University of KwaZulu-Natal

Coastal Durban is a perfect home for those who love the ocean - from one of the world's best diving spots to one of the top 5 locations in South Africa for surfing, the city is an ocean playground with gorgeous beach vistas for relaxing after class.

Explore the history of apartheid at the museum, check out an AmaZulu soccer game at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, and then take in the Durbanite experience through curated walking tours or community runs by BESETdurban, designed to introduce you to Durban's secret gems. The University of KwaZulu-Natal is a research-intensive university whose history mirrors the larger anti-apartheid movement in Durban, starting from segregated schools who themselves were sites of anti-apartheid struggle, to the multicultural, integrated institution it is today. UKZN is ranked 9th amongst the top universities in continental Africa, and 4th in South Africa (QS, 2019; THE, 2019), with nearly 29,000 students. It excels in the fields of Development Studies and Chemistry.

Key information




Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



20-21 applications

First come, first considered for remaining spaces until full or:

Mar. 15 (Fall, full year)

Aug. 31 (Winter)

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

21-22 applications

Opens Nov. 1, 2020

Program details

Areas of Study:

African Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Art History, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Development Studies, Drama, Earth Science, Ecology, Economics, Engineering (Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical), English, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Science, Finance, Fine Arts, Food Science, Geography, Geology, Graphic Design, Greek & Roman Studies, Health Sciences, History, Human Resources, International Studies, Linguistics, Management, Marine Biology, Marketing, Math, Media Studies, Microbiology, Music, Nutrition, Philosophy, Political Science, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies/Theology, Social Work, Sociology, Soil/Agricultural Science, Sport Science, Statistics, Supply Chain Management, Tourism, Translation.

Languages: French, Greek, IsiZulu, Italian, Kiswahili, Latin

Course Information:

Courses at UKZN are called "Modules". Module information is available online in each faculty's Handbook in the "Syllabi" section.

This is a list of popular courses:

Culture & Society in Africa

Development in Southern Africa

South/African Literature

African Ethics and the Post-Colonial Condition

Africa: Art of a continent

Contemporary African Art

Topics in African History

Trade Unions in South Africa

Aspects of South African Law

Popular & Traditional Musics: Africa and Beyond

African Philosophy and Ethics

Politics and Public Policy in Southern Africa

African Politics and Development

African Political Thought

Law and Politics in South Africa

South Africa: Apartheid and After

African & International Perspectives (Psychology)

African Psychology

Intro to South African Society

African Theology

Contemporary African Politics & Development

HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa (Master’s level)

South African Development Problems and Policies (Master’s level)

Culture and Society in Africa (Anthropology)

Families and Households

Media in South Africa

African Philosophy and Ethics

Politics & Public Policy in Southern Africa

Politics & Law in South Africa

African Systems of Thought (Religion)

Morality, Ethics and Modernity in Africa (religion)

Hinduism in South Africa (Religion)

Islamic Institutions in South Africa

Religions in Africa

Development Activism in Africa (Sociology)

Biophysical Environments of Southern Africa

The year is made up of two semesters: Semester 1 runs from mid-February to late June and Semester 2 runs from late July to late November. Students can start in either semester, however full year students must start in February.

  1. Costs

    University of Calgary students participating in this exchange pay not only tuition & fees to the University of Calgary, but also residence (approximately $3100/semester) and meal plan (approximately $1900/semester) fees. In turn, they do not have to pay for on-campus housing while at UKZN and they will receive a meal stipend from UKZN to cover the cost of food during the semester. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning.

    Please note: This country's visa application process requires travel to Ontario. Please check the South African Embassy page for details and current information.

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? 
    Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.

Students are housed in one of the self-catered on-campus Halls of Residence

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-).

An academic reference is required for a complete application.

There are five campuses for UKZN. Four of the campuses are located in Durban and one is inland in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal province. The Howard College Campus, Westville Campus and Pietermaritzburg Campus are the most common campuses that our students study at.

Students with disabilities can consult with the Disability Office.

Student Experience: "Both my education and career path has been altered by this experience. I have a greater respect and gratefulness for education as a whole being so accessible in the West. It has inspired me to work harder as I now can see that not everyone gets this opportunity. The most challenging part was the acceptance that it was all going to come to an end. When you study abroad, you build a life in this new place. You build friendships, a routine, hobbies, habits, etc. It is hard to come to terms with the fact that this exchange is temporary. I loved every second of it." 

Have questions?

Study Abroad 101

Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Study Abroad 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Saskia Schaelicke

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.