The summer Community Development and Social Justice program in Cape Town, South Africa is designed for students from all academic disciplines who want to learn about the challenges and realities of post-Apartheid South Africa through innovative courses and an integrated community service study abroad project.
Through this combination of theory and practice, students become participants in, rather than mere observers of, this dynamic environment and gain a comprehensive understanding of the evolving story that is South Africa.
In South Africa you will:
Acquire a greater understanding of issues around several topics in contemporary South Africa including economics, health, politics, the environment, etc., and how these issues inform the discourse on poverty and development and their relationship to globalization
Develop and use specific Afrikaans or isiXhosa vocabulary necessary for community engagement activities and courses
Choose from a host of quality community engagement opportunities
Explore various points of interest in and around Cape Town and the Western Cape Province
The CIEE Difference
In Cape Town, the community is your classroom. Whether you’re using the city as a case study to explore relevant socio-economic issues, or working alongside a social agency with a community-based organization in the Community Partnership practicum, study abroad in South Africa allows you to examine, act, and reflect upon the realities and challenges of developing communities by engaging with them yourself.
Community engagement is one of the central components of this summer study abroad program. As part of the academic program, CIEE staff will arrange community engagement projects and activities with various NGOs, schools, and orphanages throughout the greater Cape Town community for you.
The study abroad in South Africa program is supplemented with field trips and excursions to various points of interest around Cape Town and the Western Cape Province. Field trips and excursions may include visits to local theater, music, and dance productions, museum tours, rugby matches, local festivals, the Cape Peninsula, the Cape Flats, and a rural weekend stay.
Total recommended credit for the summer program is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours. Each course includes 45 contact hours.
The program requires all students to enroll in one of the CIEE courses. In addition, all students must complete a volunteer project arranged by CIEE staff in coordination with local organizations and schools.
About Cape Town
Situated on the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town is a vibrant multicultural city with a rich selection of day and night activities that allow participants to explore natural landscapes through a variety of outdoor activities including hiking and water sports, and the culture of food, music, and dance in nightclubs, restaurants, and local markets. The city is also a microcosm of the challenges facing many African countries in transition: how to successfully operate within a global economy, while at the same time grappling with the vast socio-economic inequalities that are the legacy of the colonial and apartheid past.
Where You’ll Study
The University of Cape Town
Established as the South African College in 1829, the University of Cape Town is internationally recognized as one of Africa’s leading research universities. Its campus has sweeping lawns, pathways, trees, ponds, and waterfalls that combine with attractive physical structures and extensive playing fields to create a pleasant study environment. A range of commercial, medical, recreational, and sporting facilities is available on campus. These include a swimming pool, gymnasium, basketball, tennis, badminton and squash courts, and a weight room.
Housing & Meals
Housing is included in the program fee. Students share double rooms in houses with approximately 10 other fellow CIEE study abroad participants and local students near the UCT campus. Local UCT students are selected as Resident Assistants and live in the houses with CIEE students. Meals are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student. Students can prepare their own meals or eat at local restaurants and cafés.
Online Pre-Departure and On-Site Orientations
A two-day orientation session at the beginning of the program introduces students to the city of Cape Town, South African culture, and the study abroad program. The orientation includes specially designed sessions on health and safety, local living logistics, and community engagement opportunities. Ongoing support is provided on an individual and group basis throughout the program.
Wireless Internet connections are available in the off-campus houses for an extra fee (prepaid system). There are also inexpensive Internet cafés located throughout Cape Town. Internet reliability and access is not always available at the same level as in the U.S.
This program is based on the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus. The academic content of the program is designed and managed by CIEE, and thus summer study abroad program participants should understand that they will not be taking regular UCT courses. The program is appropriate for all students who want to learn firsthand about the country, its people, and the transformations that have occurred over the past 15 years in South African society. While all students have an opportunity to participate in volunteer activities, Transformation in South Africa (AFST 3001 CTSU / GEOG 3001 CTSU) includes a community-based volunteer component designed to help students better understand South African history, politics, educational challenges, and societal values and traditions.
The courses are taught as seminars, with various discussions, guest lectures, and presentations. Courses meet intensively for three weeks with additional time each week reserved for student volunteer projects, program activities, and excursions.
Nature of Classes
Participants take classes with other CIEE study abroad students only.
Assessment for the summer courses is based on student participation, reflection papers, a presentation, and final exam.
Language of Instruction