International

Se­mes­ters abroad in Africa

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin cooperates with eight partner universities in Africa, three of which are in South Africa. Find out more about our institutions and how to apply for a semester abroad.

As an HU student, you have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad at one of our partner universities in Africa. This is possible in a variety of Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes. Through agreements with the universities, your tuition fees will be waived, meaning that your studies are free of charge or that you only incur administrative fees. Read below to find out what you need to do, how to apply and transfer credits, and what our African partner universities have to offer. We are also happy to advise you personally – you see our services at the bottom of this page.

The annual application deadlines are:

31 January for the following academic year in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and Togo. The application form is open from 1 January to 31 January (11:59 p.m.).

15 June for the following academic year (starting in January/February) in South Africa. The application form is open from 15 May to 15 June (11:59 p.m.).

To apply for a semester abroad, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are currently enrolled.
  • You must have completed at least two semesters.
  • You are applying at the level of study (Bachelor or Master) in which you are currently enrolled at Humboldt-Universität.
  • You have sufficient knowledge of the language in which you want to study abroad. Please note that the TOEFL Home Edition is usually no longer accepted by the partner universities.

Please note: Medical students should contact their faculty directly. In exceptional cases, applications from law students may be accepted following a personal consultation with our Regional Office for Africa. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Students at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have the opportunity to study at partner universities in Africa for one or two semesters free of charge. The university offers a limited number of study places each year.

Nigeria

July to December, February to June

Kenya

September to December, January to April

Senegal

September to January, January to May

South Africa

January/February to June, July to December – the academic year in South Africa runs from January to December and is divided into two semesters. The main holiday period falls in December and January, while the “winter holidays” at some universities in June and July may be quite short. Please note that application deadlines vary across the African region.

Tanzania

October to February, March to July

Togo

November to March, March to August

We are delighted that you're interested in spending a semester abroad. The application process for all regions begins with the timely submission of your application via Humboldt-Universität application form by the specified application deadline.

Due to the different academic semester systems (see also “semester times”), the South Africa is considered as a separate region. Students can apply to three universities in South Africa in the June application period and to three universities in all other African countries in the January application period.

Once we have received your application, we will consider it carefully. In some cases, a selection interview may be part of the process, for example if we receive a large number of applications for select universities.

Following successful screening, the nomination is made by the Humboldt-Universität. We will then forward your application to the partner university, where application goes through the admission process. If you are successfully admitted, you will receive all relevant information for your upcoming semester abroad from the partner university.

For our worldwide exchange programmes in Africa, you do not require an official Learning Agreement. However, it is important that you seek advice from your own department about to taking courses abroad and having your credits recognised. Before you go abroad, please contact the course advisor, the Examination Board or the Examination Office of your Faculty or Department. Please also use the Grade Conversion System of HU Berlin. In your letter of motivation, you should briefly explain whether your planned study abroad can be recognised.

Our partner universities

What’s the destination? Here you can find a brief overview1 of our African partner universities. You will also find out which language certificates are accepted and where you can get further information about the universities and the courses they offer.

Please note the different semester times in South Africa


  1. The information provided is based on the status as of January 2024. The information is updated once a year and does not claim to be exhaustive. It is intended to provide students with an initial overview for orientation. Please also visit the website of the respective university to find out more about the degree programme and courses that are of interest to you. You are also welcome to use our personal counselling service. 

The University of Pretoria, founded in 1908, has a strong focus on research and teaching. Located in the centre of Pretoria, the university offers degree programmes in science, technology, humanities and business across seven campuses.

Study level

Bachelor, Master

Fields

All subjects

Language requirements

English (DAAD language test, at least B2-C1, TOEFL 93)

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Website | Fact-Sheet | Course offer

Stellenbosch University was founded in South Africa in 1918 and is located in the town of Stellenbosch, surrounded by the vineyards of the Western Cape region. The university offers a wide range of courses in science, art and business. The various campuses, including specialised facilities, such as Tygerberg for Health Sciences, allow for focused education.

