Study Abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa

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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.

Global Service Learning students must then take the 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.

  • 8 U.S. credits, 300 U.S. level

Extra Credit: 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 2021.

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 and mailed directly to the student’s home university approximately one month after the end of the program.

Global Service Learning Program

The objective of this exciting module is to provide international students with the opportunity to demonstrate their global citizenship through a service learning experience. Students will develop an understanding of the historical background and current issues impacting community life and problems in South Africa and will experience it first hand through service to a South African community while earning academic credits. Community service learning is a term that describes the contact between the student and a community of choice where the service learning experience will take place. Past projects have involved working with children or adults who are affiliated to an organization within the community. Project themes include teaching of life skills, global awareness programs and art, sport and general learning skills. These are thus ideal learning and training sites for aspirant community development workers. It holds the potential to equip students with a wide range of skills, needed in a variety of different contexts, outside of the Global Service Learning program.

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
  • Global Service Learning students are required to provide a police clearance record due to the fact that they will be working with children

(Please consult your AIFS Admissions Officer for further details)

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS South Africa programs!

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS South Africa, Stellenbosch programs!