Popular Subject Areas
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.
Spring 2 2023
Jan 30, 2023 - Jun 10, 2023
Oct 01, 2022
Forms and Payment Deadline
Oct 15, 2022
48 - 60 Host University Units
2.50 Minimum GPA*
- This session is in progress and is no longer accepting applications.
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 The University houses the UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives, which includes a collection of artifacts, historical documents, photographs, artworks, and audio-visual materials of the apartheid era in South Africa.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.
Enjoy Flexibility with ISA Flex
We’ve partnered with Arizona State University (ASU) to help you overcome common study abroad challenges by adding an ASU Online course to your ISA program. With more than 2,100 courses to choose from, ISA Flex minimizes academic challenges, like major requirements and limited course options, so you can make the most of your experience abroad. Once you’ve applied, access the Flex form in your ISA Student Portal for more information on how to add this to your program and enroll in the course you need.
Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50.
You must have second semester sophomore standing at the time of participation in the program.
Comprehensive Advising and Support
Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support
Tuition at the Host University
Bridging Cultures Orientation
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 are equivalent to 3 U.S. semester credits/4.5 quarter units. 15 NQF credits are equivalent to 4 U.S. semester credits/6 quarter units. 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 Program Manager.
- 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.
To access the fullest and most up-to-date course catalog for the host university, click the "Go To Course Search" button below and follow the direction above under Course Selection.
Go to Host University Course Search HereGo to Course Search
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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
Wondering how you’ll fund your program? ISA’s got you covered! If you receive financial aid for your home university, you will likely be able to use those funds for study abroad too. The first step is usually speaking with your home university. Check out the steps for using financial aid here.
Need to know how much to budget for a term abroad? Take a look at the additional expenses you might expect, depending on your 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. We offer over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, visit the scholarships and grants page.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
Aquila Private Game Reserve
Spring Semester Only: 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.
Fall Semesters Only: Learn firsthand about South Africa's vast biodiversity through sea kayaking and whale watching.
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.
District Six Museum
Explore the famous museum commemorating the Coloured population of the city.
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.
Cultural Activities in Cape Town
The ISA on-site team encourages you to explore the city and culture of Cape Town. The team facilitates this by offering a robust calendar of events that showcases what makes Cape Town special.
These activities vary each term, and previous offerings have included a community service day, city walking tour, First Thursdays (visit galleries and attend cultural events around Cape Town), The Castle of Good Hope Museum, and visiting the Old Biscuit Mill for African Cuisine.