Located at the foot of Table Mountain, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is the oldest university in South Africa. Home to over 20,000 students, UCT has 60 departments within six facilities: commerce, engineering & the built environment, law, health sciences, humanities, and sciences. UCT cultivates its commitment to the surrounding communities, striving to improve the quality of life in the Western Cape by shaping teaching, research, and outreach programs that address the social, economic, and political issues of the region.
In addition, the university’s sports facilities make it a popular venue for club and league sports, including the famous Two Oceans Marathon.
UCT enrollment is open to students in the humanities, arts, social sciences, science, and business. Courses of particular interest to international students address local content and focus on the African continent. These courses are grouped according to the following themes: historical perspectives, development and democracy, southern African environments, and cultural Africa.
Ida Cooper Associates
On-site Coordinator - BC in Cape Town
International Academic Programs Office (IAPO)
Level 3, Masingere Building
Cross Campus Rd,
Cape Town 7700
All matriculating students must take the PTEEP placement test during the orientation. There is no fee, no preparation required, and grades will not appear on students transcripts or elsewhere.
For course selection information, please refer to UCT's academic handbook.
Self-catering student housing within close proximity of UCT’s lower, middle and upper campuses is available to BC students. Well-equipped and fully furnished apartments, rooms adjoining family homes, garden cottages on the grounds of family homes, with other US or international students are possible accommodations. A list of available choices is included in the housing form you complete with your application. There is a limited number of single rooms available.
Students will choose the housing arrangement of their choice and fill out the housing form. In the section that reads “Special Comments,” please include a brief paragraph describing interests, hobbies, and expectations for housing in South Africa. Ms. Ida Cooper will do her best to accommodate students’ preferences.
All accommodations are fully furnished and include basic bedroom furnishings (bed, desk, chair, cupboard); bedding and bed linen (pillow, duvet, blanket); kitchen equipment, (including cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils); fridge, stove, and a furnished communal living area. Most houses have laundry facilities and those that don’t either have a laundry service or are located close to a laundromat.
- Fall Term: Starts in mid-July and ends in mid-November.
- Spring Term: Starts in late January and ends in early June.
For more information on finances and scholarships, visit OIP’s website
There are over 100 sport and recreational clubs on campus. Facilities include tennis and squash courts, a swimming pool, playing fields, and a gym. Over 60 cultural, religious, and special interest societies also exist at UCT - ranging from an animal activist group, chess club, ballroom dancing club, drama club, film group, botany club, choir, and reggae appreciation society.
SHAWCO is an innovative student community service organization whose vision is to improve the quality of life of those in developing communities within the Cape Town area. A certificate of participation is issued at the end of the semester if a minimum of 35 hours of service has been completed. Details on these organizations will be provided during orientation.
The orientation offered by UCT begins with a tour of the Cape Peninsula, past Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles, to Cape Point and then the penguin colony at Boulders’ Beach. Students also visit Robben Island, and the community service centers in the surrounding townships, where they may volunteer through SHAWCO (UCT’s student-run volunteer organization).
Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Cape Town. They should arrive on one of the recommended days. Program dates will be provided at a later time.
UCT will arrange airport pickup, which will place the incoming students into on-campus accommodations for the first two nights before orientation. The vacation accommodations are on-campus residence halls, which provide the students with time to adjust to Cape Town and meet other exchange students and orientation leaders in a comfortable environment. After this introduction, students will be transported to their respective houses on the designated “move-in” day.
Please click on the Apply Now button on this page to submit an online application to OIP. For detailed information on the application process visit the OIP website
Please note that places on this program are limited and there is no waiting list. Due to the high volume of applications, candidates who are selected typically have a GPA higher than the minimum GPA listed on the program page. Students are encouraged to research a second program as a back-up option. Students interested in applying for this program are strongly encouraged to meet with the appropriate advisor to go over any questions. Many programs with limited spots are early deadline (December 15).
Students with disabilities are encouraged to speak with their OIP Advisors about any concerns or questions they may have about studying abroad.