Study level

Bachelor, Master

Fields

All subjects

Language requirements

English (DAAD language test, at least B2-C1)

Specifics

The number of courses you can register for per semester is 60 SU credits, 30 ECTS, 15 USA credits.

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Website | Fact-Sheet | Course offer

The University of the Western Cape was established in 1959. Its main campus is in Bellville, Cape Town. The university offers a wide range of courses in science, arts and social sciences and has a clear focus on social justice and innovation. With its various campuses, including Tygerberg for Health Sciences, it enables a comprehensive academic experience that combines excellence with social engagement.

Study level

Bachelor, Master

Fields

All subjects

Language requirements

English (DAAD language test, at least B2-C1)

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Website | Course offer

The University of Ibadan, founded in 1948, is Nigeria's oldest university. Its campus covers 2,550 hectares in Ibadan, Nigeria's largest city. Undergraduate and postgraduate courses are available at the Institute of Asian and African Studies.

Study level

Bachelor, Master

Fields

African Studies

Language requirements

English (DAAD language test, at least B2-C1)

Semester times

August to December, February to June (expected)

Website

The University of Nairobi in Kenya was founded in 1956. The main campus in Nairobi offers a range of degree programmes in various disciplines, including science, engineering, humanities, economics and health sciences. The university focuses on research and is involved in social projects and charitable initiatives.

Study level

Bachelor, Master

Fields

All subjects

Language requirements

Semester times: September to December, January to April: English (DAAD language test, at least B2-C1)

Website | Course offer

The Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) was founded in Senegal in 1957 and is one of the oldest universities in West Africa. Its main campus is in Dakar. The university offers degree programmes in the areas of humanities, natural sciences, business and health sciences. The courses available at bachelor's and master's levels are open to students of the Institute of Asian and African Studies.

Study level

Bachelor, Master

Fields

African Studies

Language requirements

French (DAAD language test, at least B2-C1)

Semester times

September to January, January to May

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Website | Fact-Sheet | Course offer

The University of Dar es Salaam, founded in 1970, is located in Tanzania. The university covers a broad spectrum of disciplines, offering programmes in the areas of humanities, natural sciences, business and social sciences. The university is deeply committed to social responsibility and focuses on education and research.

Study level

Bachelor, Master

Fields

All subjects

Language requirements

English (DAAD language test, at least B2-C1), Swahili (proof from the HU Language Centre)

Semester times

October to February, March to July

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Website | Fact-Sheet | Course offer

The Université de Lomé was founded in 1965 and is centrally located in Lomé, the capital of Togo. The city is considered a major centre of activity. On its main campus, students can choose from a wide range of courses in the areas of humanities, natural sciences, economics and social sciences. The university is open to exchange students from the fields of Asian or African studies.

Study level

Bachelor, Master

Fields

African Studies

Language requirements

French (DAAD language test, at least B2-C1)

Semester times

November to March, March to August

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Website | Course offer

HU ambassadors - blogs from abroad

    • Na­talia in Pre­to­ria

      HU ambassadors

      Sawubona! Unjani? (Hi! How are you?) I’m Natalia, an African Studies MA student at HU. I had such a great time while on exchange at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, that I couldn’t wait to return to South Africa. I’m now studying Drama at the University of Pretoria.

      Porträt von Natalia.

Contact

Every first Friday of the month, from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., the International Department offers a virtual information session on the topic of “Semesters abroad worldwide”. You can sign up for these sessions here.

To arrange an individual consultation appointment in person or via Zoom, please send us three suggested appointment times by email to afrika.uv@hu-berlin.de. We will contact you shortly after.

    • Katha­ri­na König

      Programme coordinator worldwide (Asia, Australia, Africa) | PROMOS Programme to increase the Mobility of Students from German Universities

      Global Mobility Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin Room 2266 katha­ri­na.koenig@hu-berlin.de +49 30 2093 46728
    • Kath­leen Zie­mann-Beck

      Student advisor, worldwide exchange programmes | PROMOS Programme to increase the Mobility of Students from German Universities

      Global Mobility Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin Room 1053c kath­leen.zie­mann-beck@hu-berlin.de +49 30 2093 46749