Incoming Exchange Students

Table of Contents


The Wits Business School (WBS) is one of the leading business schools in Africa. It is the only business school in Africa which is a member of PIM (Partnership in International Management), an association of over 60 international business schools which promotes student and faculty exchange programmes.


Each year we have a number of students from business schools around the world attending our MBA programme for their electives.


Equally, a number of our own students choose to study at partner business schools overseas. The WBS is AMBA- accredited and a member of the African Association of Business Schools (AABS).

MBA Structure

There are three Programme formats:

1. Part-time (PT) Weekday or Saturday: Commences in January. Students attend evening lectures twice a week, or for a full day on Saturday. Classes commence in January. The official duration is 24 months.


2. MBA (PT) Long Block Release format: Classes commence in June. The programme is offered on a long block study format with each block being 10-12 days long. The official duration of the programme is 24 months.

WBS is situated in the historical precinct of Parktown, close to the commercial, cultural and financial hubs of Johannesburg.

All courses comprise 22.5 contact hours, which includes face-to-face and virtual.

In addition, students are expected to spend two hours in preparation for every contact hour in the classroom, i.e. an additional 12.5 hours per week per course. Preparation time would typically include: general background reading; prescribed readings; case study preparation; completing individual assignments; syndicate (group) meetings, and assignments and studying for examination purposes.

WBS Study Tours

The tours cover three South African cities: Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and one African city.

WBS study tours in Africa offer unique, on-field learning, exposing exchange students to various companies, business models and etiquettes in the emerging market landscape.

The costs of the trip ($2 500) includes company and site visits, flights, bed and breakfast, cultural activities and themed dinners and lunches. These tours take place between 1 – 31 March 2022, and 1 – 30 November 2022.

“My semester at WBS was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, thanks to the warm welcome of faculty, staff and students alike. Few places offer such deep insight into the African business environment, and the travel opportunities in South Africa and surrounding countries are endless.”
Wael Abou Karam, HEC Paris
– Master in Management, Programme Grande École


WBS has graduated the most MBA’s out of any business school in Africa – 6800 and counting!

Case Study Centre

WBS has Africa’s largest Case Study Centre. The school is known as the 'case study' business school.


Ranked 32 out of 17 000 universities internationally in the employment of alumni in top executive positions

Programme schedule

First Teaching Block15 January – 25 March 2022
Second Teaching Block08 April – 10 June 2022
Third Teaching Block18 June – 26 August 2022
Fourth Teaching Block03 September – 11 November 2022


ElectivesQuarterBUSA Code
African Leadership2BUSA7420A
Organisational Culture in South Africa2BUSA7455A
Strategic Finance2BUSA7456A
Science, Technology and Innovation for Business Leaders2BUSA7434A
Asset Management and Portfolio Formation2BUSA7392A
Business Innovation as a Response to Global Sustainability Challenges2BUSA7423A
Development and Entrepreneurship Finance2BUSA7395A
International Finance and Globalization2BUSA7398A
Advanced Financial Statements Analysis2BUSA7391A
Development & Entrepreneurial Finance2BUSA7395A
Emerging Markets & Financial Market Development2BUSA7397A
Business in Africa3BUSA7422A
Management Consulting3BUSA7454A
Business Venture Start-Ups3BUSA7444A
Negotiating Deep-Rooted Conflict3BUSA7431A
Industry and Competitor Analysis3BUSA7446A
Strategic Finance3BUSA7456A
African Leadership3BUSA7420A
Organisational Culture in South Africa3BUSA7455A
Banking Operations & Financial Institutions Management3BUSA7393A
Asset Management & Portfolio Formation3BUSA7392A
Investment Banking & Primary Markets3BUSA7399A
Derivatives, Debt and Structured Contracts3BUSA7396A
Industry Foresight and Business Future Strategy4BUSA7429A
Mergers and Acquisitions4BUSA7448A
Behavioural Economics4BUSA7462A
Corporate Entrepreneurship4BUSA7445A
Growth, Development and Institutions4BUSA7428A
Managing Human Capital4BUSA7430A
Private Equity4
Global Marketing4
Strategic Brand Marketing4
Issues In Leadership4BUSA7460A
Financial Risk Management4BUSA7400A

