Where can South African students study overseas?

If you’re a South African student looking to study overseas in the 2025-2026 academic years, there are plenty of exciting opportunities out there.

Here are some popular destinations and programs, complete with descriptions to help you navigate your options.

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1. United States Scholarships for South African Students

United States Scholarships for South Africa Students
United States Scholarships for South Africa StudentsScreenshot
  • Fulbright Program: The Fulbright Program is a prestigious scholarship that offers South African students the chance to pursue Master’s and PhD programs in the United States. It covers tuition, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance. This program is an excellent way to experience American education and culture while advancing your academic career.
  • Ivy League Universities: Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton offer generous financial aid packages to international students. These institutions are renowned for their high academic standards and extensive resources. Securing a spot at one of these universities can open doors to unparalleled educational and networking opportunities.


2. United Kingdom Scholarships for South African Students

  • Chevening Scholarships: Chevening Scholarships are highly sought after by South African students. They offer fully-funded scholarships for a one-year Master’s degree at any UK university. The program covers tuition fees, travel costs, and a monthly stipend, and it also provides access to an influential global network of professionals.
  • Commonwealth Scholarships: These scholarships support students from Commonwealth countries, including South Africa, to study in the UK. They are available for Master’s and PhD programs and cover tuition fees, airfare, and living expenses. Commonwealth Scholarships aim to promote international understanding and development.

3. Canada Scholarships for South African Students

  • Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program: This program offers scholarships to South African students for graduate studies in Canada. It covers tuition, travel, and living expenses. Canada is known for its high-quality education system and multicultural environment, making it an attractive destination for international students.
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: The Vanier CGS program provides substantial financial support to doctoral students. It aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by offering a scholarship worth CAD 50,000 per year for up to three years. This is ideal for those looking to pursue advanced research in Canada.

4. Australia Scholarships for South African Students

  • Australia Awards Africa: These awards provide scholarships for Master’s degrees and short-term professional development courses in Australia. They cover full tuition, return air travel, an establishment allowance, and a living stipend. Australia Awards aim to build skills and knowledge to drive economic and social development in Africa.
  • University-specific scholarships: Many Australian universities, such as the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, offer scholarships to international students. These scholarships can significantly reduce the cost of studying abroad and provide a gateway to world-class education in Australia.
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5. Germany Scholarships for South African Students

Germany Scholarships for South African Students
Germany Scholarships for South African Students
  • DAAD Scholarships: The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) offers a wide range of scholarships for postgraduate studies in Germany. These scholarships cover tuition fees, travel, health insurance, and a monthly living allowance. Germany’s strong focus on research and innovation makes it a top choice for advanced studies.
  • Erasmus+: Erasmus+ provides opportunities for South African students to study in various European countries, including Germany. The program supports student exchanges, joint degrees, and academic cooperation, offering funding for tuition and living expenses.

6. Netherlands Scholarships for South African Students

  • Orange Tulip Scholarship: This scholarship is specifically for South African students wishing to study in the Netherlands. It offers partial or full tuition fee coverage and, in some cases, provides a living allowance. The Netherlands is known for its high-quality education system and innovative teaching methods.
  • Leiden University Excellence Scholarship: Leiden University offers scholarships to outstanding students for Master’s programs. The scholarship covers a significant portion of the tuition fees, making it easier for students to afford high-caliber education in the Netherlands.

7. Japan Scholarships for South African Students

  • MEXT Scholarship: The Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship offers full scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Japan. It covers tuition, monthly allowance, and travel expenses. This scholarship is an excellent opportunity to experience Japan’s unique culture while gaining a top-notch education.

8. China Scholarships for South African Students

  • Chinese Government Scholarship: The Chinese Government offers scholarships to South African students for undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD programs. These scholarships cover tuition fees, accommodation, and a living stipend. Studying in China provides a chance to learn in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

9. France Scholarships for South African Students

  • Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program: This program, run by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, provides scholarships for Master’s and PhD programs. The scholarship covers tuition, a monthly allowance, and additional costs such as travel, health insurance, and cultural activities. France is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and high-quality education system.
  • Campus France: Offers a variety of scholarships and support for international students, including those from South Africa. They provide assistance with finding suitable programs and navigating the application process.

