Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Africa's unique study address...

If you want to go...

  1. Gather Program Information
  2. Application and Acceptance
  3. Pre-Departure Orientation
  4. Housing Concerns and Preparations
  5. Travel!

Port Elizabeth Extras

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Program Brochure

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Student Profiles


Tony SA

Read about Tony's semester in South Africa




Read about Scott's semester in South Africag




The SCSU Education Abroad program in South Africa is located in Port Elizabeth on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The host university, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, is located on a nature reserve where it is not uncommon to see local wildlife such as monkeys, antelope and zebras. NMMU has a convenient campus with the lecture halls, library, cafeteria, and residence halls all within easy walking distance of each other, and the beach is just a stone's throw away.

Program Objective

St. Cloud State University participates in an exchange program with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (formerly the University of Port Elizabeth). This program offers students the opportunity to study the art, music, culture, economy, history, politics, and many other aspects of South Africa through a personal living and studying experience.

As a result of the cooperation between SCSU and NMMU, three different education abroad programs have been created to allow the maximum number of students the chance to study abroad in South Africa.

  1. Direct Enrollment - Open to SCSU students who are sophomores or above, this program allows students to directly enroll in all courses offered at NMMU, provided that they meet the course prerequisites. Students can complete courses towards their major, minor or general education credits.
  2. Short-term Education Abroad - Students enroll in Ethnic Studies 305 during the spring semester. This course serves as a means to prepare you for a spring break travel experience and will help you to reflect on your experiences when you return. Contact CIS or the Ethnic Studies Department for more details.
  3. First Year Experience- General Education - This program is targeted towards first-year and other students who are interested in an early exposure to South Africa. SCSU students will take courses fall semester to prepare for the spring semester Education Abroad. Contact First Year Experience or Multicultural Student Services for more details.


The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), opened on January 1, 2005.  It is the result of a merger of the PE Technikon, the University of Port Elizabeth and the Port Elizabeth campus of Vista University. This union of three very different institutions came about as a result of government's countrywide restructuring of higher education - intended to deliver a more equitable and efficient system to meet the needs of South Africa in the 21st century. The merger process is still taking place, but the opportunities are very exciting for SCSU students who wish to spend a semester in South Africa.

NMMU now has more than 20,000 students and approximately 2,000 staff members, based on eight campuses.  SCSU students will take classes at the Summerstrand campus where there are about 10,000 students. At NMMU you are not just a face in a crowd. NMMU has a convenient campus—lecture halls, library, cafeteria and residence halls are within easy walking distance of one another, and the beach is just a stone’s throw away. NMMU maintains high academic standards and its degrees are internationally recognized. NMMU has a vibrant, multicultural student population. The cultures and traditions of all students are valued at NMMU.

The Summerstrand campus is situated in a nature reserve. Wild buck and other animals are a common sight on campus. For relaxation, exercise and environmental education, there is the four-kilometer Grysbok Trail winding through the reserve.

A wide variety of student societies operate on campus, giving students the opportunity to make friends, interact with students who share the same interests, culture or religion, and learn more about subjects that interest them. NMMU also offers clubs for all popular sports, and some less well-known sports. The sports stadium is equipped with a synthetic athletic track, an indoor sports center, a swimming pool, netball, basketball, squash and tennis courts, cricket pitch, rugby and soccer fields; and more!

Public transport is easily accessible and shops and entertainment venues are nearby. You can take a trip to Cape Town—one of the most beautiful cities in the world, visit the Robben Island where President Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid opponents such as Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu spent decades in prison or a day trip to Addo National Park.

Academic Program

The following are details about the SCSU direct enrollment option for education abroad in South Africa. For additional details on the other two programs, please contact our office.

You can study any subject of your choice, as long as class space is available and you meet the prerequisites. All courses will be taught in English.

All program and prerequisite courses can be used toward your degree to satisfy major, minor, general education requirements or university electives (see your advisor).

For each semester of academic work completed abroad, you may earn up to 15 credit hours. Course credit and grades (S/U) will appear on your SCSU transcript. Although you are guaranteed to receive credit for successfully completed courses, you must work with your academic advisor(s) to get pre-approval for how the courses you take might fulfill specific degree requirements at SCSU. As part of your pre-departure preparation, you will need to look up what courses are available on the program and then arrange to meet with your academic advisor(s) to get pre-approval for the courses you wish to take.

Finding Courses at NMMU

You can start this process by visiting the resource library at CIS where we have physical copies of the NMMU course bulletins. We have also created a Website Guide (click link on left), to help you find courses and navigate the NMMU website. In addition, we have a document which outlines many NMMU/SCSU equivalencies for general education courses, and NMMU/SCSU Business Equivalencies. To earn upper-division credit for community service check out the following document: South Africa Township Project . Explore the NMMU web site and search for their course prospectus. A couple of helpful tips for finding courses:

  • The different colleges at NMMU are divided into faculties. You should search under the faculty listings to target the appropriate location for your courses.
  • Once you have located the appropriate faculty or college, you should search in their programme listings. This is the equivalent to a major or minor at SCSU.
  • At the bottom of the programme page, there should be a link to the Prospectus. This is the course bulletin for that faculty. Using the search or find function for key words in the Prospectus will make your search much easier.
  • Take the course descriptions and syllabus to your academic advisor to discuss how particular courses fit into your academic program at SCSU.
  • When in doubt make an appointment to meet with the Education Abroad staff in charge of the South Africa exchange program

Living Accommodations

Students will live in university-run housing near campus. The house includes shared bedrooms, with a shared kitchen(s), bathroom(s) and living facilities. You will prepare your own meals, eat on campus, or at local restaurants.


In order to be admitted to the program, students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Enrolled as a sophomore, junior or senior (Unless in First Year Experience Program)
  • A committee will review applications, hold interviews, and make final decisions on selection of applicants.

Program Costs and Financial Aid

SCSU attempts to make the costs of studying abroad affordable for you. As a participant on the program you will pay a comprehensive fee that includes: round-trip air transportation, room, visa fees, and administration costs. 

SCSU tuition and fees for up to 15 credit hours will be added to the program fee.  Non-resident students are charged the difference between resident and non-resident tuition.

Personal expenses such as food, laundry, additional travel, books, and passport are not included in the fee.

Grants and scholarship money is available, and most financial aid can be applied to offset program costs*. The Center for International Studies also offers education abroad scholarships. Applications are included in the SCSU education abroad applications package. The comprehensive fee is subject to change without notice. The program fee is never prorated nor is any part refundable.

* Veteran's should be aware that tuition benefits may not apply to this program as tuition is included in the program fee and is not a separate charge.

Orientation and Calendar

Semester Application Deadline Academic Calendar
Fall March 1 July - November
Spring October 1 January - July


A pre-departure orientation meeting for the program will be conducted the semester preceding the program. In addition, once students are at NMMU they will be greeted by staff from the Office for International Education who will help to orient them to life at NMMU, and provide support throughout the semester. A nominal fee of 450R will be paid directly to NMMU upon arrival for orientation fees. All orientation programs are mandatory.


Located on a nature reserve, it is not uncommon to see local wildlife at NMMU.


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