incredible, beautiful, life changing Past Review

By (Environmental Science, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/27/2015 to 06/13/2015 with

CIEE: Cape Town - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
i learnt a lot about myself and gained much international experience

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.

classes were quite difficult because the south african system is much more based on memorization of material rather than an american approach that is focused on personally expanding on the learned subject,

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

the ciee part of the program administration was very disorganized and unhelpful throughout the entire abroad process. many promises were made before arrival that were not fulfilled and many services that were meant to run smoothly once we were there were not properly administered due to incapabilities of the staff in the ciee cape town office. many times emails were ignored and basic tasks such as distributing student mail were not able to carried out. I was so disappointed with the CIEE program and would never encourage any other students to take part in their programming.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

self catering

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

my program was no assistance to me needing healthcare while abroad but I had no issues on my own finding help.

* Safety:

in cape town one needs to be very aware of issues of safety when traveling around the city. we were not able to leave our accommodations after dark alone or even with a group. but taxi service is pretty cheap so that helped. you need to have good street smarts to make it through cape town and be aware of the very present dangers of being robbed, so you need to plan ahead, know where your going, and make sure you are in a group if its at night or get private taxi transportation. out of the city in the country side felt much safer than cape town itself and I was able to do much travel throughout the country.

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)

south africa is a pretty cheap nation and so if you are able to budget properly i would say it was pretty easy to keep costs low.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? just be aware that going out to eat and for drinks and partying can really add up so if your really trying to save money while abroad you will need to make some compromises to live and have fun.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • experiencing south africa
  • being immersed in a new culture
  • traveling
* What could be improved?
  • ciee program needs to be helpful
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? i wish I knew about load shedding in South Africa because that was pretty shocking upon first arrival.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.