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Travel to the iconic city of Cape Town and experience life in South Africa as a student for up to a year. Immerse yourself in the diverse, warm culture, living with a local South African family, attending a local high school and making lifelong friends. Discover the myriad of sights and activities that the ‘Mother City’ has to offer in your free time.

GVI’s Academic Exchange Program offers overseas students, aged 15 to 18 years old, from around the world the opportunity to experience life in South Africa. As a student, you will live and fully interact with a local South African family, attend a local school, and immerse yourself within South Africa, experiencing real life in this amazing country. Many alumni return to South Africa time and time again to catch up with their host families and the life long friends they make during their program.

Bookings are open for this program but are not taken through this website. Please contact [email protected] for further information or to book onto this program.

Program Highlights

Perfecting English language skills; living in Africa; making some great new South African friends; getting to know your second South African family; living close to the ocean, beaches, mountains and countryside; the near perfect year-round sunshine and weather; the cultural diversity; learning about the culture and history; enjoying the braai (BBQ!) culture; experiencing a real African safari and chancing upon lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant and rhino; enjoy the glorious vineyards, there’s one at every turn; learn about the history and legacy of former South African president, Nelson Mandela; visit a township on an organized tour; take in the iconic Cape Town sights of Table Mountain, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront and Lions Head; experience the local fascination with sport at a local rugby or football match; to summarize…enjoy the outdoor lifestyle that this astounding country has to offer.


GVI’s Academic Exchange Program in Cape Town, South Africa, offers overseas students the opportunity to experience life and school in one of the most exciting destinations in the world. There is nowhere else like Cape Town, it sits between the ocean and world famous Table Mountain, and has the national park at its heart. Considered one of the most beautiful, vibrant and exciting locations in Africa, the “Mother City” is the oldest in South Africa, at over 300 years old. It has a modern and lively feel, stunning scenery, an excess of cultures and languages and an active arts scene. Life is based around families, outdoor activities, friends, laughter and great weather.

Free Time

As with many families at home, the week is busy with work and school so there are less activities outside of school available. Some schools do have extra curriculum activities available such as music, art and sport clubs, which can be a great way to keep busy in safe environments.

On the weekend however, our host families are out and about, shopping, visiting family members, enjoying local day trips and enjoying their wonderful city. As students, you will have time to meet your friends from the local schools and sometimes with other Academic Year Program students and join in with host family activities. There are many great things to see and experience in Cape Town, such as visiting amazing beaches; browsing the shops at the V&A Waterfront; experiencing the wide reaching National Parks network; or of course, Table Mountain, climbing one of many routes, or taking the cable car for a memorable ride to the summit of one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.

Additional Activities

GVI can also arrange a variety of additional activities accompanied by GVI staff, to help students experience the highlights of the region. These activities come at an additional cost, and are payable in country. Activities are subject to availability and interest but may include:

•Tour of Robben Island to see the prison where Nelson Mandela was held and learn about the struggle to end apartheid
•Township tour to learn about life in a township
•Day Safari to see some of the wildlife South Africa is so famous for and proud of!
•2-day tour of the city and southern peninsula, taking in Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, the penguins of Boulders Beach and Table Mountain National Park
•1-week South African adventure
•1- and 2-week GVI volunteer programs

For enquiries contact Belinda