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IES Cape Town University of Cape Town

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Location:

Cape Town, South Africa

Credit:

Transfer

Program Features

Affiliated Program

Eligibility:

- 3.0 GPA or higher

- Good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

Fall/Academic Year: 2/24

Spring: 9/27

IES University of Cape Town

Cape Town View
View from Table Mountain

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.

Program Dates

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.

Courses

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 Abroad Service Learning Course: Focused on South Africa, the service learning project includes community service (60 hours over the course of the semester) at a local organization. (3 credits)
  • 3-5 Courses at the University of Cape Town: Enroll in a minimum of 15-19 IES Abroad credits at the University of Cape Town. We require that one of the courses be South Africa-focused. If you choose to take an IES Abroad course (3 credits), then you will take a minimum of 12 IES Abroad credits at UCT in addition to the IES Abroad course. Students are encouraged to take mostly 2000-level or 3000-level courses, with a maximum of one 1000-level course. (12-19 credits)

IES Center Courses: Academics

Partner University Courses: UCT Courses

Service Learning

View from Lion's head and path
Path down Lion's Head

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.

For More Information

Toni Bartolutti
Study Abroad Advisor & Program Coordinator

Phone: 319-335-0353
Email: toni-bartolutti@uiowa.edu

The University of Iowa
International Programs, Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Cape Town

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.

South Africa

View of sunset with trees
Sunset in Cape Town

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.

US Department of State Country Information

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.

Living Arrangements

UCT Campus
UCT Campus

Private House or Apartment

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.

UCT Residence Hall

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.

Excursions

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:

Garden Route

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.

Kruger National Park/Soweto Township

3-5 Days
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.

Travel Arrangements

Hiking on table mountain
Hiking to the top of Table Mountain

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.

Eligibility

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.

Program Cost Sheet

This is the cost sheet for Spring 2018: IES Cape Town Cost SheetPDF

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.

Upfront, out-of-pocket expenses

Some costs are incurred prior to departure and will be due before financial aid/scholarships disperse. Here are the expected upfront costs for IES:

  • Iowa application fee: $50
  • Airfare: $1,000-$1,500
  • Passport: $135

Optional additional fees paid to 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.

  • Single Room Upgrades
  • Optional Tours

Financial Aid and Scholarships

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.

Scholarship Opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities and Non-UI External Awards.

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.

Withdrawal Policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to IES and Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the early admission period, after confirming, or before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
After Confirmation of Participation Administrative fee: $400
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with IES
After Program Start Date Administrative fee: 100%
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with IES

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. The IES policy regarding refunds can be found here: IES Refund Policy. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

Application Deadline

Spring: September 27

Fall/Academic Year: February 24

How to Apply

IES Application

Steps to Completing Your Application

Post-Acceptance

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.

Pre-departure Resources

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.

  1. IES Cape Town Pre-departure GuidePDF
    Note: This is a generic version. The document in your IES Portal will contain exact dates.
  2. List of books, documentaries, films, videos, and online materials related to AfricaPDF
  3. A Parent Guide to Study AbroadPDF
  4. Health Preparation Guide for International TravelPDF

Visa and Passport Information

Passport

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.

Visa

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.

Orientation

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.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

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 safety-abroad@uiowa.edu.

Program-Specific Orientation

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.

Student Blog

Brooke Axness, Summer 2014

Adventure of my dreams: interning abroad in South Africa
4 differences between life in the U.S. and South Africa
A trip down The Garden Route in South Africa
No-Longer-A-Tourist-Status
The challenges of study abroad
Cape Town: An Outdoorsman's Paradise
Township Life: An Eye-oprning Look Into Traditional South African Culture
South African Slang: the Highlights