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University of KwaZulu-Natal Exchange

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Calendar Year


Durban and Pietermaritzburg,
South Africa


2.5 GPA and in good academic and disciplinary standing, sophomore standing or above

Application Due:

9/1 for Spring
4/1 for Fall

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

Durban skyline

Durban skyline

University of Iowa students have the opportunity to study for a semester or academic year at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in either Durban or Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Students enroll in regular courses offered at UKZN and are fully integrated academically and socially with their South African peers.

Academic Program


Students can take classes from all twelve colleges, including:
• Commerce & Management
• Education
• Engineering
• Health Sciences
• Science
• Human Sciences (Liberal Arts and Sciences)

The language of instruction is English.

Course Listings

Students should browse through UKZN's course listings to see which courses are available during their time in South Africa

Additionally, students may find the ISA webpage with links to courses useful

The interpretation of the course codes can be tricky, please reference this guide for assistance: Explanation of Course CodesPDF

Students must enroll for a full-time load of courses while studying at UKZN. A full-time load is typically 3 or 4 courses and is generally equivalent to 12 or 16 s.h. of credit at Iowa. In general, divide the number of credits at UKZN by 4 to estimate how many credits the University of Iowa will give you. All courses come back pass/nonpass.

Program Dates

UKZN Student Union

Semester 1 at UKZN runs from February-June, Semester 2 runs August-November. UKZN’s academic calendar is available at

For More Information

If you are ready to learn more, please call 319-335-0353 and ask the receptionist to schedule an appointment with study abroad advisor Amy Bowes. Students should also discuss their study abroad plans with their academic advisor and other appropriate faculty.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal

The University of Natal was founded in 1910 and became one of South Africa’s top research and teaching institutions. It was a White university during the apartheid era, although its medical school, established in 1947, was for African and Indian students. The University of Durban-Westville (UDW) was originally designated for Indian students. A major site of the anti-apartheid struggle, UDW opened up to students of all races in 1984. The Universities of Natal and Durban-Westville merged in 2004 to form the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

University Building

There are four campuses at UKZN. The Howard College Campus (approximately 12,000 students) is situated among sub-tropical gardens in a quiet residential neighborhood in Durban overlooking the busiest harbor in Africa. The Pietermaritzburg Campus (approximately 7,500 students) is situated in an established suburban community. The Westville campus, located 8 kilometers from Durban’s center, combines “state of the art infrastructure with beautiful natural surroundings.” The campus’ Hindu temple and Islamic mosque reflect its rich multicultural heritage. The Edgewood campus is located in Pinetown, about a 20 minute drive from Durban. The Edgewood campus is UKZN’s primary site for teacher education.

UKZN has more than 40,000 students who collectively reflect South African demographics. 2,700 international students from over 70 countries attend UKZN. More information about UKZN’s campuses, faculties, and courses is available at



The Province of KwaZulu-Natal is a sub-tropical paradise and the cultural, religious, and ethnic melting pot of South Africa, with a mix of Africans, Indians and Whites. It has a rich cultural heritage and is the number one tourist destination in the country. Durban, located on the coast, and Pietermaritzburg, about 80 kilometers inland, are major cosmopolitan cities with hotels, restaurants, libraries, museums, cinemas, music venues, and art galleries. Among the many places of interest are the African and Indian markets, temples and mosques.

Durban City Hall

The sites of the major battles of the Anglo-Zulu War (1879) and the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), are easily accessible, as are a number of the best game reserves and wilderness areas in Africa, where visitors can view game and hike through the natural environment. The snow-capped Drakensberg Mountains afford hiking and spectacular views, while the Indian Ocean offers year-round fishing, sailing, and surfing. The predominant languages are Zulu and English.

South Africa

The Republic of South Africa has a rich and compelling history and gorgeous natural landscapes. This country of approximately 49 million has the largest economy on the continent and is politically peaceful and stable. Diversity is a key feature, with 11 officially recognized languages, community leaders including chieftains and rabbis, rugby players and returned exiles, and traditional healers plying their trade around the corner from stockbrokers.

