As a country located in Africa according to transporthint, the Republic of South Africa is one of the dream destinations of many Germans: The country offers a colorful flora and fauna with a mixture of long sandy beaches and surf bays, wet and dry savannas and snow-covered mountain tops. Just to observe the numerous wild animals in their natural environment, many have specific holiday plans.
The contrast between these vast landscapes and the lively and pulsating cities is particularly appealing. Here it becomes clear that the diversity of the South African nation extends to the ethnic composition of the population. It is not for nothing that South Africa is also called the “rainbow nation” . With the end of apartheid in 1990, equality for the dark-skinned population finally began. But even 20 years later, removing old barriers is an important topic in almost all areas of life.
Studying in South Africa: the requirements
The basic requirement for studying abroad in South Africa is a high school diploma . For admission to some subjects, however, it is necessary that certain subjects such as mathematics , chemistry or physics were part of the Abitur exams. Some universities also test the quality of applicants using their own entrance exams . That is why it is important to get detailed information from the university in advance about their requirements and application deadlines.
Students who already have academic achievements must normally have them recognized in advance by the South African Qualifications Authority ( SAQA ). For this purpose, the certified and translated certificates must be sent to the SAQA , which then makes a recommendation in the form of a certificate of equivalence. As soon as you have this, you can apply to the university of your choice.
The usual application documents include:
- the completed application form
- all previous certificates in a certified translation
- a letter of recommendation (issued for example by a lecturer or teacher)
- the certificate of equivalence
Language skills for studying in South Africa
Since English is usually the language of instruction at South African universities, non-native speakers must demonstrate a good command of English . Usually this happens through standardized tests such as the IELTS or TOEFL .
As mentioned, some of the universities offer some study programs in Afrikaans . Corresponding admission rules apply here, which you should find out in advance.
Costs and financing options
Tuition fees are mandatory in South Africa . The amount of the tuition fees, however, differs considerably depending on the institution, study program and planned degree. At private universities, the costs are usually higher and increase with the degree. In addition, studying the natural sciences is usually more expensive than studying the humanities. International applicants also often have to reckon with higher fees than locals: Many study programs apply to them international student fees. There is no official upper limit on tuition fees. The range is between the equivalent of around EUR 800 and EUR 15,000 per year. The average is mostly around EUR 2000.
Cost of Living in South Africa
The relatively low cost of living in South Africa compensates for these expenses . Life here is much cheaper than in Germany – although the standard of living is also different. The cost of living has risen recently, but it is still well below European standards.
A room in a shared apartment or a host family can be rented from around EUR 150. Student dormitories close to the campus are also a popular way of finding accommodation in South Africa while studying. Here you can live for around EUR 100-300 a month. For such accommodation, however, you should register in good time with the respective International Student’s Office of the university due to the large number of visitors .
Job while studying abroad in South Africa
Not only the rents, but also food and all services are priced below the German level. This is mainly due to the very low wages . Because of this, students should also consider whether they want to work here. Unfortunately, financially, it’s not all that worthwhile. But of course you get to know the locals and their mentality very easily while working. In principle , students are allowed to work 20 hours a week during the lecture period .
Scholarships, BAföG abroad and student loans
There are few scholarships for German students to study abroad in South Africa. The scholarships are primarily aimed at poor local people who would otherwise not be able to afford a degree. An alternative for Germans is the Federal Foreign BAföG . It is independent of domestic funding and offers grants for tuition, travel and living expenses. Student loans can represent another financing option .
Visa and entry requirements for South Africa
If you have received admission to study in South Africa at the desired university through the Letter of Personal Admission, the next step is to apply for a student visa at the South African embassy in Berlin . The visa is valid for one year and can be extended on site. In addition to the visa to study in South Africa, a valid passport is required for entry.