The UCT academic calendar runs concurrently with the calendar year. Teaching for the 1st Semester typically begins in early February with invigilated exams in June. Teaching for the 2nd Semester begins in July with exams in November. UCT rules require all exams to be taken on campus on the date published in the exam timetable. You should only leave campus on the first day of the vacations in June/July (for the 1st Semester) or November (for the 2nd Semester).



International student orientation runs in the week before teaching starts. Through interactive activities and information sessions we welcome you to UCT and introduce you to Cape Town. The highlight of the week is a tour of Cape Town. Be sure to RSVP the email invitation to reserve your place!

Once registered, you’ll have access to all student facilities including UCT Libraries, the wifi network (eduroam), Sports Centre and gym facilities. You’ll also be able to use your student card on the Jammie Shuttle free student transportation service.



Before enrolling for courses, you must be cleared by the International Office through a process known as pre-registration. Prepare by ensuring you have your passport, medical aid cover, proof you have paid your fees, and personal contact details easily to hand when you first arrive on campus.

Academic registration as a UCT student, and course enrolment, are online through self-service using your application username and password.

Service Learning


South Africa has inherited a complex and fractured social and political system where resources are not adequate to meet the needs of the people. The legacy of apartheid is still with us. Through community service, we try to redress some of the injustices of the past by contributing to the future of communities in need. As a UCT study abroad student, you have the opportunity to give back by volunteering in disadvantaged communities in Cape Town.


SHAWCO, started as a UCT initiative in 1943 and has since grown into one of South Africa’s largest student volunteer organisations. Students can volunteer for as many hours per week as suits their curriculum and academic timetable requirements with services focused on education or health. Learn more 


The UCT Global Citizenship Programme is a full curriculum programme in which students engage critically in contemporary global debates about citizenship, social justice and community engagement. Consisting of three short courses and one credit-bearing course (Social Infrastructures), the programme includes a voluntary community service element. Learn more


Ubunye UCT runs education-related projects in township schools. Through guidance and mentorship, it helps school learners develop leadership and life skills. Learn more