South Africa: Nelson Mandela University

Nelson Mandela University is located in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. With a total of seven campuses, the university is the largest international university in the Southern Cape with their main campus, where most UNI students take classes at, is in the heart if a nature reserve.

Offering beautiful orange sunsets and tranquil sandy-white beaches, the Eastern Cape is where people with friendly smiles greet you with a "good morning", "goeie more"’ or "molo"... By studying at NMU, you are able to experience quality and affordable education as well as the amazing wildlife, history and the culture of South Africa. 

Dates & Deadlines

Term: Spring 2025
App Deadline: Tuesday, October 1, 2024
Program Dates: Saturday, February 1 - Tuesday, June 24, 2025 (dates are subject to change)

‌Apply Now

Interested in studying abroad in the summer of 2025 or later? Please fill out the waitlist form below and the study abroad center will notify you when applications for future terms open:

Study Abroad Waitlist


NMU is located in Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth is a coastal city on the south-eastern coast of South Africa and is along the shores of Algoa Bay, which has 40 kilometers of magnificent coastline and sandy beaches great for water sports and swimming, making it known as the Water Sport Capital of Africa. It has strong links with industrial and automotive sectors and has a wide variety of interesting architectural and historical sites, enchanting beaches, excellent sporting facilities and an upbeat cultural life.

There are opportunities for up-close encounters with sea animals that are located close to the Bay. Throughout the year, visitors have the opportunity to see the Southern Right Whale (Humpback Whale). Port Elizabeth is also very close to Addo Elephant Park, Daniel’s Cheetah Farm and other game reserves. The city's central location in the Eastern Cape makes it very easy to travel west towards Cape Town or east towards Durban.

Established in 2005, Nelson Mandela University currently has more than 20,000 students and is one of the few comprehensive universities in South Africa. The university already has a strong track record in both fundamental and applied research, working extensively in partnerships with business and industry professionals.

A variety of programs and courses are provided, and NMU is the most culturally, linguistically and academically diverse university in South Africa. It prides itself on being at the forefront of the political and educational transformation of higher education in South Africa and is also the largest university campus in the southern hemisphere.

Courses: NMU offers a comprehensive list of courses (modules) to choose from that align well for UNI students. Students can locate current course offerings in their Module Browser. Most modules are available to Study Abroad and Exchange students, however, each department/faculty has its own requirements for certain programs and modules. All courses are taught in English though students are able to take Xhosa or Afrikaans as well during their semester at NMU.

Information on courses and when they are offered can be found here. You will need to know the subject or name of a course to use this browser. Otherwise, you can see what is offered in specific subjects first and then use the browser to determine if it is available during a specific term. You can view courses by subject area here. Meet with Study Abroad Staff for assistance with navigating courses. 

Community Service Learning: The International Office offers a unique and popular module called Community Service Learning (CSL 100). This CSL module allows students from abroad with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop their global citizenship through volunteer work. They will develop an understand of current issues impacting disadvantaged community life in South Africa and experience this firsthand while giving back to the community. The module is for 2 US credits and there is an additional cost for the course, which pays for transportation to and from the volunteer site(s).

Teaching Methods and Styles: In South Africa, most undergraduate courses consist of lectures, classes, workshops, and tutorials each week as well as 'unstructured' time which means students should be doing individual reading and research. Grades are often weighed heavily on exams and other assessments. 

Academic Calendar: The university operates on a semester system with Semester 1 (our Spring semester) running from February to June and Semester 2 (our Fall semester) running from July to December. When thinking about their semester dates, it is important to remember that with it being on the other side of the hemisphere, their spring semester is our fall and vice versa. 

Credits and Grades: NMU is a great place to study abroad and receive a sufficient amount credits. Students need to take 40-60 NMU credits per semester and 100-120 NMU credits per academic year (fall and spring). 4 NMU credits = 1 US credit. When searching for courses, please remember that NMU's Semester 1 is UNI's Spring semester and NMU's Semester 2 is UNI's Fall semester. Grades are also calculated differently. Credit conversions, and grading equivalencies can be found below:

Credits                                                                     Grades
4 = 1                                                                    75 -- 100 = A
6 = 1.5                                                                 70 -- 74 = B+
7 = 1.8                                                                 65 -- 69 = B
8 = 2                                                                   60 -- 64 = B-
10 = 2.5                                                               57 -- 59 = C+
12 = 3                                                                  54 -- 56 = C
15 = 3.8                                                               51 -- 53 = C-
16 = 4                                                                  Less than 51 = no transfer credit 

Take a view of campus at the video below: 

Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost: $11,337*

*estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits and other factors

Estimated Total Program Cost $11,337
Estimated U-bill Charges $6,312
Estimated Out-of-Pocket Costs $5,026


Spring 2024 Estimated Budget Sheet (PDF)

Fall 2023 Estimated Budget Sheets (PDF)

Cost of Studying On Campus at UNI*

*per semester, estimated, will vary per person

Tuition & Fees $4,527
Room & Board $4,580
Books $400
Personal Expenses $878
Transportation $320
Total $10,705


Eligibility Requirements to Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to study Abroad. Students must have a completed study abroad application, including supportive recommendation form(s). Additionally, students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to study abroad:

  • Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
  • If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
    • Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
  • Must be over the age of 18 years old
  • Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
  • Must be in good standing with the university
  • UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements, if applicable.
  • Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.