10 Best Places to Study Abroad in Africa in 2018

by Published

When everyone else is clamoring to study abroad in Europe, why not head in the opposite direction? Africa study abroad is calling.The continent is so much more than what you see on mainstream media, so why not discover it for yourself? Study abroad in Africa in over 50 countries, each different in their own way. 

Smiling group of friends pose in old car window

Make loads of new friends while studying abroad in Africa!

It’s also not just a big jungle filled with scary animals and tribesmen. You can find white sand beaches in Tanzania and Kenya, Mediterranean coastline in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia,  and the crashing Atlantic in Ghana and Senegal. Africa is also not some poor man’s continent. It’s also home to a growing middle class and some happening global cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Cairo, and Lagos.

You can study medicine across the continent, in its sprawling cities and under-resourced rural areas. On the other hand, if you’re interested in thumping the djembe, there are lots of universities in Africa that offer music programs. Other popular Africa study abroad programs include international relations, international development, foreign languages, and politics. 

So, forget your misconceptions, come with an open mind, and take a walk on the wild side. Sign up for study abroad programs in Africa and study abroad in Africa scholarships for a totally fresh perspective of this much maligned continent. With all that said, here are the top destinations to study abroad in Africa in 2018!

1. Senegal

Boy playing cats cradle with string

Get all tangled up in Senegalese culture while on Africa study abroad.

This fascinating West African country is bordered by Atlantic beaches on one side and Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, and Mauritania on the others. Study abroad Senegal means immersing yourself in French, Wolof, geography, politics, and Senegalese performing arts. Stay in an urban homestay in the capital, Dakar, or in the UNESCO heritage-protected town of Saint Louis. During down time, experience the circle of life on Fathala Reserve. 

Recommended program: Study abroad in Senegal with CIEE

See ALL study abroad programs in Senegal

2. South Africa


Everyone’s waiting for you to study in South Africa.

Why not study abroad in South Africa, the rainbow nation? It’s the continent’s most popular study abroad destination, with the majority of the region’s top rated universities. South Africa study abroad programs include political science, animal conservation, and public health.  

Study in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth for multicultural campus experiences and loads of extra-curricular activities that could include cage diving with sharks! Yikes! 

Recommended program: Study abroad in South Africa with IES Abroad

See ALL study abroad programs in South Africa

3. Kenya

Vendor selling tropical fruits in market stall

Make a point to try new fruits and veggies in Kenya, like jute mallow & African Nightshade.

If you want to meet some real-life Simbas, then you should seriously consider studying abroad in Africa, Kenya to be exact. It’s one of the most trendy places on the continent with world famous animal preserves and thriving cities. Nairobi, the capital, is home to seven university campuses so between classes you can catch a rugby match at Impala or go on safari at Nairobi National Park! Popular study abroad programs include environmental science, interdisciplinary studies,and medicine. 

Recommended program: Study abroad in Kenya with the University of Minnesota

See ALL study abroad programs in Kenya

4. Tanzania

Man selling goods from a moveable stall

Life in Tanzania will be full of laughs, mishaps, and self-discovery.

This East African country ticks all the right boxes when it comes to study abroad programs in Africa. Nearby island Zanzibar’s palm-fringed coastlines and turquoise waters beckon students of marine biology and conservation. Landlubbers can study ecology and sustainable development in Arusha, the gateway to Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Maasai villages. If big city life more floats your boat, hit Dar Es Salaam, home to several universities and Swahili language programs.

Recommended program: Study abroad in Zanzibar with Boston University

See ALL study abroad programs in Tanzania

5. Rwanda

Sunset over kigali

Rwanda is an incredibly underrated but powerful place to pursue international education.

Although Rwanda is known for its terrible genocide, don’t discount study abroad Africa programs there. There’s a lot to turn and uncover—and you can study abroad in Africa to understand how this country has bounced back from its horrific recent past. Go to university in the capital, Kigali, or study the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. In fact, did you know that Rwanda’s home to nearly one third of the world’s population of this species? Awesome! Popular programs for study abroad in Rwanda include conflict studies, anthropology, sustainable development, and African studies. 

Recommended program: Study abroad in Rwanda with Carpe Diem Education

See ALL study abroad programs in Rwanda

6. Morocco

Bags of grains and spices for sale 

Spice up your life on your Africa study abroad experience in Morocco.

Want to know what it’s like to live in an African Islamic country that also speaks French? All aboard the study abroad Africa train to Morocco! Study French, Arabic, architecture, religious studies, and archaeology in Rabat, the capital. Morocco is generally an amazing place to study abroad in Africa, with mysterious cities like Fez and Marrakech, awesome dunes of the Sahara, warm Mediterranean beaches, and towering Atlas mountains. Not to mention it’s incredible colors, cultural diversity, and tasty tagine. Meet you there?

Recommended program: Study abroad in Morocco with ISA

See ALL study abroad programs in Morocco

7. Egypt

Woman stands barefooted on sand dune

Step onto the sands of time in Egypt during study abroad programs in Africa.

If all you think you know Egypt comes from The Mummy, then you definitely need to study abroad here! Score Africa study abroad scholarships and put them towards immersing yourself in one of the oldest and most fascinating civilizations on the planet. Even if studying ancient cultures and archaeology isn’t your thing, Egypt is also pretty good for studying Arabic, law, foreign languages, business, and medicine. Take the time to explore Cairo, sail down the Nile, and take a selfie with the Sphinx!

Recommended program: Study abroad in Egypt with Broadreach

See ALL study abroad programs in Egypt

8. Ghana

Different hands touching one another

Connect to real life in Ghana on your study abroad Africa experience.

If you’re considering studying abroad in Africa, why don’t you try Ghana for a change? In fact, Ghana is known as the gateway to Africa because of its strong economy, overall safety, and accessibility. Study at the prestigious University of Ghana in Accra for study abroad programs in nuclear physics (one of the few programs offered on the entire continent), medicine, social sciences, and agriculture. Accra is also an adventure in itself with street stalls selling anything you can imagine, all to the beat of foot-tapping Afro-jazz. 

Recommended program: Study abroad in Ghana with CISabroad

See ALL study abroad programs in Ghana

9. Tunisia

From the sands of the Sahara to the peaks of the Atlas Mountains, from the lively chatter of the market to the glittering shores of the Mediterranean, spending some time studying in Tunisia offers benefits as boundless as the spices and smells and tastes that come from North African cuisine. With summer and multi-month long programs available (not to mention opportunities to earn college credit!), Tunisia is an incredible and important place to experience as a young traveler. Ready to stand out from the crowd on your job or graduate school apps, learn firsthand incredible historic cultures, and make your friends jealous of your photos?

Recommended program: Study in Tunisia with SIT Study Abroad

See ALL study abroad programs in Tunisia

10. Uganda

Break down stereotypes of the African continent as you envelope yourself with the warmth and hospitality of the Ugandan people. More than a country with a fascinating culture and history, Uganda is home of the River Nile, more than 1000 gorgeous bird species (including the shoebill), and the mighty gorilla. Study abroad programs here range from international development and foreign aid to learning Lugandan or Swahili. Chew on chapati as you mull over the presence of Islam and Christianity and the legacies of colonialism. Just don't get too lost in your daydream—you might get run over by a dala dala!

Recommended program: Exploring HIV & Maternal/Child Health in Kabale with CFHI

See ALL study abroad programs in Uganda

A note from GoAbroad

We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.

Learn more our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.

Read the full report here.

Browse more of this year's report on top destinations for international study

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