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Study Abroad | Stellenbosch
Fall 2023: Academics

A group of students at a farm in South Africa.

Select Your Program Option:

  • Fall 2023

  • Spring 2024

AcadEmics Overview

AIFS Abroad offers a unique global educational experience for students on this program, with the following academic options available:

As part of this program, students have access to a large catalog of courses. The below are examples of available courses, but not an exhaustive list. For a full listing of courses, please visit: Faculty YEARBOOKS.

Students can go through these and look at what’s available. Please see an example of a search below:

1. Click the orange booklet, Arts and Social Sciences.
2. Look in Table of contents and find the section Subjects, Modules and Module Contents.
3. Go to page 157.
a. For all these booklets, AIFS students only need to start in the section called Subjects, Modules and Module Contents. Here it is explained what all the numbers and codes mean. 
b. Most important is the section called Module code. This explains if course is offered in 1st (SPRING) semester or 2nd (FALL) semester.

Program Options

Program Name Early Start Available Credits Notes
Full Curriculum
Early Start Available: No Credits: Up to 15

Full Curriculum Program:Full Curriculum means that AIFS students can choose any course offered by Stellenbosch University if prerequisites are met. Choose up to 5 courses for a total of 15 credits.

General Education Program: Students may choose up to two General Education courses as well as the Global Service Learning course (for 6 or 9 credits) and can also select courses from the Full Curriculum. Choose from courses including “An Overview of South African History”, “Politics and Cultural Change in Contemporary South Africa”, “Gender and Identity in Africa”, “Understanding HIV in South Africa” and “Afrikaans for Beginners”. Choose up to 5 courses for a total of 15 credits.

Global Service Learning Program:This program comprises 90 class hours and 45 hours of on-site community engagement. Students take the Global Service Learning course for either 6 or 9 credits plus two or three courses from the Full Curriculum Program or the General Education Program for a total of 12-15 credits.

No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a grade. Pass/Fail options are not available.

Anthropology

Art

Biology

Business Administration

Ecology

Economics

Foreign Language

Health Sciences

History

International Relations

Literature

Natural Resources & Conservation

Philosophy

Political Science

Psychology

Religious Studies

Sociology

Sustainability

Global Service Learning Program

The Global Service Learning course is mandatory for students taking this program. Students have a choice of taking 6 or 9 credits depending on how many contact hours they take. Then choose two or three 3 credit courses from the Full Curriculum Program or the General Education Program course listings for a total of 12-15 credits.

Global Service Learning is an experiential learning program offered by the Global Engagement Centre of Stellenbosch University and presented in collaboration with a local primary school. It comprises up to 90 class hours and 45 hours of on-site community engagement. The program is situated at the intersection between international education, community engagement, and development education. Using a transdisciplinary approach grounded in complexity theory, it primarily aims to a) harness students’ critical self-reflective capacity to engage with contemporary global issues in a local context, and b) use the community engagement vehicle critically as a tool for social impact.

This program challenges modernist, reductionist notions of development, investigating alternative possibilities in human-centered development, epistemic decolonization, social justice, deep ecology and aesthetic experience.

The aim of this transdisciplinary program is to expose students to a number of different concepts, academic fields and methodologies and based on their academic and practical experience students will be able to construct, articulate, and defend an intellectual stance on the role of educational systems in constructing shared global futures.

Academic Credit & Transcripts

Credit Transfer

As a part of the AIFS application for semester programs, you will complete a Course Approval Form, which will be signed off by your study abroad office staff and/or faculty at your university.

For J Term/Summer programs, no such approval form is needed; however, students are still responsible for ensuring credit can be brought back from their overseas program.
In any case, we recommend getting additional courses approved in case you need to change courses while abroad.

Overseas universities do not use the credit system employed by American institutions. AIFS students must make special arrangements to transfer credits, but since AIFS courses are given at recognized universities or the AIFS Centers (which are transcripted by Fairfield University), there usually is no difficulty in arranging transfer credit toward U.S. degrees provided the proper procedure is followed.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

Many of the European institutions that AIFS works with award credits under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). ECTS enables cooperating institutions to measure and compare a student’s performance and facilitates the transfer of credits from the European institution to the U.S institution.

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

Language levels are defined according to the CEFR and will be listed on your transcript on completion of the program. CEFR organizes language proficiency into six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) which can be regrouped into three broad levels according to the needs of the local institution: Beginner: A1, A2/U.S. Level 100; Intermediate: B1, B2/U.S. Level 200-300; Advanced: C1, C2/U.S. Level 400

Transcripts

When you complete your program, an official transcript is sent to your home institution directly from AIFS Abroad or the host university. Another official transcript may be retained by AIFS Abroad in Stamford, but this is not the case for all programs. Please contact transcripts@aifs.com to find out how to request additional transcripts. 
 
Generally, your school should receive your transcript 60 days after completion of the program. (Cannes Semester programs, Perth, Sydney, Dublin, Limerick, and Wellington Programs exception: Transcripts issued and retained by the host universities. Transcripts for the Cannes Semester programs are issued by Chapman University.)
 
Transcripts may come without an English-language translation, so participants will need to organize translations with their home university.

Academic Records

Credit assessment methods in overseas universities may not be comparable to those in U.S. universities. Grading may involve exams, papers, individual projects, class discussion or some combination of these. Although academic institutions abroad may grade on a variety of scales, admissions counselors and registrars at U.S. institutions are familiar with international grading systems and can convert grades.

Course Selection

AIFS Program Advisors are available to assist you in the process. The following procedure is recommended:

Read course descriptions for the selected program and select courses. Obtain approval from your academic or study abroad advisor for the preliminary courses selected. Final approval of credit transfer for completed courses is at the discretion of the Registrar or appropriate official at the home institution. Students must ascertain that courses taken meet their individual academic program requirements. Recommended credits in this catalog are based on 15 classroom hours per semester credit.

I would absolutely recommend this program. The trip has been such a positive experience. Wonderful program!

AIFS has a lot to offer. The more I talked to American students from other programs, the more I realized that AIFS was clearly the best choice

This program opened my eyes to a culture and society I knew very little about. I made great friends and had a fabulous time during the process. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

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