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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: GT applicants only
  • Estimated Program Costs: Fall, Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 09/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission 01/15/2020 06/10/2020

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Level: Undergraduate Program Type: University Exchange
Credit Hours: 12 Weeks per term: 20
Language of Instruction: English Academic Disciplines: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Preferred Participating Majors (Exchange Programs): Housing Type: Homestay, On-Campus Residence Hall, Private Apartment
Advisor: Cassy McInnis International Service Learning: No
Affiliated with GT Serve-Learn-Sustain: No
Program Description:
location informationEligibilityacademic infocredit transfervisa and passport info

Location Information

Spring semester:  Mid-January – Early June
Fall semester:  Early July – Early November
Academic Year:  Early July – June

This university is located in Cape Town, South Africa.  To learn more about this city and country, please visit:

Cape Town is a vibrant multicultural city with a rich selection of day and night activities. Water sports, mountaineering, nightclubs, and restaurants are readily available. The city is also a microcosm of the challenges facing many African countries in transition—how to successfully operate within a global economy while grappling with the vast socioeconomic inequalities that are the legacy of the colonial and apartheid past.

The University of Cape Town (UCT), originally established as South African College in 1829, is internationally recognized as one of Africa’s leading research universities.  UCT’s pioneering scholarship, faculty and students engender academic excellence and effective social change and development.  In a typical semester, 25,000 students are enrolled at UCT, 4,600 of which are international students from over 100 countries. 

The campus, situated at the foot of Table Mountain’s Devil’s Peak, is renowned for its striking beauty and panoramic views of much of Cape Town.  In addition to the vistas, the campus has extensive green space replete with pathways, trees, ponds and even waterfalls.  A range of commercial, medical, recreational, and sporting facilities are available on campus including a swimming pool, gym, weight room, and basketball, tennis, badminton and squash courts. 

There are several different housing options available to you:
  • UCT Residence Hall—Students live in apartment-style UCT residence halls with South African or other African students. Students have small single rooms and share kitchen and other facilities with two or three students. Students are responsible for their own meals which are not included. Students can prepare their own meals or eat at establishments on or off campus. Please note that amenities are more basic in the UCT residences, but students looking for an immersion study abroad experience will enjoy interacting with South African and other African students. Shuttle buses link UCT residence halls with all UCT campuses, a five-minute ride.
  • Off-Campus Houses or Apartments—Students share off-campus houses or apartments near campus with fellow study abroad program participants and local students. Students have small single rooms (some houses have a small number of double rooms) and share kitchen and other facilities with five to 10 students (fewer in apartments).  Students are responsible for their own meals which are not included. Students can prepare their own meals or eat at establishments on or off campus.
  • Homestay with South African Family—This option provides an excellent opportunity for immersion into the local culture and is strongly recommended for students who wish to take full advantage of their study abroad experience in South Africa. Breakfast and dinner are provided during the week. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on weekends. Lunches during the week are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student. Since homestay families are located throughout the Cape Town area, students are required in most cases to utilize public transportation to and from UCT, a 20 to 30 minute commute.

Meals are dependent on which housing option you choose; please read the housing information above to learn about the various meal options. 

  • Georgia Tech degree-seeking student
  • Good Academic Standing with a 3.0 (or higher) GPA at time of application
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two full-time semesters of study at GT and be at junior standing or above
  • At least 18 years of age by the program's departure date
  • Be able to stay at the host university for the duration of their semester, INCLUDING through their exam period
  • Be in Good Standing with the Office of Student Affairs and Housing
  • All Non-U.S. Citizens are welcome to apply to participate in an exchange outside of their home country only. This rule applies to all who do not have a U.S. passport, including U.S. Permanent Residents.
  • All study abroad participants are required to have a passport prior to any visa deadline dates, and any needed visas prior to departure date (Students are responsible for securing all required travel documents per the host country’s regulations prior to departure).

Academic Info
The rich academic program allows study abroad students to pursue their own academic studies while providing firsthand knowledge of contemporary South African society. Students are required to enroll in at least one course with specific African content or one that offers a distinctive African perspective in their area of interest. Courses may be taken in all University of Cape Town faculties excluding health sciences.

