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IES Abroad Cape Town - Summer Health Studies Program
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IES Abroad Cape Town - Summer Health Studies Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Amazing summer in Cape Town

Before I left to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, I was expecting to learn about public health in a new setting. My experience in Cape Town exceeded all of my expectations. Arranged by IES, we lived in a new hotel/dorm setting in a safe and upscale area of Cape Town (it even had a market inside!). Every weekday, we did service learning at different hospitals and clinics around and outside of Cape Town. We were able to shadow doctors, dentists, physical therapists, and pharmacists. I learned more than I could ever possibly imaging through service learning, and I gained an appreciation for and better understanding of different fields in health care. In the afternoons, we took a class from a local professor. We got to learn about public health as a whole in South Africa, and I think the class really complemented our service learning. Outside of academics, IES arranged many amazing field trips that allowed us to explore South Africa in a safe way. I greatly appreciated all that IES did to ensure that we had a complete and safe study abroad experience. I really fell in love with the country, and I can't wait to return one day!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

A journey

My journey in Cape Town, South Africa was an adventure I will never forget. I began my journey with no expectations, predispositions, or an idea of what I had signed myself up for. I learned more than I could ever have imagined about this beautiful country, the intricacy of their health care system, and, most importantly, myself. Through IES Abroad I was given the opportunity to conduct a research project of my choice relating to health care in South Africa and given the background and resources to do so. I loved that I could follow my own passions throughout the class work and focus on the aspects of healthcare that were most interesting to me, personally. The shadowing, done in hospitals throughout South Africa, was by far the most beneficial experience. It allowed me to observe and interact with the healthcare system first hand and gave me the opportunity to encounter some amazing individuals. IES Abroad planned a wide variety of optional activities for me, which was greatly appreciated due to the busy schedule I had throughout my six weeks there. I felt like I experienced the true culture of South Africa throughout these activities and they helped to push me outside of my comfort zone. Most importantly, IES Abroad introduced me to the most amazing friends that I will hold close to me for the rest of my life. Thank you IES Abroad and thank you South Africa for an experience I will never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Get everything in just 6 weeks!

I am so incredibly happy that I decided to take this program. It involves a lot of field trips already scheduled within the program, consisting of all the places you have to see if you're in South Africa. If I were to schedule these things on my own, I wouldn't have known to cover every single item, and each experience was higher than my expectations ever were.

We stayed in a nice and safe area, but it was also important to explore and understand the townships and the levels of disparity within the community. This experience really taught me a lot and showed me a lot into the life of South Africa.

Shadowing the hospitals and clinics gave me a lot of insight into their health care system as well as different diseases or conditions patients face.

My favorite part was the nature!! Table Mountain, Lion's Head, and Devil's Peak were always visible when you walk out your door, and hiking these three mountains gave amazing and unbelievable views. I highly recommend this location to anyone!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The city that will steal your heart

Cape Town is rated as the most common destination to visit a second time. After living in, learning about, and exploring this place for 6 weeks, that fact is undeniable to me. The IES Cape Town study abroad experience is unlike any other as it combines education with exploration, and allows you to not only learn about the environment in which you are living on a social and political level, but to also witness the environment in a way that you can analyze and understand what you have learned. The program exposes you to people and places that leave you humbled, inspired, and entirely awestruck. My summer in Cape Town is a summer I will never forget – a cliché statement meant in the most genuine way possible.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Cape Town, South Africa: summer health studies review

Enjoy the perfect mix of education and fun in this magical city in one of the culturally richest countries in the world. To start you get to live in comfortable apartments in a gated community so on top of the luxury of the living arrangement you also get security. In my case we had roommates who inevitably became my best friends on the trip.
Being so close to University of Cape Town you also get to be around college students from the area and surrounding regions of South Africa. With this close proximity it was easy to befriend and learn from locals about the real issues facing the people of South Africa.
Half of the educational side of the abroad program is class and the other half is volunteer hours in the public healthcare system. Classes are focused on learning about the history and public healthcare system of South Africa and how South Africans are trying to change the system for the better of all people. Learning from people who currently are involved in reforming healthcare in South Africa made the course more engaging and meaningful to me and all my classmates. The volunteer work took place in a primary health clinic in Cape Town and allowed for hands-on experience with patients and engagement with fellow medical staff from doctors to nurses.
Going in the summer for American students however means being in South Africa for their winter, but have no fear, the highs are around the 70s and lows around the 50s with occasional rain. Good news is the beautiful days outnumbered the rainy days and with each beautiful day comes a breathtaking sunset which can viewed from any number of beaches and mountain tops.
Bottom line if you have any interest in healthcare like pre-med, pre-pharm, pre-PA, and nursing students or in public health you will not only get hands on experience in the field with your volunteer hours but also gain great insight into the issues facing the public healthcare system in South Africa and the rest of the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Cape Town Africa summer health program

