Semester in South Africa

Study in the heart of the Cape Winelands, in the country’s oldest college town. Debate South African politics with the Political Club, learn to sail with the yacht club, or take a world-famous safari to see the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo).

On Semester in South Africa, we offer world-class academics for a wide variety of majors. Whether you are looking for semester courses in economics, history, or psychology, we’ll help you find classes that match your academic focus.

First-class support and firsthand knowledge. At CISabroad, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your semester abroad.

We’ll get you to South Africa without breaking the bank. We offer one of the most affordable semester study abroad in South Africa programs. Savings for you means more money to shop and safari when you travel to South Africa.

Our Semester in South Africa offers you an amazing study abroad experience in an exotic destination. Our program is housed at Stellenbosch University. Ideally situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, the university is also at the core of Stellenbosch, the country’s oldest college town.  You will enjoy a Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild winters in a melting pot of cultures and languages while you study abroad in South Africa.

Classes in South Africa’s oldest college town – Stellenbosch University is recognized as one of the top four research universities in South Africa and the university's professors are internationally acclaimed.

A land of adventure – Many regard South Africa as the adventure capital of the world.  Are you interested in the highest bungee jump on the planet, diving with great white sharks, or making a safari to see the Big 5?

Learning Service & Community Engagement Course - In the classroom, you will develop an understanding of the issues affecting community life in South Africa. You then have the opportunity to participate in a service-learning project in your new community. 

Clubs and student organizations – You can debate South African politics with the Political Club, learn to sail with the yacht club, or take up Rugby. If you’re a go-getter and you don’t find a campus club that suits you, you can start your own!

Your site director in South Africa will be the amazing Athena! Ever since her big brother started darting his journeys on a globe, Athena knew she wanted to travel.  Through her adolescence, she spent summer breaks visiting her yiayia (grandma) in Greece and road tripped through Europe with her uncle, Terry. She migrated North from her hometown, Evanston, IL, and attended Michigan State University to study Education and theories around the globe.  She used studying abroad as a vessel to experience different parts of the world and with her camera in tow, she completed short and long-term programs in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, South Africa, Greece, and Spain.  After college, she taught 2nd grade in Honduras and travelled throughout Central America.  Later, she founded an after-school arts and environment program and managed a surf Eco-lodge in Nicargua with her South African husband, Chris. In 2008, they returned to South Africa to begin a new adventure, where her passion for food, film, language, and nature collided in the city of Cape Town.

1. What is the cost of the program? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for Semester in South Africa can be found here.

2. When are program fees due?

Program fees for Semester in South Africa are due on December 1st for Spring programs and June 1st for Fall programs. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

There are four easy steps in the Application process.

1. Fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. 

2. Pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost.

3. Complete the Academic Reference Form, Course Selection Worksheet, Personal Statement, Applicant Profile, Stellenbosch University application form, and Scholarship Application (Optional). We'll also need a copy of your passport photo page and a CV.

4. Mail in your official transcript to our office.

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application for Spring 2015 is due on September 1.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

For Semester in South Africa, you WILL need a passport. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For Semester in South Africa, you will need a visa. You will receive specific visa instructions once you have been accepted to the program.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes! For Semester in South Africa, the GPA requirement is 2.6.

6. What are my housing options?

Semester in South Africa students will be living in one of the two international student accommodations located only a 5-10 minute walk from the heart of campus. All of the apartments will have a shared kitchen, bathroom, and living space. Additionally, each student will have his or her own room.  These apartments are self-catered, which means students will need to either prepare their own meals or eat out.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For Semester in South Africa, you will enroll in 3–4 classes (12-16 U.S. credits). You can take up to 4 classes per semester (or a total of 60 South African credits). To see the courses available, go to the academics page.

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Semester in South Africa students will be living in one of the two international student accommodations which are only a 5-10 minute walk from the heart of campus.  All of the apartments will have a shared kitchen, bathroom, and living space and each of the students will have their own room.  These apartments are self-catered which means students will need to either prepare their own meals or eat out.  The university offers a student center where students spend time together and also visit the many coffee shops, restaurants, bars, food court, clothing stores, banks, bookstores, and adventure and travel stores located inside. Students will receive kitchen utensils and bed linens as well as a bed, desk, chair, dining table and chairs, and a wardrobe for clothes.  Living on campus will allow you to explore the area at your own pace; you will be in a great position to learn more about the South African culture and the people-- this will only enhance your study abroad experience!

Semester in South Africa offers an ideal blend of academics, campus events, and social opportunities at Stellenbosch University! The campus and surrounding communities are a melting pot of cultures.  Affectionately known as “maties", Stellenbosch students (that means you!) can join a wide variety of student organizations, club sports, and social organizations. Events organized by the university have included a trip to Oudshoorn, shark cage diving, a color run, hiking, a trip to the Langa suburb of Cape Town, and a wine weekend!

