Study Abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Study Abroad in Stellenbosch: Academics

Academic Programs

Cape Town and Robben Island, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, beach trip and scenic Garden Route

Program Options

Full Curriculum means that AIFS students can choose any course offered by Stellenbosch University if prerequisites are met. Stellenbosch University has also designed courses with a focus on South African history and culture to give international students a grounding in and introduction to this fascinating country. Subject areas include Agriscience, Art, Biodiversity, Conservation Ecology, English Literature, Global Health, History, International Relations, Languages, Political Science, Science, Sociology and Theology. You will experience South Africaís 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

These courses were designed by Stellenbosch University to give international students an introduction to, and understanding of, South African history, politics and culture and the continent beyond. Students may choose up to two General Education courses as well as the 9-credit Global Service Learning course 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.

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

Global Service Learning (GSL) 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 90 class hours and 45 hours of on-site community engagement.

This program is situated at the intersection between (international) education, community engagement, and sustainable development and aims to harness studentsí self-reflection to engage with contemporary global issues in a local context and use the community engagement elements critically as a tool for social impact.

Students take the 9-credit Global Service Learning course plus one or two courses from the Full Curriculum Program or the General Education Program for a total of 12-15 credits.

  • Fall Semester: May 1
  • Spring Semester: October 1
Session/Term Credits Requirements
July to November or
January to June semester
Up to 15 3.2 GPA; open to college juniors and seniors aged 20 or above

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

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. The university is among South Africaís 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 Africaís 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." Mandelaís words perfectly encapsulated SUís aim to produce engaged citizens and responsible leaders, who are willing to use their expertise and skills to serve society.