Study Abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Study Abroad in Stellenbosch: Academics

Academic Programs

AIFS students are able to choose from most of the mainstream curriculum at Stellenbosch University. All courses will be offered in English. Most courses meet for 45 contact hours and are recommended for 3 credits. No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a letter grade. Pass/fail options are not available.

Program Options

AIFS students have access to courses in English from Stellenbosch University's mainstream curriculum in a wide range of subjects, within the faculties of Agri-Science, Arts and Social Sciences, Economic and Management Services, Science and Theology. This program is designed for students wishing to earn credit toward their major or general education requirements. You will experience South Africa's educational system first-hand, studying alongside South African and other international students. Choose up to 5 courses for a total of 15 credits.

Session/Term Credits Requirements
July to November or
January to June semester
Up to 15 2.5 GPA; completion of first year

General Education Program (formerly IPSU)

AIFS students may also choose up to 2 courses from the General Education Program of courses at Stellenbosch University (formerly the International Programs at Stellenbosch University), specially designed for study abroad students. In addition to the regular GEP courses available each semester, a series of 2-credit English Electives are available as well.

Global Service Learning (GSL) is an experiential learning program offered by the Global Engagement Centre of Stellenbosch University and presented in collaboration with Ikaya Primary  School.

It is comprised of 90 in-class hours (on Mondays) and 45 hours of on-site community engagement (on Fridays). This is a reading and writing intensive program that will require many hours of self-study and group work to enable successful completion outside of "formal" program hours. In addition, students are highly encouraged to make use of the Program Coordinator's office hours for individual discussion and reflection time.

The program is situated at the intersection between (international) education, community engagement, and sustainable development. Using a trans-disciplinary 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. 

We will challenge modernist, reductionist notions of development, investigating alternative possibilities in human-centred development, epistemic decolonisation, social justice, deep ecology, and aesthetic experience.

Students interested in the Global Service Learning program must indicate this with their application. Admission is by selection only. Global Service Learning students may choose up to 2 additional GEP courses to fulfil their course requirements, or courses from the mainstream course catalogue, as their timetable permits.

Please note that the Global Service Learning program has an earlier deadline than the traditional Stellenbosch program for the Fall semester; in order to be considered, your complete application must be received no later than:

  • Fall Semester: May 1
  • Spring Semester: October 1

Session/Term Credits Requirements
July to November or
January to June semester
Up to 15 (9 credits for the Global Service Learning course plus 1 or 2 other courses) 3.2 GPA; completion of junior or senior year; aged 20 or above

Stellenbosch University

Since its founding in 1918 Stellenbosch University (SU) has evolved from a traditional white Afrikaans University to a multilingual melting-pot of cultures. Today, close to 28,000 students representing more than 110 nationalities attend the University.

Stellenbosch University is among South Africa's leading institutions based on research output, student success and rated scientists, and is recognized internationally as an academic institution of excellence. This, together with the scenic beauty of the area, state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facilities and technology, as well as visionary thinking about the creation of a sustainable 21st century institution, makes for the unique character of Stellenbosch University.

Anti-apartheid revolutionary, South Africa's first black President and "Father of the Nation", the late Nelson Mandela, accepted an honorary doctorate from the University in 1996 and later addressed AIFS students in a personal note which wished them the best "as future leaders of the world." Mandela's words perfectly encapsulated SU's aim to produce engaged citizens and responsible leaders, who are willing to use their expertise and skills to serve society.