South Africa


General information 

South Africa, on the continent's southern tip, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and by the Indian Ocean on the south and east. Its neighbours are Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, and Swaziland. Diversity is a key feature of South Africa, where 11 languages are recognised as official. Cape Town is home to soaring Table Mountain, golden beaches, and bountiful vineyards. Currently, The World Design Capital 2014 is in the process of using innovative design to transform the city.

(Source: Edu South Africa)

Please note that some partners may not be available for exchange for a particular academic year, if this is the case it is stated below.

  Partner universities
Cape Town, University of Cape Town

University of Cape Town website

Fast facts

  • Language of instruction: English
  • Number of students enrolled: 29,000
  • Number of campuses: 5
  • Academic year: February – November
  • Autumn Semester Equivalent: July - November
  • Spring Semester Equivalent: February – June


UCT’s campus is located at the foot of Table Mountain's Devil's Peak, with panoramic views of much of Cape Town. UCT is very similar to the city of Cape Town: it has a vibrant, cosmopolitan community, with staff and students from over 100 countries in Africa and the rest of the world.

Things to do

Cape Town is an excellent base for exploring the Western Cape region, famed internationally as a tourist destination. You can visit world famous sites including Table Mountain, Cape Point, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years) the Stellenbosch wine lands and the Franschhoek gourmet town.

Cape Town beaches have soft, white sand, great surrounding scenery and mountainous backdrops, and you can see the penguins on Boulders Beach. Outdoor activities are possible across South Africa including hiking, river rafting, diving, game viewing and whale watching.

Top Attractions: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Robben Island, Gansbaii (white shark capital of the world) and Long Street’s nightlife.

Travel opportunities

Lonely Planet: “Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. It befits its position at the southern end of the world’s most epic continent, with more types of terrain than photographers can shake their zoom lens at. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Kruger National Park’s wildlife-stalked savannah...”

Further afield, you can visit Johannesburg, undertake a classic overland journey to Namibia and Botswana or visit other African countries including Zimbabwe and Kenya.


South Africa is famous for its sunshine and is a relatively dry country. The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate: Autumn (mid-February to April) is fantastic, with hot sunny days and warm, balmy nights, and Summer (mid-October to mid-February) is also warm. Winter (May-July) gives more cloudy, rainy weather.

Finance 2018/19

Bursaries from the University of Nottingham available for those accepted to study abroad at UCT:

  • Means tested Global Travel Bursary of £750 dependent on household income for students begining their studies in 2016 or after. Students who started their studies before 2016 should see the finance webpage, as the award criteria differs (available to students classed as Home Students for fees purposes and accepted to study abroad as part of the University-wide exchange programme)

Approximate living costs per semester:

  • Return flight from UK (av. 12 hours): £660-1000
  • Visa costs: £35 + £40 service fee
  • Medical insurance (compulsory): £60-120
  • UCT admistration fee: £190 approx.
  • Accommodation: £900-1700

Approximate living costs compiled from external sources and partner university website.

Living costs are less than the UK.

More about living costs


Students are housed in secure, furnished private accommodation within walking distance of the campus, managed by the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO). Accommodation is arranged through the IAPO and is secured prior to arrival in Cape Town.

More about accommodation

Application success rate

Percentage of students placed at this partner out of total applications received (including 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice).

2015/16 = 67%
2016/17 = N/A
2017/18 = 7%

Module catalogue

International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO)

Orientation and arrival information

University of Cape Town disability support


International Office

C Floor, YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB, UK

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5247
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5155
e: Email the Study Abroad team