Cape Town, South Africa Project Center (IQP)
Located at the southern tip of South Africa, Cape Town is situated between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, with the Table Mountain range running through the city and down the Cape of Good Hope. Cape Town is both a cosmopolitan city with visitors and residents from around the globe, and a city dealing with problems many developing nations face, such as poverty and rapid urban growth. Cape Town has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and dry, warm summers. November is their Spring/Summer, and average temperatures range from 55°F to 74°F.
WPI students will stay in lodge style accomodations in Cape Town. The lodge is a short walk from the Victoria and Albert Waterfront and Sommerset Road. The lodge is home to a cat. Rooms will be a mix of doubles, triples, and quads. Rooms come with beds, a closet, lights, and little else. Rooms lock, however valuables can be stored in a safe in the main office. The lodge offers a shared kitchen and refrigerator for guests. Linens are provided. Students can access Wi-Fi in the lodge, however bandwidth is limited and the service is not great so large file downloads, skyping, and streaming videos are not recommended. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.
South African cuisine is shaped by both the indigenous cultures and the European settlers. The indigenous cuisines frequently vary per group, and many practices still exist today. Many vegetables and legumes brought from Europe are very popular as well, though vegetarianism is not common. Make sure to take any dietary restrictions or allergies into account as you consider this site and inform your advisor and IGSD of any health concerns well in advance of your participation in this program.
Students must arrive on or before the posted start date and stay through the posted end date of the program. Dates will be posted in the Fact Sheet at the top of this page. WPI housing will be available from the start date to the end date. If students plan to arrange any personal travel before or after the program, they are responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing.
Past Cape Town students have:
- Worked to improve facilities for survivors of domestic violence with the residents and staff of the Sizakuyenza Safe House (Winner of 2015 President’s IQP Award)
- Assisted in the development and formalization of an early childhood development center in an informal settlement
- Considered new approaches to utilizing vacant spaces to promote community in politically contested District Six
Learn more about past projects on the Project Center's website: Cape Town Project Centre report and website.
Students will be billed the following fees by WPI for the WPI semester they are away, on the regular WPI billing cycle (i.e. Fall semester, and Spring semester).
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while away:
- WPI Tuition and Fees
- WPI Housing Fee (if applicable)
- WPI Meal Plan (if applicable, reduced for term away)
- Global Projects Program Housing and Program Fee (for applicable programs)
- Local transportation
- Airfare (if applicable)
- Tourist activities and incidentals
- Project related incidentals
A breakdown of all estimated expenses for Cape Town can be found here: Cape Town Estimated Expenses.
WPI is committed to the health, safety, and security of all students who participate in our programs. While off-campus study can present unique challenges and inherent risks, we believe that careful research and diligent planning are keys to a safe and rewarding project experience. WPI utilizes several key resources to understand the risks of travel in the countries where we operate, and we urge you to consult these same resources as you research your intended destination. You can also discuss questions and concerns about your travel plans with on-campus resources such as the IGSD, the Student Health Center, the Office of Disability Services, and the Student Development and Counseling Center. It very important that you consider your own health requirements as you review what sites are most interesting to you, and that you carefully review the published information concerning health, safety, and security at the resources linked below prior to applying to a particular site. Make sure to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up to date health and vaccine information, and review all information in relation to your own health and any medical conditions you may have.
Country-specific travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control
Country-specific page from the U.S. Department of State
Project Center Website
Student travel website from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State