Study Abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Service Learning 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

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.

Learning, Sustainability and Community Engagement Students must then take this experiential learning course for 6 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.

  • Learning, Sustainability and Community Engagement Program: 8 U.S. credits, 300 U.S. level
  • An optional top up of 1 U.S. credit will be available. Please contact the Admissions Officer for more information.

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 approximately one month after the end of the program.

Learning, Sustainability and Community Engagement Track

In an era of increasing globalization, it is becoming ever more important for students to develop an understanding of the world they live in. It is widely recognized that a period of service learning overseas can greatly enhance intercultural understanding and promote an awareness of global issues. As well as getting an in-depth look at another culture and learning new skills, students choosing a service learning option can also gain immense satisfaction from knowing that they are making a real contribution to the society they are living and studying in.

New for 2018! Students taking the Learning, Sustainability and Community Engagement track will have the opportunity to take one 1-credit top up option for the Introduction to South Africa’s Political History course, which will involve pre-readings and additional assignments to gain up to 2 credits. For more information on this and any relevant fees, please contact the AIFS Admissions Officer.

Session/Term Credits Level
Service Learning Program 8 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)