CIEE Cape Town: Arts and Sciences Allowed Me to Break Barriers Past Review

By (Sociology and Anthropology., Middlebury College) for

CIEE: Cape Town - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the most amazing 4 months of my entire life. I was truly able to live in a different country and experience a different way of life. This forced and allowed me to grow into a much stronger, independent, and cultured individual. I learned an incredibly deal about myself and can't wait to do something like this again.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The differences in educational system were the most interesting to me. The grading system and way of teaching was very different which forced me to change what I was used to. This was not necessarily a negative thing because I really felt like I was somewhere completely different that my home university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Strengths were that it connected it us to volunteer opportunities as well as other trips outside of the country for weekends and spring break. Weaknesses was that it was way too strict because of RA's.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The house I lived in was incredible. It was so nice to live with other students. We were close to the university and were able to hang out and be all together which was very positive for my overall experience.

* Food:

The food in Cape Town was AMAZING.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The other students on the program were amazing. We had a lot of fun going out in Cape Town, as well as on trips up the coast and on Spring break in Botswana and Zimbabwe.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Safety is a very big concern in South Africa. The program did an incredible job making sure we were safe by hiring security guards (6pm-6am) and having a car that drove us from house to house late at night so that we would not be walking around the moment it got dark.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Participated with locals

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Volunteer opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is ideal for people that really want to get away and experience something like they never have before. You need to be adventurous and willing to be outside of your comfort zone a great deal in order to get the most out.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Afrikaans Intensive A

Course Department: SLL1042S
Instructor: Sonja Loots and Dr. Ian Van Rooyen
Instruction Language: English/Afrikaans
Comments: This class was extremely challenging because it was like no other language I had every really heard or learned. The teachers were extremely knowledgeable and well-prepared for every class and were extremely helpful in answering questions about grammar, pronunciation, etc. I definitely participated less often then I would have at my home institution due to the fact that other local students in the class made it extremely intimidating.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Race, Class, and Gender

Course Department: SOC2004S
Instructor: Ari Sitas, Sharlene Swartz, and Gideon Nomdo
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was incredible because it focused primarily on issues of race, class and gender in South Africa. Gaining insight on these specific issues was beneficial and allowed me to think outside the box. I was able to participate a great deal while putting all of these components together.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Strategies for Art in Times of Change (Discourse 3)

Course Department: FIN 3027S
Instructor: Colin Richards, Andrew Lamprecht, Bettina Malcomess
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course what incredibly interesting due to the fact that it took more of a philosophical approach to looking at art and art history which was something that I had never done before. Having 3 different professors focusing on different aspects of the course helped gain different perspectives.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: PHI 1010S
Instructor: David Benatar and Lawrence Bloom
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was miserable. The professor treated it as a pass/fail course and really did not care how hard he made the assignments or whether or not his students succeeded. Because it was a 300 person lecture we had very little contact with him which did not help. Even though the material learned was interesting, I did not really get a chance to truly progress and comprehend the extent to which I had hoped.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.