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South Africa

Cape Town is a beautiful port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, with a colorful mix of cultures, cuisines and landscapes. It is located beneath the famous flat-topped Table Mountain and is nirvana for any outdoor enthusiast and nature lover.


In this program, there is much to absorb, digest and reflect upon by digging deep into South Africa's colonial past, the turmoil of the apartheid era to the countries fledgling democracy.



Cape Town South Africa.jfif

Cape Town, South Africa

This program is an intensive and interactive study abroad and service experience where you engage with the culture, food, lifestyle, history, current social challenges and opportunities and more first-hand through coursework, expert lecturers, service projects, and site visits and Excursions. The world is your classroom in South Africa!

Experience South Africa like a local...not a tourist

You can't help but build new relationships with locals as you work side-by-side serving those in need. South Africa is a tremendously diverse population and blend of ethnicities, culture, skin color, languages,  religion and socio-economic levels.


And...South Africa is an adventurer's paradise! Hiking, camping, water sports and more await and will follow you on your personal journey of transformation. 

Cape town has a young and vibrant artistic, culinary and sport scene that makes it easy to make new friends. 

“I was motivated to participate in an IPSL program when I found out that they give you the opportunity to provide hands-on service with grassroots organizations and they are a social benefit organization that reinvests it’s program revenues back into the communities where they have partnerships.  The best thing about the IPSL program is that if you have a social cause you are passionate about they offer you an opportunity to bring your ideas to life at local organizations. “

~ IPSL Alum


Courses are cross-listed at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Dakotah with Andrew, the IPSL South Africa Program Director and a local friend.


Students have two options (or you can do both!) for accommodations.

IPSL can place students in a large house with private bedrooms, shared baths and a full kitchen within an Eco-Village conveniently located within Cape Town city. The village is a collective of several NGO's doing different work within the region and serving different populations. It is a ready made laboratory to explore local social development efforts!


You can also choose to live in a homestay with a South African family in Cape Town. Bedrooms can be either single or double-occupancy and shared with another same-sex family member or other student.  Partial board is included. 


An integral part of the program, the homestay offers you the opportunity to make life-long friends, gain higher proficiency in the language, and experience the culture from "the inside."


All IPSL host families are carefully selected and experienced with hosting students.  Living with local residents is part of the immersion experience. Instead of being a tourist, an IPSL student gets to know what it's like to be part of a different culture.



IPSL partners with an NGO that recognizes that the challenges of homelessness and mental health requires innovative solutions. Focusing on people struggling with addiction and living on the streets, they provide rehabilitative employment to vulnerable people, giving them a chance to heal themselves mentally, emotionally and physically. 


Another organization  serving a similar population uses a skills development model and offers work-placement at one of the organizations Charity shops, laundry and First Phase Service Centre. The shops are managed by formerly homeless individuals, providing on-the-job learning of merchandising, stock taking, customer service and other skills. Participants also access weekly occupational therapy, relapse prevention and formal training in English, literacy, IT, as well as accredited business management for selected participants.



IPSL partners with a locally driven non-profit that supports individuals and groups from disadvantaged communities in Townships surrounding. Cape Town to recognize the link between their survival, health and the active improvement of their environment so that they have the confidence to initiate, replicate and sustain food growing and greening activities.

Their goals are to combat poverty by growing food sustainably, using organic methods, at home and in community gardens and, providing support to the farmers in production planning, soil infrastructure, planning harvests, access to seeds and seedlings, vegetable transportation, and financial services to be able to run their micro farms.


Other opportunities to volunteering  are potentially available in the following areas:

  • Youth Development

  • Education

  • Medicine/Health

  • Social Services

  • Criminal Justice

  • Refugee assistance



Address real human needs.

As you work with local people, you will find your experience and understanding of the culture enriched and deepened, your leadership skills developed, and your language skills enhanced. Your placement will be determined by community and organizational needs, as well as your interests, goals, and skills.


Our partners are open year-round and start dates vary. Inquire with IPSL about your options. We are flexible with the start date and the duration of every program. 

Please inquire as we can customize to most any schedule, budget and interests.

What's Included

  • Tuition and academic fees for courses

  • Lodging (homestay) and most meals OR Eco-Village home with no meals

  • Academic transcript 

  • Airport Transfers

  • On-site and online orientation and pre-departure materials

  • Program or fieldwork placement and supervision 

  • Emergency Medical/Evacuation insurance 

  • Administrative fees

  • Excursions related to courses

  • Course materials

  • 24/7 On-site administrative support

What's NOT Included

  • International airfare

  • Some meals

  • Passport/Visa expense (if applicable)

  • Public transportation

  • Independent travel

Graduate Studies and Advocacy Research in South Africa

IPSL Global Institute offers South Africa as a destination for our graduate students. Choose a Master's of Arts in International Development & Service (IDS) or Community Organizing and Social Activism (COSA), or do independent research or service that qualifies for academic credit.

Academic Courses


Graduate students have a choice of living in a homestay or living in or double dorm rooms or apartments.

Please contact us to discuss graduate study and research opportunities in South Africa.

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