Cape Town's ups and downs Past Review

By (Media Arts and Sciences, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/01/2017 to 12/01/2017 with

CIEE: Cape Town - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about racial relations in contexts out side of the US that, although I thought I understood previously, I realized I didn't fully get before. I was given a non-western perspective for the first time and was able to question things that I had blindly accepted before.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Lots of great places to eat near by and 3 grocery stores within a block

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I broke my hand while abroad. The insurance that the program had me get before arriving was not accepted by any hospital or doctor that I went to (and that was many). I payed upfront and then was reimbursed by my insurance later. This caused a lot of problems and I and I was almost unable to get the surgery I needed because of it.

* Safety:

I was mugged one of my first nights while I could still see the door to my apartment building. We moved to a building with security and that was a little better but I wouldn't go out at night in a group smaller than 3 or 4 (I had a friend with me during the mugging as well). CIEE was really great about helping me file police reports and providing counseling if needed. Also there were many somewhat violent protests happening on the campus that sometimes prevented us from going to class and because of this final exams were held in a large tent on the rugby fields. No students that I knew personally were harmed but there were instances of being trapped in buildings for a while or having fire extinguishers or hoses sprayed at them.

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

I had a great experience


* 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)

The most expensive meals I ate at nicer restaurants were R200 (about 14 dollars) and uber was pretty cheep as well (less than R100 to get across town and less if you split the uber with friends)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 70 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make your own food and don't go out every night! Also use uber and not the cabs- they will try to rip you off.


* 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
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Location
  • Affordability
  • People!
* What could be improved?
  • There's a real lack of organization
  • Being more integrated into the community
  • clarity about classes and registration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is colder than the program makes it sound! They tell you to bring one warm sweater but that is NOT ENOUGH. I wish that I knew just how much poverty and affluence coexist there and how there are many homeless people that live outside of mansions. I also wish that I knew more about the protests and political unrest on the campus. These things did not make my experience worse but just surprised me.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
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.