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  • Locations: Cape Town, South Africa; Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Program Costs: Summer
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Advisor: Stacy Lutsch, Who Can Apply?: All
Fields of Study: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, History, Journalism, Labor Studies, Landscape Architecture, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Regional Planning, Resource Economics, Social Thought and Political Economy, Sociology, Sustainability Studies Host Institution: University of Cape Town
Language(s) of Instruction: English Summer Program Duration: 7 weeks
Program Description:
University of Cape TownProgram Overview/Academics

For thousands less than the cost of being on campus for a semester (click here for a detailed budget), the UMass College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS) and the International Programs are pleased to announce a new study abroad opportunity at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. This seven-week program will earn you a semester's worth of UMass credits (13-15) in disciplines such as Political Science, History, Economics, and Sociology. Courses will be taught by both UMass and UCT professors and you'll be living and studying alongside students from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific in this immersive experience. 

UCT is a comprehensive, public university offering a full range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It has six faculties (Commerce, Engineering and the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law and Science). UCT is internationally recognized as Africa's leading research university, a position confirmed by independent peer review. 

During the intersession between Summer Session 1 and Summer Session 2, students will also get a chance to travel throughout South Africa for 7 days, embarking on a 4-day Garden Route tour (one of South Africa’s most popular destinations), ending with 3 days of university visits and lectures in Port Elizabeth on the Eastern Cape, in order to experience, compare and contrast South Africa's Eastern and Western Capes.

New for 2018 - Pell Grant recipients can access Pell funds for the summer! 


Cape Town is known as the Mother City of Africa and the Western Cape, an area which is regarded as one of the most beautiful regions in the world. The city is a rare cultural gem, resulting from the amalgamation of Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers, the local Bushman and Hottentot tribes, and the Bantu tribes from the north. The impressive presence of Table Mountain, flanked by the legendary Devil's Peak and historical Signal Hill, stands proudly above the city. Beautiful white sandy beaches along a peaceful coastline frame the Cape Peninsula, which is famed for its unique floral kingdom, bountiful rivers, vleis and dams and magnificent countryside. The surrounding area extends far into the winelands, green in summer and red-gold in autumn. Cape Town is a city of culture, built on a history that reflects in the architecture, cuisine, music and dance. It enjoys a warm summer and temperate winter climate, and a friendly community.

The main teaching campus, known as the Upper Campus, is located on the slopes of Devil's Peak. This campus contains in a relatively compact site the faculties of Science, Engineering, Commerce, and most of the faculty of Humanities, as well as the residences Smuts Hall and Fuller Hall. Upper Campus is centered on Jameson Hall, the location for graduation and other ceremonial events, as well as many examinations. The original buildings and layout of Upper Campus were designed by JM Solomon and built between 1928 and 1930. Since that time, many more buildings have been added as the university has grown.

Contiguous with Upper Campus, but separated from it by university sports fields and the M3 freeway, are the Middle and Lower Campuses. These campuses, which are distributed through the suburbs of Rondebosch, Rosebank and Mowbray, contain the Law faculty, the South African College of Music, most of the student residences, most of the university administrative offices, and many sporting facilities. The Upper, Middle and Lower Campuses together are often referred to as the "main campus" or the "Rondebosch Campus".

Living Arrangements

UCT's well-equipped campuses and residences provide excellent living and learning environments in beautiful surroundings on the slopes of Devil's Peak and elsewhere on the Cape Peninsula. They provide ideal facilities for students. For Summer Session 1, students will stay in a guest house in Rondebosch, a bustling university neighborhood with easy access to the Jammie Shuttle to get onto campus, and for Summer Session 2, students will move to a residence hall on the UCT campus. 


The program will be transcripted by UMass Amherst, and include opportunities to fulfill GenEd requirements, SBS major requirements and potentially enable you to graduate a semester early or replace a fall or spring semester with this summer program. Final course list is here:

Summer Session 1: May 20 - June 16, 2018
All students will take: Afropolitanism, Political Science 397 (4 credits), taught by UCT faculty.
And choose between:
UMA faculty Dr Joye Bowman and Dr John Higginson (History 260): Power and violence in South Africa (4 credits), GenEd HSD
UCT faculty Dr. Rebecca Hodes: HIV/AIDS in South Africa: Science, Race and Sex in the Making of a Modern Epidemic (UMA Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Communication, cross-listed course; number TBD)

Summer Session 2: June 17 - July 9, 2018
Students will choose TWO of the following three courses:
UMA faculty Dr Jen Lundquist (Sociology 261) - Demography: Sex, Life and Dying (4 credits), GenEd R2
UMA faculty Dr Léonce Ndikumana (Econ 397) - Political Economy of African Growth and Transformation (3 credits)
UCT faculty Dr Wallace Chuma - African Media in a Global Age (UMA Communication Department credit)
Note: Open to UMass Amherst students across all disciplines, although SBS students will receive priority. 

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year UMass/IPO Application Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 05/01/2019 ** Varies TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admissions.

If you are applying to a partner program, you must check their website for ACTUAL APPLICATION DEADLINES. The posted deadline above indicates when your UMass Abroad application materials are due and the program’s deadline may be sooner.