Study Abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Study Abroad in Stellenbosch: Academics

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University has four campuses and a student population of 19,000, a third of whom are post-graduates. 98 percent of the diverse university population speak English as their first or second language.

The late former President Nelson Mandela, accepting an honorary doctorate from the university in 1996, said:

“This occasion says much more about South Africa and South Africans than about the individual to whom the degree is being awarded. This occasion is testimony to the fact that we South Africans have struck out on the road toward building a joint future, that we are in the process of breaking down divisive bulwarks of the past and building a real nation united in all its rich diversity.”

Mandela wrote a personal note to AIFS students wishing them the best as “future leaders of the world.”

The university houses a modern, extensive library collection cataloged on a computerized database. Part of a network of five mutually-supported academic libraries in the Western Cape province, the library is electronically linked to major library databases worldwide. Its architecture is distinctive in that the library is entirely underground.

Academic Overview

Choose one program from the four available:

These programs are offered as part of Stellenbosch University’s Summer School which attracts 100 students annually and you will be studying alongside some local South Africans and other international students.

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

Attendance Due to the intensive nature of the programs, students must attend all lectures and excursions to earn academic credit. Please note that students will have class most days from 9am – 5pm. Evaluation takes place in the form of written assignments that must be submitted during the program or up to one month after the program’s end.

Course Load and Program StructureCourses are taught in English and meet for 30 academic hours per course plus field trips and outside work.

All students must take Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History for 2 credits.

General Elective Programstudents then choose a second course in week 2 (2 credits) and a third course in weeks 3 and 4 (2 credits).

Doing Business in Southern Africa students must then take the Doing Business in Southern Africa course for 5 credits through the end of the summer program.

Public Health care students must then take the Public Health Care course which includes the HIV/AIDS course for 5 credits through the end of the summer program.

Credits and hours The university recommends the following credits. The number of credits awarded is at the discretion of the students’ home institution.

  • General Elective Program: 6 U.S. credits, 300 U.S. level
  • Doing Business in Southern Africa Program: 7 U.S. credits, 300 U.S. level
  • Public Health Care Program: 7 U.S. credits, 300 U.S. level

Extra Credits On all programs for a supplementary fee, students may earn an additional credit by completing extra coursework for a total of 3 credits per course. This “top up” option may also be available on some of the courses in the Doing Business In Southern Africa, Public Health Care and Global Service Learning Programs. Please contact the AIFS Admissions Officer for details of the supplementary fee and which courses this option is available for in 2022.

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

Transcripts are issued by Stellenbosch University. An official transcript will be sent directly to the student’s home university on completion of the program.

Admission Requirements

The General Elective Program requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and is open to college first years and above.

Doing Business in Southern Africa and Public Health Care programs require a minimum 2.8 GPA and are open to Sophomores and above.

Application does not guarantee acceptance onto the program which is decided by Stellenbosch University.

Program Options

Choose one program from the three available:

The aim of this program is to give students an introduction to and an overview of South African history, politics, art, literature, science, culture and business. Each course is presented by lecturers from the university, the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation and various presenters from the private sector. An academic staff member will accompany students on all excursions that are included in the official program.

Session/Term Credits Level
Traditional Academic Program 6 U.S. credits 300 U.S. Level

African countries are experiencing rapid growth. This program aims to help students investigate the unique institutional and policy conditions in Southern African countries which will not only allow future entrepreneurs and managers to understand the challenges that will confront their businesses but also allow them to identify the opportunities that this rapidly growing region offers.

Session/Term Credits Level
Doing Business in Southern Africa Program 7 U.S. credits 300 U.s. level

The public health care program introduces students to the health care system in South Africa with themes including HIV and AIDS, malnutrition and poverty, environmental health and world views of health. The program includes the opportunity to enhance classroom learning with exposures to health care facilities in the Western Cape Province.

Session/Term Credits Level
Public Health Care Program 7 U.S. credits 300 U.S. level

Download Study Abroad Resources!

Download Study Abroad Resources!