hall, you will have access to a shared kitchen and a private bathroom. Laundry facilities on site are free to use and easy to access. Internet access is available but not guaranteed. Students can access UCT WiFi from their rooms. All residence hall rooms are equipped with digital safes.
Even though your adventure begins in Cape Town, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. In addition to trips to the District 6 Museum and Robben Island, these two major field trips are optional and partially subsidized by IES Abroad:
3 Days / Orientation
Travel along the south-eastern coast line of South Africa, better known as the Garden Route. Explore the Cango Cave system, tour a wildlife ranch, an ostrich farm, and select a visit to an animal sanctuary. Experience the beauty and diversity of the South African landscape as you hike and canoe along the Route.
Explore the beauty and cultures of South Africa on this three-to-five-day excursion. This trip begins with a flight to Johannesburg where you will visit the Apartheid Museum and take a bicycle tour through the historic Soweto township. The next day, you’ll travel east to the Kruger National Park, where you'll spend a day and a half looking for the wide variety of animals who live there, including elephants, lions, leopards, hippos, giraffes, and rhinos.
Participants will make their own travel arrangements to Cape Town, taking advantage of any frequent-flyer options and/or internet specials available to them. The cost of travel is not included in the program fee. Within Cape Town and around South Africa, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains.
This program is open to students in good academic and disciplinary standing with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. You must remain in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university until departure. If you are not in good standing at the end of the semester, your acceptance will be revoked and you will be responsible for the associated withdrawal fees.
This is the cost sheet for Spring 2020: IES Cape Town Cost Sheet
This document outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.
The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.
Some costs are incurred prior to departure and will be due before financial aid/scholarships disperse. Here are the expected upfront costs for IES:
These fees are all optional and are not included in the course fee for the program. The cost should be paid directly to IES — failure to pay will result in IES withholding transcripts.
Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.
Scholarships are also available directly through IES. More information can be found on their website.
Pell Grant Recipients are competitive candidates for the Department of State's Gilman Scholarship. Please talk to your Study Abroad Advisor for more details.
Spring: September 24
Fall/Academic Year: February 24
Steps to Completing Your Application
Acceptance into the program is made by IES directly via an email to you. Upon acceptance, you will be asked to confirm your participation with IES and the University of Iowa. After confirmation, you will work and correspond directly with IES to complete pre-departure materials. Participants are responsible for the IES application deposit ($500) and study abroad administrative fees if they withdraw.
IES and the UI have a variety of resources available to you to prepare for departure. It is recommended that you review these materials, share them with your parents, and refer back to them if you have questions.
To study abroad, you must have a signed, valid passport from your country of citizenship that will not expire for a minimum of 6 months after your planned return date. If you do not have a passport, or it's about to expire, make sure you apply or renew as soon as possible! U.S. citizens can refer to the U.S. Department of State’s website for more information regarding passports.
A student visa is permission by a foreign government to live and study in that country. It typically comes in the form of a stamp that is inserted directly into your passport. All US passport holders staying in South Africa longer than 90 days must obtain a student visa prior to departure. You cannot apply for the visa more than 90 days prior to arrival in South Africa.
In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.
You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.
Brooke Axness, Summer 2014Adventure of my dreams: interning abroad in South Africa