study abroad cape town trinity

Local University Courses

In addition to the Trinity-taught courses, all Cape Town students enroll in 2-3 classes at one of two local universities alongside local students. Courses are available in nearly all discliplines at Trinity College.

UCT Courses

The University of Cape Town offers a varied and successful semester study abroad (SSA) program, and Trinity Collegestudents can take between 2-3 courses among the following faculties (departments):

UWC Courses

Students can choose from hundreds of courses in any of the University of the Western Cape's seven faculties except Dentistry:

  • University of Cape Town (UCT): Established in 1829 as a school for boys, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa’s oldest university and one of the continent’s leading teaching and research institutions. Students take classes at UCT's picturesque Upper Campus, situateed at the foot of Table Mountain in the leafy Cape Town suburb of Rondebosch. The University of Cape Town has a population of approximately 29,500 students, including the over 700 study abroad students from North America who enroll in a typical semester.
  • University of Western Cape (UWC): The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is a public institution that has a history of creative struggle against oppression, discrimination, and disadvantage. Since its groundbreaking foundation in 1959 as an apartheid-era university for "Coloured" people, UWC has played a pivotal role in the development of democratic South Africa. Located 15 miles from the city center in suburban Bellville, Trinity students at the UWC take a free half-hour shuttle to class. Enrolling about 15,000 students, including only 300 international students, it is a great option for study abroad students interested in immersing themselves in South African society.

Registration & Credit

As you are reviewing courses, please remember that the Academic Year in South Africa begins in January and the two different semesters are not called "Fall" and "Spring," but rather:
  • Trinity Spring Semester = Semester I in Africa
  • Trinity Fall Semester = Semester II in South Africa
Students will enroll themselves in the university courses upon arrival in South Africa but must pre-select courses as part of the Trinity in Cape Town application process.  These courses will be awarded as transfer credit but, because these courses are in conjunction with a Trinity program, they will calculate into the student GPA, as the Trinity courses will.

Students are not allowed to take classes pass/fail under any circumstances.

Academic Differences

The academic system in South Africa is different from what you are used to in the U.S. It is more similar to the British tutorial system, with which some of you may be familiar.  South African students do not take many electives or general education requirements. Thus, they specialize in  their  majors  or  fields  of  study  earlier  and  often  are  more  advanced  in  their concentrations  than  U.S. students  are  as  undergraduates.  Professors  expect  students  to  be  independent,  self motivated,  and  able  to keep up with their reading and prepare for the final examinations without receiving as much direction (such as  regular  help,  homework  to  keep  you  on  track,  very  specific  reading  lists,  etc.).  In  short,  the  system  is geared  toward  students  who  are  self-sufficient,  hard-working,  and  deeply  interested  in  the  subject  matter. 

Students  have  greater  responsibility  and  must  show  greater  initiative  in  a  less structured  environment. Depending  on  the  course  and  the  professor,  there  may  not  be  a  syllabus  or  regular  homework. Rather tudents may be given a list of books to read throughout the semester.