10 Reasons to Study Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa
- It is the oldest city in South Africa
- It is full of young people… The median age in the city is 26 years-old
- It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world Read more
We are happy to announce that the deadline for our Fall 2013 University of Cape Town program has been extended! All paper and online applications must be received by Interstudy/ISA by April 29th in order to meet this deadline.
More details on this program, including program requirements, housing, excursions, courses, dates, and other information can be found here. Read more
After four months in Cape Town, I realize that I have a terrible sense of humor. I stuck to my guns, but my guns apparently weren’t funny. This cuts me deep and is making me rethink things. I arrived in Cape Town in July and fell in love with this place instantly. The sprawling city, the diverse and interesting people (and their accents), the breath-taking scenery. Oh, and the bars and clubs. What’s not to love? Read more
I was going to write about the fun stuff I’ve been doing since I arrived in Cape Town. I was going to write about adjusting to a massive school like UCT. I wanted to talk about the exciting things I’ve done and seen- the whales, the baboons, the penguins, lions, wine tasting, peri-peri, the Old Biscuit Mill, bungy jumping, backpackers, the Garden route, the night life. I really did. But then I started looking around and found something far more worthwhile to write about at this time. Read more
On Tuesday, August 8th a group of Interstudy students and staff had the opportunity to attend a session with US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Here’s an excellent recap of the event from Katherine, an Interstudy student studying at the University of Cape Town.
The event began late, but no one seemed to mind waiting. I found myself sitting at the front of a large room that looked like a hybrid of ballroom and lecture theatre, complete with a large organ on one wall. By chance, I was seated between two fascinating individuals and excellent conversationalists: the driver to the vice-chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, and a distinguished woman who spent her career working in the non-profit sector across Southern Africa. We chatted about U.S. politics, the relationship between the U.S. and South Africa, and – of course – what to see, do, and eat in Cape Town. We had just broached the topic of different systems of higher education when the crowd was asked to stand for two national anthems. First, the Star-Spangled Banner. Timid and outnumbered Americans could be heard humming or muttering the lyrics, but the room exploded with sound when the South African national anthem followed. We remained standing until U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped up to the podium. Read more
Soon you’ll be headed back to school, and it will be time to start finalizing your plans for your time abroad. Whether you’re thinking about going to the bustling city of London, the beautiful wine region of Stellenbosch, or perhaps the historic town of Galway, Ireland, you’re in for a fresh perspective and wonderful memories.
You might think that coming to a conclusion on where to study is an easy decision. I mean, no matter where you decide to go it is going to be a life changing experience right? While this is not completely wrong, there are still key elements to consider before finalizing the decision of where you want to go abroad. To help, we’d like to share a list of factors to consider when choosing a study abroad program. Read more
One of the most fun aspects of traveling to a new country is learning the difference in language, specifically ‘slang’ types of words of which are not familiar to those entering a new land. South Africa is no different. In fact, with the eleven (yes, eleven) national languages of the nation one could argue that this foreign slang is epitomized in South Africa. So, in honor of our students finally arriving at their respective universities across the country, we at Interstudy thought it would be nice to provide them with a guide to some of the most popular local phrases. A keen study of this list and they will be convincing locals they have grown up in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Durban etc. their whole lives! Read more
The following is a reflection from our student blogger, Sarah, after her return from the Interstudy University of Cape Town program last Spring:
Somehow I’ve already been back in the U.S. for a month, and my memory of leaving South Africa feels like a very strange dream. I went through the motions of packing and saying goodbye to everyone I had grown so close with in 5 months, but it was really hard to wrap my brain around the thought that I was actually leaving the beautiful place that had been my home for a semester. When it finally did hit me sometime on the 15-hour flight from Johannesburg to New York (the TVs weren’t working so there was a lot of time to think about these things), I didn’t know how to feel. I was very excited to see my family and friends back at home, but just couldn’t believe that my time in Cape Town was over. In 5 months I had made some amazing friends, and had incredible experiences that I know I will never forget. Read more
I can picture myself at ten years old; surrounded in the savannah I had created in my head. One that consisted of a jungle of bed sheets and the company of a stuffed giraffe and elephant. It was in this kingdom where I held my own safaris, my own world without ever leaving my bedroom.
Perhaps this was what enticed me to travel to Cape Town: the vision of adventure still floating around in my mind. But now, that child has grown up. I want more than the adventure that thrilled my young heart. Now, I long for the insight.
Perhaps that is both the opportunity and the challenge that I foresee in this journey to Cape Town: the discovery of insight. It is the understanding that I both desire and cringe at the thought of. It is the fact I will go on this voyage to a place I don’t know, and undoubtedly find myself overwhelmed by the shock and the difference in location and culture. I will see the struggles and heartache of a new nation that will not only challenge me, but challenge what I have been taught and what I had previously understood.
At the same time, this new insight will offer me an opportunity to open my eyes to the vastness of this planet and appreciate in full what our world has to offer. I will experience beautiful things; things that can only be felt through experience, could only be understood through action. Then, I will leave Cape Town not only with the adventure in my soul, but also with the insight in my heart that will stay with me forever.
Imagine a group of people is getting to know you during your study abroad program’s orientation. You’ve gotten past the formalities, gotten to opening narrative stories, little jokes. You have everyone on board with you until you finish your last story with the words, “Rectum? Damn near killed ‘em!” You then realize only you’re laughing. You make a quiet comment and wait for someone else to pick up the conversation.
Ouch. What happened back there? Humor happened. I believe a person’s sense of humor resists change from new environments more so than other aspects of personality. This explains one of the reasons I’m excited about studying abroad in South Africa. I want to find out more about myself, as egotistical as that might sound, because after twenty years, I don’t know that much. I know I will learn valuable lessons from the unique mixture of people and history found in South Africa. But I will learn the most about myself by observing what my own sense of humor can find in a completely new, complex world. If I come back from Cape Town having laughed a lot, I will have a better sense of who I am regardless of the other internal changes I undergo in different social spaces. If don’t laugh that much, then at least I will know I have a terrible sense of humor.