Public Holidays in South Africa

DateName of holiday/holydayUniversity status
Saturday 1 JanuaryNew Year's DayUniversity closed
Monday 21 MarchHuman Rights DayUniversity closed
Sunday 3 April1st Ramadaan (Commencement of Fasting) *
Friday 15 AprilGood FridayUniversity closed
Saturday 16 AprilPassover (Pesach) day 1**
Sunday 17 AprilPassover (Pesach) day 2**
Monday 18 AprilFamily DayUniversity closed
Friday 22 AprilPassover (Pesach) day 7**
Saturday 23 AprilPassover (Pesach) day 8**
Wednesday 27 AprilFreedom DayUniversity closed
Sunday 1 MayWorkers’ DayUniversity closed
Monday 2 MayPublic HolidayUniversity closed
Tuesday 3 MayEid-ul-Fitr (Termination of Fasting) *
Sunday 5 JuneShavuoth day 1**
Monday 6 JuneShavuoth day 2**
Thursday 16 JuneYouth DayUniversity closed
Sunday 10 JulyEid-ul-Adha (Day of Sacrifice) *
Tuesday 9 AugustNational Women's DayUniversity closed
Saturday 24 SeptemberHeritage DayUniversity closed
Monday 26 SeptemberRosh Hashanah day 1**
Tuesday 27 SeptemberRosh Hashanah day 2**
Wednesday 5 OctoberYom Kippur **
Monday 10 OctoberSukkot (day 1) **University closed
Tuesday 11 OctoberSukkot (day 2) **
Monday 17 OctoberSh’mini Atzeret**
Tuesday 18 OctoberSimchat Torah**
Monday 24 October(Deepavali / Luxmi Pooja (North & South)
Friday 16 DecemberDay of ReconciliationUniversity closed
Sunday 25 DecemberChristmas DayUniversity closed
Monday 26 DecemberDay of GoodwillUniversity closed

*Islamic Holy Day – commences the previous evening; exact date depends on the sighting of the new moon

**Jewish Holy Day – commences this day and continues to the following day


Please note:

No exam will be scheduled on a recognised University holiday/holyday.


Nomination Process

Exchange students are selected by their home institutions. Once WBS receives confirmation of their selection the student will be sent a WBS information pack. Registration for courses takes place on arrival at WBS.

Application Deadline

The deadline for applications is three months prior to the commencement of classes for each quarter. Students may enroll for any of the four quarters.

Online Electives

Most electives will be offered online in 2021. If you intend on visiting Wits Business School in South Africa please notify the international office and consult the Study Permits and Visa information.


Wits is home to four Nobel Prize winners

Wits was the first university that Mandela addressed after his release from prison

Study Permits/Visas

There are three Programme formats:

Exchange students are required to apply for a study permit/visa at the South African High Commission, Embassy, Consulate or Trade Mission in their country of residence or country of origin for stays of longer than 90 days. For stays less than 90 days exchange students are required to apply for a visitor’s permit.


In addition to financial and medical reports, students will need to submit a letter of acceptance to study at WBS and proof of accommodation. The latter two documents are sent to students by the Co-ordinator of International Programmes, Karen Trent. See contact section for details.


Visit www.dfa.gov.za/sa-abroad/salist.htm for information on your closest South African Consulate.

Health Insurance

It is compulsory for all international students to have full medical insurance cover from a South African medical insurer if their stay is longer than 90 days. Wits University has negotiated a favourable deal with a few medical insurance companies. Insurance is obtainable on arrival at the University. The Campus Health and Wellness Centre also offers comprehensive medical services.

Academic and Research Excellence

  • The academic faculty members at WBS bring together years of corporate knowledge, research experience and extensive academic achievement from around the continent and world.

