CIEE Cape Town Service Learning

  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Class Eligibility: Juniors


Cape Town is the third most populous city in South Africa. It is the legislative capital of the country, as well as capital of the Western Cape province. Cape Town is famous for its natural harbor, as well as its location near the Cape of Good Hope. It receives the largest number of tourists of any South African city, making it also the capital of the tourism industry. The area is also famous for its unique plant life and winemaking.

  • Visa:


  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition only to Haverford. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting tuition payments to the program. Students pay room and board fees directly to CIEE.

  • Requirements

    CIEE Study Center applicants are required to complete a University of Cape Town (UCT) application (pdf). In addition to completing a UCT application and providing a resume, applicants must write an essay that demonstrates their prior experience with community service. Please note that Service-Learning participants have a preset curriculum and thus are not required to state course preferences on the UCT application. Please mail the UCT application, resume, and essay to the CIEE Portland, Maine office.

    Academic Credit

    Students take 16 credits each semester based upon the five main components:

    1. A Social Research Methods course.
    2. A course focusing on poverty and development issues in South Africa.A community-development project in a local NGO, school, or other service organization.
    3. An academic service-learning capstone project, which draws upon all of the other elements of the program.
    4. Language training that is appropriate to the communities where service is performed.

    Students are required to take a language course for the duration of their stay. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


    All Service Learning students complete an Independent Research and Capstone Project. The goals of this course are two-fold: 1) demonstrate and apply what has been learned throughout the program, and 2) reflect on the learning and collaborate with the organization in which the student’s service was performed. In this way, the capstone project becomes symbolic of the benefits for the constituents including the student, the program, the service organization, and ultimately the communities. Sample projects by past participants include:

    • Marketing the Mobile Clinic: A Case Study of SHAWCO Mobile Health Services
    • Effective Strategies for NGO Fundraising in Cape Town
    • A History of Baphumalele Children’s Home
    • Measuring the Effects of Self-Esteem Workshops at Vroue Groei Saam
    Course Highlights

    African Studies, Development, Community-based Learning, Sociology, Afrikaans Language, Xhosa Language.

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: Students participate in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation even before leaving home. Upon arrival, students participate in a mandatory orientation session also organized by CIEE. The goal is to introduce students to the country, culture, and academic program and to provide practical information about living in Cape Town. Students will also be introduced to the academic requirements of the University and shown how to make best use of campus facilities and services.

    Number of Students: 15-25 each semester.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    CIEE students live in a house near campus with fellow CIEE program participants. Students generally have small single rooms and share facilities with other students, all of whom share basic cleaning duties. A small number of students share double rooms. Students are responsible for their own meals, which are not included in the program fee. Students can prepare their own meals in the residence or eat at establishments on or off campus. Local UCT students (CIEE resident assistants) are selected to live in the residence with CIEE students.

    Haverford students may not opt for housing not arranged by the program. 

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Discover the beauty of diversity found in South African geography, history, and culture by going on field trips and excursions to important cultural and historical sites throughout the country. Spend a weekend living with a local family to learn about day-to-day life. Visit a rural agricultural cooperative to see the struggles local farmers face. Explore the South African Museum in Cape Town, the oldest museum in sub-Saharan Africa. Nights at the theater, trips to gourmet restaurants to taste the native cuisine, afternoons at local sporting events, and more will ensure you leave South Africa having had the time of your life.


Students who are applying to study in South Africa must have both parents sign the Parent Waiver on the Travel Resources website.  We also strongly suggest that parents of students studying abroad, especially in South Africa, also have valid passports.

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Semester I: Mid-July to late November
  • Semester II: Late January to mid-June
  • Year: Mid-July to mid-June
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: February 5
  • Semester II: September 15
  • Year: February 5
Faculty Contact

Zolani Ngwane