If you did not know South Africa awards some of the best low tuition or cheapest medical degrees on the African continent, with a high quality of hands-on training. Although international students are majorly students from neighbouring countries, South Africa is still a popular and coveted study abroad destination for international students looking for a qualitative education abroad.
So as it is the case with most countries, international students will often pay slightly higher tuition fees at medical colleges than local students in South Africa. Infact, the cost of your study will depend largely on the institution and type of medical program you choose to study, but as a rule of thump, you should expect to pay around ZAR52,000 (£2,850) per year of study.
Available Medical Programs
The way medical schools in South Africa operate follows a slightly different format, so connect with your chosen school and learn more. However, your program should start with two years of theoretical training in the medical sciences, dealing with introductory pathology and pharmacology, as well as general sciences.
When you progress, you’ll start with practicals and dissections before going onto clinical rotations in the third year. These will include obstetrics, paediatrics and surgery. You’ll go on with this pattern through the fourth and fifth year, before going into a practical rotation in the 6th year.
Working in South Africa
South Africa understandably is a developing economy, which is still grappling with the effects of apartheid. South Africa still has high unemployment and deep poverty, but the situation is improving. Agriculture is a huge part of the country’s employment and exports, particularly with notable African countries and partners such as the US, China, Japan and the United Kingdom.
However, for a student who is on a medical program or elective, it is the opportunity to work in a different medical environment to what they’re used to that is the draw.
Typically, visa entry requirements for South Africa vary from country to country, with most countries requiring you to obtain a study permit if your course goes beyond three months. You will not be able to register with a South African medical college without a study permit.
For you to apply for a study permit, you will need the following:
- Confirmed letter from an approved university
- Details of a person who will act as your guardian
- Proof of finances to cover the duration of your studies
- Health insurance
List of participating Medical Universities
- University of Transkei (UNITRA), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
- University of Natal, Faculty of Medicine
- Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA), Faculty of Medicine
- University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Clinical Medicine
- University of Pretoria, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences
- University of Stellenbosch, Faculty of Health Sciences – School of Medicine
- University of Cape Town, Faculty of Medicine
- University of the Orange Free State, Faculty of Medicine