- Stellenbosch, South Africa
- Program Type:
- Study Abroad
- Degree Level:
- Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Year Round
- Program Description:
Live and study in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa, featuring historic architecture, rich cultural heritage, and easy access to outdoor and sporting activities. Stellenbosch is in the heart of South Africa's wine country, providing the cuisine, culture, and stunning scenery that entails. Surrounded by mountains in the Jonkershoek Valley, it offers the best of both worlds: a small, historic, university town with convenient access to the amenities of the bigger metropolitan area of Cape Town. The program at Stellenbosch University offers the opportunity to create an educational program that meets your personal and academic goals. Choose courses for international students designed to familiarize you with South Africa’s unique culture, history, and politics, and “Mainstream” courses offered in a wide variety of disciplines that are open to all SU students. SU focuses on inclusivity, diversity, and using its academic excellence and research activities to find sustainable solutions to some of South Africa and Africa's greatest challenges. Specifically, the university promotes a science-for-society approach, aimed at improving people's lives by eradicating poverty, and promoting human dignity and health, democracy and human rights, safety and security, and a sustainable environment and competitive industry.
Through our agreement with Stellenbosch University, an array of courses will be made available for you to take. Areas of study believed to be of most interest to USAC students are included below as a sample of what the University offers. Courses are subject to availability and approval of prerequisites which are determined by Stellenbosch University. The structure of Stellenbosch courses will vary between departments. Some courses will be presented via large lectures, others may be held seminar-style, and others will combine lectures with weekly practicums or tutorials. A full-time load at Stellenbosch University is 60 South African (SA) credits per semester (equivalent to approximately 15 US credits) and students may only enroll in up to 60 SA credits while abroad. All students are required to enroll in a USAC-selected course designed to familiarize you with South Africa's unique history and current social, cultural, and political climate while at Stellenbosch University. The title and content of this course will vary slightly by semester, with options anticipated to include courses like Sociology: Politics and Cultural Change in Contemporary South Africa. The required course will be part of your 60 SA credit load, and for planning purposes, please anticipate that the course will be 12 SA credits (3 US credits). Most courses offered in English at Stellenbosch University run for the entire semester, but some will run either the first term (six-seven weeks) of the semester or last term (six-seven weeks) of the semester. Six- to seven-week courses are typically 6 SA (1.5 US) credits, and full-semester courses are typically 12 SA (3 US) credits. Keep in mind that you must enroll in the equivalency of at least 12 US credits per semester (even if host university requirements are lower). Be sure to have plenty of primary and alternate course options in mind as schedules are subject to change and registration in your preferred courses is not guaranteed. Grades may not be ready until one or two months after exams are completed; in some cases it may take longer. Check your Credits, Courses, and Transcripts document in Gateway for details specific to your host university. The transcript evaluation and grade reporting process at your home university will also take time after your overseas transcripts arrives. If you plan to study here during your senior year, review your home university requirements carefully to allow enough time for grades to be posted for graduation. Plan to work ahead with your academic advisor if you will be using your study abroad coursework to meet prerequisites back at home.
The Stellenbosch program is administered in the US by the USAC Central Office and in South Africa by the Stellenbosch University Postgraduate and International Office (PGIO) staff. The PGIO staff is responsible for the overall operations of the program abroad. Once you arrive on-site, the PGIO staff will provide a mandatory orientation, help you find immersion activities, and oversee your general well-being while on the program.
- Setting Description:
- The Stellenbosch University main campus is located in the Boland Mountains of South Africa’s Western Cape Province, in a historic, oak-lined university town. The university is a unique mix of the old and new, with centuries-old buildings and new, state-of-the-art facilities sharing the campus. Today, SU is focused on student, faculty, and staff diversity and inclusivity, and on developing a multicultural campus culture that welcomes individuals regardless of origin, ethnicity, language, gender, religious and political conviction, social class, disability, or sexual orientation. The university is committed to remaining a national asset, and to leading South Africa’s efforts to increase sustainability and the quality of life of all its citizens. Toward this end, SU leadership has made a conscious decision to utilize its expertise for the benefit of society at large. This science-for-society approach is reflected in SU's HOPE Project, a campus-wide initiative through which the University
Additional Program Information
Based on 1 Reviews
- I Bless the Rains Down in Africa10/25/18
The USAC South Africa program is easily the best thing I've done. My time in Stellenbosch provided me with valuable education, an immersive cultural experience, and lifelong friends. For this particular program, the on-site team are all Stellenbosch University
staff, so there aren't representatives from USAC helping you in person while in South Africa. However, they were super helpful during the months leading up to my departure, answering my barrage of emails and questions and generally making the process much easier and less stressful. This trip was my first time ever leaving the United States, and they addressed all my concerns to make sure I had a truly positive experience. As far as my actual time in Stellenbosch, it was an amazing mixture of interesting classes (I chose the General Elective program and took South African Political History; Equity, Leadership, and Transformation in the Global Classroom; and HIV/AIDS in South Africa) intertwined with memorable excursions. Some of my favorite outings were: shark cage diving in the cold waters of Gansbaai, wine and chocolate tasting at Spice Route, hiking Table Mountain in Cape Town and Jonkershoek Mountain in Stellenbosch, bonding with my peers at braais (Afrikaans for barbecue), boating out to Robben Island and learning more about anti-apartheid activism, and meeting with community members at an HIV/AIDS clinic in Mbekweni. South Africa is a beautiful country with a troubled history, but the people I met were wonderfully kind and loved sharing their culture with us. Aside from the planned excursions, there are so many opportunities to explore Stellenbosch and Cape Town on your own, or see more of South Africa through the Garden Route tour. On colder, rainy days, it was fun to curl up with some tea and blankets in the "Wi-Fi room," or grab a hot chocolate from the Neelsie. One of my favorite things about the program was that our group consisted of students from 19 different countries; I now have friends all over the world I can visit, like Germany, Egypt, Italy, Australia, Tunisia, and, of course, back in South Africa. This program stretched my comfort zone and increased my confidence. Now, rather than feeling hesitation at the possibility of traveling and volunteering abroad, I'm monitoring flights everyday waiting for another chance to try something new. (FYI--you'll probably listen to Africa by Toto more times than you can count).read moreBottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend