Why Choose S.A?
Why Study in S.A?
Since a rehabilitation, which began in 2004, South African higher education institutions have been improving. Their universities have been consistently keeping up with the increasingly high standards for higher education systems. More than 45,000 international students choose to study in South Africa each academic year. There are 26 public universities, and 42 private universities. Public universities are split into three distinct types. Traditional universities offer theoretically focused degrees, universities of technology (also known as technikons) offer vocationally focused degrees, and comprehensive universities offer both types of degrees.
There are 4 South African universities in the 2022 QS World University Rankings top 500. The most ranked of these is the University of Cape Town, which is placed at 226th. The next highest ranked are the University of Witwatersrand, which is placed at 424th, and Stellenbosch University, which is placed at 434th.
The tuition fees you will need to pay will depend on more than one criteria. The first criteria is your home country. If you are from a Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member country, then you will pay the same tuition fees as native South African nationals. If you are from any other country, you will pay an international student fee. The second criteria is the specific university you choose to study at. Each institution can set its own tuition fees, and fees are not dictated by the government or a governing body. Your tuition fees will likely be between R35,000 and R110,000 per year for an undergraduate degree. They will typically be between R20,000 and R75,000 per year for a postgraduate degree. For specialist degrees, such as medicine degrees or MBA, fees will likely be higher. You may qualify for a scholarship, normally awarded for academic excellence or financial hardship. Contact your institution for more information about what funding they can offer you.
The cost of living in South Africa is lower, when compared to other study destinations such as the US or the UK. You should still be aware that your living costs will be dependent on the area in which you choose to study. Bigger cities will be more expensive than smaller cities and towns. Typically, you should budget for between R90,000 and R120,000 per year. This is for rent, utilities, groceries, travel, and other necessary expenses. It is important that you can show proof that you have enough funds for tuition fees and living costs as part of your visa application.
As an international student, you will need to get a student visa in order to study in South Africa. Your university will fail to register you as a student until you have a valid visa. You will need to apply for a visa at your nearest South African embassy, consulate or high commission. You can only apply for a student visa once you have received a conditional offer from a South African institution. You will then need to complete the BI-1738 application form, and provide several other supporting documents:
• A passport, its valid until date must be at least 30 days after the end of your degree
• 2 additional passport photos
• An official letter of acceptance from your university
• A clear criminal background check
• Your flight details, including those of your return flight at the end of your degree
• Proof of sufficient finances for tuition fees, living costs, and health insurance
• Payment for your visa
Student visas are valid only for the time of study. During this time, you are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term time. There are no work restrictions outside of term time. If your course needs you to take part in work experience that is up to more than 20 hours per week, you will have to apply to the Department of Home Affairs to obtain permission. You will need to submit an offer of practical training, consent or confirmation from your university, and proof that you are still a registered student.
South Africa has 11 official languages. It also has 8 other recognised regional languages. You will hear different types of languages spoken in different areas of the country.
The most common languages used for teaching are English and Afrikaans. The majority of universities will allow you to choose to study courses in either language. If your study language is not your native or first spoken language, you will need to provide evidence of your proficiency. The level of proficiency required will depend on where you choose to study, as well as the level at which you are studying. Postgraduate courses and specialist degrees will generally have higher language requirements.