Study in South Africa

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A good number of students are migrating to South Africa every year to achieve their academic goals. International Students are attracted to the world-class universities, multicultural environment, and natural beauty in South Africa. Also, studying in South Africa is cheaper than other international study destinations.

Why study in South Africa

If you are looking for an excellent education, as well as a little bit of adventure, then you should choose South Africa as your study abroad destination. Here are the top reasons to study in South Africa for Indian students and other international students :

  • With 3 universities among the top 500 universities in the world, South Africa consists of some of the world-class institutions.
  • The cost of study and the living expenses are not high and this is one big pull factor that makes students who want to study abroad turn to South Africa.
  • For students who are looking for study abroad scholarships, it would be encouraged to know that most of the universities in South Africa offer scholarships, grants and other kinds of financial assistance.
  • The medium of instruction is English at many South African universities. This makes it accessible to the majority of students. English is widely spoken in South Africa. So it will be easy for international students to adopt the environment easily.
  • South Africa has a multicultural environment. Students from different corners of the world pursue their education in South Africa. As a result, you will know and experience different cultures of the world during your studies in South Africa. 
  • An international student will be able to find an exciting internship or part-time job in any field of their choice in South Africa.

How to study abroad in South Africa

The process of studying in Africa is not very complicated. You just need to follow a stepwise procedure. The steps you need to follow are mentioned below:

  1. Choose your university and course from the wide range of options in South Africa.
  2. Check your eligibility and requirements for that particular course from the university’s website.
  3. Collect all the paperwork required for the application, as mentioned by the university. Such as transcript, letter of recommendation etc.
  4. Fill the university application form accurately. Submit the documents along with the form and wait for the response from the university.
  5. If the university accepts your application, you will receive an offer letter.
  6. After receiving the acceptance letter, apply for the study visa for South Africa
  7. Once you receive your visa, move to the new country and continue your further studies.

Top universities in South Africa

South Africa's universities, colleges, engineering schools, business schools, medical schools, law schools etc. Each academic institution of higher education is well known. You wouldn’t be surprised to know that QS world university ranking 2021 has ranked 8 South African universities as the best in the World. They are:


QS world universities ranking 2021

University of Cape Town


University of Witwatersrand 


Stellenbosch University


University of Johannesburg


University of Pretoria


Rhodes University


University of Kwazulu-Natal 


University of the Western Cape



Best courses to Study in South Africa

There are a variety of courses offered in South Africa’s Universities to international students. Some of the popular choices among the students are listed below:

  • Study Law in South Africa
  • Study Psychology in South Africa
  • Study Finance in South Africa
  • Study Nursing in South Africa
  • Study Architecture in South Africa
  • Study Accounting in South Africa
  • Study Teaching in South Africa
  • Study Medicine in South Africa

Requirements to Study in South Africa

The requirements vary with the type of course and university you choose. You can apply online with all the documents set. Here is the list of common documents you will usually need to submit to complete your application:

  • Completed application form.
  • Evidence of application fee paid.
  • Copies of your academic transcripts and degrees.
  • For some management programs, GMAT results are required.
  • If English is not your first language you may need to submit an English language test score for English taught degrees. South African universities will normally accept either the IELTS or TOEFL tests.
  • Letter of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Portfolio of your Work.
  • CV/ Resume listing all your academic and work experience.

Study in South Africa cost

As far as the yearly expense for studying in South Africa is directly linked with the course and university you choose. The tuition fee may differ from one university to the other based on the course chosen. On average, the tuition fee can be from 14000 Rand to 34000 Rand per annum. 

International students can expect a budget of 5300 to 13000 Rand to cover the monthly costs of living in South Africa. The overall student living expenses in South Africa can go up or down based on your lifestyle and spending habits. You can also take benefit of scholarships and a part-time job in South Africa to reduce your financial burden.

Study in South Africa scholarships

If you are looking for study abroad scholarships, you are in the right place. You can make a way to study in South Africa for free with these scholarships. South African universities offer various scholarships to international students. Here is the list of few scholarships to study in South Africa:

  • Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships
  • Scholarships for LLM/MPhil (Human Rights Democratisation in Africa) at the University of Pretoria
  • Bertha Scholarships for Social Innovators in Africa
  • IAL Research Grants For Doctoral Studies
  • HKADC Overseas Arts Administration Scholarships
  • POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowships For Developing Countries
  • TEG Postgraduate Training Fellowship
  • TUT Postgraduate Scholarships
  • Royal Society International Exchange Programme
  • MasterCard Foundation Scholarships at University of Cape Town (UCT)

Student Visa for South Africa

Only by getting acceptance from the academic institution in South Africa is not enough, you also need to get a student visa to enter the country. For applying for the student visa you will require a few documents for the verification purpose. You can submit these documents with the application form to your nearest South African embassy or consulate.  The list of documents needed are: 

  • Filled the BI-1738 form
  •  A Valid passport for at least 30 days after the completion of your course
  • Additional passport photos
  • An official letter from the South African university confirming your admission and the duration of the course.
  • Police Clearance Certificate issued by a security authority in your country.
  • Flight itinerary including the return journey.
  • Proof of funds to support yourself financially during your stay and studies in South Africa.
  • A copy of your medical reports.
  • Proof of health insurance.
  • Evidence of the student visa fee paid.

Study visa for South Africa can cost around R1,800 to process. The visa is valid only for the duration of your course. Make sure to submit all the required documents correctly otherwise your application may be rejected.

Study and work in South Africa

Yes, international students can work on a student visa in South Africa but only in Part-time jobs. Overseas students in South Africa are allowed to work only up to 20 hours a week. The students are allowed to work part-time till the expiry of the student visa and not after. You can get international work experience during your studies. This would help you in your career successfully.

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