- Compare All Programs
- Finding the Right Program
- Apply Now
- Questions? Contact Us
- Schedule an Appointment
Brightly coloured bathing boxes on Muizenberg Beach.
Life in Cape Town
All program participants must arrive in Cape Town and depart on the dates indicated in the program calendar. Airport pick-ups will be arranged.
Housing and dinner five nights per week (Sunday - Thursday) are provided for the duration of the program from the arrival date through the last day of residence, as indicated in the program calendar.
Program participants will live together in double rooms in adjacent houses in the neighborhood Observatory. Obs, as it is sometimes referred to, is located close to the Health Sciences campus of the University of Cape Town and only a short shuttle ride away from the main campus. Shops, restaurants, a grocery store, and the Stanford Cape Town Centre are just a short walk away.
Students will have many opportunities to meet locals. Through service-learning and by working on targeted research projects students will interact closely with diverse community residents and NGO staff and take advantage of their expertise. The University of Cape Town, formally established in 1918, is the oldest university in Cape Town, and has developed into a leading research and teaching university. As such, UCT is able to provide its nearly 20,000 students with great academic and cultural resources. During their time in Cape Town, Stanford students will have access to UCT campus facilities, such as libraries, lounges, cafeterias, and sports facilities and are encouraged to interact as much as possible with local students and student organizations.
In addition, field trips associated with the Stanford program will give students the opportunity to explore additional locations in South Africa and to better understand local culture.
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and the seat of the national parliament. With about 4 million inhabitants, it is a cosmopolitan, culturally diverse city, blending descendants of Khoisan, Xhosa and other African tribes with those who trace their roots to Indonesian, south Asian and African slaves, and British, Dutch, French, and German settlers. While much of the city’s history in the mid-to late-20th century is darkened by apartheid, Cape Town was in the forefront of the opposition, and has entered the new millennium with a focus on rebuilding the community and renewing its cultural vibrancy.
The distinct scenery of Cape Town, from the dramatic coastlines to the striking rise of Table Mountain, makes the city a beacon for nature lovers, while visitors interested in the history and culture of South Africa are attracted by the wide variety of leisure activities and cultural pursuits. Numerous festivals, such as the Cape Town World Cinema Festival and the Cape Town Jazz Festival, along with the city’s opera, theater, shopping, and museums, contribute to Cape Town’s growing cosmopolitan feel.