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IES Abroad Cape Town - University Of Cape Town

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

My new home

To say that my experience in Cape Town was life changing would be an understatement. My time in South Africa will be forever imprinted in my memory. There is not a single moment that I did not love, waking up in the morning and seeing Table Mountain, looking out at the view from the University of Cape Town, seeing the amazing IES staff almost every day, exploring this beautiful city, and meeting the amazing people in South Africa.

One of the greatest things that occurred was the building of a family. IES ensures that you have a support system while you are abroad. They keep you in the loop with what is going on, they make sure you are safe and healthy, and they always welcome you into the office. The other students in the program became some of my best friends and we have already planned reunions.

Cape Town was not just a place I visited or studied. It is a place that changed my life and became a home... and I cannot wait to go back home again soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

IES center staff

I would like to commend the IES Cape Town Center Staff for all the support, love, and knowledge they provided us throughout our stay in Cape Town. The staff truly were our "abroad parents" and the center our "home away from home" for four months. Especially with the student protests that occurred at UCT during our stay, it was so nice to have the IES Staff for support and to answer the hundreds of questions we had. :) They really stressed how available they were to help and did everything they could to ensure our stay went smoothly.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

IES Abroad Cape Town review

I had the pleasure of studying abroad with IES Cape Town at University of Cape Town. I honestly cannot express enough about how life changing and incredible this experience was. Being able to study abroad in a developing country with quite a flawed democracy urges one to think about issues that we normally don’t think about, or are considered to be “taboo.” The IES center, particularly in the IES Polity Development Class, conversations were facilitated about issues regarding development, racism, xenophobia, and poverty. Being back in the United States, I feel that I can see this issues in a whole new light, and I feel that my perspective on our society as a whole as broadened and changed.

During my stay in Cape Town, student protests calling for free education were occurring at all of the universities in South Africa. These protests caused us not to have class for many weeks. What could have been an extremely stressful situation was turned more into an opportunity for exploration to get to know the country better, through free field trips planned by the IES Cape Town office. I cannot express how helpful the IES staff were during this difficult and unprecedented time, and because of them, I was able to take all of my finals on time in Cape Town and finish off the semester. Overall, I cannot express how important my time abroad in Cape Town has been for my personal growth and development, and much of that was due to the ongoing support giving by the IES staff.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

An unforgettable semester

Getting the chance to spend 5 months living in Cape Town was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. Everything from the breathtaking views from Table Mountain to the dynamic and passionate student body at the University of Cape Town to the abundant opportunities for adventure attributed to a truly life-changing study abroad experience. The programs and staff at IES helped us integrate into a place that was so different from what many of us were used to and helped us find a home in South Africa.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Cape Town- Spring 2016

Making the decision to travel to Cape Town for a semester was quite daunting at first; from the moment I arrived, however, IES Abroad made such a foreign city feel like home. The staff was unbelievably friendly, welcoming, and helpful; our housing assignments were beautiful and safe, and the immersion into the University of Cape Town was as smooth as possible. IES gave us a plethora of opportunities to become further acclimated to our new surroundings by coordinating group trips and seminars. By the end of my stay, Cape Town was absolutely my second home, and I can attribute most of that comfort to the helpfulness of my program!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

An incredible opportunity

Going abroad with IES was potentially one of the best decisions I’ve made—other than the decision to study abroad, of course. The application process was easy and intuitive, and if I ever had a question the IES staff were friendly and responsive. Once I got to Cape Town, the onsite office staff proved themselves to be a professional, kind, and helpful group of people. They helped us out with so much of the administrative stuff that would have otherwise been really difficult to figure out on my own. They also organized so many activities for us to bond as a group while learning about South African culture, like going to a rugby match, a field trip to Kruger National park, and a bicycle tour through one of South Africa's largest townships. IES Abroad made my time in South Africa even more amazing than I could have imagined before leaving, and I'm so grateful to them for helping me make my study abroad experience so fantastic.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Creating a home away from home

