Tourist boat sailing in the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of South Africa

University Study in South Africa: Cape Town

  1. Program Details

    Study at a large, diverse, urban university on the coast. Learn with South African students while fully immersing yourself in local culture.

    Location Cape Town, South Africa
    Term Academic Year, Calendar Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester
    Housing Apartment, Dormitory, Other
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 3.0
    Student Type UofM Students
    Student Year Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite
  2. About University Study in South Africa: Cape Town

    Experience South African culture firsthand while learning alongside South African students. Study in an urban setting at the University of Cape Town. The University of Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest university and is one of Africa’s leading teaching and research institutions. The main campus occupies a beautiful site on the slopes of Table Mountain.

    Housing & Meals

    You have two housing options: in campus dormitories at UCT with the regular UCT student population or in the main Arcadia house with other Arcadia students. Dormitories are recommended because they are on campus, provide greater levels of integration and cultural immersion, and offer better WiFi. The Arcadia house is a lengthy walk or a short shuttle ride from UCT campus.


    Students have the opportunity to participate in excursions throughout the semester or year. Excursions are designed to complement your experience and enhance your understanding of South African culture, politics, and geography.

    Organized events, such as music festivals, theater outings, sporting events, and political lectures are encouraged opportunities to enhance your experience.

    Learning Outcomes

    Students having participated in the University Study in South Africa program will: 

    • Reflect on their own power and privilege
    • Gain a better understanding of the social, political, historical, and economic realities of South Africa
    • Learn to appreciate relativity, accept complexity, and embrace ambiguity
    • Identify and communicate how their experience abroad has impacted them personally, academically, and professionally

    Faculty & Staff

    The university has staff available to provide orientation, on-site support and advising, helping you adjust to a new educational system and integrate into campus life.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Host University Study
    Program Level Various levels

    14–18 credits per semester and 28–36 credits for the academic year

    This program appeals to students who are interested in learning about the culture of South Africa, would like to take classes related to their major or minor, need to fulfill liberal arts requirements or want to take classes with South African students.

    You receive resident credit for the courses you take. Your grades factor into your University of Minnesota GPA and each course appears on your transcript with an A/F grade. Consult the Learning Abroad Center's Academic Policies page for more information.

    Students are required to maintain a minimum enrollment of 14 credits per semester.



    For more tips on finding course information, go to Finding Course Information for Host Universities.

    Finding Course Information

    Learn about country-specific academic terminology and how to find host university course information

    Major Advising Pages

    The University of Cape Town offers coursework, and has been identified as a strong curricular match, for the following UofM degree programs:

    Global Identity

    Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

    This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

    Syllabus for Global Identity (PDF)

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    Academic Year Early July - mid June Apr. 1
    Fall Semester Early July - mid November Apr. 1
    Spring Semester Late January - mid June Oct. 1

    Applications after this deadline may be considered. Contact Ryan McCarthy at to inquire.

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Fall 2021 TBD TBD
  5. Fees for University Study in South Africa: Cape Town

    Fall 2020

    The Total Program Fee reflects Arcadia’s posted base program fee, plus the Learning Abroad Center’s APAAC ($1925 one semester / $2925 Academic Year) and required UofM international health insurance, minus the negotiated discount for UofM students ($1000). 

    Housing costs indicate standard housing fee; some housing options carry additional fees.  Check with Arcadia when selecting your housing option for exact cost.

    If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Bridging Loan

    Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  6. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term See Program Dates for term options
    Program Name University Study in South Africa
    Track Name University of Cape Town
    Country South Africa


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

    Next Steps

    1. Upon submitting the online application, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application was received.
    2. Follow the instructions on your application checklist to submit all of the items. Your application is not considered complete until all items on your application checklist are either received or waived.
    3. Complete Arcadia’s application requirements as applicable.
    4. Your completed application is reviewed by our program team. If nominated for participation, the Learning Abroad Center contacts Arcadia staff to notify them of your status.
    5. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist. Log in to the online application to review the confirmation checklist and submit the required items.
    6. Do not pay Arcadia’s confirmation deposit. Arcadia accepts the Learning Abroad Center’s deposit as indication of confirmation. The Learning Abroad Center deposit is submitted by completing the Confirmation and Payment Agreement found on the confirmation checklist assigned to you.
    7. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log in to the online application and submit a Cancel Request. You must also notify your affiliate of your cancellation.

    Affiliate organizations and partner universities will not accept applications from UMTC students without the endorsement of the Learning Abroad Center.  Students must participate in affiliate organization and partner university programs through the standard Learning Abroad Center application process. 

  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Ryan McCarthy or call at 612.626.9373.

COVID-19 Update

This program was canceled for fall semester 2021 due to COVID-19.