If you want to have an exciting international study experience somewhere that is different from the places that you would usually hear from others, you should consider South Africa. Aside from having leading universities, the country has cities that offer beautiful sceneries and enriched cultures that will surely make your student life even more unforgettable. In this article, we will be looking at the cost of studying and living in South Africa!

Cost of Studying in South Africa for International Students

If you are planning to study in South Africa, tuition fees would usually vary based on the program and year of entry of the student. There may also be additional fees that you have to pay for your admission to the school depending on the guidelines of your chosen university. Here are some of the examples to give you a glimpse of possible expenses:

At the University of Cape Town, one of the highest-ranking universities in South Africa, students who come from countries that are outside of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region must pay a totality of the following: tuition fees for their courses, international term fee depending on their coursework, international administration fee, and any relevant residence fees. With this, there are different payment methods available in the case that the student is not able to pay the fees before their arrival. As the tuition fees are based on the courses, the school has a handbook for this that you may look into. The range for the tuition of the degree program is approximately between 2300 to 4500 euros.

Another leading institution in South Africa is Stellenbosch University. Like what was mentioned, there are also additional fees here for international students. There is a minimum required initial payment for the tuition fees, international registration fee, academic services fee, and residence & meals fee, if applicable. The amount of tuition is given based on your program. The minimum compulsory fee for an undergraduate is around 110,700 rand or around 7000 euros. However, other guidelines may make it possible that you would not have to pay some of the additional fees, and you can see this information on their website.


Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Cost of Living in South Africa for International Students

1. Cost of Living in Johannesburg

The city of Johannesburg is said to be South Africa’s focal point in finance and industry, and with this, the people here lead quite a fast life. It is also known for its nightlife and other places to visit, such as restaurants and casinos.

Some universities offer residences to their students, so you should check in with your chosen university as this option would also help you in saving money. Staying in this city,  private apartment with a single bedroom has a wide price range of 4000 to 12500 rand, which is 250 to 781 euros per month. There are various ways of transportation around the city, such as mini-bus taxis, the Rea Vaya bus rapid transport system, and more. The rates would vary based on your route, but there are approximately 70 euros monthly for your transportation. For monthly groceries, there is an estimated budget between 250 to 450 euros.

2. Cost of Living in Cape Town

Aside from the great institutions you can study at in Cape Town, it is said to be a famous tourist destination. You will get to explore different markets, and witness festivals and events. You might even get a chance with student specials in their attractions!

Living in Cape Town, the average monthly rent for private housing is more expensive. The price for a single-bedroom apartment ranges from 8000 to 17000 rand, or 500 to 1070 euros. Rent prices are lower if you would opt for a place outside of the city center. You do not have to worry about your transportation as it is reported that their public transport is quite efficient. You can choose between minibus taxis, buses, trains, or cabs. Purchasing a weekly or monthly card may help you in saving instead of paying for single-trip tickets. A monthly pass is around 500 rand or 31 euros. The food expenses in Cape Town are also higher compared to other cities. You should budget for more than 450 euros.

3. Cost of Living in Durban

The city of Durban has a more relaxed feel with its beaches. There are also various attractions that you could visit, especially since culture, fashion, and sports are also high in this city.

Living costs in Durban are more affordable compared to the previous cities mentioned. The monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is 4000 to 8000 rand and renting outside will cost less. Trains, buses, and taxis are also your best choices for transportation as you can also get student discounts for it. A monthly pass for Durban is around 700 rand. As food expenses may also cost lower here, it is still advisable that you set a budget of around 450 euros for your groceries.

4. Cost of Living in Soweto

If you are planning to stay in Soweto, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a more affluent area in the city costs around 11000 rand or 700 euros. While there are various housing options and areas that you can choose from, it is suggested that you inquire in your chosen university for available accommodations to help you save money.

For your travel costs around the city, a monthly pass for the public transport costs between 200 to 500 rand. The expenses would depend on the routes you take and your destinations. If you opt to travel in a taxi, the start of the ride is around 21 rand. For your groceries, it is also suggested that you set a budget that is around 450 euros.

5. Cost of Living in Pretoria

The living cost in the city of Pretoria does not differ much from the other cities. You can rent an apartment within the center of the city at a monthly average of 6400 rand. The range of monthly rent for housing like this is 5000 to 9000 rand. Transportation is also the same with other cities where you can opt to purchase for a monthly pass for public transport. The average regular price for the pass is 975 rand, but there may be student discounts applicable. The monthly food expenses in the city for one person is approximately 6570 rand, which is 410 euros. It is best that you set a higher food budget than this, in case there are times you would want to treat yourself.


In conclusion, it is clear that studying and living in South Africa is cheaper than living in many parts of North America and Europe. As international students it is advisable for you to have your funds ready and save as much as you can. Having a bank account that offers favorable exchange rates will let you do this effectively and affordably. Wise bank is one that offers you a convenient means of converting your currency with low charges thus enabling you to save more. They offer a multi-currency account allowing you to hold and spend money in multiple currencies. Consider opening a Wise account to get the best exchange rates at the comfort of your home!

I hope that this article on Best Law Universities in Quebec was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

Share this article via

Leave A Comment