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General information and reference letters

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The scholarship

Scholarship modalities

The SSF grants two types of scholarships:

  1. Scholarships for students who wish to do part of their studies (up to six months) at a Dutch university, with the goal of obtaining a Master’s or PhD degree in South Africa.
  2. Travel allowances for short visits to the Netherlands to do research, attend academic courses (including summer schools), conferences and Master classes.

Academic activities supported

  • Study activities that are part of, or contribute to, the completion of a Master or PhD studies/research at a university in South Africa;
  • Study visits that contribute towards the completion of collaborative research projects involving Dutch and South African academics;
  • Courses or other study activities the credits of which are accepted for the completion of a South African post-graduate degree course;
  • Research activities that can be completed within three to six months and that contribute towards the completion of a South African post-graduate degree course;
  • Travel allowances to the Netherlands to do research (also for non-degree purposes), attend academic courses, conferences and Master classes.

Financial coverage

  • For a Master student  € 1200 monthly. This amount is meant to cover all monthly expenses (including medical insurance, rent, and the costs of visa).
  • For a PhD student € 1300 monthly. This amount is also meant to cover all monthly expenses (including medical insurance, rent, and the costs of visa).
  • Additionally a ‘one time amount’ of  € 1000 can be granted to cover travel costs.
  • A one-time travel allowance for short visits amounts of € 1300


Applicants are:

  • South African nationals
  • Registered as a student at a South African university;
  • Accepted at a Dutch university

Rules and regulations

A grant of a scholarship is subject to the following rules and regulations:

As soon as possible, (if possible before leaving to the Netherlands), you are kindly asked  to make an appointment with the secretary to present yourself in person and identify yourself in the Netherlands. Details about the payments can be discussed with him/her. Please note that to open a bank account in the Netherlands, a so-called BSN (personal number) is required. The international office of the Dutch university can inform you about that.

Once your scholarship term is over, it cannot be renewed.

Scholarships are awarded for a maximum period of six months.

Half way through your studies, the SSF can ask either your Dutch or South African tutor whether they are satisfied with your work. The SSF reserves the right to end the scholarship.

If you decide to amend your study plan, you need to notify the SSF by email.

If it becomes known that you use your scholarship for any other purpose than mentioned above, the foundation reserves the right to end the scholarship immediately.

You have to inform the Foundation of any scholarships you have applied for – before or after applying for this one. (This does apply to the study in the Netherlands and does not apply to your studies in general in South Africa. But if your university in South Africa is granting you e.g. a contribution for travel costs etc. you have to inform the Foundation about this. Also contributions from the Dutch university should be reported.) If you receive any other scholarship in either South Africa or the Netherlands without notifying the SSF, you may lose your SSF scholarship.


For the scholarship to be acknowledged, the Foundation requires:

  • A report of your activities (both academic and social) must be sent to the Foundation no later than two months after your scholarship has ended. This small report should not be longer than 500 words.
  • A copy of your publications, or theses produced as a result of your specific research or study in the Netherlands should be sent to the secretary (digitally and/or in hard copy).
  • It is highly appreciated when you give any acknowledgement to the Foundation Study Fund for South African Students in your publications.

The scholarship will be terminated immediately and any payments that were received will have to be paid back:

  • In case any of the information supplied on the application form is found to be untrue.
  • In case the scholarship holder withdraws from the activity the scholarship was granted for.

Important notice
The student, while applying, confirms that he/she will abide strictly to all rules imposed by the Dutch government (e.g. Covid 19). The SSF is not responsible whatsoever for any inconveniences originating from sudden government measures (e.g. Covid 19).

Important notice delay
If the scholarship has not been used for whatever reasons, it loses its validity after one year automatically. The visit can be delayed (e.g. due to illness, or other travel restrictions) to a maximum of one year; any delays must be communicated to the secretary immediately.

The Board’s decisions are final. No correspondence relating to these decisions will be entered into.


No rights can be derived from the texts on this website.

The Foundation Study Fund for South African Students accepts no legal liability for incorrect information provided by other websites.

How to apply (application process)

Step 1. Admission to a (Dutch) university or study programme

Before you can apply for a scholarship, you first need to apply for admission to a study programme in the Netherlands. Your international office can assist or otherwise information can be found at A letter of acceptance is one of the essential documents in the application for a scholarship.

