Study Abroad Program Overview
Immerse yourself in South Africa and gain new perspective, living and learning in the changing political, social and economic landscape of this city, country and region of global significance.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is committed to instructional and research excellence, positioning itself as a leader and academic nexus between South Africa, Africa and the world. With over 20 percent of its students from more than 100 countries, UCT's enrollment is reflective of the world population. It is a perfect setting for global learning, new connections, and understanding differing views on world issues.
Come study and live with this international community and develop personally and professionally in preparation for your career in the 21st century.
South Africa calls itself the Rainbow Nation, symbolizing its pride and the integration of the country's diverse people. Cape Town is an energetic and beautiful city, full of musical venues, sports activities, community service opportunities, and scenic panoramic vistas.
Students attend classes with international and/or host country students.
Language of Instruction
The School of Languages and Literatures
offers a wide variety of language courses, including Xhosa and Sotho language study.
Go to the Participants section to see current or past calendars.
mid-July to mid-November
late January to mid-June
"Cape Town is an incredible city and I am planning on coming back as soon as possible, hopefully for an extended period of time living and working here. I can not say more about this place except that I have never felt more at home." --UCEAP Participant Spring 2015
UCT’s International Student Support Network (IDACA
- Ida Cooper Associates) arranges housing in a neighborhood near the University of Cape Town. You will live with UC and other international students. More information on housing
There are more than 100 student societies, organizations, and sport clubs
reflecting a wide range of interests, including academic, religious, cultural, social and political activities. The International Academic Programmes Office organizes such activities as drumming circles, township tours, train rides along the coast, and hikes up Table Mountain.
UCEAP students are supported by UC's network of study abroad offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. A host university faculty members administers the UCEAP program in South Africa and serves as an EAP liaison who advises UC students on academic matters. The International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO
) at UCT provides assistance with visas, information on cultural events, and additional support.
See the UCEAP Program Guide
for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; internships, research, & independent study; units, exams, and grades; orientation; and housing.
The University of Cape Town offers a full curriculum of coursework in the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, engineering, economics, and business administration.
Of special note are courses with off-campus fieldwork in biology, botany, zoology, environmental and ecological sciences, and oceanography.
The University of Cape Town is divided into six faculties (schools):
- Commerce (includes economics, management, and information systems)
- Engineering & the Built Environment
- Health Sciences (limited access)
- Humanities (includes humanities, fine arts and social sciences)
- Law (very limited as most courses are year-long)
- Science (many courses include practical lab and fieldwork)
UCEAP students are required to take at least 1-2 courses in the school/faculty in which they are admitted. The academic year starts in the spring semester in South Africa and the fall semester completes the UCT academic year.
Use the following resources to learn more:
"I took advantage of a mentoring program located in a township that was very different from those available in UC. I also learned about my discipline from a different worldview and different priorities and objectives."
-- UCEAP South Africa Participant Spring 2016
You are required to take a full time course of study while abroad; 22 quarter/14.7 semester UC units per semester minimum are required, usually three or four courses.
Research and Independent Study
Independent study for academic credit is possible. SHAWCO
Ubunye community service activities may also be done for academic credit. These arrangements are made on-site after arrival.
University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa’s oldest university and one of Africa’s leading teaching and research institutions, offers a full spectrum of fields of study through its faculties of Humanities, Science, Engineering and the Built Environment, Law, Commerce, and Health Sciences. It has a strong tradition of academic excellence that is recognized worldwide attracting undergraduate and graduate students from many other countries as well as from South Africa. UCT enrolls approximately 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Test Drive Your Future
Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.
- Education, law, public health, HIV/AIDS, and more through SHAWCO and Ubunye, both student-run service organizations at the University of Cape Town
- Tutor students from low-income households
- Teach art to children
- Health Clinic internships are also available
- Outbound student section of UCT's IAPO
The opportunity to offer service to the disadvantaged communities of Cape Town is a high point of many students' study abroad experience in South Africa.
Please note - Current internship offerings may vary; you may do your own research to find additional internship opportunities.
Setting Up Your Internship
- All internships are secured once you are on-site.
- Internships for academic credit are new. Be the first to tell us about your experience.
Internships may be arranged by UCT’s Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organization (SHAWCO). Intern and complete a substantial paper or series of papers for academic credit. Internships for academic credit are offered only on the Pass/No Pass grade basis.
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.
Estimated EAP Costs *
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.
1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.
2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.
All fees are subject to change without notice.
These expenses are estimated for 2015-16. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2015-16 payment information, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include non-resident supplemental tuition. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay the same non-resident fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
- Predeparture expenses (visa, etc.)
- Round-trip transportation from California
- UC fees
- Tuition at partner institution
- On-site orientation
- Room and board
- Program activities
- Books and other incidental expenses
- Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.
UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
Junior, Senior, Graduate
3.00 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.
Other Eligibility Requirements:
Successful completion of a course, independent study project, or an assignment relating to Africa is required prior to departure. Students must have the ability to adjust to the many new and different situations they will encounter, to be tolerant, personally responsible about safety and welfare, willing to adhere to UCEAP program policies and to follow the advice of the UCEAP local support structure.
All applicants must also have:
- Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
- Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
- A willingness to abide by program regulations.
- Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements.
Application Information and Deadlines
Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.
Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.
For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.
These are minimum requirements. After selection by your UC Campus EAP Office, final admission is determined by the University of Cape Town.
Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: