Summer Abroad South Africa - On Site

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South Africa—City to Safari


Cape Town: University of Cape Town
In Cape Town, you will stay in a residence hall of the University of Cape Town. All rooms are singles with bookshelves, desks, chests of drawers, a wardrobe, and a sink. There are no clothes hangers, so be prepared to buy some when you get there if you need them. Bathrooms are shared, dorm-style. You will have access to the library and computer labs. The third week in Cape Town you will be staying in a Boutique Hostel up the road from the University. Rooms will be shared with several other students.

Karongwe Game Reserve
Karongwe River Lodge is a five-star safari camp where you will stay two or three persons per deluxe unit. Each unit is furnished with two twin-size beds, cupboards, en-suite shower, basin and toilet and a viewing deck. There is a swimming pool and lodge on-site.

UC Davis reserves the right to change the accommodation location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable lodging.


University of Cape Town

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. There is also a small kitchen on each floor of the residence hall if you would like to prepare a meal or snack for yourself.

Karongwe Game Reserve

The resident chef at Karongwe will provide you with three very fine meals each day.

Student Voices

Study Abroad: Our Stories, Articles written by Study Abroad alumna Laura Walters

Excursions and Day Trips

In and around Cape Town

  • Cape Town Introduction
  • Greenmarket Square Craft Market
  • Visit to Township
  • Kirstenbosch Gardens
  • Table Mountain
  • Cape of Good Hope
  • Stellenbosch Wine Country
  • Robben Island
  • District Six Museum
  • Township overnight
  • Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel

In Johannesburg

In and around Edeni

  • Game drives and walks at Karongwe Game Reserve
  • Game drive at Kruger Park

Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About South Africa

Currency: Rand

Language Spoken: In Cape Town the languages are generally Africaans and English (click here for a full list South Africa's eleven official languages).

Destination: South Africa (National Geographic Video)

Weather and Climate

South Africa's Weather and Climate:

Winter in South Africa (May to July) is characterised in the higher-lying areas of the interior plateau by dry, sunny, crisp days and cold nights. So it's a good idea to bring warm clothes.

The Western Cape gets most of its rain in winter, with quite a few days of cloudy, rainy weather. However, these are always interspersed with wonderful days to rival the best of a British summer.

Research Your Destination

Keeping in Touch

Since communication options can vary dramatically from country to country, Summer Abroad advises checking with the instructor or the Program Specific Guide for advice about what might be the best option for your particular program.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long distance phone companies provide special services that make it easy for you to phone home from abroad. Some provide toll-free access numbers that connect with an operator in the U.S. Some provide the means to charge long distance calls to a credit card or to a third party. Some provide better long distance rates. Others provide access to emergency, medical, legal, translation, and entertainment information. Students are encouraged to investigate these options before departure and to shop for the best services and rates.

Global Cell Phones

Most cell phone companies can sell you a special global cell phone with the option to add more minutes as needed. Also, most cell phone companies can unlock your cell phone for global use, but this requires a trip to a provider at your destination who will give you a SIM card and sell you minutes. Check with your cell phone provider for more information. Global cell phones are also available through travel agencies and online. Be sure to check the policies for both incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

Cell Phone Rental

Some students choose to rent a cell phone that works at their destination. Some companies will ship the phone directly to the student in advance of the program dates—and include a packet for sending the phone back when they return. Interested students can locate service providers via the Internet.

Phone Cards

Many travel agencies and specific phone providers carry great options for phone cards. Check the rates available from your long distance provider. You can often buy phone cards on site.


Skype is a computer program that you can download for free that allows you to talk (for free) on the phone over the Internet with anyone else who has Skype. Go to to download the program. For an extra fee (as low as .02 cents/minute) you can enable your Skype to call land lines instead of just other computers. You will need a microphone and headset so that you can talk to the person on the other line. Skype also includes a chat option for instant messaging.

Instant Messaging Systems

Instant messaging systems are also a great free way to communicate with people back in the states. There are numerous options for messaging systems from AOL Instant Messenger to Yahoo Messenger. Just about every messaging program can be downloaded for free online.

Internet Access

Computer and internet access varies by program. Information for your site will be listed in your Program Specific Guide.

Internet access is offered in all the countries we go to, but the reliability of it differs from program to program. Internet can be accessed through internet cafes. Some programs also offer access through the dorms or on-campus computer labs. Internet cafes are very reasonably priced and often times have various instant messaging programs installed and headphones available to chat with loved ones. Relying on internet cafes may reduce worry of bringing your own laptop with you. You can upload pictures at most internet cafes, but remember due to the speed of some connections, it may be a better idea just to bring multiple memory cards to avoid spending your whole day on the computer.

Cultural Learning

Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be frustrating. It is one thing to tour a country, but it is quite another to live and function according to different norms. It is important to be open toward a new culture, to try to discard stereotypes, and to learn as much as possible about the culture before departure. If you educate yourself about the country you will be visiting, you will better understand and appreciate your new surroundings!

Even with preparation it is likely that you will experience "culture shock." Recent studies show that there are distinct stages of culture shock. Some of these stages include: awareness of the host culture and preparation, initial euphoria and excitement, irritability phase during acclimation, gradual adjustment, and adaptation to culture. Upon return to the United States, many students face "reverse culture shock."

There are some things you can do to minimize your cultural adjustment. Keep a sense of humor! Treat yourself to an occasional U.S. indulgence like a favorite food, or purchase a U.S. magazine or newspaper. Avoid other Americans who are overly negative or who complain a lot. Keep healthy. Above all, don't be afraid to try new activities!

Resources for Further Study

Ethical Considerations in Study Abroad