If an admission to a Dutch university is expected within a few weeks, while in the meantime the deadline to apply for a scholarship is closed, a conditional scholarship could be be granted.

Step 2. Application for the scholarship form and necessary documents

Complete the application form and attach the following documents:

  • Letter of acceptance of the Dutch university from the study programme of your choice
  • Copy of passport
  • Copies of (academic) certificates and academic records; Study plan: a short description (max. 800 words) of the planned study in the Netherlands, including a motivation (e.g. which value does your study in the Netherlands add to your study in South-Africa ?; what does your study contribute to South-Africa? Etc.) , a timetable, a subject overview, and the details of your supervisor/mentor (if known)
  • Ask your South African and Dutch study coordinator(s)/professor(s)/supervisor(s) to send us (directly and confidentially (email: ) a reference letter to support your request for financial support


Deadlines are:

March 31st (for studies beginning in August/september the same year)

September 30st (for studies beginning in January/february next year)

(Notice: to give all students a fair, academic and equal treatment there are no exceptions, so there are no ‘in-between’ considerations. Decisions about the applications (also about short-term scholarships, travel allowances etc.) will be communicated directly after the meeting of the board in April and October each year). 

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General information and visa process

Our focus is on providing financial support to PhD or Master’s students, currently studying in South Africa, who want to spend part of their studies in the Netherlands. Traditionally, scholarships were mostly granted in the realm of the humanities. Nowadays the SSF has broadened its scope, and students from all disciplines are invited to apply.

Make sure that you start well in advance applying for a study visa at the Dutch Embassy in Pretoria or the Dutch Consulate in Cape Town. More information on the visa process can be found here.

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Pretoria
210 Florence Ribeiro /Queen Wilhelmina Avenue
Cnr Muckleneuk Street
0181 New Muckleneuk
Telephone: +(27) (12) 425 4500
Opening hours:
Monday – Thursday: 08.00 – 17.00 hrs
Friday: 08.00 – 13.00 hrs.

Dutch Consulate  General Cape Town
Strandstraat 100
Kaapstad 8001
Telephone: (27) (21) 421 5660
Opening hours: Monday – Thursday 08.00 – 17.00 hrs
Friday: 08.00 – 13.00 hrs

What students say:

I am incredibly thankful for all the support I received from Zuid-Afrika Huis. Having grown up in a household where money is strictly managed, this institution gave me just a little more air in my chest to enjoy the life abroad as it came. More than that, it made the whole experience possible.

Pieter Conradie
Master Philosophy,

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Zuid-Afrikahuis Scholarship for making this incredible opportunity possible. Your support has not only furthered my education but also broadened my horizons and enriched my life in countless ways. I am immensely grateful and will carry this experience with me as I continue my academic journey.

Philasande Mlatha
Master Chemistry,

Having been immersed in the Dutch culture and language for two months was an absolute privilege and an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. The time went by way too quickly! My first language is Afrikaans, a language closely related to Dutch, which made the adjustment easier than for someone with no commonalities with the language and culture. Later this year I will do a Dutch language course to enable me to speak Dutch with more confidence in preparation for future visits. I would like to express my gratitude for the Foundation’s support and generosity, and I hope that I might apply for some support in the future again.

Susan Lotz
PhD Linguistics ,

Our history and actual board

The foundation Study Fund for South African Students (SSF) was founded in 1885, and is rooted in the historical ties between the Netherlands and South-Africa. Today SSF wants to contribute to the new, democratic South-Africa by giving young, bright South-African students  the opportunity to gain access to high-quality education and research in the Netherlands.

Our focus is on providing financial support to PhD or Master’s students, currently studying in South Africa, who want to spend part of their studies in the Netherlands. Traditionally, scholarships were mostly granted in the realm of the humanities. Nowadays the SSF has broadened its scope, and students from all disciplines are invited to apply.

The board of the Foundation Study Fund for South African Students consists of the following members (April 2024):

M. Bakker (chairman)

R. de Lang (treasurer)

J.B. Gewald

C. Gerards

P. van Beek

P. S. Maguchu

[ Secretary: W. van Arnhem ]


For more information send an e-mail to:

Keizersgracht 141-C
1015 CK Amsterdam