Home > Before you arrive

Before you arrive

As an international student, you’ll be joining a diverse community at Africa’s premier research university. Our support team is here to guide you through the process of preparing for your arrival in Cape Town and settling into campus life.

Before making any departure plans, secure your place by accepting our study offer, and make the necessary arrangements for paying your tuition fees. This will ensure a smooth transition into the campus community through orientation, registration and course enrolment.

We recommend you apply for your study visa as early as possible and ensure all your travel arrangements are not hampered by visa delays.


Accept your study offer

To accept your study offer, log into the UCT self-service website using your UCT student number and password. If you have forgotten what these are, check your offer letter and follow the prompts to reset your password.


Pay your fees

International students must pay their fees before arriving in Cape Town. Full details can be found on the Fees page.


Apply for your visa

Applying for a study visa can take 12 weeks or longer, particularly when there is high demand (when many students are applying for a visa) or at the end of the year when many embassies and consulates close for the holidays.  We recommend you apply as soon as you accept your study offer to avoid processing delays.


Prepare your documents in advance

Before travelling to South Africa, please check all your documents, paying particular attention to your

  • Passport: Is it valid for the full length of your intended stay in South Africa? Is the name in your passport the same as that in your UCT study offer and Letter of Undertaking?
  • Study visa: When you receive your study visa, check that is covers the full duration of your programme of study. If not, consult the South Africa Embassy or Consulate immediately, before travelling to South Africa.

Immigration and customs officials may ask for copies of documents to verify your visa and immigration status on arrival.  You should prepare copies of the following documents and keep these in your hand luggage for easy access:

  • UCT study offer letter
  • UCT Letter of Undertaking in support of your visa