Study in South Africa: Housing & Living Costs

Needless to say that the most expensive cities with a higher living cost in South Africa are the biggest cities like Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Compared to many other study abroad destinations though, living costs in South Africa are relatively low for international students.  As a student in South Africa you can choose between the following options: 

On-campus Accommodation

This type of accommodation is very popular and convenient, as it is located very close to the university. It includes big shared apartments and the price depends on whether you would like to have your own room or live in a shared room, the facilities that exist in the building and the campus location.

The majority of South African universities offer furnished student accommodation options during their effort to assist students reducing the living cost in South Africa. 

In fact, some student dormitories come with the added benefit of including meal plans in the cost! If you want to advance your social skills and meet new people, this is the best decision you can make. Just make sure you apply on time to guarantee a spot. Single rooms in a dormitory will cost you around 46,000-60,000 ZAR per year, while shared double rooms around 43,000 ZAR per year.

Here are some examples of the cost of living in South Africa: 


120.00 ZAR


27 ZAR


30 ZAR

Cinema Ticket

90.00 ZAR

Monthly rent

from 5,000 to 12,000 ZAR

Monthly Transport

700.00 ZAR

Private Accommodation

As an international student, you can also choose to live alone in a private accommodation. This will cost you more in Johannesburg, which is the most expensive South African city in terms of rent and living costs, followed by Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban. You can find rooms for every budget depending on the location and facilities provided, with prices ranging from 4,000-25,000 ZAR per month. 

Study in South Africa - Overview

Over 45,000 international students choose South Africa as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

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Student Visas

If you are not a South African citizen, then you will need a visa for studies in South Africa. Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizen status.

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Education System 

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in South Africa? Both public and private universities offer programs in English language and focus on academic excellence.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in South Africa vary and is based on a credit system charge, but education for international students is still lower than in many other European countries.

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Language & Culture

South Africa has 11 official languages and is a country rich in history and culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more!

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Application Process

Entry requirements in South Africa vary from university to university. Here you can find more information about the application process for people from around the world.

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Ready to look at education in South Africa? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in South Africa today!

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Last update: 29 Jun 2021


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