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Programs : Brochure
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University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa
Program Terms: Fall,
Budget Sheets Fall,
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2016 02/15/2016** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
 Program Type:
 Language of Instruction:
 Housing Options:
 Minimum GPA:
 Class Standing:
Undergraduate Junior, Undergraduate Senior, Undergraduate Sophomore
 Program Specialist:
Sakhi Vyas
 Language experience required:
 Areas of Study:
Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Economics, Engineering, Health and Human Services, History, Marketing, Various
Program Description:
Jump To: Photos Overview Location Academics Cost Housing Itinerary Resources

Photo Gallery

Program Overview

South Africa, known as the “Rainbow Nation” is one of the most dynamic countries on the African continent. Cape Town, its oldest city, boasts a vibrant and diverse culture full of hope and creativity. As a study abroad student, you can study, live, and interact with students from over 100 countries around the world. Engage in a variety of volunteer opportunities. Visit local theater and traditional music or dance shows. Learn about rural cooperatives. Take part in cricket or rugby matches! Courses are rigorous, but breaks are built in so that you can travel and explore more of what South Africa offers to the world. 

The University of Cape Town is a vibrant academic community of some 20,000 students and 4,500 members on staff. The main campus occupies a beautiful site on the slopes of Table Mountain. It is a comprehensive university offering a full range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The University is also a major center for research and has exchange agreements and links with universities on the African continent and worldwide.

*NOTE: The application to the University of Cape Town is earlier than the WMU deadline. Please have your WMU study abroad application completed by Oct 1 to ensure full consideration. The Cape Town application is due by Oct 15 and can be accessed at this link:*

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Cape Town is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Flat-topped Table Mountain, hiking trails, vineyards, and beaches dominate the area around Cape Town, which has a reputation for being the most open-minded and relaxed city in South Africa. The country's population is ethnically diverse and there are 11 national languages. English is the language of instruction and the most commonly used language in the city. South Africa is the most advanced of all African nations, offering a sound infrastructure and all modern conveniences. The natural environment offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including outstanding wildlife viewing. Cape Town is an ideal place for students to become immersed in South African life and culture.

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Academic Eligibility
Minimum 3.0 GPA.

Academic Program
Students may choose from a variety of courses in humanities, social sciences, women's studies, sciences, engineering, and business. Students may also study the African languages, such as Xhosa, Afrikaans, or Zulu. If a student is studying an African language to fulfill the requirement for the Global Engagement Scholarship, it is strongly advised that he/she request the credit/no credit option on the Course Pre-Approval Form for this particular course. The WMU faculty director will travel to Cape Town with the students during Spring semester and assist with initial adjustment to academics and environment.

Volunteer opportunities are available as part of the program.
Credit may be possible for internships, but not for volunteer work.
Research opportunities for graduate students may also be available. 

It is important to note the following when choosing courses at UCT:
  • The undergraduate courses are offered as first, second and third year courses (100-, 200-, 300- level codes).  In general, a South African bachelor's degree is of three years' duration.  Fourth year courses (400- level codes) are part of the South African Honor's degree, which is a requirement for entrance examinations into Master's-level studies.
  • Due to the differences in the academic system, it is strongly advised that any undergraduate student who attends UCT takes into consideration the credit transfer system noted above.  The South African grading system is based on the British system; students are expected to spend more time studying outside of class time and final examinations are weighed more heavily than assignments and tests throughout the term.  Please consult with the WMU faculty director as well as the academic advisor(s) to determine an appropriate course load.
Academic Credit
WMU credit will be awarded for courses successfully completed on this program with prior approval of the student's academic advisor, academic advisors in departments outside of the student's major department (if the student plans to take classes outside of his/her major), and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. This approval is obtained by completing the Course Pre-approval Form available from the HIGE. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors and HIGE staff to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree.
  • The usual full load for an undergraduate student for one semester is 72 NQF credits. Students enrolled for a full degree of study at UCT may take up to 90 credits in one semester, but 72 credits is the minimum full load.
  • Grading system at UCT and US equivalency: Overview of credit transfer.
  • Credits for UCT’s classes are calculated as follows:
UCT NQF Credits USA Credit Hours
18 3
24 4
36 6
72 12
84 14

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Cost & Financial Aid

Cost: For the full financial aid budget, Spring: click here Fall: click here

The WMU program fee includes: undergraduate tuition, administrative fees, international health and emergency assistance insurance, orientation, and support for volunteer activities.

The program fee does not include: airfare, housing, meals, books, local transportation, passport, visa, and miscellaneous expenses. For students who prepare their own meals, food costs are inexpensive. Students should plan for extra expenses, such as weekend travel, personal spending money, etc.

Costs not included in the program fee are estimates and may vary according to individual needs and preferences. This budget does not include activities which are not part of the academic program, such as personal travel, entertainment, shopping, etc.

Program fees are subject to adjustment due to changes in actual exchange rates or other factors. In addition, programs may be modified or cancelled in the event of insufficient enrollment. Program dates are subject to slight adjustment by the home/host university.

Note: For tax purposes, the university requires the program fee billing be divided into qualified (expenses and fees related to the class or program) and non-qualified (other costs).  The total program fee equals the program commitment fee plus qualified and non-qualified expenses added together.
   Program commitment fee
+ Qualified (expenses and fees related to the class or program)
+ Non-qualified (other costs)
= Total program fee

Program commitment fee:  This is a portion of the program fee which is billed after the student clicks the "Commit" button to secure their place in the program.  The remainder of the program fee is billed to the WMU student account for the semester of enrollment in study abroad credits. The program commitment fee is due within 30 days once charged to the WMU student account. After 30 days, per university accounts policy, holds will be placed on past-due balances.

Please note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad, so plan ahead!  Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to receiving financial aid for the semester, such as the program commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable).  These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.

Financial Aid
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad.  After a student has been accepted to the program, they must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs.  It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time).  Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.

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Once accepted into the program, students will be assisted in finding private accommodation close to the campus. Most international students at Cape Town live in shared, fully-furnished apartments.  Most rooms are single, but there are a few double rooms, and some rooms have private bathrooms.  Electricity, water and cleaning services are included in the rental amount for most apartments.

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Academic Calendar at the University of Cape Town
*Note: students will be sent a detailed itinerary, including orientation dates, which are different from the start dates of each term

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Additional Resources

Host Institution Information (external links)
University Homepage
University International Office
Course Information

Country Information (external links)
South Africa - Lonely Planet
Cape Town - Lonely Planet
Country Specific Information - South Africa
Culturegram - South Africa

Visa Information (external links)
Study Permit Information
Criminal Background Check: The Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT)

Video Testimonial:
WMU Study Abroad Experiences: Brittany Waddell


Program faculty directors:

Arts & Sciences 
Professor Suhashni Datta-Sandhu
Department of Political Science and Gender and Women's Studies
3432 Friedmann Hall
(269) 387-5365

Professor John Mueller
Business & Management
3381 Schneider Hall 

WMU Study Abroad:
Sakhi Vyas
Study Abroad Specialist
(269) 387-5890

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