If you’re looking for the widest choice of courses in South Africa and an institution with weight and prestige then studying abroad at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is probably the best bet for you. Perched on the side of Table Mountain, UCT has stunning vistas from every angle and is a popular choice for study abroad. Of its population of more than 20,000, about 4,000 students are international.
As South Africa’s oldest university, and one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions, UCT has outstanding faculty and exceptional opportunities for international students in every school including Science, Humanities, Engineering, and Commerce. You may also consider subjects such as Finance and Game Theory, Human Resource Management, Pre-Law, Film and Media Studies, Philosophy, Education, Chemistry, Music and Creative Writing.
Arcadia scholarships of various amounts are available for UK students. Visit this page for more details.
Particular academic strengths include business, science, engineering, and commerce.
Over 100 clubs and societies to choose from on-campus to help you get to into the swing of student life.
Explore local sites or topics of interest, such as Table Mountain, Robben Island and Boulders Beach.
This program is open to undergraduate students from all academic disciplines.
Students will earn transfer credit from Arcadia University. For all successfully completed courses, the credit hours, course title and course equivalency will be indicated on the UK transcript. Students must complete the coursework during this program according to the established guidelines by Arcadia University. The grades earned will be important to progression in future academic endeavors, including graduate or professional school; however the grades earned will NOT be indicated on the UK transcript. For more information visit the UK Education Abroad Academic Credit website.
PRIOR to participating on this program, students must complete an Academic Approval Form (AAF). The AAF indicates how the course will be used, or course equivalency, once they are transferred back to UK. Instructions on how to complete the AAF are included in application materials.
Upon completion of the term abroad, the transcript should be sent to the UK Education Abroad office. Once received, Education Abroad staff will facilitate the transfer of credits to UK.
All students will be enrolled in EAP 599: Study Abroad (1 credit hour) at UK during their term abroad.
Housing & Meals
The accommodations are equipped with bedding, kitchenware, and cutlery to service your self-catered accommodation experience. While meal plans are not available, there are grocery stores nearby, as well as eateries on campus, and eateries within walking distance to some the residences. Students should budget separately to purchase any additional items such as towels, hangers, extra linens, or more specialized cooking supplies. Each residence offers free WiFi, though please know that this will be slower than you are accustomed to in the US. Laundry facilities are also available in all housing options.
Costs and cancellation policies vary by program. Please see the Program Cost and Budget information page. Be sure to consider the associated UK costs, program specifications, and related travel expenses.
2 | UK Education Abroad & Arcadia University
For the Arcadia University application, click the "Partner Website" link at the top of this page.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College. The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900 and it was during this period that women were admitted.
Apart from establishing itself as a leading research and teaching university in the decades that followed, the period 1960 to 1990 was marked by sustained opposition to apartheid, particularly in higher education. The 1980s and 1990s at UCT have been characterized by a deliberate, planned process of internal transformation, to meet South Africa's new challenges in higher education.
Today, UCT has become as diverse as South Africa itself with more than 50% of the student population coming from African communities. With a population of more than 20,000 about 15%, or 4000, are international students. The campus is located on the side of the mountain with views of the city and harbor calling from every vantage point. UCT is the closest institution to the city of Cape Town and is accessible by public transport as well as the campus transit service.
UCT is a truly comprehensive institution with outstanding scholarship and faculty in every school within the university, but its history is linked to science, engineering, and commerce and those faculties still excel. For this reason, UCT offers an exceptional opportunity for business, science and engineering majors to spend a semester or year of study taking courses in English and remaining on schedule toward graduation. The Faculties of Engineering and the Built Environment offer courses in a full range of subjects and majors including computer engineering and architecture. The Faculty of Commerce provides an opportunity for students to study economics and finance, accounting, management, marketing, and even organizational psychology. Science is another faculty where study abroad students can learn from some of the foremost international researchers on subjects such as astronomy, environmental and geographical sciences, and zoology. In addition to the aforementioned disciplines, Arcadia students may also consider subject areas such as: Finance and Game Theory,Human Resource Management, Pre-law, Film and Media Studies, Philosophy, Education, Chemistry, Music, Creative Writing. A typical course load normally consists of 4 courses, but can be as few as 3 or as many as five, depending on the particular courses chosen. Students will earn between 12-18 credits per semester. In addition to your coursework at the university, all students are required to participate in the core seminar, "Contemporary Issues in South Africa," which is intended to provide a forum for reflection and analysis on current issues and challenges facing South Africans.
Social and Cultural Opportunities
Beyond the classroom, there are a staggering number of clubs and activities students can become involved in at UCT. UCT officially counts 43 sports clubs and more than 100 student clubs on campus, all accessible to visiting students. If you are a student athlete and wish to continue competing at a high performance level, UCT offers sport clubs in traditional arenas such as soccer, swimming, cross-country, or rugby. For those who want to have fun and keep fit, there are sports clubs ranging from traditional arenas such as fencing or squash to more extreme sport such as surfing and paragliding.
With more than 100 student clubs from which to choose, students have innumerable ways to get involved and meet the locals. The UCT clubs range from culture and the arts, to religion, politics, and games. Traditionalists might want to join the Chess Club, the Film Society, or Toastmasters, while adventurers might be ready for the Flying Club, or even the Hip-Hop Club. There is a full range of international student associations and religious organizations, all of them led by students and for students.
Many students choose to spend a portion of their personal time volunteering to help support the needs of the Cape Town community through tutoring, working in mobile health clinics, or working on land reclamation projects in the townships through SHAWCO, the Students Health and Welfare Centres Organisation. Founded in the 1960's by UCT students, SHAWCO contributes a great deal to the disadvantaged communities in and around Cape Town. Governed and operated by students, SHAWCO offers a great way to get involved in a safe and organized manner.