International travel advice

Arriving in a country to commence an academic programme at an international university can be an overwhelming and daunting experience.

At UWC, we understand that there are barriers for international students to traverse in order to function optimally in their new environment. The International Relations Office seeks to support incoming exchange/study abroad students as they adjust to the University.

The following information  and services aim to make the transition to life in Cape Town at the University of the Western Cape as comfortable as possible:

Staying Safe in Cape Town

​​​​​​​​Like any other city, Cape Town is not without its own criminal elements. Guests to this iconic city are well advised to take every reasonable precaution to avoid falling victim to crime.

Guidelines and safety precautions for international visitors to Cape Town and South Africa​:

  • Keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place. Entrust certified copies of these documents to someone before departure to South Africa.
  • Avoid traveling with large amounts of money. Use a credit/debit card instead.
  • Avoid dark, isolated areas.
  • Whenever it cannot be avoided, traveling in groups is encouraged.
  • Wherever possible, ensure that valuables are kept out of plain sight and in reasonable proximity to yourself.

Cost of Living in Cape Town

The following websites can provide an idea of the estimated costs associated with staying and living in Cape Town. While every precaution has been taken to ensure the accuracy of these estimations, please allow for some variance.

UWC Campus Map

Since the UWC campus is a new and unknown space, the map below may help

UWC Residence

Student residence is an important consideration before departing for Cape Town. If an international student has applied for university accommodation, UWC Residential Services deals with their application.

Please be aware that due to limited space within UWC Residences, acceptance into residences is not guaranteed.

Kovacs Student Village

Alternatively, international students may apply to Kovacs Student Village. This is privately managed accommodation on campus, through a public-private partnership.

Shuttle Services

  • The University accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with your booking.
  • While UWC recommends this service, it will not be held liable for any loss or damage incurred while booking or utilising these services.​

Important Notice

The University of the Western Cape is closely monitoring developments surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. Bearing in mind the many adjustments that UWC has had to make in response to the global pandemic, our Office will keep students updated on all changes and decisions, regarding international travel and mobility. Study Abroad and Student Exchange opportunities will be posted in due course, as soon as there is more clarity on the COVID-19 situation, and the way forward.

Dear partners and students,

The International Relations Office at the University of the Western Cape extends our well wishes to you during these uncertain and unprecedented times. Given the current global COVID-19 pandemic, we wish to extend our solidarity with our university partners – with compassion. The University has taken the necessary decision to postpone all inbound and outbound international travel and engagement until further notice.

However, we remain committed to our international partners, students and researchers, as well as to the broader society, to utilise our connectedness to offer intellectual contributions that seek to bring a measure of insightful scientific rigour and empathy to all those affected by the crisis. It is together, with unity of purpose and with our diversity and compassion, that we can continue to work with solidarity in service of humanity.

Additional information can be found on the UWC main site

Yours sincerely,


Umesh Bawa

Director of International Relations