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Study In South Africa - International Students

Study in South Africa, and find the best universities in South Africa.

This study guide will give you all the information you need to find universities and study in South Africa.

South Africa is a hugely popular tourist destination and one of the best places to study as an international student in Africa. The country has a diverse makeup, taking in many different cultures, religions and languages.

Studying in Johannesburg will feel completely different to studying in Cape Town, so make sure you choose the right city for you when examining your options.

South Africa offers the best universities and education on the African continent. Several South African universities rank in the world's top 200, with study in Zoology and the environment particularly well ranked.

Bachelor Degree In South Africa

Find the right Bachelor Degree in South Africa with our comprehensive guide.

Universities in South Africa

South Africa universities are free to set their own curriculum and courses, reporting to a central body rather than government.

The country is home to 23 public universities offering undergraduate degrees, with a growing student community of more than one million students enrolled in its system. Many come as international students from other continental African countries.

There are three types of institution where you can study a degree in South Africa:

• Traditional universities– these offer theoretical degrees.
• Universities of technology or “technikons” – offer vocational degrees.
• Comprehensive universities – offer a mixture of both types of qualification.

There are currently 11 traditional universities, eight universities of technology and six comprehensive universities in South Africa.

Tuition Fees in South Africa

Explore tuition fees in South Africa for bachelor's degrees and find the right bachelors degree at the right tuition cost for you.

Academic semesters generally run from February to June and from July to November.

Undergraduate degrees in South Africa fall into these main categories:

• Bachelor’s degree
This is a three-year degree in a specific field. Graduates can either join the work force or move on to pursue a two-year Master’s degree.

• Bachelor’s degree with honours certification
If students choose to continue their studies without moving on to a Master’s degree, they can do research specific to their Bachelor’s degree topic for an additional year.

Immigration & Visa in South Africa

Advice on Immigration & Visa in South Africa, where you can make sure you get the right documents to make a successful application to your ideal university.

Visa entry requirements for South Africa vary from country to country, with most countries requiring you to get a study permit if your course lasts longer than three months. You will not be able to register with a South African university without a study permit.

In order to apply for a study permit, you will need to fill out a study permit application and send it to the South African office abroad in your area. A full list of these offices can be found online.

You will need to send with it a number of supporting documents, ranging from medical certificates to permit fees. A full list of these documents can be found online as well at the website.

Advice on Accommodation & Living Costs in South Africa

Advice on Accommodation & Living Costs in South Africa.

The most common way for international students to live in South Africa is in accommodation provided by universities, as finding acceptable private accommodation while living outside of South Africa is extremely difficult.

Most universities will group international students together, so you will probably find yourself living in an apartment block with several other students. This is a great way to get to know other students and make some friends – you’ll also normally be situated near the university.

Living costs/rent: Living costs in South Africa are generally cheaper than countries like the UK and the United States, but it depends on the standard of living you are used to. Rural areas tend to offer cheaper living and a quieter pace of life.

Rent per month:

• One bedroom apartment (city centre) – R5,400 (£235)
• One bedroom apartment (outside city centre) – R4,400 (£190)
• Three bedroom apartment (city centre) – R11,300 (£490)
• Three bedroom apartment (outside city centre) – R9,200 (£400)

(Rates are intended as a guide only)

Advice For Parents

Advice For Parents whose children may be looking to study in South Africa. You can find complete information on costs, safety, security and tips on keeping in touch during their time away.

How safe is South Africa?

South Africa attracts a lot of criticism for its safety record, much of which is justified. South Africa has a very high rate of violent crime, but a lot is being done to reduce it. The violent crime and murder rates in South Africa have been falling for the last few years.

International students will have to get used to living in gated communities and coping with security, but being safe in South Africa is more about following universal rules such as taking taxis rather than walking and avoiding certain areas.

Students should always take precautions to make sure they stay safe. They should take care to:

• Avoid walking alone at night
• Always carry a charged phone
• Avoid potentially quiet/ dark shortcuts
• Avoid carrying a lot of cash
• Let friends know where they are going
• Always keep a close eye on personal belongings whilst out
• Never accept things from strangers – whether this is a lift home or a drink

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:

Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection

Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date

Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

Apply to Study in South Africa

Apply to Study in South Africa and get free online and telephone support with your application. The advice here will help you find the right bachelors at the right university in South Africa.

If you would like to study overseas but are not certain as to where is the best fit in terms of country, course and funding you can register for free with the International Student Admissions Service (ISAS) where a dedicated admissions team will be able to help you every step of the way.

You can find out about studying in other countries with our country guides.

Cities in South Africa