While on Semester in South Africa, you'll find a beautiful, safe campus with many international students. You will have the opportunity to take innovative courses taught by highly qualified professors, immerse yourself in a new culture, and make friends from around the world.  Study in your major or take some elective credits in Afrikaans!

You'll study in amazing facilities for students including a gigantic underground library, a music conservatory, open-air amphitheatre, and a student center that has everything a student could want -- including a cinema and a post office! You'll also be surrounded by supportive staff and students, including the Student Representative Council and an Advice Office, all within the Students Centre.

Get involved in your new  university in one or more of their many student clubs and organizations! On Semester in South Africa, you can debate politics in the political club, sail with the yacht club, take up rugby, and more! And when you go abroad with CISabroad, you'll have ample opportunities to explore this beautiful region on excursions with your fellow students. With CISabroad, you'll explore the Cape Town metropolis and the Stellenbosch wine country. You'll climb Table Mountain, walk the beaches on the stunning Robben Island, and see the historical Cape Point.

At Stellenbosch University you'll live with other international students and South Africans. Like privacy? You'll have your own private, fully furnished room with a breathtaking view of the mountains.

Semester in South Africa has two semester options, with one beginning in January and and the other in July.  You will be able to find a study abroad program that fits with your schedule.

GPA Required: 2.6. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now the fun part! As part of the application process, you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses. You can select from 4 departments: the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Agrisciences, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

Course load: 3–4 classes (12-16 US credits). You can take up to 4 classes per semester - for a toal of 60 South African credits.

Course approval: It is best to get 8-10 classes approved before you go abroad. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Click here to view the 2014 Term 1 Course Booklet recommended for international students. (Please choose your courses from this booklet - it's unlikely the courses will change drastically between Term 1 [January - June] and Term 2 [July - December].) Please note: You'll want to choose most of your courses from these options; mainstream courses often require pre-requisites and are more difficult for study abroad students to enroll in.

Course descriptions and catalogClick here to view a complete mainstream course offering (please be certain the courses you are interested in are taught in English; you will NOT want courses marked at T-option, as those courses are taught in a combination of Afrikaans and English). Click here to view the most popular mainstream course offerings. 

How to read the Stellenbosch course catalog
You will find classes offered at the 100, 200, and 300 levels. The 200- and 300-level classes are often equivalent to junior- and senior-year classes in the US. They will likely have prerequisites.

The course code consists of three digits. The first indicates the year level of the course, the second indicates which semester the course is offered in (1, 2, 3 idicates a course starting in January; 4, 5, 6 indicates a course starting in July; 7 or 8 indicates a full year course). The third number is for Stellenbosch University purposes only. For example, Course Code 144 is a first-year subject course offered in Term 2 (beginning in July).

Four South African credits equals 1 US credit. Students taking 15 US credits will have 60 South African credits. 

Make sure you select only those classes that say "Yes" in the Study Abroad column, and double-check that the class is offered during the month you are starting the Semester in South Africa program.

Service-learning option

This course is an experiential learning, writing-intensive, academic credit bearing, community engagement course. This course includes both theoretical and practical work where students will learn about eradicating poverty through partnerships. Students will work with a farm school for the practical option. This course is 9 US credits.

Click here for the 2013 Learning Sustainablity & Community Engagement syllabus 

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 

For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Semester in Stellenbosch is located in Stellenbosch, South Africa, nestled in the foothills of Hottentots-Holland mountain range. It is a rolling wineland, sheltered in the Jonkershoek valley flanked by soaring mountains on all sides. Stellenbosch is the center of the South African wine industry, viticulure, and viticulture research. Summers are dry and warm while winters are cool and rainy, but you'll rarely see snow in this gorgeous locale!

After Cape Town, Stellenbosch is the second oldest European settlement in the province. Stellenbosch is known as the City of Oaks due to the large number of oak trees that abound in the area. This friendly town will offer a variety of activities!

Stellenbosch has a comfortable population of just over 110,000, giving it a city-feel without feeling crowded.  However, if you ever want a faster pace, all the excitement of Cape Town is only a quick 30-minute bus ride away! South Africa is perfect for you whether you are looking for a scenic walk or are a thrill-seeker. Leap from the highest bungee jump on the planet, go diving with great white sharks or go on safari to see lions, elephans, rhinos... and that's only the beginning!

If you've ever wanted to study abroad in South Africa, then check out our Semester in South Africa program. Here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • CISabroad South Africa Orientation
  • See some of the world’s best safaris
  • Excursions around Cape Town and the Stellenbosch Winelands
  • Extensive adventure opportunities
  • Classes at a world-renowned university
  • Innovative curriculum: courses in liberal arts, science, business, social science, languages, and more
  • Extensive sports facilities on campus