Study Abroad at the University of Cape Town with Arcadia University

About the University of Cape Town


The University of Cape Town was founded in 1829 as the South African College. The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900, and it was during this period that women were admitted. The University of Cape Town was established in 1918 and within a decade the University had moved to the current campus location on the slopes of Devil's Peak.

Apart from establishing itself as a leading research and teaching university in the decades that followed, the period 1960-1990 was marked by sustained opposition to apartheid, particularly as it pertained to higher education. The 1980s and 1990s at UCT were characterized by a deliberate, planned process of international transformation, to meet South Africa's new challenges in higher education.

Social and Cultural Opportunities

Beyond the classroom, there are a staggering number of clubs and activities students can become involved in at UCT. UCT officially counts 43 sports clubs and more than 100 student clubs on campus – all accessible to visiting students. If you are a student athlete and wish to continue competing at a high performance level, UCT offers sport clubs in traditional arenas such as soccer, swimming, cross-country, or rugby. For those who want to have fun and keep fit, there are sports clubs ranging from traditional arenas such as fencing or squash to more extreme sport such as surfing and paragliding.

With more than 100 student clubs from which to choose, students have innumerable ways to get involved and meet the locals. The UCT clubs range from culture and the arts, to religion, politics, and games. Traditionalists might want to join the Chess Club, the Film Society, or Toastmasters, while adventurers might be ready for the Flying Club, or even the Hip-Hop Club.  There is a full range of international student associations and religious organizations – all of them led by students and for students.

Many students choose to spend a portion of their personal time volunteering to help support the needs of the Cape Town community through tutoring, working in mobile health clinics, or working on land reclamation projects in the townships through SHAWCO – the Students Health and Welfare Centres Organisation. Founded in the 1960's by UCT students, SHAWCO contributes a great deal to the disadvantaged communities in and around Cape Town.  Governed and operated by students, SHAWCO offers a great way to get involved in a safe and organized manner.