Living Arrangements

student dormitory

Participants on this program live in on-campus housing with other South African students. UKZN residence halls have shared kitchens where students can prepare their own meals. A meal plan is not included with this exchange.

ISA Partnership

All Iowa exchange students are enrolled in an ISA customized program that runs concurrently to the exchange. The ISA portion covers airport reception, excursions and cultural activities, cell phone, cultural orientation and comprehensive, full time support on site by ISA staff.

More information about the ISA portion of the program can be found here: ISA Durban

Travel Arrangements

Dorms in Durban

Students will arrange their own flights to Durban. Upon arrival, ISA staff will pick students up from the airport and transport students directly to the program site.

Study Abroad and ISA will assist students in obtaining their visa, but students should consult the South African Consulate General webpage for a detailed explanation of what paperwork is required to obtain the appropriate student visa.

Currently FBI background checks are significantly delayed. It is high recommended that all students seeking a South Africa visa route their background check through an approved channeler. You can find a list of approved channelers here: FBI Approved Channelers


Students must have a 2.5 GPA, and be in good academic and disciplinary standing. You must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university at the end of the semester, too.  If you are not in good standing at the end of the semester your acceptance will be revoked and you will be responsible for the associated withdrawal fees.

Applicants with a GPA lower than 2.5 are welcome to meet with the Study Abroad advisor for this program. You can schedule a meeting by calling 319.335.0353.


This is the Cost Sheet for UKZN Spring 2015. This document outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

campus building

For all participants, additional expenses may include the study abroad application fee, passport and visa processing fees (including a criminal background check and channeler fees), round trip airfare, textbooks, meals, South Africa-based medical insurance (required), travel-related medical expenses (medical consultation for travel, travel-related immunizations, prescription medications), and personal expenses.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship Opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

Withdrawal policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Between confirmation and 45 days before program start date $500
Between 44 and 30 days before the program start date $1000
Between 29 and 15 days before the program start date $2000
Less than 14 days before the program start date 100% of Study Abroad Administrative Fees ($400)
100% of UI Tuition and Fees

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Check with your specific provider/host university for details. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

How to Apply

Cafe on campus in Durban

If you would like to apply, you should first meet with study abroad advisor Amy Bowes. Please call 319-335-0353 and ask the receptionist to schedule an appointment for you. Students should also discuss their plans with their academic advisor and other appropriate faculty before applying for a study abroad program.

Iowa Study Abroad Application

The application includes:
• UI online application with short answer essay questions
• Copy of the information page of your passport
• UKZN application with requested coursework
• Academic Reference (please use provided form within the application)
• Statement of Purpose describing why you want to study at UKZN
• Official Transcript

Optional Service Learning Requirements:
• Resume
• Service Learning essay of motivation
• Academic Reference (please use provided form within the application)

Some items can be uploaded with the online application (statement of purpose, copy of passport) but others must be turned in to Study Abroad in UCC 1111 (UKZN application, transcripts). Letters of reference can either be a) dropped off by the student at Study Abroad in a signed, sealed envelope or b) mailed directly to study abroad by the referee. If the referee decides to mail they should use the address:
Amy Bowes
University of Iowa
University Capitol Centre 1111
Iowa City, IA 52242

Faculty on campus can also use Campus Mail UCC 1111 and address the envelope to Amy Bowes.

Application Deadline

The application deadlines are September 1st for the spring semester and April 1st for the fall semester. Late applications may be considered on a space-available basis.

View in Durban from Campus

After you submit your application, Study Abroad will provide information regarding confirmation materials and other preparations. Please contact program advisor Amy Bowes if you have questions.

Pre-departure Materials

The advisor in Study Abroad will go over these materials with you in a meeting after you've applied through the University of Iowa.

• ISA Application:

• Study Permit Application: (this is essentially a student visa, which you will need to legally enter South Africa's borders)

• UI Student Health Service Travel Clinic:

• CDC (Centers for Disease Control): South Africa:

Orientation Information

All UI students will be sent an ICON course with general study abroad tips. Additional individualized meetings will address UKZN-specific topics, as well as billing and credit procedures.

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343