The 7 Best Countries To Study In Africa
Africa is made up of more than 50 countries and is the second largest and most populous continent, making up 20% of the planet’s territory and 16% of the world’s population. However, students rarely think of Africa as their first destination when considering studying abroad, which is a great shame, because the continent offers so much to so many that very few take advantage of it.
Some may have a predetermined view of what Africa is like, but each country is unique and beautiful in its way. Africa is not just made up of jungle, or plains, as is often portrayed in the media. There are beautiful white beaches by the ocean in Tanzania and Kenya, the Mediterranean coast in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, and the stormier Atlantic in Ghana and Senegal.
Cities like Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi, Cape Town, and Johannesburg prosper and grow with a burgeoning middle class just as Africa in general grows and stabilizes the economies that make up its territory.
More importantly, world-class education is available at a large number of universities on the continent. African universities are particularly well recognized in medicine, politics, foreign languages, music, international relations, and international development. Of course, all areas of study are available and depend on each institution.
So what are the best places in Africa to study as an international student?
South Africa is famous for its stunning natural landscapes, making it one of the most popular options for those passionate about exploration. There’s the picturesque Garden Route, safaris in the Kruger National Park, mountain trekking in the Drakensberg Mountains, and exploring the wetlands or marine reserves of the East Coast. The list goes on.
The country’s major cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and Pretoria offer intense nightlife and sporting opportunities, especially for football, cricket, and rugby. And if you get tired of all that, a relaxing barbecue with friends is never far away.
Universities in South Africa are divided into three types: traditional, which are the typical academic universities; Institutes of technology or vocational colleges of technology; and comprehensive, which are a mixture of the previous two.
Some of the highest-rated universities in the country include the University of Cape Town, the University of Stellenbosch, and the University of the Witwatersrand.
If you study in South Africa, a degree generally takes three years of full-time study, and a master’s degree takes two years. The school year begins in early February and the first semester ends in early June. The second semester runs from mid-July to the end of November.
Kenya is best known for its safaris, beautiful wildlife reserves, and national parks, including the Maasai Mara, Tsavo West National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, and Aberdares National Park. The country is home to lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephants, adding to its reputation as a home to wildlife.
But in Kenya, you can spend time in both wildlife-rich savannah grasslands and modern urban culture, especially in Nairobi, the country’s capital.
Since Kenya is located on the equator, it has a very hot and humid climate. However, it’s a bit cooler in Nairobi, which is home to seven university campuses.
Kenya is made up of a unique mix of cultures including Swahili on the coast, Bantu communities in the central and western regions, and Nilotic communities in the northwest. Also known as the Maasai tribe, whose body decoration is often what people imagine when thinking of Kenya.
There are more than 10 public universities and more than 20 private universities in Kenya and the main language used is English. The academic year is Western-style, running from September to June. A bachelor’s degree is typically four to six years long and often ends with a research project. The University of Nairobi is the most renowned in the country, followed by Kenyan University, Egerton University, and Moi University.
Kenya’s economy is one of the strongest in Africa, with major industries including agriculture, oil, aluminum, steel, lead, cement, and tourism.
While Kenya might be more appropriate for native English speakers, or at least those who want to improve their English, Senegal is certainly an option for French speakers.
Located in West Africa, between Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau, Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean and is hot and humid throughout the year, with a rainy season from May to November.
Like much of Africa, the local culture is very energetic and colorful, surrounded by a beautiful landscape, with beaches, streams, plains, and the Senegal River, which flows from east to north.
Many people in Senegal live a low-cost lifestyle, often growing their own food. If you chose to live that way, your stay in Senegal would be very cheap. Otherwise, there is still the option of living in larger apartments, eating out, and taking taxis, among other things. But keep in mind that this will increase the costs a bit.
Although practical instruction is common in Senegal, there are several universities available, both public and private. In Dakar, the capital, for example, there is the Cheikh Anta Diop University, the Dakar Campus of Suffolk University, the University du Sahel, and the Dakar Bourguiba University.
Some of the most popular courses available in Senegal include law, political science, medicine, arts and humanities, science and technology, economics, and management.
Bachelor’s or undergraduate programs take between two and four years, with an additional 18 months to two years for graduate programs. However, there are opportunities to complete degrees faster, both through personal work and fast-track programs.
The school year starts in October and ends in July and although students pay tuition, room, and board, the costs are significantly lower than in a European or North American school. If you decide to stay after graduation, there are many economic opportunities available, such as teleservices, health, agriculture, fishing, and tourism.
