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South Africa: Cape Town CIEE

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Cape Town Quick Facts

Language of Instruction

Fields of Study
Full university curriculum includes African languages and literatures, archaeology, chemistry, classics, dance, drama, economics, environmental science, fine art, gender studies, geological sciences, history, history of art, life sciences, linguistics, music, philosophy, political studies, Afrikaans and Netherlandic studies, psychology, religious studies, social anthropology, sociology, mathematics, and statistical sciences.

Host Institution
University of Cape Town

Homestay, dormitory with South African students, or house with program participants.

Program Dates
Fall semester: early July to mid-November
Spring semester: late January to late June

Faculty Liaison
Betsy Crighton

CIEE: Arts and Sciences

South Africa is a land extolling the paradox of great physical beauty in tandem with complex human struggles. The Cape Town program offers the visiting student an opportunity to study on site some of the challenging historical and contemporary issues of South Africa. These include topics in history, sociology, politics, economics, development, race relations, multiculturalism, gender studies, African languages, and science, and technology.  

The CIEE Arts & Sciences Program in South Africa is based at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The university was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and during the 1920s it became the University of Cape Town. A large site on Cecil Rhodes’s magnificent hillside estate in Rondebosch was set aside for its campus. The campus has beautiful buildings with sweeping lawns, pathways, and trees. The university is South Africa’s leading research university and boasts a high standard of academic excellence and a fine international reputation. The university has an enrollment of 19,000 students who study in some 100 departments in six faculties. Although UCT was classified as a “white university” during the apartheid era, it now is fully integrated. The language of instruction is English.

Academic Program

The program begins with a required orientation, which includes lectures on South Africa, practical tips on living in Cape Town, activities organized by CIEE and UCT, and information sessions on university organization and courses. During the semester, students enroll in a full-time academic program of regular UCT courses. Students select from extensive listings of 200-level (second year), 300-level (third year) or 400-level (honors) courses, one of which must focus on South Africa. Normally, 300-level or 400-level courses should be in the student’s major subject. Pomona will award credit at the 100 level only for courses in African languages. No credit is awarded  the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning in Cape Town.

The student's program must total at least 16 semester credits (or 72 UCT credits, equal to 4.0 Pomona credits). This is generally three or four courses, although individual course allocations vary. Music or dance performance courses earn 0.25 Pomona course credits.

Living Arrangements

Students live in UCT residences with South African students or in off-campus houses with other CIEE students. Meals are self-catered, and a meal allowance is provided by Pomona College. Students may also choose to live with a host family. In homestays, weekday breakfast and dinner and all weekend meals are provided. Pomona provides a meal allowance for weekday meals. Pomona also provides a transportation and taxi allowance. 

Number of Students

Approximately 4 Pomona students. Pomona students are part of a competitive national pool. CIEE group totals approximately 80-100. University enrollment approximately 21,000.


Junior standing and 9.0 GPA required. A college-level background course with African content is highly recommended. The national applicant pool may be competitive, and CIEE gives preference to the most qualified applicants.

Internet Links

Study Abroad