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University of Cape Town

  • Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa Cultural Dance
South Africa Overlooking Beach
Cape Town at Night
South Africa Beach
South Africa Group Photo
South Africa Penguin
South Africa Sunset
South Africa Cultural Dance
South Africa Overlooking Beach
Cape Town at Night
South Africa Beach
South Africa Group Photo
South Africa Penguin
South Africa Sunset
Apply Now! Contact an Advisor

Study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. A multicultural center of diversity, Cape Town is full of restaurants and has a vibrant art scene. Table Mountain National Park surrounds the city with beautiful scenery. There are many parks and the famous Kirstenbosch botanical gardens within the city itself. Experience South Africa, from its history to its post-apartheid legacy, while studying at the University of Cape Town.

Application Deadline


Program Start


Program End


Partner University

University of Cape Town


  • Cape Town

Program Term

  • Academic Year
  • Calendar Year
  • Fall
  • Spring

Language of Instruction


Internship Opportunity

  • Yes!

Program Details

Academic Program

Throughout its history, the University of Cape Town (UCT) has built and maintained a tradition of academic excellence that is recognized throughout the world. Its outstanding record in teaching and research and its international reputation as Africa’s leading research university attract talented students like you from around the globe, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Course Descriptions and Syllabi

You will enroll in regular university courses at the University of Cape Town. As long as you meet prerequisites and basic qualifications set by UCT, you are able to enter any course offered at UCT in four of the six Faculties: Commerce, Humanities (including Social Science and Education), Engineering and the Built Environment, and Science. All courses are taught in English.

You must choose the courses you intend to take at UCT as part of the UCT application. Please select courses carefully, as it may be difficult to make changes later. It is important to remember that UCT’s semester dates do not follow the traditional U.S. academic calendar. The First Semester at UCT corresponds with the Spring semester in the U.S. and runs from early February to late June. The Second Semester at UCT corresponds with the Fall semester in the U.S. and runs from early July through mid-November. Therefore, Academic Year courses at UCT begin in February and end in November. Please keep this in mind when selecting courses. Reviewing UCT’s Academic Advice for Selecting Courses and Faculty (College) Fact Sheets will give you a better understanding of the course offerings and grading policies.

Review the University of Cape Town’s website for more information regarding course offerings.

Please review the University of Cape Town Application Timeline for more information regarding the complete application process.

Tips for Course Search:

*Courses that have + sign next to the course codes are for full degree students, therefore they are not offered to semester study program students.

 *If you are applying for the first semester (February to June), then you should choose courses that ends with “F”, for example AXL1403F. If you are applying for the second semester (July to November), then you should choose courses that ends with “S”, for example AXL1403S.

General Education Information for UAlbany Students

Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.

Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students

Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.


All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary. 


You are responsible for coordinating your housing arrangements with the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) at the University of Cape Town. Accommodations consist of apartments or houses rented from private landlords, located near campus and shared with other international or local students.

If you arrive on one of UCT’s recommended dates and request airport pickup service, you will be placed into the ‘vacation accommodation’ for the first two nights before the UCT orientation program begins. Vacation accommodation is provided in an on-campus, catered university residence hall. The UCT student orientation leaders stay in vacation accommodation along with the arriving students and are available to answer any questions you may have, as well as show you around campus and the surrounding areas. UCT will provide transport from vacation accommodation to student apartments on a designated ‘move in’ day. The orientation leaders will be on hand to help you move into your semester housing and show you how to get from home to campus. This arrival system will allow all semester study abroad students at UCT to be housed in one secure residence for the first few nights while you are adjusting to Cape Town. It will also allow you to meet with other exchange students as well as local students and become more familiar with the local area.

We strongly recommend that you plan to arrive in Cape Town on one of the two specified arrival days.


There is no meal plan for this program. You may choose to purchase meals in the cafeteria, cook, or eat out at local restaurants.


Review this program’s Estimate of Costs.  Note, there may be several tabs in the Estimate of Costs. Please be sure that you are reviewing the tab for your anticipated semester abroad.


More Information

Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.

Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.

Academic Requirements

Second semester sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to participate. The University of Cape Town is strict about its GPA requirement and will make exceptions only in rare cases.

