Study In South Africa: A Guide for International Students, What you Need to Know

In this article, you will realise that study abroad initiatives are no longer exclusive to Western countries. It is possible to transform education in most parts of the world these days. Thus, one of the newest and also among popular options for studying abroad is South Africa.

As an international student enthusiastic about discovering South Africa through education, we have compiled comprehensively what You Need to Know When Applying to Study in South Africa.

To begin with, South Africa is arguably the current economic centre of Africa. Beyond their dorm, students will find a plethora of stimulating social and intellectual possibilities. Additionally, the most of those rankings of the “best universities in Africa” are regularly made up of South African establishments.

Rankings for universities in South Africa are paramount! Consequently, you may be certain that your education in South Africa will be of the highest quality.

Public Universities in South Africa

In South Africa, there are three different kinds of Public Universities: Universities of Technology, or “technikons,” which are more vocational; Conventional universities, which are more intellectual; and Comprehensive universities, which provide a blend of both kinds of degrees.

Tertiary Education and Vocational Training

Tertiary education and vocational training, including Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) centres, are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Higher Education and Training. South Africa’s nine provinces each have their own education departments that carry out both national and local policy. 

Duration of Programs in South Africa

A bachelor’s degree can be earned in three years of full-time study in South Africa, whereas a master’s degree can be earned in one or two years. The first semester runs from early February to early June, while the second runs from mid-July to late November. Here is the breakdown of the academic year.

See Also: 10 Best Universities in South Africa to Study Medicine

Why Attend South African Universities to Study?

What makes South African Universities so attractive to International students, then? The Majority of those lists of the “best universities in Africa” consistently include South African institutions. In South Africa, university rankings are very important. As a result, you may be certain that you will receive the best education possible in South Africa.

Most of Africa’s Top Educational Programmes are Available in SA

It is already a great idea to study abroad in Africa. Gaining credits at the top-ranked universities on the continent will thus be nothing short of spectacular. Search for the best institutions in Africa that accept international students.

It will be evident to you that South African university rankings are at the top. South Africa is among the greatest destinations to further your education if that is your goal. Do your homework on those study in South Africa scholarships; it is a great investment. 

Your level of Awareness will increase

The disparities between South Africans who are affluent and those who are impoverished will astound international Students. You could be travelling through the upscale Clifton area of Cape Town in a moment.

You will soon be driving through a nearby township. Your consciousness of privilege will undoubtedly soar as an overseas student in South Africa.

You will also get to witness the fortitude and tenacity of South Africans living in poverty as they struggle against all odds. It is a mind-set that will help you grow tremendously and teach you about your own power.

South African Universities make it into the world’s top 800

Nine South African universities are listed in the QS World University Rankings 2019, with the  University of Cape Town holding the top spot in the rankings worldwide at equal 200th.  Stellenbosch University is ranked joint 405th, while the University of the Witwatersrand, sometimes referred to as Wits, is placed joint 381st.

Fascinating background in both academia and non-academy life

The majority of South African institutions provide supportive networks for overseas students, a variety of social activities and clubs, excellent academic facilities, and multicultural student populations.

Many South African institutions offer community volunteering programmes that provide you the chance to get engaged in the local community’s development if you’re eager to see South Africa outside of the campus.

Recommended: Canon Collins Sol Plaatje Scholarships to Study in South Africa 2024  

Top List Universities in South Africa for International Students

In South Africa, education is a way of life. Examining the best colleges for International students is what we want to do.

  • University of Cape Town

In Cape Town, studying abroad offers breath-taking views. That is but a small portion of the factors that make the University of Cape Town a leader in South African education. It enjoys an excellent reputation as the most robust collegial system in Africa.

Moreover, administration at UCT is aggressively striving to make the university more inclusive of all demographic groups.

  • Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University is another major player in the South African university scene, with about 30,000 students from over 100 countries.

If you’re planning a career that involves improving medical access for the underprivileged, you’ll feel right at home at Stellenbosch, as the university is leading the way in tuberculosis research. Stellenbosch is divided into ten “faculties” (the South African word for schools).

  • University of Kwazulu-Natal

Two South African universities merged to establish the institution back in 2004. Being a “premier university of African scholarship” is an aim that Kwazulu-Natal most surely achieves. One notable feature of the institution is the Africa Health Research Institute, a national leader in TB and HIV/AIDS research.

  • University of Witwatersrand

Nonetheless, the University of Witwatersrand is renowned for more than only being a pioneer in palaeontology worldwide. Nearly every overseas student may pursue their interest with more than 3000 courses and 100 student groups.

Located right in the centre of Johannesburg is the school. It also oversees social programmes meant to raise the standard of living in the areas it surrounds.

  • University of Pretoria, South Africa

At the Pretoria University, “Tukkies,” which was formerly exclusively a white Afrikaner institution, now has a heterogeneous student body. Anticipate lectures that combine conventional and virtual learning methods.

International students will also have a wide range of majors to choose from, including veterinary health, education, economics, and more. Church Street is the longest urban street in Africa, so taking in the wind after class is a must.

  • University of Johannesburg

Because of its location in South Africa’s business hub, the University of Johannesburg, with its seven faculties, is surrounded by an abundance of resources. Do you want to have a memorable time while studying abroad? A significant portion of university students – 86 percent come from underprivileged backgrounds.

  • Rhodes University, South Africa

The Eastern Cape province’s small city of Grahamstown is home to this school. Due to its tiny class sizes, Rhodes is highly regarded for offering extremely cosy campus living. Additionally, it will make it simple for you to pester your professors during office hours! Rhodes is renowned for having among of South Africa’s top pass rates as well.

  • University of the Western Cape

In the South African student anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s, this institution played a significant role. As UWC continues to work towards eliminating racial inequity and improving the lives of marginalised peoples, the legacy endures today.

That means you’ll be following in the footsteps of some really impressive UWC graduates. With a wide variety of degrees available, the institution also boasts a vibrant global network of partners.

Do you enjoy spending time at the university libraries? Over 400,000 volumes and more than 1,200 print and online publications are available for checkout from the UWC main library.

Check Also: MultiChoice Bursary Scheme for South African Students

Quick Notes

  • Full name: Republic of South Africa
  • Parliamentary republic – the President is both head of state and head of government
  • International students can work up to 20 hours per week during term time (full time during semester breaks)
  • Amount needed for living costs per year: R102,000 (~US$7,300)
  • Three capital cities: Pretoria (executive capital), Cape Town (legislative capital), Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
  • Largest city is Johannesburg (nicknames include ‘Joburg’, ‘Jozi’, ‘Joni’, ‘eGoli’ and ‘Joeys’)
  • Eleven official languages, including English, Afrikaans (based on Dutch), Xhosa, Zulu, Setswana and Sesotho. English is the language of business and administration.
  • Motto: ‘Unity in diversity’
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Main exports: platinum, gold, diamonds, metals and minerals, cars, fruit, machinery
  • Wildlife includes zebra, cheetah, antelope, hyena, whale, shark, penguin (yes, really), flamingo, crocodile, giraffe and many more, including the ‘big five’: rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo.
  • More than 700 public nature reserves, including 19 national parks, and about 200 private reserves
  • Borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho, which is an enclave, fully surrounded by South African territory
  • Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the east
  • Currency is the rand (1 rand = 100 cents)
  • Time zone: GMT+2 (UTC+2)
  • International dialing code is +27 and internet domain is.za
  • Generally temperate climate.

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