South Africa is a vast and beautiful country. It occupies 1.2 million square kilometres at the foot of the African continent - about the same size as Germany, France and Italy combined. South Africa offers stunning diversity in terms of landscape and people.
The climate is mild (warm to hot) for most of the year with sporadic cold weather in winter. Sunshine averages vary from 7.5 to 9.5 hours a day, depending on the season. South Africa boasts a vast range of flora and fauna and is home to more mammal species than Europe and Asia combined. The country's 22 national parks and more than 200 provincial parks offer excellent accommodation and some of the best game viewing in the world.
The population (recently estimated at almost 50 million people) is diverse. There are at least 20 ethnic groups and cultures. More than half of all South Africans live in urban areas, mostly in the four major cities - Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria. The cities of the Gauteng province, with Johannesburg at the centre, form the world's biggest urban conglomerate south of the equator. South Africa has 11 official languages; however English is used by almost everybody and is the language of tuition at most institutions.
The South African economy is Africa's biggest (three times bigger than Nigeria or Egypt) and the twentieth largest in the world. Although it covers only 4% of the African continent, South Africa accounts for more than half the continent's cars, telephones and industrial facilities. You can use Visa or Mastercard almost everywhere and bank by ATM or online. There are 13 commercial and merchant banks and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the world's fifteenth largest.
The higher education system in South Africa includes public universities and technikons as well as private tertiary institutions, such as Milpark Business School. Milpark offers high quality certificate, diploma and degree programmes. All institutions (whether private or public) are registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training and accredited by the relevant quality assurer. In South Africa the academic year is spread over two sessions - January to June and July to November. Tuition fees vary from institution to institution and the costs are between US$ 2,000 and US$ 5,000 per year, depending on the level of studies.
Milpark Business School will provide advice, information and materials on the various courses offered, admission/registration and critical issues including health, safety, visas and living and learning effectively in South Africa. It also provides all international students with an orientation programme (of the city surrounds and campus), usually during the first weeks of February, as well as an English skills programme, if required.