  • WBS has a very strong research base; 95% of our academic staff have PhDs.

  • In 2016 WBS established two new endowed Chairs: The WBS Telkom Chair in Digital Business and the WBS Chair in African Philanthropy. These are ‘firsts’ for Africa and will place WBS at the forefront of research and course development in these fields.

Learning expectations

Language of Instruction

All courses are taught in English.

Areas of Concentration

Finance, Information Management, Human Resources, International and Digital Business, Strategy and the Business Environment in Africa and Emerging Markets.

Class Format

Lectures, case studies, discussions, team projects and industry expert presentations, on-field learning and simulations. The high level of classroom participation, group work and interaction among students and faculty mean that exchange students must be proficient in English (speaking, reading and writing).

Class Attendance

All classes are mandatory.

Class Size

10 – 65 (smaller classes for Elective Courses).

Course Load

Three courses per quarter are recommended for students whose home language is not English. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum number of courses, however – students must satisfy the requirements of their home institution. The number of lecture hours per course is 22.5.


Grading is based on class participation, individual and team assignments (projects) and presentations, case analyses and a final examination written at the end of the quarter. A percentage grading system is used with the final course grade based on a five symbol scale (A – D, F). A conversion of grades table will be supplied with the student’s academic transcript.

"The courses at WBS are different comparing to courses in Poland. Courses in WBS are more like discussion rather than lecture. This is the reason I like them very much, because not only I can learn from teachers but I also can learn from other students, students who have already graduated from university and have years of work experience."
Grzesiek Kostka
Warsaw University

Student Life

General Environment

WBS is situated approximately 1.5 km from the main Wits University campus in the leafy, historic Johannesburg suburb of Parktown. Facilities at the attractive WBS campus include modern lecture and syndicate rooms, auditoriums, computer labs, a cafeteria and one of the leading management libraries in South Africa. Students also enjoy access to the many facilities on the main university campus.


Secure accommodation is provided for exchange students at U House and The Wits Junction, the perfect atmosphere for international students to experience, to immerse themselves in South African culture and to make a few friends. Each self contained, furnished compact apartment has a bathroom, kitchenette, cooker and fridge and is also equipped with a telephone, Internet connectivity and heater.Parking is available and there is a 24-hour security service on campus. Housing is arranged through Karen Trent (see contact details).


Application deadline: 3 months before arrival.

Accommodation Costs:

1. U House

  • On campus
  • R5800 per person per month
  • Shared accommodation
  • Will increase by around 10% for 2021

2. Trematon House

  • On campus
  • Bachelor apartment
  • R14 000 per month
  • Will increase by around 10% for 2021

3. The Junction

  • Off campus
  • Bachelor pad
  • R14 000 per month
  • Will increase by around 10% for 2021

Cost Estimates (in US$ - approx.)

$250 per month

Car hire:
$550 per month

$70 – $100 per book

Health insurance:
$100 per month

MBA Africa Study Tour:



Course materials are free of charge for exchange students
(as are E-mail and Internet access)


Any additional costs

Sports Facilities

There are 2 tennis courts, a swimming pool and a squash court on the WBS campus. There are also numerous sports clubs, societies and recreational facilities within walking distance on the main Wits campus.

Exchange students pay on a pro-rata basis for club membership and the use of sports facilities. There are additional sports faculties at the Wits Education Campus, within walking distance of WBS.


International students are housed together and often socialise and travel or sight-see in groups. South Africans are hospitable, and fellow classmates frequently invite exchange students on outings over and above those organised by the class.


There are restaurants and banks in the vicinity of the WBS, and large shopping malls are situated in nearby suburbs. Public transport in South Africa is generally poor, but there are bus routes to the malls. 


Uber provides a safe, quick alternative that is competitively priced.


For tips and information on living in South Africa, visit www.infoafrica.co.za.

