Want to experience an education in South Africa?

With its multiethnic population, eleven national languages, and varied physical landscapes and wildlife, South Africa embodies diversity. Students who are trying to add a little adventure to their curriculum will, therefore, find South Africa an ideal study abroad destination. Don’t miss out on climbing Table Mountain, exploring the famous Garden Route, or sunbathing on one of South Africa’s many gorgeous beaches!
But, it’s not all fun and games. Universities in South Africa offer countless degree programs meant to challenge students and enhance their future career option
Study Visas for International Students in South Africa
All students who hold permanent residence outside South Africa and are not South African citizens are required to obtain a study visa upon acceptance to a South African university. Upon receiving a visa, students are granted official permission to reside in South Africa.
To begin the visa process, you must first make an application to the nearest South African Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission. Because this procedure can take up to eight weeks, it is recommended to start the application as soon as possible upon gaining admittance to a university.
Once a study visa has been issued, it is valid for the entire duration of a student’s stay in South Africa.
Required Documents for Student Visas in South Africa
·       Valid passport
·       Proof of application payment
·       Acceptance letter from the university with the course duration
·       Confirmation of registration
·       Police Clearance Certificate issued by a security authority in the country from which a student is applying
·       Yellow fever vaccination certificate if student has or intends to travel through a yellow fever endemic area
·       Proof of access to the necessary financial means while residing in South Africa
·       Proof of medical coverage
·       Marital status documents when applicable
Visa Application for Family Members
A study visa’s spouse and independent children are also eligible to apply for a visa to accompany a student on their studies in South Africa. However, a family visa is only valid for three years and does not grant the holder to work or study.
Working While Studying
Student visas in South Africa allow students to work while pursuing their studies. However, international students may only work up to a maximum 20 hours per week. The student can work part time till the expiry of the student visa and not after.
Accommodation and Living Cost in South Africa
It’s no big surprise that South Africa’s most popular study abroad destinations, Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Cape Town, are also the most expensive in the country.
Luckily, compared to many of the other possible study abroad destinations, living costs still remain relatively affordable for students in South Africa. As an added benefit, students have options when it comes to finding affordable accommodation.
Student Accommodation
Most universities in South Africa offer some form of housing for students. It may be shared dorms, corridor apartments, or private rooms, and can usually be offered throughout a student’s studies. Student housing may also be a good idea if you are an international student who wants to participate in social activities with other students. You can also save money if you do not want to spend a lot on furnishing an apartment, as the furniture is often included with the room.
Make sure to apply on time to make sure you are guaranteed a room!
Private Accommodation
According to some of the major universities in South Africa, many students opt to find private accommodation after their first year. This is often achieved through property portals or estate agents that help not only students but South Africans in general find housing.
The Higher Education System in South Africa
South Africa’s education system has re-developed its focus toward helping graduates achieve a global, multicultural competitiveness. With a current drive to boost their infrastructure, South African universities are also playing a greater role in the country’s development, addressing the fundamental needs of South Africans: maximizing innovation, reducing poverty, and creating jobs. Simultaneously, South African schools are seeking solutions to international problems such as climate change, achieved through teaching, research, and community outreach.
Most students of higher education in South Africa study at one of the many public universities in the country. Public universities offer a variety of qualifications including diplomas, national certificates, undergraduate, and postgraduate degrees. Since the mid-1990s, public universities in South Africa have doubled in number of students.
The Language and Culture of South Africa
With 11 officially recognized languages, it is no wonder that South Africa has become a multicultural power house. The effort can be seen in a unique blend of indigenous cultures combined with colonial influence.
Looking for a Study Abroad Destination to Improve Your English?
Due to its colonial past, two of the main language spoken in South Africa are English and Afrikaans.
Universities in South Africa, therefore, conduct almost all programs in English, making it a great location for native English speakers to find programs in their own language.
Although you must prove a certain level of English proficiency before being accepted to a program, it’s also a great opportunity for non-native English speakers to practice and improve their English skills.
Entry Requirements for Universities in South Africa
Entry requirements to South African universities depend on the particular school and type of program you wish to study. South African universities generally have an online application form which is easy to fill out in order to start the enrollment process.
It is, however, important to note that non-South African applicants must meet the requirements of matriculation exemption. This can usually be achieved by obtaining a secondary-school diploma with good marks and scoring well on any standardized tests offered in your home country.
You may also have to prove your English language skills, as most South African universities conduct their courses in English. International students from a non-English speaking country can prove their proficiency through a good score on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
Be aware than universities receive many applications throughout the year so it is important that you submit your application before deadlines and that you are submitting the correct documents.