Program Overview

This program will engage you in so many ways, start bracing yourself now for the personal, academic, and social growth you’ll experience in Cape Town! Between its exceptional diversity, vibrant student life, and gorgeous built and natural environments, University of Cape Town (UCT) has earned its top rank in all of Africa. UCT also offers such a huge variety of courses that you’ll likely find something to suit your needs, whether that’s engineering or social work. When you’re not engaging with your peers through one of the University’s many social and athletic clubs, you can head into Cape Town for its world-class beaches, shops, cafes, art galleries, and entertainment.

GPA Requirement
3.0
Application Deadlines
Spring: October 1
Fall: April 1
Avg Course Load
3 - 4 courses
Language(s) of Instruction
English
Highlights
  • Choose from a wide range of course offerings, learning alongside some of the world's best students and faculty
  • Study at one of the most beautiful campuses in the world, surrounded by stunning mountain slopes
  • Immerse in Africa's most diverse student body through over 100 student clubs and over 40 sports clubs
  • Contribute to socio-economic issues like illiteracy, unequal access to justice, and housing shortages by volunteering
  • Enjoy everything that Cape Town offers: from world-renowned beaches, shops, stores, cafes, and restaurants to hipster vibes and art galleries
Your Journey Begins Here
  • Connect with your friendly Global Advisor to ask questions and find the best fit program. Start planning for on campus processes, and apply by the application deadline.
  • Meet your Program Enrollment Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, and payments. Attend one our our LIVE pre-departure orientations.
  • Fly away! You'll be greeted at the airport (comforting after a long flight!) and experience a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.

Academics

WHY THIS UNIVERSITY?

Founded in 1829, the University of Cape Town (UCT) currently ranks as Africa’s top-rated university. UCT has a vibrant, diverse, cosmopolitan community, with the most diverse student body in all of Africa and a tradition of campus activism and opposition to apartheid. UCT staff and students come from many different communities in South Africa, as well as more than 100 countries across Africa and the rest of the world.

Regularly cited as one of the world’s most beautiful campuses, University of Cape Town (UCT) is situated on the slopes of Devil’s Peak and just a few miles from the heart of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The academic offerings at UCT are exceptionally varied, with courses across most majors and particularly strong Commerce (Business), Law, and Medicine departments. Students can participate in UCT-organized service-learning and volunteer opportunities to contribute towards education and healthcare service projects. There are also more than 100 societies and over 40 sports clubs on campus.

university of cape town from rugby fields

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR COURSES

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page. Once you’ve decided which courses you want to take, fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

COURSE APPROVAL

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

GPA REQUIREMENT

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

8+ CLASSES IN

Art & Design
Business
Communications
Education
Engineering
Health
Humanities
Natural & Applied Sciences
Social Sciences
World Languages

Don't see your major listed here?
There may still be courses available.
Browse our programs by major »

Choose Your Courses

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet in your portal.

Life in Cape Town

Welcome and Orientation

Upon arrival you’ll take part in a comprehensive orientation program. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of South African life, like how to get around by public transportation, how to stay safe, what to do in case of an emergency and who to contact if you have any questions. We’ll also tell you all about our favorite places in town (restaurants, museums, markets etc). Oh, and you’ll join in on a welcome meal, something traditional and yummy (ever heard of “Bobotie?”) so that you can start to taste the local flavor.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you again as part of our farewell to South Africa.

Housing Options

Students stay in housing close to campus, generally within walking distance or a short (free) shuttle ride away from campus. Rooms are equipped with basic furniture – a bed, cupboard, desk, chair, bookcase, wastepaper bin, curtains and notice board.

on the candy colored streets of cape town

Local Life

  • Festivals and Music Gigs: South Africans love their festivals! Every season offers something special, whether it’s music or fun events; it’s a great way to experience community.
  • Baphumelele Orphanage: Visit and volunteer at this local orphanage. Participate in their monthly art and yoga program.
  • Long Street: Lined with Bohemian coffee shops and bookstores, discover why this is the heartbeat of Cape Town’s city center.
  • V&A Waterfront Harbour: Take a stroll along the harbour, enjoying the sweeping views of the Atlantic.
  • Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood: Here you can learn how to cook local Cape cuisine!
  • Greenmarket Square: Shop in this local market and get great bargains for Pan-African crafts.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.

Boulder's Beach

This sheltered beach is made up of gigantic granite boulders which provides calm waters for swimming. You’ll have to share the beach with the African penguins who nest there.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program in south africa nature water cape point

Cape Point Nature Reserve

This reserve marks the southwestern-most tip of the continent. Enjoy dramatic views, deserted beaches, and fantastic hiking trails.


Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team

Travel Tip: We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Julia Sementilli
Program Enrollment Coordinator - Asia, Africa, and the Pacific

Travel Tip: Be open to meeting new people! Some of my favorite memories while traveling include meeting people in hostels, or by getting involved at my school abroad. You never know who will be a lifelong friend! Try all of the local foods, even if you don’t think you will like it. Write everything down in a journal- you will appreciate those stories later!

Learn more about Julia

Sonya Bell
Site Director in South Africa

Travel Tip: To really experience local culture, no matter where you are in the world, always watch where the locals go for lunch – they usually go for the best local cuisine at the most affordable prices. Also, always be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut.

Learn more about Sonya

Student Feedback

I’ve been asked multiple times why I chose to go to Cape Town of all places for my experience abroad — I never truly had an answer, but knowing what I do now about living in South Africa, I would have never picked a different place to go! This country has SO much to offer: wildlife, activities, food, culture, diversity, language, adventure, experience, etc . . . I recommend South Africa to anybody! If you’re even slightly considering going abroad, I’m telling you the answer is already YES!

Riley Jay, University of Kansas

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Spring 2020
    Application Deadline
    October 1
    Arrival
    January 31 - February 3 (Estimated)
    Orientation
    February 4 - 7 (Estimated)
    Classes Start
    February 10 (Estimated)
    Classes End
    June 12 (Estimated)
    Departure
    June 13 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $15,990 - $16,890
  • Fall 2020
    Application Deadline
    April 1
    Classes Start
    July 13 (Estimated)
    Departure
    December 24 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $15,790 - $16,790

CIS Abroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

Program fees are in U.S. dollars and include the following:

  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CIS Abroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • University of Cape Town transcript
  • CIS Abroad orientation
  • Excursions
  • On-site support
  • On-campus wi-fi
  • La Vida Local cultural program