Cape Town is the best city in the world Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/26/2016 to 06/10/2016 with

CIEE: Cape Town - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
So much... I learned so much about South Africa, Africa, racism, Apartheid, the world, myself, surfing and rock climbing, living on my own. Amazingly worthwhile. Arguably my best semester.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

If you need lots of help and this is your first time abroad, CIEE could provide services, but as someone who has traveled before, I wish I had directly enrolled at UCT. CIEE is way too expensive and didn't add anything to my experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lucked out by living in a good apartment building and with good people, but CIEE randomly allocates people. I also didn't expect to get a roommate.

* Food:

very easy to shop and cook for yourself

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Locally, I had an amazing, unforgettable experience. Cape Town is the best city in the world, and has everything you could possibly want: mountains, surf, beach, city, nightlife, wine, dancing.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

You have to pay everything out of pocket and submit forms to your insurance back at home, but it's not terribly expensive and nothing bad happened to me.

* Safety:

Definitely have to watch your back, don't walk alone at night. Be a savvy traveler and never have your wallet and phone in your back pocket - so many get taken every semester this way.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would directly apply to UCT. CIEE was too many Americans who did not make any local connections, was too expensive, and did not add to my experience at all.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? cook and drink at home.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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
  • International Students
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?
  • Cape Town life
  • surfing
  • cooking
* What could be improved?
  • housing process and transparency
  • price
  • volunturism problems
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much more expensive the program was than directly applying That I would have a roommate What the housing options were like What was considered a full course load for my home university

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Life in the Sea

Course Department: Biology
Instruction Language:
Comments: The course is taught by 10 different professors with very little cohesion among the different topics. All over the place, none of the profs knew what was going on in the course. Overall very frustrating way to learn material. "Life in the Sea" is a huge topic.
Credit Transfer Issues: