Federika Garcia Muchacho - 2013 Program Participant

Cape Town City Center.

Cape Town City Center.

Why led you to select IES Abroad for your program?

While researching for study abroad programs and providers around the world I found IES Abroad. Their webpage was easy enough to find information, they had compelling descriptions of their programs, multiple locations as well as opportunities for students in health and science fields. Furthermore, the application was not overwhelming at all and the help I received from the advisors at IES throughout the application process was incredible. My first study abroad was in Cape Town, South Africa in 2013 and the experience was extraordinary. IES made my travel seem like a breeze, the program was completely organized, the classes interesting, and the fieldwork experience the best I have had so far.

What type of accommodation did you stay have in Cape Town?

In Cape Town I was in a two bedroom apartment with a kitchen and bathroom. The area we lived in was great with many coffee shops and restaurants around. The building was also very safe with a guard at the entrance and also an elevator.

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain -- Cape Town, South Africa.

What did a normal day entail for you in Cape Town?

We worked in four different hospitals throughout our time in Cape Town (a different one every week) in order to get to know the health care system and its primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. We would choose what area we wanted to go to in the hospital (trauma, OB/GYN, dressing room, triage, etc). We would then have the lectures about the health care system, communicable and noncommunicable diseases, as well as flaws in the system and advances by the government to improve in the future. Our nights were free for us to go around the city and get to know different places.

What is one important tip can you give to future students in Cape Town?

I definitely wish I had packed winter weather clothes. I packed clothes that were mostly summery and only a few for cold weather. I definitely did not prepare enough for cold temperatures. I wish I had taken more sweaters, a pair of boots, a good winter jacket (I went in winter time to South Africa and the temperatures can get a bit low).

What is one thing about your program you would change if you could? 

I would make the class more focused on the South African health care system and a bit less about communicable and noncommunicable diseases. As well as including more lecturers on the history of South Africa and Apartheid. 

What was the most memorable part about your time in Cape Town?

Having the opportunity to work in the hospitals and learn first-hand from nurses, doctors, and patients about their experiences and their views on the health care system was life-changing. As well as being able to watch a variety of procedures in the hospitals including surgeries, wound dressing changes, ultrasounds, among others was also a unique experience!

Lion's Head, Cape Town, South Africa

Lion's Head -- Cape Town, South Africa.