University Of Cape Town Study Abroad

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University Of Cape Town Study Abroad

University Of Cape Town Study Abroad

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa’s oldest university. Established in 1829, it has maintained a proud tradition of academic excellence, which today sees it ranked first in Africa and the only African university consistently ranked amongst the top universities in the world by the most widely recognized ranking systems (Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds).

Renowned for its striking location at the foot of Table Mountain, UCT is a microcosm of the city in its title. It is home to a vibrant, cosmopolitan community of over 27 000 students and 5 000 staff members from over 100 other countries in Africa and abroad.

UCT semester study abroad fast facts

  • UCT is consistently the highest-ranked university in Africa.
  • UCT is home to more than 5 000 international students from more than 100 countries.
  • Our semester study abroad program offers a wide range of mind-expanding and relevant semester courses across five faculties: Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Humanities, Law, and Science.
  • UCT is frequently ranked as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.
  • Fast, free internet is available on all our campuses.
  • Course credits are easily transferable to your home university.
  • English is the medium of instruction.
  • We provide an orientation program upon arrival.
  • We help study abroad and exchange students find accommodation.
  • We offer a direct enrolment program where study abroad and exchange students integrate fully into regular UCT courses.
  • We provide opportunities for you to make a difference by doing volunteer work in and around Cape Town. Work with us to combat socio-economic issues such as:
    •  High levels of inequality
    • Substance abuse
    • Housing shortages
    • Illiteracy and innumeracy
    •  Unequal access to justice
  •  UCT offers a great education at a reasonable fee in a world-renowned city with a comparatively low cost of living.

Applying direct or through a partnership

Students have an option of three routes to access the UCT Semester Study Abroad program. Different fee structures and regulations may apply according to which route you use to access the program.
Your options are:

Apply directly

Interested students are welcome to apply directly to the program. Liaise with your university’s international office for details about your institution’s requirements.  For more information on the UCT SSA program, email for assistance.

Apply through a partner university agreement

UCT has signed mobility agreements with a range of universities worldwide. To find out if we have an agreement with your university you can contact your institution’s international office, or download a full list of our mobility partner universities here.

Apply through our study abroad provider partner organizations

UCT partners with five organizations that facilitate semester study abroad, and other experiences, for foreign students. Click through to individual partner websites to find out more about them.

Semester Study Abroad

The Semester Study Abroad program is coordinated through the International Office and is designed for international students who wish to spend one or two semesters at UCT.

You might spend one or two semesters at the top university in Africa as an international student!

The University of Cape Town’s International Office oversees the Semester Study Abroad program, which is intended for international students who wish to spend one or two semesters at UCT taking (mostly) undergraduate courses with the intention of transferring credit to their home institution upon graduation for (typically) undergraduate degree credit.

  • Students should have completed at least three semesters of study at their home institution prior to their arrival at UCT.
  • Students remain registered at their home institution during the period of their study abroad.
  • Courses undertaken may be at undergraduate or postgraduate level, depending on the student’s academic background, and the ability of the academic departments concerned to admit the student to the courses.
  • Usually, not more than four courses are taken per semester. In some cases, students take two UCT courses while completing a research project for their home institution.
  • A study visa is required.
  • Credits earned as an SSA student may never be counted towards a UCT qualification.

Applying for an SSA 

The International Office of the University of Cape Town oversees the Semester Study Abroad program. For prospective students, this office is their initial point of contact. Visit the IAPO website for comprehensive information on study permits, international entry visas, and specific admission requirements.
  • On your own initiative (as individuals).
  • through a partnership initiative between UCT and your local institution; check with the international office of your university for further information.
  • through a centralized program like the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), Connect-123, Arcadia, International Studies Abroad (ISA), Council for International Education Exchange (CIEE), or Council for International Education Exchange (CIEE).
  • You should be aware that these various application categories may be subject to various fee schedules and rules. All applicants must meet the same entrance requirements.
  • You must get written authorization to enroll in the study abroad program if you want the work you do at UCT to count toward your home degree. Pre-departure meetings with advisors are common requirements at many universities. It is your obligation to become familiar with and abide by the rules set forth by your own institution.

International Fees and Study Permits

For a comprehensive overview of the Semester Study Abroad program at the University of Cape Town, including rules and application criteria, please visit the IAPO web pages.

International Academic Programme Office (IAPO) Contact

Tel: +27 21 650 2822 / 3740
Email: SSA Admissions & Enrolment Coordinator



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