Searing sun, savannahs, lions, giraffes and endless deserts – when it comes to Africa, you quickly come to cliché images like these. It is often forgotten that Africa is a huge continent with 54 independent states that extend over four climate zones.
Discover Africa’s diversity
More than 1500 languages are spoken on the African continent, there are countless religions and cultures. “That” one Africa, which is propagated in the media, does not exist in reality. On the contrary: Africa is a continent that has an incredible landscape and cultural diversity.
On the Mediterranean coast in North Africa as abbreviated on abbreviationfinder, for example, there is a Mediterranean climate with a corresponding flora. The states in this region today are Arab. Countries like Egypt can also look back on thousands of years of cultural history. Also in northern Africa is the Sahara, the largest desert in the world, where nomadic tribes like the Tuareg or the Tubu live. There is a dry tropical climate south of the Sahara. The steppes and savannas are the habitat of numerous wild animals.
The closer you get to the equator, the more humid and tropical the climate becomes. In Central Africa is the second largest rain forest on Earth, on the Atlantic coastline, countries like Ghana can also boast stunning coastal areas.
According to countryaah, South Africa is located on the southern tip of the continent. The “rainbow nation” is characterized by a strongly globalized economy and is a popular travel destination for tourists. Modern metropolises such as Johannesburg or Cape Town offer a wide range of cultural activities. They are also an ideal starting point for excursions to the beautiful beaches and nature in South Africa.
If you want to get an idea of this multifaceted continent yourself, you should think about a semester abroad in Africa.
Reasons for a semester abroad in Africa
Countries like the relatively affluent South Africa have good educational systems and some of the best universities on the continent. A semester abroad in South Africa offers students the opportunity to discover one of the most fascinating countries on earth and at the same time to do something for their studies and curriculum vitae. In other African countries such as Ghana, students can also complete a semester that enables them to get to know the culture and landscape of an African country and to gain international study experience.
Semester programs in Africa
The semester programs in Africa differ from country to country and from college to college. As a rule, these are programs in which the students deal with a specific topic for several weeks. For example, design students have the opportunity to study digital, graphic or new media design during a three-month Study Abroad program in Cape Town. The study program includes, among other things, a software course and work on several conceptual works designed to expand the student’s portfolio.
Other study programs deal with social science topics, for example the semester programs of the Norwegian organization Kulturstudier in Ghana. During their semester abroad, the students deal with topics such as environmental management or development cooperation. The study achievements acquired in the semester in Africa are calculated in credit points, which can usually be counted towards the study in Germany after prior agreement.
Requirements for a semester abroad in Africa
English is the official language in countries like Ghana and South Africa. So the lessons are held in English. In addition, some programs offer English courses that give students the opportunity to consolidate their English skills. In these cases, the prerequisite for a semester abroad in Africa is a high school diploma and sufficient knowledge of English.
Costs and financing options
The costs for a semester abroad in Africa depend on the chosen study program. They can be between EUR 1000 and EUR 5000, whereby the higher-priced programs often already include accommodation and meals. Those who take care of their own accommodation and meals can expect significantly lower costs of living in Africa than in Europe.
Foreign BAföG, scholarships and student loans
There are various ways of financing a semester in Africa.
For example, the federal government promotes the international mobility of students through the Auslands-BAföG. Here are 4,600 of tuition fees of up to EUR taken for a maximum of two terms. In addition, students receive allowances for travel and living expenses. Since the BAföG abroad is independent of performance and only has to be partially repaid, it is a very attractive form of study financing for a semester abroad in Africa. Due to different assessment limits than the domestic BAföG, it is often also given to students who are not eligible for BAföG for their studies in Germany.
Scholarships are another form of student finance. These are awarded, for example, by the DAAD and various foundations, whereby the academic performance usually decides on the receipt of the scholarship.
Another possibility to realize the dream of a semester abroad in Africa is to offer student and education loans with low interest rates.
Visa and entry requirements in Africa
In most African countries, international students require a visa. You should apply for this at the relevant embassy well in advance of your departure. You should also see a travel doctor several weeks before leaving for Africa to get the necessary vaccinations. Comprehensive foreign health insurance for the semester in Africa should also be taken out.