10. Sweden Scholarships for South African Students

  • Swedish Institute Scholarships for Global Professionals (SISGP): This program provides full scholarships for Master’s studies in Sweden. It includes tuition fees, living expenses, insurance, and travel grants. Sweden is known for its innovative education system and high standards of living.
  • University-specific Scholarships: Many Swedish universities, such as Lund University and Uppsala University, offer scholarships to international students. These scholarships can cover tuition fees and provide living stipends.
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11. New Zealand Scholarships for South African Students

  • New Zealand Scholarships: These scholarships provide opportunities for South African students to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies in New Zealand. They cover full tuition, living expenses, establishment allowance, and travel costs. New Zealand is known for its high-quality education and beautiful natural landscapes.
  • University-specific Scholarships: Universities like the University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington offer scholarships to international students, helping to make education in New Zealand more accessible.
    • Website: Study in New Zealand

12. Ireland Scholarships for South African Students

  • Government of Ireland – International Education Scholarships: This program provides full scholarships for one year of study at a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD level. It covers tuition, a stipend for living expenses, and a contribution towards travel and accommodation.
  • University-specific Scholarships: Many Irish universities offer scholarships to international students, such as Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. These scholarships can help cover tuition fees and provide additional financial support.
    • Website: Education in Ireland

13. South Korea Scholarships for South African Students

  • Global Korea Scholarship (GKS): This scholarship provides full funding for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in South Korea. It includes tuition, a monthly allowance, airfare, and Korean language training. South Korea offers a vibrant cultural experience and high-quality education.

14. Singapore Scholarships for South African Students

Singapore Scholarships for South African Students
Singapore Scholarships for South African Students
  • Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA): This award is for international students who wish to pursue a PhD in Singapore. It covers tuition fees, a monthly stipend, and a one-time airfare grant. Singapore is known for its world-class universities and cutting-edge research facilities.
  • University-specific Scholarships: Institutions like the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University offer various scholarships for international students.
    • Website: Study in Singapore

These are some of the excellent opportunities available for South African students looking to study abroad in the 2025-2026 academic years. Each of these programs offers a unique experience and can significantly enhance your academic and professional prospects. Good luck with your applications!

FAQs

What are the best scholarships for South African students to study abroad?

The best scholarships for South African students to study abroad include the Fulbright Program for the USA, Chevening Scholarships for the UK, DAAD Scholarships for Germany, and Australia Awards Africa for Australia. These scholarships cover full tuition, living expenses, and travel costs, making it possible to study abroad for free.

2. How can I apply for the Fulbright Program as a South African student?

To apply for the Fulbright Program, visit the Fulbright South Africa website and complete the application process, which includes submitting academic transcripts, recommendation letters, and a personal statement. The Fulbright Program offers fully-funded opportunities for Master’s and PhD programs in the United States.

3. What are the eligibility criteria for Chevening Scholarships for South African students?

Chevening Scholarships require applicants to have an undergraduate degree, at least two years of work experience, and meet the English language requirements. The scholarships are fully funded and cover tuition fees, travel, and living expenses for a one-year Master’s degree in the UK.

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4. How does the DAAD Scholarship program work for South African students?

The DAAD Scholarship program offers funding for postgraduate studies in Germany. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree, a good academic record, and proficiency in English or German. The scholarships cover tuition, travel expenses, health insurance, and a monthly living allowance.

5. Can South African students apply for the Australian Awards Africa program?

Yes, South African students can apply for the Australia Awards Africa program, which provides full scholarships for Master’s degrees and short-term professional development courses. The program covers tuition, return air travel, establishment allowance, and living stipends.

6. What is the Erasmus+ program, and how can South African students benefit?

Erasmus+ is a European Union program that supports education, training, youth, and sport. South African students can apply for Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees, which offer full scholarships covering tuition, travel, and living expenses to study in multiple European countries.

7. How can South African students get a Chinese Government Scholarship?

South African students can apply for the Chinese Government Scholarship through the Chinese Embassy in South Africa or directly on the China Scholarship Council website. The scholarship covers full tuition, accommodation, a living stipend, and comprehensive medical insurance.

8. Are there any specific scholarships for South African students to study in the Netherlands?

Yes, the Orange Tulip Scholarship program offers scholarships specifically for South African students to study in the Netherlands. The scholarships can cover full or partial tuition fees and sometimes provide living allowances. Applications are made through Nuffic Neso South Africa.

9. What are the requirements for the MEXT Scholarship for South African students?

The MEXT Scholarship requires South African students to have a high academic record, a recommendation from their university, and proficiency in English or Japanese. The scholarship covers tuition, a monthly stipend, and travel expenses for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Japan.

10. How can South African students apply for the New Zealand Scholarships?

South African students can apply for the New Zealand Scholarships by submitting an online application through the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. These scholarships cover full tuition, living expenses, establishment allowance, and travel costs for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

11. How to Study Abroad from South Africa for Free?

Apply for fully-funded scholarships like the Fulbright Program (USA), Chevening Scholarships (UK), DAAD Scholarships (Germany), Australia Awards Africa, Erasmus+, and Chinese Government Scholarship. These programs cover tuition, living expenses, and travel costs.