General Information

South Africa is Africa’s second largest economy. The diverse and multicultural country is appropriately nicknamed the ‘rainbow nation’, and its young yet vibrant democracy is safeguarded by one of the world’s most progressive constitutions. Reflective of South Africa’s strong performance in international indices, the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper–middle–income country.

Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest and fastest growing city; its greater metropolitan area houses over seven million people. The alternative Zulu name for the city, eGoli (meaning ‘city of gold’), evokes Johannesburg's origin as a mining town in the late nineteenth century. Today, it is still the capital of South African mining and commerce and home to the headquarters of the country's mining companies and major financial institutions. It also houses the headquarters of a variety of multinational corporations and is the transportation hub of southern Africa.

Johannesburg is a city defined by its apartheid history; remnants of the old regime are visible in every corner, and a vivid culture of remembrance ensures that the lessons of the past are not forgotten.

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Visa regulations

The following are needed for anyone traveling to South Africa:
  • a valid and acceptable passport or travel document;
  • at least one blank page in your passport for endorsements;
  • a valid visa;
  • proof of sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay;
  • a return or onward ticket;
  • a yellow-fever certificate if your journey starts in or entails passing through the yellow-fever belt of Africa or South America.
Visa regulations vary from country to country. For an up-to-date list of regulations and exceptions, please click here. It is always advisable to verify the exact regulations with the closest South African embassy or consulate in your home country or current country of residence. We strongly advise prospective students to gain a visa for entering South Africa before traveling to Germany.

Further information on South African visas can be found on these websites.
Different types of visas:
Specifications on study permits:
Requirements for a study permit:
Overview of exempt countries: