Interior Design Schools and Programs in South Africa

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Interior Design Studies in South Africa

Are you an Interior Design student interested in earning a portion of your educational credentials while studying and living abroad for a time in a foreign country?  Have you considered studying in the beautiful country of South Africa?  Although not your prototypical study abroad locale, South Africa offers a number of academic and cultural benefits, combining an excellent university education with a world-class African adventure.
Located on the southern tip of the African continent, the Republic of South Africa, as it is officially known, is a multiethnic society made up of vast array of cultures, languages and religions.  The country, which shares borders with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north and Mozambique and Swaziland to the east, boasts over 1,700 miles (2,798 km) of pristine coastline, formed by both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.  The country encompasses over 471,000 square miles (1.2 million sq. km), making it the world’s 25th largest country by area, and its population of roughly 53 million ranks 24th in the world.
South Africa is very diverse from both a cultural and linguistic standpoint.  According to its constitution, there are 11 official languages in the country, which is among the highest number of any country in the world.  Two of these languages, English and Afrikaans, are of European origin, while the remaining 9 languages are native languages, such as Bantu, spoken by the various aboriginal groups in the country.  Afrikaans, a Dutch-based language, and Bantu are spoken most commonly by the people of South Africa, while English, which is often used in government and in public and commercial life, is the 4th-most spoken language in the country.  Many people in South Africa are bilingual, with the most common combination being Afrikaans and one of the native tribal languages.
In recent years, South Africa has seen major economic growth in a number of industries, and has become a regional influence for all things economical and political.  The rise in its success can be attributed to a number of factors, including major improvements to its educational system, which now ranks among the top systems on the African continent.
Interior Design Education in South Africa
Interior design is offered as a course of study at many of South Africa’s colleges and universities.  Typically, it is one of the disciplines that fall under the umbrella degree known as Fine Arts, a degree field that is offered in South Africa at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Students participating in one of South Africa’s Interior Design programs can expect heavy immersion in courses that impact how people react to their interior environments. Whether the courses are general education or specific art and interior design courses, the program is designed to take students from the most basic concept of design into real-life field work. Some of the courses offered as part of the program include:
  • Introduction to Interior Design
  • Design Analysis
  • Design Contract Planning
  • Sketching and Drafting
  • Computer Aided Drafting
  • And more…
The Bachelor of Fine Arts programs, offered at different universities throughout South Africa, provide students with the art and interior design courses they need to prepare for their eventual career. Courses are offered in architecture, computer-assisted drawing (CAD), graphics, communications, art history, and color and design concepts.  Students will begin to work in areas such as textiles for the consumer, interior design drawing and interior systems; more advanced architectural materials courses; and courses in construction documents, blueprint reading, municipal codes and lighting. They will also begin to work on interior lighting, building and structure systems, and professional practice.

Why Study Abroad in South Africa
Studying abroad in South Africa offers the unique opportunity to gain a fresh academic perspective and forge new friendships with people from around the world.  Whether students study for a semester, year, or just an abbreviated summer session, the cultural lessons they will take away with them will have a lasting positive effect that will forever benefit their lives and career.
When not busy studying in the classroom, South Africa offers a number of interesting things to do and see.  Some of the more popular destinations include:
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront  

As one of Cape Town’s largest tourist attractions and most oft-visited destinations, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront invokes images of the earliest days of the harbor.  Nestled within a vibrant entertainment center filled with restaurants, specialty shops, pubs, and theaters, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.  Just beyond these amusements, there are also some interesting and photo-worthy attractions, including the infamous Clock Tower, Chavonnes Battery, the South African Maritime Museum and the coastal Seal Landing, where thousands of Cape Fur Seals can be seen sunning themselves on the rocks below.


The Garden Route, one of South Africa’s most popular tourist attractions, stretches from Mossel Bay to St Francis along the Indian Ocean.  This region of South Africa is home to a trove of indigenous canopied forests, mountains, rivers, tranquil lakes and golden beaches, making it one of the most beautiful thoroughfares in the world.  Located along this picturesque route is one of the local’s favorite destinations, a sleepy, peaceful town known as Knysna, situated between lush forests and the shores of a peaceful lagoon. Extensive opportunities for outdoor adventure are easily accessible in Knysna, as well as plenty of leisurely strolling paths lined with authentic dining and shopping venues. Visiting the Heads – two cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon – is a must, and each one offers spectacular views of the adjacent colorful cliffs and the brilliant lagoon below, where seasonal whale watching is top-notch.

Durban Beaches

Often compared to Miami Beach and the beaches of California, Durban’s beaches provide a vibrant atmosphere that literally pulses with energy.  With balmy weather almost year-round and an authentic beach culture, Durban beaches are energetic areas that are remarkably clean and safe.  The beaches encompass an area known as the Golden Mile in South Africa, where expanses of soft, golden sands and subtropical sunshine are stretched along Durban’s South and North Coast beaches.