Studying and living in South Africa
South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa and has a long coastline along the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. Its population of approximately 50 million people speaks 11 different languages. English is a common language in education, business and government but is the primary language of only one fifth of residents.
South Africa is a country of extremes -poverty and wealth, big cities and rural beauty, desert and the green Cape region. Moreover it`s a melting pot of cultures. Overall South Africa is making up a unique life style.
For many reasons students from all over the world would love to study at a South African college. Compared to international standards our colleges offer education of a high standard at very affordable costs. South African graduates are in huge demand overseas and companies regard our training as exceptionally thorough. After college, SA students stand out as industry-ready and well equipped with leadership skills and the ability to get along with people from all groups. They often describe SA professionals as hardworking, self-motivated and they are uniquely creative, passionate and daring.
SA college students have the advantage of exposure to a variety of cultures, religions and traditions to help shape them professionally and personally. SA colleges also offer many opportunities to explore the country’s rich history, cultural activities and beautiful nature and wildlife. Another feature is the fantastic weather that allows for a huge variety of sports – indoor, outdoor and extreme activities. Concerns such as travelling, traffic, accommodation and safety should be carefully consider when choosing a college, however it is not different from other parts of the world.
Choosing a South African college
South Africa has a wide variety of colleges. Some college names refer to high schools, while others fall in the FET or HET band (further and higher education training). Colleges are either public or private institutions. Both have to register with the department of education. . It is important to familiarise yourself with the department of education’s regulations and accreditation system through SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority). Please visit www.education.co.za for detailed information.
Some colleges specialise in specific fields such as teacher training, computers or business courses. Others offer a general, balanced curriculum to a range of students. College also vary in size, structure and mode of instruction. For example, distance learning colleges that are able to offer international courses to thousands of students via distance learning.
With all these options available, it is very important to choose carefully. Choosing the right college to attend is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Your college of choice has to match your personality, needs, age, geographical location, academic ambition, extra curricular activities, physical abilities, study methods and family life. Your research and college comparisons should also focus on the quality of education that the educational institution offers, as well as its affiliations and accreditations.
While many colleges offer their students a certificate to confirm their time spend learning, and passed examinations in their specific fields of study – many of these certificates are not recognised by certain associated institutions, or by countries other than the country in which the certificate was obtained. This could ruin the graduate’s chances of finding the right employment at the best possible salary.
Make sure you investigate college options early and apply at the right time so that you can secure your spot or get on a waitlist in case availability should be limited. Visit or www.collegeapplication.co.za for
More helpful links to information on South African education:
Applying to a South African college comes with loads of paperwork to do. You need translated and certified copies of your credentials. You have to send these documents to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). They decide on credits according to your evidence of prior learning. They issue a confirmation of equivalence. Only this confirmation allows you to apply at a South African college.
If the college accepts you, you will receive a “Letter of personal admission”. This document opens you the door to the South African Embassy to apply for a Student Visa. Usually a study visa allows you to stay in South Africa for three months. Extension is possible.
Every South African college charge tuition fees. The amount depends on the university and the course of study. Tuition fees range from EUR 700.00 up to EUR 6000.00 per year. In addition, you have to pay fees for enrolling as well as an international student fee. Please check with you institute whether it has a partner exchange programme with a South African college. That way you can save a lot in fees.
While studying in South Africa you definitely need health insurance. Without health insurance, you will not be able to get admission or a study permit.
Contact details for Department of Education:
Private Bag X895
Sol Plaatje House, 123 Schoeman Street
Tel. +27/12/312 59 11
Fax +27/12/325 62 60
Higher Education South Africa
PO Box 27392
Pretoria 0132, RSA
Tel. +27/12/481 28 42
Fax +27/12/481 28 43
Council on Higher Education (CHE)
PO Box 13354, The Tramshed, 0126
Didacta Building, 211 Skinner Street
Tel.: +27 (0)12 392 91 00
Fax: +27 (0)12 392 91 10