Study Abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa

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 majority of South Africans at the University speak English, and English is the common language of the international student population of 400.

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

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 Structure Courses 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 Program students 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 hoursThe 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

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

Transcripts are issued by Stellenbosch University and mailed directly to the student’s home university one month after the end of the program.

Program Options

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

Choose one program from the four 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

Admission Requirements

  • 2.8 minimum GPA required
  • Applicants must have completed freshman year
  • Application does not guarantee acceptance onto the program which is decided by Stellenbosch University

(Please consult your AIFS Admissions Officer for further details)

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 practical work under strict rotation supervisions in community clinics in the Public Health sector.

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

Admission Requirements

  • 2.8 minimum GPA required
  • Applicants must have completed freshman year
  • Application does not guarantee acceptance onto the program which is decided by Stellenbosch University
  • Applicants must submit an essay

(Please consult your AIFS Admissions Officer for further details)