I studied abroad in Cape Town for seven weeks this summer. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I took public health classes that focused on the different aspects of health care in South Africa. These classes were supplemented by being able to volunteer in both a primary and tertiary health care facility. I worked in a small public clinic in Cape Town along with a primary Hospital in Nelspruit. Volunteering in both of these were amazing experiences because I got to see all aspects of the healthcare system including; surgeries, the pharmacy, work done by both doctors and nurses along with the more specific public health facilities specializing in Tuberculosis. This program helped me confirm my desire to be a part of the healthcare system along with providing me with many other unforgettable experiences. Whenever I was not in class or volunteering I was taking advantage of all the wonderful sites at attractions Cape Town has to offer. I got to do so many amazing things including being on a beach with penguins, going to an ostrich farm, paragliding, going on wine tours, hiking, going on a safari and much more. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in any time of health related field and anyone who wants to live in the most beautiful place in the world for a summer.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

Pushing the boundaries

Prior to arriving in Cape Town, South Africa, I knew that I was going to be studying in a very developed city, but I was still not quite sure what to expect in terms of the people and their culture. I remember feeling very anxious at first, but in a matter of about three to four days in what was initially an unfamiliar city, I began to feel more at home.
From the moment I landed, I felt very comfortable with the IES Abroad staff and I felt like I could be very open with them about any issues I had. Overall, they were very accommodating, and made me feel welcomed throughout my entire stay. In terms of the structure of the Health Studies Program, I felt like it was planned out very well, because we had a wide variety of activities to choose to participate in, such as scenic drives, animal encounters, hiking, and more. I feel like the IES Abroad staff did a great job in trying to account for students' interests because they really did try to give us all opportunities to participate in what we were truly interested in instead of forcing us all to partake in the same activities. Furthermore, the cultural aspects of the trip exceeded my expectations. Prior to arriving in Cape Town, I did not realize that we would get to actually take tours of multiple townships and actually interact with certain people who lived there. For example, one of my favorite memories of the entire trip was playing soccer with a few children from the Langa township. I actually got to interact with them and learn about their living conditions, which was a great cultural experience for me. I think IES did a great job specifically with this Program with not limiting their students to the socio-economic bubble of Sea Point, Cape Town, the more developed region of Cape Town where the students stay at the Mojo Hotel. Furthermore, the service-learning aspect of this Program also exceeded my expectations. I learned so much from the nurses I shadowed because I constantly asked them questions about Tuberculosis, heart disease, diabetes, and anything else I encountered with them because I was so curious, and they were so willing to answer all my questions, which is something I really appreciated. I did not expect to see surgeries at all, but I was lucky enough to see the removal of an entire colon, which was so exciting to see as an undergraduate student. In terms of the South African Health Care class we had to take, I feel like it was not too time consuming, and I feel like what we learned in class we actually applied to what we encountered during our service-learning experiences.
All in all, I had an amazing experience in Cape Town, South Africa through this Program because I feel like I really pushed myself to learn more about the culture throughout service-learning and through our planned activities, but mainly through my free-time. For any students interested in this Program, I encourage you to use your free-time effectively to try new things, like eating at exotic restaurants, completing the Three-Peak Challenge, going to a traditional braii, and so much more. Cape Town has so much to offer, and I am thankful for IES Abroad for giving me the opportunity to travel to this great city and take so much back with me back home.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Summer - Health Studies in Cape Town

This was a fantastic program for anyone interested in Public Health or Medicine. We were able to work in various hospital environments, observing much more than we as undergraduate students would be able to see in the United States. We also attended lectures that focused on health issues in South Africa, as well as the changing healthcare system. When we were not in class or at the hospital, IES organized many excursions and experiences that allowed us to make the most of our time in and around Cape Town. It was a great experience, and I would recommend it to everyone.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Overall good experience

I did a 7 week long health studies program in Cape Town through IES. This included a a course about healthcare in South Africa as well as a service learning component in primary and tertiary hospitals in South Africa. The class component could have been better planned however I learned a lot from the service learning component. IES organized for us to observe at several healthcare clinics around Cape Town. We were able to experience a lot of things that we would not be able to observe in hospitals in the US. In addition IES did a good job planning activities for us the were included in the tuition fee such as a peninsula tour and wine tour.