Study abroad students are taught alongside University of Cape Town (UCT) undergraduates and are required to undertake a full program of courses, including all assignments and written examinations. Teaching methods at the University normally involve a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and, in the sciences, laboratory classes.  The system is geared toward the scholar who is motivated, self-sufficient, and deeply interested in the subject matter. Participants may notice striking differences between their home educational system and the UCT system. 

Class sizes are very big at UCT and range from 100 to 300 people. UCT has both class lectures and tutorials (sections). The sizes of the tutorials are much smaller, ranging from 20 to 40 students. Students generally do not have to buy books for their classes, as many lecturers provide a course reader. This reader has all the reference materials for the class.

The South African academic year runs from early February through late November with two semesters. Many University of Cape Town courses are year-long courses and run from the U.S. spring through the U.S. fall semester. Students on the academic or calendar year program have a break between semesters and can remain in or move into off-campus housing; however, meals are not included during this time.

A list of University of Cape Town courses is available on the UCT website at Not all courses within UCT faculties or departments are appropriate for program participants, and many have prerequisites. Students are advised that due to possible changes in the courses offered each term, they should be flexible in course selection. 

Students are required to take three to four courses to maintain a full course load (Recommended credit for the semester is 16-18 credit hours). At least one of these courses must have specific African content or offer a distinctive African perspective in their area of interest. Courses may be taken in all University of Cape Town faculties excluding health science.

Note: Course numbers will end either in an “F” or “S” (for fall or spring semester).  However, since South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons in South Africa are opposite from the seasons in the U.S.  Therefore, the fall semester at UCT is February-July and the spring semester at UCT is July-November.  YOU MUST SELECT CLASSES FOR THE APPROPRIATE SEMESTER.

Grading for University of Cape Town courses is by continuous assessment, but anywhere from 50 to 75% of the final grade is based on the final examination, which is conducted by outside examiners.

Grades are on the basis of 100. A “First” is equivalent to 75% and above. Very few students achieve this mark. Students who receive marks that fall between 70 and 74% are awarded the grade of “Upper Second.” A good number of students achieve this mark. The next mark is “Lower Second” with a range of 60 to 69%. The majority of students achieve this mark. Students with 50 to 59% receive a “Third” (passing grade). Students achieving a mark below 50% receive a “Fail.” Grades and credits are converted to the U.S. system according to a standard scale.

All courses are taught in English.

Credit for courses taken as a part of exchange programs is received by transferring the credits back to Georgia Tech. For more information about this, click here.  Here you will find the foreign credit approval form, the foreign credit approval form instructions, and a link to the registrar's Equivalency Table.

40-45 hour UCT course = 3 GT credits
12 HEQF = 2 GT
18 HEQF = 4 GT
24 HEQF = 5 GT
30 HEQF = 6 GT
36 HEQF = 8 GT
  • Complete information about how to apply for or renew a U.S. passport is available here.
  • You must obtain all proper immigration documents, such as an official passport and a visa if required. Students are responsible for securing all required travel documents per the host country’s regulations. For visa information visit the U.S. State Department website here.

Essential Functions of Study Abroad

OIE is committed to supporting students with disabilities who plan to embark on an international experience. Along with this one of a kind experience comes with the knowledge that there are different cultural viewpoints and legal standards for disabilities throughout the world. Contact your study abroad advisor for additional details about the essential functions of this particular study abroad program. Notify the Office of International Education and the Office of Disability Services about your accommodation needs as soon as possible, but at a minimum, we suggest at least six months before your expected departure. Please note, that depending on your needs, it may take longer to determine if accommodations are in place for the program that you have chosen.
Experiences of Former Students
Want to hear from former study abroad students about the realities of daily life at the host school? Want to see snapshots from around the world - taken by former study abroad participants? Check out these helpful links: Peer Advisors and Study Abroad Photo Contest.

Can't find a student perspective for your particular program? Contact this program's Exchange Abroad Advisor for a list of recent participants who are eager to tell other GT students about studying abroad.
Advisor Information
Cassy McInnis