The next application deadline is Oct 1, 2024
See other program dates


The CIEE South Africa: Arts and Sciences program in Cape Town is a supported direct-enrollment program with the University of Cape Town (UCT). The program allows you to explore South Africa's diverse landscape of beaches, forests, and mountains while learning about contemporary South African life and society. UCT offers a variety of academic disciplines and course offerings.


UCT is a prestigious university established in 1829 and is internationally recognized as one of Africa's leading research institutions. UCT offers a wide variety of coursework in subjects such as Afrikaans, Gender Studies, Economics, Sociology, History, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, and more. You will take regular classes alongside local South African students in all UCT faculties except Health Sciences and the Graduate School of Business.

Please note that you must take at least 1 course specific to African content or that offers an African perspective. Any course you take with "Africa" in the title will most likely be exclusively with other international students.

Note the academic calendar for this program does not align closely with Columbia University. For instance, the Fall semester typically begins in mid-July and ends in mid-November.

Program Features

You can choose from three different housing options: a homestay, an apartment-style residence hall with other African students, or shared apartments near campus with fellow CIEE students. Former students have suggested that living in a homestay or residence hall offers you will find more significant connection with the community and with long-term residents. The UCT student body is 6% American, so one of these options may give you greater access to local life and culture.

You will also be able to participate in various artistic and cultural activities provided by CIEE to expand your learning beyond the classroom. Past activities include engaging in community service and connecting UCT students through the peer-to-peer connections program.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary, and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.