South Africa is known as the Rainbow Nation and has more than enough diversity to have earned this nickname. With eleven official languages, countless unofficial dialects, and three capital cities, South Africa is an impressive country and a wonderful choice for those looking to study abroad. The complexity of local politics, the wealth of flora and fauna, as well as the fascinating growth of the arts and artistic expression all make South Africa an ideal destination for students with a wide variety of interests. Advance your studies and your future career by enjoying all that South Africa has to offer.
South Africa at a Glance
Domestic Population: 48.37 Million People
Capital City: South Africa has three capitals – Pretoria (Administrative), Cape Town (Legislative), and Bloemfontein (Judicial)
Currency: South African Rand
Trivia: The first human heart transplant took place in 1967 in Cape Town.
When is The Best Time to Study in South Africa
For a study abroad program you will be able to choose a semester program, a year program, or a program over the summer. Keep in mind that the South African fall is mid-February to April, winter is May to July, the spring is August to mid-October, and the summer is mid-October to mid-February. While some programs that are run through the U.S. or other universities in Europe still operate by the time frames of the Northern Hemisphere, that is not always the case. Be sure to double check when each of the programs runs and if they fit within your schedule.
Programs and Popular Cities in South Africa
There are a wide variety of subjects to choose from when looking at studying abroad in South Africa. Courses include everything from conservation to political science and even volunteer work.
Cape Town: Cape Town is one of the most popular study abroad destinations in South Africa. Cape Town is known for hiking, mountain biking, history, beaches, and more.
- CIEE Study Abroad Cape Town
- IES Abroad Cape Town
Stellenbosch: This city is located in the Western Cape province of South Africa and is about 50 km away from Cape Town. This university town is the second oldest settlement in southern Africa and is a historic goldmine.
- AIFS Abroad Stellenbosch
- CIEE Study Abroad Stellenbosch
Housing Options in South Africa
Students will have three housing options while studying abroad in South Africa: on-campus housing, private apartments, and homestays with local families. If you opt for a residence hall, then you will be placed in a single room or with a roommate. You will share a communal area as well as a kitchen and be responsible to tidying up after yourself. This would be a great opportunity to meet local friends since your fellow hall mates will be South African or from other countries in Africa.
If you choose to live in a private apartment, then you will be placed with other program participants or with local students. These apartments will be furnished and you will have a program leader or resident assistant that leaves nearby in case of emergencies or other issues. This option will allow you more autonomy but still within a safe space in case any issues arise.
Finally, you can choose the homestay option. This would place you in local families and would be the best choice for those looking for full immersion. Certain meals will be provided for you by the family that you live with and you will have to navigate the local transportation system in order to attend classes.
Costs of Study Abroad Programs in South Africa
The price of a summer study abroad program to South Africa begins around $6,600 and increases about a $1000-$2000 more depending on where you live and the excursions that you choose.
The price of a semester study abroad program starts at $15,900 and increases up to $18,000. These programs will usually cover insurance, housing, and your tuition. Some include field trips and excursions to neighboring areas.
A full academic year begins at $29,000 and goes up to $33,000 and above. These costs again include the cost of housing, cultural trips, insurance, and even pre-departure orientation.
If you have ever wanted to see lions up close, head to South Africa. If you have ever wanted to dive with a great white shark, visit South Africa. If you have ever wanted to learn about wildlife conservation, book a ticket to South Africa. If you have ever been interested in struggles for freedom, equality, and acceptance, then look no further than South Africa. The Rainbow Nation is truly a destination worthy of an extended visit and you will never be able to measure just how much you learned through the wealth of experiences that you will gain in South Africa.