My IES Abroad experience is difficult to sum up in a paragraph, or in any amount of words for that matter. Cape Town stole my heart in so many ways and I miss it every single day. It is a fantastic study abroad location- the people, the natural beauty, the history, the culture, the opportunities for adventure, etc. will completely envelop you and open your eyes to a whole new perspective. One of the reasons why I was able to have such a positive experience is without a doubt because of the IES staff, who were always there for my peers and I. They provided us with an extensive orientation, planned several fun and informative field trips for us, and were a constant source of support and guidance throughout the semester. They helped make Cape Town home. The students in IES became like a community to me as well, who I shared many of my favorite memories and made lifelong friends with. I will always cherish my semester abroad and I can’t wait to return to South Africa someday.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Couldn't imagine a better six months

The IES Cape Town staff was absolutely incredible. They made my transition across the world easy. Cape Town is truly the most magical place I could ever think to live in and having the opportunity to study in such a unique city for a semester is something I'll be forever grateful for. I completely immersed myself in the culture and have a deeper appreciation for South Africa's history.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

Life Changing in every way.

While abroad, I learned to view the world from a non-western perspective. I learned to compare and contrast inequalities you learn in the classroom with inequalities you see every day. I learned to take risks, to live in the moment, and to try things outside of my comfort zone. It was so incredibly worthwhile. I climbed mountains, and spent time at the beach. I saw more beautiful sites than I can count. You will feel out of place at times. That's okay. It's part of growing up and learning new things. Take the time to listen to local students, to learn about the lives and experiences of others, and to not be taken aback by things that are 'different'. This opportunity is once in a lifetime and one that I can't recommend enough!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Feeling at home in the Motherland

My semester spent with IES Abroad in Cape Town truly can not be put into words, but I will certainly try. In a completely foreign place, it is very important to have a support system which acts as your biggest ally and helps you find comfort in a place so far away. IES Abroad was excellent at advocating for the abroad students and informing us of everything deemed worthy. They provided life-changing opportunities for cultural immersion as well as trips I'd only dreamt about taking. Adapting to our new academic environment appeared daunting however this was done with ease and IES provided many opportunities to us that made my abroad trip that much more unforgettable. With a fantastic orientation program, we learned everything from our safety to how to budget. I couldn't imagine spending the semester without them!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Life on the Flip-Side

My experiences with IES Abroad’s Cape Town – UCT Direct Enrollment program were world class, life-changing, and unforgettable. The staff did a fantastic job of ensuring our safety and did everything possible to set us up for success in the classroom and – arguably more importantly – in the greater Cape Town area. IES equipped us with top-notch resources and truly did their best in allocating available scholarship funds to those in financial need. The field trips covered just about every experience of your typical ‘Top 5 Things to do in South Africa’ in addition to providing hands-on service learning within the community. These five months resulted in countless friendships including several of which I have since kept in touch with, visited, and even lived with post-college! This program was the perfect mix of structure and independence to result in a truly life-changing time abroad.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health & Safety

    5

  • Community

    10

My semester in a mixing pot

Coming from a very conservative city in the southern United States my experience at the University of Cape Town was an extremely, positively impactful one. The perspective gained was one I could have only gained there. Cape Town is vibrant - a mixing pot of so many beautiful cultures accented with immaculate nature, unlike anywhere else, that sits conveniently in the center of the city and all around. The university is breathtaking as well and offers subjects of all sorts. The professors and students there made my academic experience an unforgettable one, although my semester in Cape Town fed me knowledge far beyond what any classroom ever could.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Fantastic staff and experience

The IES staff in Cape Town have created an absolutely fantastic program. The activities and trips they organized - an overnight stay in a local township, a day trip to Robben Island and an outing to a local rugby match, just to name a few! - deepened my understanding of South Africa's history and current struggles, and gave me a chance to immerse myself further into their culture. On top of that the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and always willing to help with any problems I had, big or small. They helped make Cape Town a home away from for me and I couldn't have asked for a better experience!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

Immersed in Cape Town

Studying abroad in Cape Town is something I miss everyday. Throughout my five months there I feel like I got to know the city very well but I had still only just scratched the surface of it. I really enjoyed everything the city offered and I am grateful I was able to see so much of it. I was very pleased that IES offered us two long trips outside of school and made available to us smaller day activities as well. Because of these I was really able to bond with the other people in my program as well as the staff. I never thought I would miss my friends and the staff as much as I do now.