Weeks per Term
OIE Program Adviser
Languages of Instruction*
This university is located in Cape Town, South Africa. To learn more about this city and country, please visit:
Cape Town is a vibrant multicultural city with a rich selection of day and night activities. Water sports, mountaineering, nightclubs, and restaurants are readily available. The city is also a microcosm of the challenges facing many African countries in transition—how to successfully operate within a global economy while grappling with the vast socioeconomic inequalities that are the legacy of the colonial and apartheid past.
The University of Cape Town (UCT), originally established as South African College in 1829, is internationally recognized as one of Africa’s leading research universities. UCT’s pioneering scholarship, faculty and students engender academic excellence and effective social change and development. In a typical semester, 25,000 students are enrolled at UCT, 4,600 of which are international students from over 100 countries.
The campus, situated at the foot of Table Mountain’s Devil’s Peak, is renowned for its striking beauty and panoramic views of much of Cape Town. In addition to the vistas, the campus has extensive green space replete with pathways, trees, ponds and even waterfalls. A range of commercial, medical, recreational, and sporting facilities are available on campus including a swimming pool, gym, weight room, and basketball, tennis, badminton and squash courts.
There are several different housing options available to you:
UCT Residence Hall—Students live in apartment-style UCT residence halls with South African or other African students. Students have small single rooms and share kitchen and other facilities with two or three students. Students are responsible for their own meals which are not included. Students can prepare their own meals or eat at establishments on or off campus. Please note that amenities are more basic in the UCT residences, but students looking for an immersion study abroad experience will enjoy interacting with South African and other African students. Shuttle buses link UCT residence halls with all UCT campuses, a five-minute ride.
Off-Campus Houses or Apartments—Students share off-campus houses or apartments near campus with fellow study abroad program participants and local students. Students have small single rooms (some houses have a small number of double rooms) and share kitchen and other facilities with five to 10 students (fewer in apartments). Students are responsible for their own meals which are not included. Students can prepare their own meals or eat at establishments on or off campus.
Homestay with South African Family—This option provides an excellent opportunity for immersion into the local culture and is strongly recommended for students who wish to take full advantage of their study abroad experience in South Africa. Breakfast and dinner are provided during the week. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on weekends. Lunches during the week are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student. Since homestay families are located throughout the Cape Town area, students are required in most cases to utilize public transportation to and from UCT, a 20 to 30 minute commute.
Meals are dependent on which housing option you choose; please read the housing information above to learn about the various meal options.
- Georgia Tech degree-seeking student.
- Good Academic Standing with a 3.0* (or higher) GPA at time of application
- Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at GT.
- At least 18 years of age by the program's departure date
- Be able to stay at the host university for the duration of their semester, INCLUDING through their exam period
- Be in Good Standing with the Office of Student Affairs and Housing
- All Non-U.S. Citizens are welcome to apply to participate in an exchange outside of their home country only. This rule applies to all who do not have a U.S. passport, including U.S. Permanent Residents.
- All study abroad participants are required to have a passport prior to any visa deadline dates, and any needed visas prior to departure date (Students are responsible for securing all required travel documents per the host country’s regulations prior to departure).
*Some host schools have stricter requirements such as higher GPA or more time in school before study abroad. (See Academic Info on your host school GT program page for any restrictions.)
The rich academic program allows study abroad students to pursue their own academic studies while providing firsthand knowledge of contemporary South African society. Students are required to enroll in at least one course with specific African content or one that offers a distinctive African perspective in their area of interest. Courses may be taken in all University of Cape Town faculties excluding health sciences.
Study abroad students are taught alongside University of Cape Town (UCT) undergraduates and are required to undertake a full program of courses, including all assignments and written examinations. Teaching methods at the University normally involve a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and, in the sciences, laboratory classes. The system is geared toward the scholar who is motivated, self-sufficient, and deeply interested in the subject matter. Participants may notice striking differences between their home educational system and the UCT system.
Class sizes are very big at UCT and range from 100 to 300 people. UCT has both class lectures and tutorials (sections). The sizes of the tutorials are much smaller, ranging from 20 to 40 students. Students generally do not have to buy books for their classes, as many lecturers provide a course reader. This reader has all the reference materials for the class.
The South African academic year runs from early February through late November with two semesters. Many University of Cape Town courses are year-long courses and run from the U.S. spring through the U.S. fall semester. Students on the academic or calendar year program have a break between semesters and can remain in or move into off-campus housing; however, meals are not included during this time.
A list of University of Cape Town courses is available on the UCT website at www.uct.ac.za. Not all courses within UCT faculties or departments are appropriate for program participants, and many have prerequisites. Students are advised that due to possible changes in the courses offered each term, they should be flexible in course selection.
Students are required to take three to four courses to maintain a full course load (Recommended credit for the semester is 16-18 credit hours). At least one of these courses must have specific African content or offer a distinctive African perspective in their area of interest. Courses may be taken in all University of Cape Town faculties excluding health science.
Note: Course numbers will end either in an “F” or “S” (for fall or spring semester). However, since South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons in South Africa are opposite from the seasons in the U.S. Therefore, the fall semester at UCT is February-July and the spring semester at UCT is July-November. YOU MUST SELECT CLASSES FOR THE APPROPRIATE SEMESTER.
Grading for University of Cape Town courses is by continuous assessment, but anywhere from 50 to 75% of the final grade is based on the final examination, which is conducted by outside examiners.
Grades are on the basis of 100. A “First” is equivalent to 75% and above. Very few students achieve this mark. Students who receive marks that fall between 70 and 74% are awarded the grade of “Upper Second.” A good number of students achieve this mark. The next mark is “Lower Second” with a range of 60 to 69%. The majority of students achieve this mark. Students with 50 to 59% receive a “Third” (passing grade). Students achieving a mark below 50% receive a “Fail.” Grades and credits are converted to the U.S. system according to a standard scale.
All courses are taught in English.
Students must have junior standing and above.
Credit for courses taken as a part of exchange programs is received by transferring the credits back to Georgia Tech. For more information about this, click here. Here you will find the foreign credit approval form, the foreign credit approval form instructions, and a link to the registrar's Equivalency Table.
40-45 hour UCT course = 3 GT credits
12 HEQF = 2 GT
18 HEQF = 4 GT
24 HEQF = 5 GT
30 HEQF = 6 GT
36 HEQF = 8 GT
Program Costs (Estimated)
- For most exchange programs, participants must pay GT tuition, GT campus fees, and study abroad insurance to the GT Bursar for each GT semester they are abroad. No other expenses associated with this program are paid to GT; instead, these expenses are paid on site.
- Keep in mind the costs of books, health insurance, food, living expenses, and travel money, as well as pre-departure costs like your passport and visa.
- Following are cost estimates for one semester at the exchange program school that may help you prepare for your term(s) abroad. All costs are in USD.