Known around the world for the pyramids, the Sphinx, and the Nile River, Egypt is much more than these famous tourist attractions. Egypt has been a cornerstone of the Arab world for thousands of years, teeming with culture and life ever since. Events like the Abu Simbel Sun Festival and the Islamic Holy Festival of Eid attract people traveling from all over the world.
Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is one of the most populous cities in the world and has great social and political significance. It is a fairly busy city, but students staying in the city will find entertainment venues with a cultural twist such as the Cairo Opera House, the Cairo International Film Festival, and the Egyptian Museum.
Directly opposite the city, on the other side of the Nile, is Cairo University, whose main campus is in Giza, the one with the pyramids and the famous Sphinx.
Egypt is a nation of unparalleled history, its civilization arose there in 3100 BC and remains a dominant force for almost three millennia more. The Library of Alexandria was a global educational center during that period and although it is no longer maintained, the University of Alexandria remains true to the educational principles of the library.
Egypt has 20 public universities and 23 private universities, with around two million students. Some of the best universities in the country include the American University in Cairo, Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Alexandria University, and Mansoura University.
Ghana: The gateway to Africa, it is known for its strong economy, safe streets, and accessibility.
Located in West Africa, Ghana is a growing nation and presents an intriguing option for students who want a strong academic and diverse environment in which to study. It is also home to some of the friendliest people on the planet.
Ghana has palm-fringed beaches, a strong democracy, and a rich diversity of cultures. The climate is tropical, that is, hot and occasionally humid. The two largest cities are Accra, the capital, and Kumasi, more traditional than modern and bustling Accra.
The official language of Ghana is English, so university courses are taught in that language. So by studying in Ghana, you can improve your English knowledge and skills, while at the same time appreciating its beautiful surroundings.
Ghana is home to many accredited degree-granting colleges and universities, including specialized higher education institutions such as the National Film and Television Institute in Accra and the Ghana Institute of Public Administration and Management in Legon. The highest ranked university in the country is the University of Ghana, along with the also highly ranked Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Education.
Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa, as well as the smallest, and borders Algeria, Libya, and the Mediterranean Sea. Its location leads to a unique mix of Arab, African, and European cultures for a stimulating study abroad experience.
Tunisia is full of beautiful and intriguing settings, cities, and towns with vaulted buildings, high arches, and bustling squares. The vast Saharan dunes provide a backdrop for many of Tunisia’s cities, where narrow, cozy streets mix with wide squares. Some of the sights in Tunisia include the El Djem Amphitheater, the Grand Erg Oriental, and the town of Sidi Bou Said, to name just a few.
Higher education in Tunisia has developed rapidly in recent times, with students having tripled since the late 1990s. There are more than 170 higher education institutions in the country: universities, higher institutes of technological studies, and higher institutes of teacher training.
Tunisia is very affordable, especially compared to Europe, and it is not far from countries like Italy or Greece. The diplomas awarded by Tunisian institutes are also recognized throughout the world.
The main language is Arabic, although French is also spoken and although there are several courses available, there are few places that are more suitable to study those languages, as well as Politics and International Diplomacy or Middle Eastern Studies.
If you are considering studying in Tunisia, your first port of call will be the academic and cultural capital, Tunis. Tunisia is home to the best-known universities in the country, such as the University of Tunis and the Tunis El Manar University.
Uganda is not a country that generally ranks at the top of most preferred study destinations for students, but it does offer fantastic opportunities for international education. Among other things, it’s cheap, beautiful and a fascinating place to spend time.
In general, educational institutions in Uganda do not offer a traditional experience, as most of the study time will be spent in the field, exposing students to real examples of what they are studying. So where in Uganda you choose to study will have a big impact on your education.
Kampala is the largest city in Uganda and its capital. It has a long and rich multicultural and religiously diverse history. With many political and social organizations based in the city, it is the perfect place for humanitarian and political students. For those who like to live in busy cities, Jinja is also popular as it is home to the River Nile, with wonderful food and cafes available everywhere.
Kabale is smaller and close to the jungles where Uganda’s famous gorillas live. As it is more remote, being in the middle of the mountains, Kabale is for students who would prefer a more authentic and immersive Ugandan experience.
Some of the best universities in Uganda include Makerere University, Uganda Christian University, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
Uganda is also a great place to study public health as it is a country with excellent health care, although some rural areas lack this care. Therefore, by studying health care, you can not only improve your knowledge and skills, but you can also make a real difference in the world as you do so.
The official languages are English and Swahili, and if you’re looking to brush up on your English, it’s a great place to do it, as you can negotiate with the locals for all your purchases from a starting point that’s already affordable.