Political and Social Sciences, African Studies & Health
University of the Western Cape
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is committed to excellence in teaching, learning, and research; to nurturing the cultural diversity of South Africa; and to responding in critical and creative ways to the needs of a society in transition. You can take classes in subjects such as social development studies, politics & African studies, performing arts, health studies, and environmental studies. Its attractive campus includes an important nature reserve, and the mountains of the Cape Peninsula and Stellenbosch provide beautiful landmarks to the east and west. UWC's rich history began with its establishment in 1959 for non-white students during the Apartheid era and was originally intended by the South African Parliament for people classified as "Colored." Among academic institutions it has been a leader of South Africa's historic change, playing a distinctive academic role in helping to build an equitable and dynamic nation.
Fall 2 2021
Early Jul, 2021 - Late Nov, 2021
Apr 01, 2021
Forms and Payment Deadline
Apr 15, 2021
48 - 60 Host University Units
2.50 Minimum GPA*
- Apply Now
Study Abroad Program Description
Located in the local Belleville neighborhood, the University of the Western Cape is still a beacon of freedom and societal change to South Africans, due to its role in the anti-Apartheid movement. The University houses the UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives, which includes a collection of artifacts, historical documents, photographs, artworks, and audio-visual materials of the apartheid era in South Africa. You can take courses in several popular UWC academic disciplines, including African history, Development Studies, Education, Conflict Studies, and Political Science.
Semester + Semester Programs Available: You can combine the Spring + Fall OR Fall + Spring sessions at a discounted price. For more information about this option, please contact your ISA South Africa Program Manager.
Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50.
Comprehensive Advising and Support
Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support
Tuition at the Host University
Bridging Cultures Program
Full-Time Resident Staff
On-Site ISA Offices
ISA Discovery Model
Official Transcript from the Host University
Professional Development Toolbox
Host University Units
48 - 60
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
12 - 15
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
18 - 25
- Course Credit
Per the University of the Western Cape, 10 NQF credits is equivalent to 3 U.S. semester crdits/4.5 quarter credits. 15 NQF credits is equivalent to 4 U.S. semester credits/6 quarter credits. Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
- Course Level
Students with no prior knowledge about a specific subject should select introductory courses at the 100 level. Students with prior knowledge about a subject should choose courses at the 200 and 300 level.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or prerequisites.
- Course Selection
The courses listed below are only a sampling of what courses the university offers. Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change. To search for courses, please enter the UWC module course database.
1) Select Academic Year & Faculty and then "undergraduate" and "full-time" and "degree".
2) Click the bubble next to "an International Student"
3) Click on BA (2101)
4) View the course list. Note that Semester 1 courses are only offered during the Spring semester and Semester 2 courses are only offered in the Fall semester. You cannot take Whole Year courses unless you will be studying the full year in South Africa. ISA recommends you take a MAXIMUM of one 300 level course as past students have indicated taking two was too difficult due to academic rigor.
5) Get all possible courses you might take approved for credit transfer by your advisor.
*Courses at the 200/300 level normally require completion of pre-requisites prior to enrollment. Students will enroll in 4-6 modules per semester; each module is typically worth 10-20 UWC credits. Request for sample syllabi can be made to the Cape Town Site Specialist.
- Transcript Information
The transcript from the University of the Western Cape will reflect NQF credits for each course listed below. Please be in touch with your U.S. University regarding credit transfer for this program.
- Duly Performed/Duly Performed Refusal
Duly Performed (DP) is a grade qualifier used at UWC that will determine a student's eligibility to take their final examination. If a student has received DP for a course, it means that they have met the requirements for continuous assessment (eg. mid-terms, quizzes, assignments) to take their final exam. In the UWC system, grades are heavily contingent on the final exam. The largest percentage of a student's grade in a course is determined by the final exam grade. Opting to not take the final exam will likely lead to a failing grade in the course.
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- Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Support & Funding
Funding Your ISA Program
As an ISA participant, you have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can be applied directly to assist with your study abroad programs. ISA offers over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, you may visit the Scholarships and Grants page. Please note that some programs, including remote learning opportunities, are not eligible for scholarships.View all Funding Options
Living in ISA housing will give you the opportunity to experience aspects of the South African lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor. Uncovering the uniqueness of your surroundings will help you to feel right at home. As a student at the University of the Western Cape, you will commute 35 minutes via public bus to UWC. With an open and adaptable mind, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.
The residence halls in Cape Town are located off campus. The apartment-style accommodations have shared kitchens and bathroom facilities. Meals and laundry service are not included. You will pay a $500 refundable security deposit if living in this ISA housing option. ISA may retain some, or all, of this deposit in the event of damage to property, or if utility usage exceeds the allotted monthly amount.
THERE’S MORE TO DISCOVER WITH ISA
Addo Elephant National Park
The Addo Elephant National Park has over 550 elephants and is the third largest conservation park in South Africa. You will have the opportunity to discuss local policy that protect these lands from development, privatization, and poaching. Become further aware of differences in how some of these species feed, breed, select their partners for mating and survive various threats and predators.
Aquila Private Game Reserve
The Aquila Game Reserve is a game reserve where you will keep your eye out for the Big 5: the elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, lion, and African buffalo. Gain a sense of the impact of climate change on the ecosystem of the Aquila Game Reserve and enter consider how policy makers can do more to mitigate further damage.
Cape Peninsula Tour
Enjoy the scenic tour that explores Duiker Island to see the seals, Boulders Beach to visit the African penguins and visit the historic Cape of Good Hope.
District Six Museum
Explore the famous museum commemorating the Coloured population of the city.
Frontier Excursion * Optional
Take a once in a lifetime journey through the Winterberg Mountains. You will experience rural life in South Africa by staying on an authentic Afrikaner cattle farm. You will also have the opportunity to hike the mountains, view waterfalls, feed cattle, canoe, swim, and enjoy a braai (South African barbeque)!
Garden Route Tour
Visit Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Jeffrey's Bay, Addo National Elephant Park and Oudtshoorn.
Groot Constantia Tour * Optional
Visit South Africa's oldest vineyard and learn the history and culture of winemaking in Cape Town.
Learn firsthand about South Africa's vast biodiversity through sea kayaking and whale watching.
Irma Stern Museum
Experience the infamous 20th century South African artist's famous works that is on display in her former home studio. You will partake in a traditional South African braai.
Iziko Natural History Museum and Planetarium
Explore the work of the famous South African artist and get a taste for local cuisine.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Marvel at Cape Town's natural wonders with Table Mountain in the background. Find a new perspective exploring the tree top canopy walkway and the enjoy many types of Proteas, South Africa's national flower.
Langa Community Tour
Designated as a zone for Black Africans prior to apartheid, the Langa Township is a suburb of Cape Town. See first-hand some typical living conditions within the townships of South Africa and meet some of the locals.
Visit the infamous Apartheid-era political prison where former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years.
Signal Hill Hike * Optional
Hike one of Cape Town's most famous natural landmarks.
Untold Stories of Mandela in Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Bay is named after the world icon and former statesman, Dr. Nelson Mandela. This tour seeks to illustrate the reason Mandela gave permission to have his name given to this Metro area out of thousands of cities from across the world.