Other Advice:

The Rand/Dollar and Rand/Euro exchange rates are very favourable for students coming to South Africa – therefore, accommodation, eating out, clothes, travelling and entertainment will cost less than in the US or Europe. The exception is the purchase of new or used cars, and exchange students often opt to hire a car (and share expenses) for the duration of their stay.


It is best to organise an international driver’s license applicable to South Africa in your home country. Please bear in mind that in South Africa we drive on the left-hand side of the road.


With regards to crime: as in any large city, students need to take ‘common-sense’ precautions for their personal safety.

Additional Benefits:

  • WBS employs a ‘buddy system’ for all incoming exchange students, whereby a local student is ‘paired’ with an international student to ensure their stay here is stress free!

  • International students will also be given the option to experience the real African bush, with a trip to a game reserve.

  • Numerous other optional activities will also be planned, including cultural activities and a trip to Cape Town and surrounding wine farms.
“The Business Campus is well-equipped and well-maintained. The vast selection of extraordinary places and the favourable price level make South Africa an incredible country for travelling. Since the courses will be held in blocks of a few days you will have plenty of opportunities to go on road trips around the country. Before and during my stay I have heard a lot about crime in South Africa. I didn’t have any negative experiences.”
Phillipe Weber
– St Gallen, Switzerland

About Johannesburg

Johannesburg – aka Jo’burg, eGoli or Jozi – is a rapidly changing city and the vibrant heart of South Africa. The city is one of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the world and has a population of over 4.5 million.


Johannesburg was established in 1886 following the discovery of gold on what had been a farm along a ridge called the Witwatersrand (“ridge of white waters”). With gold mining at its historical heart, the city is now the commercial and financial hub of South Africa and the geographic ‘gateway’ to the rest of the continent.


With ‘vibey’ urban nodes, such as Sandton, Rosebank and Newtown, and great shopping and nightlife, Johannesburg is also known as the world’s biggest man-made forest, with more than 10 million trees populating its hilly suburbs.


Jozi is also known for its great climate. The summer months (October-April) are sunny and warm (an average maximum temperature of 25.6˚C) with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Evenings are pleasantly cool. Winters are also sunny, but dry, and while the average maximum temperature is around 16˚C in June, temperatures can plummet overnight to around 1˚C.

Johannesburg is a treasure trove of cultural and historical tourist attractions, including:


  • Maboneng Precinct
  • Apartheid Museum
  • Hector Pieterson Museum
  • The SAB World of Beer
  • Cradle of Humankind
  • Constitution Hill
  • Vilakazi Street in Soweto
  • Newtown Cultural Precinct
  • Rosebank Shopping District and Sandton City
  • Emmarentia Dam
  • Origins Centre
  • Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden
  • The Rosebank and Parkwood Gallery Precinct
  • Wits Art Museum
  • Neighbourhood Goods Market and Braamfontein
  • Hop on Hop off City Tour Bus
  • Township Bicycle Tours and City Walking Tours
  • Sports Events
  • Pilanesberg Game Reserve (2h30min outside of Joburg)
The African continent fascinated me already as a teenager when I had the privilege to travel there. The joy and positive vibes of the people was really inspiring. Moreover, South Africa has a strong financial service industry and to advance my career in this sector, it was clear for me to do an exchange in South Africa. The partner agreement between WBS and my home university and the interesting course outline convinced me to apply at WBS for an exchange.

The courses, which I have taken so far, are very interesting. I perceive the teaching style more like a top down approach, and it induces critical thinking. From the first day, I felt very integrated, and the local students are very open to exchange students.

Overall, I can highly recommend WBS. Especially for students who are keen to gain knowledge in how to do business over a broad range of industries within a very different culture.
Dominic Beer
– St Gallen, Switzerland

Contact Details

Dr Renee Horne

Dr Renee Horne

Director: MBA and International Programmes


Karen Trent

Co-ordinator: International Programmes


School Contact Details


Wits Business School:



University of the Witwatersrand 

Physical Address:

Wits Business School

2 St David’s Place

Parktown 2193 Johannesburg