How to Study Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa

Most recently, Cape Town received internationally recognition when it hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, this city in South Africa has a lot more going for it than just the fact that it is a major event city. Founded in 1652 as an Dutch supply station, Cape Town is now the second-most populous city in South Africa and is home to more than 3.5 million people. The city has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, which means it has mild, wet winters and hot, warm summers.
Have you decided that you want to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa? Here are some of the things that we recommend you do in Cape Town when you are not attending classes in order to really experience the best that this city has to offer for study abroad students.

1. Take a walk up Table Mountain. The first time that you go to Table Mountain, you should probably bring a friend or tour guide with you who knows the way. It is easy to get lost here, which could be dangerous. However, it is definitely worth the expense to join a hiking club or hire a private tour guide in order to explore more of this mountain. You can get some great views of the ocean from the mountain, which is 350 meters above sea level at it’s highest point. Make sure you wear hiking shoes and bring water bottles.
2. Smell the flowers at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. This garden is said to be one of the seven best botanical gardens in the world. With more than 500 hectares included in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, you can bet you will see various fauna and flora here. This is a great place to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery, especially the gorgeous Table Mountain that you can see rising up in the distance. Bring your camera and take some great photos to send home to your parents.
3. Get your adrenaline pumping. If you have ever thought about skydiving, then Cape Town is a great place to do it! Skydive Cape Town is a skydiving base that is very highly reviewed. They explain everything and provide an extra video and picture service to really document your experience. I won’t spend time explaining the skydiving process, but it is safe to say that you will be hard-pressed to find a more breathtaking view anywhere in the world than Cape Town from 10,000 feet in the air. Make sure you have cash; this venue does not accept credit cards.
4. See the diverse aquatic life in South Africa at the Two Oceans Aquarium. This aquarium features more than 3,000 animals who live along the South African coasts. There are daily feedings at the I&J Predator Exhibit, where you can see some of the most fierce animals enjoy a little snack at 15:30. The Two Oceans Aquarium is open every day of the year. The entrance fee is R105 for adults and R80 for students with a South African student card.

5. Enjoy the nightlife. If you want a more relaxed bar where you can meet locals and make friends, then check out Julep Bar, which is a little off the beaten path, near Long Street. Everyone here is very friendly and the small space features comfortable seating and soft lighting. If you are looking for a club where you can get to grooving on the dance floor, head to Decodance. This club plays mostly music from the 1960s-1980s, which means you won’t hear any Lady Gaga or Akon here. However, with two separate dance floors and monthly themed-parties, this is a great place to go out with friends. Finally, if you prefer to listen to live music, you should go to Zula Sound Bar. With several stages, you can catch different shows here every night. Also, the pizza and pasta here is delicious!
Have you studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa? Do you have any tips for other students who are planning on studying there? Share them with us in the comments section below.
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