Falling in love with Cape Town, South Africa Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Ithaca College) - abroad from 01/13/2014 to 06/10/2014 with

University of the Western Cape / UWC: Cape Town - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life; the entire experience as a whole taught me some many things about not just my host country but about myself as well. I studied abroad at the University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, South Africa. I traveled through a program called IES and the entire experience was truly life changing to say the least. Upon arrival, I immediately fell in love with the rich South African culture, friendly natives, and abundance of things to do. My program gave us the freedom and opportunities to travel and explore the country to get a better understanding and general knowledge of where we will be living for the next six months. I got the chance to visit natural canyons and caves, go to a wildlife reserve, learn things at museums, and even walk and touch wild lions. Also, South Africa offers an amazing backdrop of mountains and valleys that instantly left me breathless and amazed. The scenery and nature was one of my favorite aspects. This trip allowed my to see another part of the world, not only for it’s beauty but also for it’s people. I got the chance to learn and converse with individuals from all around the world; being from New York I would not have the chance to immerse myself in another culture and look at the world through a different lens. I am so grateful that my study abroad experience allowed me to open myself up and let this new experience impact and shape me. I tried to come to South Africa as a blank slate, absorbing new experiences like a sponge. I am changed for the better because of this trip; I am more well rounded, I understand the world better, and I see that everyone, regardless our locations, go through the same “every day” things, I feel that it is important for young people to study abroad and welcome this change because even though being in a completely new environment can be scary, it will all be worth it in the end.

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:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50.00
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save as much money as you can prior to the trip because you are going to want to travel and do tourist attractions.


* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people I met
  • The freedom we had
  • The growth in myself
* What could be improved?
  • Home school and host school communication
  • Understanding international student's needs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How my classes were going to be

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'