Applications are welcome from students in all majors, although there are limitations on the number of students who UCT can accept into the ‘Humanities’ faculty. There is currently no limit on the number of students that UCT can accept into the Faculties of Science and Commerce.

Keep in mind that you must choose the courses you intend to take at UCT as part of the UCT application. Please select your courses carefully, as it is difficult to make changes to your selections later.

Special note: Your application materials will NOT be sent to Cape Town until a $400 program deposit is received by UAlbany. This deposit is non-refundable unless your application is rejected by the University of Cape Town. If your application is not accepted by UCT, UAlbany will refund your deposit. Therefore, if you have applied to more than one study abroad option, you must make a decision as to whether or not you would like your application sent to UCT. If UCT accepts your application, you will be expected to participate on this program or your $400 deposit will be retained by UAlbany.

LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THIS PROGRAM. You must complete all the UAlbany and UCT application materials by the deadlines.

Step 1: Click on ‘Apply Now’ at the top of this page to begin the UAlbany study abroad application.

Step 2: Begin your online UCT application.

Online application guidelines are available here.

Experiential Learning

University-arranged excursions are not included in this program, but you may enjoy tourist attractions off campus, on your own.

Student Clubs and Organizations

There are a host of clubs and societies on campus that may occasionally arrange field trips.

Funding Opportunities

Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.

External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.

More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.

“Studying Abroad changed my life. From the beginning to the end it was a journey of self discovery. It challenged me physically, emotionally and my perspectives of the world. From the people, culture, food etc. it was the best experience of my life thus far and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!”

Rajanie Bhudeo, Globalization/Public Policy major

In Their Own Words

UCT’s In Their Own Words shares the firsthand experiences of study abroad alumni.

Program Advisor

Curry, Mark

About the City

The past years have been a time of great change for South Africa: a new constitution in 1997 brought about long-awaited political and social transformation. As a result, this amazing country is once again open to the world. Although the segregation of society still exists, South Africa’s natural beauty and post-apartheid optimism combine to create a feeling of great energy and significance. Political violence seems to be a thing of the past, and, among the vast majority of people, there is a desire to get on with building a new nation. There are huge expectations for the new South Africa, and it is an exciting time to be a part of it.

Located on the Cape Peninsula at the southernmost tip of Africa, the city of Cape Town features some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world; superb mountain walks, vineyards, and beaches are all within easy reach. The city’s natural beauty combines with its vibrant, cosmopolitan community to create a unique and exciting atmosphere. You will find a rich diversity of languages, cultures, and architectural styles, as well as a lively nightlife. There are numerous restaurants offering an array of international cuisines and nightclubs filled with music to please all tastes.

Travel Documents

A valid passport is required to participate in this program. If you are a U.S. citizen, you will be required to obtain a South African Study Permit in order to enter South Africa.

For all other nationalities, please check with your government and the Consulate General of South Africa to determine whether you are required to obtain a visa for this program. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.

Application Availability

Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:

  • Spring programs: July
  • Fall/Year programs: December

Program Dates

Academic Year 

07/6/2019 to 06/05/2020 


07/6/2019 to 11/9/2019


2/1/2020 to 06/13/2020

More details are available online here: UCT Calendar. Note: Arrival and orientation are typically one week before classes begin. 

About the Program

The University at Albany’s affiliation with the University of Cape Town (UCT) offers you the opportunity to enroll directly into regular university courses alongside native South African students. In this way, this study abroad opportunity provides integration into the university and fosters independence – both of which enhance your overall experience.

The University of Cape Town campus is located on the slopes of Table Mountain. The buildings themselves are nestled among the mountain peaks, with the breathtaking Devil’s Peak soaring above. Founded in 1829 as the South African College, the University of Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest university. It became UCT in 1918 and moved to its current location, on Cecil John Rhodes’ Groote Shuur Estate, in 1929. In the mid-1980s, UCT broke with government policy, ending its historic classification as a white university and adopting a policy of integration. Today UCT boasts more than 21,500 students, approximately half of whom are non-whites.

Program Orientations

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.

Upon arrival at the University of Cape Town, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.

Support Services

UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.

The University of Cape Town’s International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.