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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2019 09/28/2018 10/26/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Accounting, Acting/Performance Art, Business, Communication, Gender Studies, Health Science, History, International Studies, Journalism, Literature, Management, Peace Studies, Political Science, Public Health Housing Options: Apartments, Homestay
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.8
Class Standing: 3-Junior, 4-Senior
Program Description:
Semester Program


Cape Town panoramaThe Cape Town Open Campus program at the CIEE Global Institute offers maximum flexibility to engage and experience Cape Town. Take two or all three of your 3 six-week semester blocks in Cape Town for your perfect amount of intensive study and cultural engagement. Select from five academic tracks and choose from a wide range of courses and subject areas.

As a microcosm of many African countries in transition, Cape Town also illuminates the issues of joining the global economy while grappling with vast socioeconomic inequalities born from its colonial and apartheid heritage. It’s a stunning place to spend a semester learning about your discipline in a vibrant international context, with a complex history that will stay with you always.

Additional Opportunities:
  • Academic internship
  • Directed research
  • Service-learning

Courses and Credits

OPEN CAMPUS PROGRAM: Classes are taught on a unique six-week academic block system. Courses are taught more intensively than in a traditional semester-length course. Student should be prepared for a more focused academic experience with longer class sessions. Choose one, two or three academic blocks during either the fall or spring semester. Each block is six weeks long. Students typically take two courses per block, one of which might be an Academic Project (internship, service learning project, or independent research).

  1. Language, Literature, and Culture
  2. Communications, Journalism and New Media
  3. Business
  4. Global and Community Health
  5. International Relations and Political Science
  6. Sustainability and Environmental Sciences
For course listing and descriptions go to the Cape Town Open Campus page and scroll to Academics at the bottom.

If you would like to get a course approved, print off the form NEW GEO Course approval form(1).pdf Take the completed form and syllabus to the appropriate department chair. Make sure that you return that course approval form and syllabus to the GEO.

TRANSFERRING OF CREDITS: All credits taken abroad come back as transfer credits. Grades will be reflected on the transcript, but not figured into the student's cumulative GPA. Students must earn a 'C' or above for credits to transfer to Merrimack. Please note carefully that most of the courses taken abroad are only 3-credits rather than 4 as at Merrimack.


HOMESTAYS: Living with a South African family is the best way to maximize cultural immersion. Families live throughout the Cape Town area, and students take public transportation to and from the university, with a 20- to 30-minute commute.
Meals for Homestay Students: Breakfast and dinner are provided on weekdays. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on weekends. Students are responsible for lunch on weekdays.

OFF-CAMPUS APARTMENTS: Students share apartments near the University of Cape Town campus with other CIEE participants and residential assistants. Students mostly have single rooms though there are some doubles. Students share kitchen and other facilities with five to 10 students, and pitch in with basic cleaning duties. 
Meals for Off-campus house or apartment: Students are responsible for meals. They can prepare their own meals at their hall or apartment, or eat on or off campus.


Merrimack students attending any of the CIEE Global Institutes (Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome, or Cape Town) pay Merrimack's Global Semester costs which cover covers tuition, housing, and international insurance for all three blocks of the term.

2018-2019 Fees include:
  • Global Semester costs:  $24,830
  • Additional program fee: $3,300
  • CIEE Fall 2018 scholarship for Merrimack students: $1500
  • Fall Total: $26,630
  • Spring Total: $28,130

BILLING: Payments for the semester abroad are made to the Bursar's Office per usual. Students should discuss payment plans with the Bursar's Office. For additional billing questions, please contact the Bursar's Office: Room 12, Austin Hall,,  978.837.5310.

FINANCIAL AID: Merrimack institutional aid is recalculated for the semester off-campus**. When students return to campus, Merrimack aid returns to the on-campus rate. We encourage you to consult the Financial Aid Office early on to see what this recalculation might mean for you. Office of Financial Aid 15B Austin Hall,, 978.837.5186.

**N.B. NCAA scholarships and Federal Aid are not impacted by this recalculation.

  • CIEE Application Fee: $50
  • Meals not included in program fee - $2,700
  • International Airfare - $1,450 (estimate only)
  • Local Transportation - $405
  • Books & Supplies - $300
  • Visa Fees - $82


Students interested in studying in a GEO program must first apply for permission to study abroad through Merrimack's Office of Global Education (GEO). To qualify Merrimack students must be:
  • Second-semester sophomores and above
  • In good academic standing with a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA
  • In good disciplinary standing 
To apply students must submit the following by March 9, 2018:
  • Online application
  • Faculty reference (form included in online application)
  • Student affairs reference (form included in online application)
  • An Interview with GEO staff to be conducted soon after the application has been submitted, or during the week of March 12th.
CIEE's Application deadline for Fall 2018: April 1, 2018.