Get transported to Stellenbosch, the ideal (and oldest) college town in South Africa, which is a true melting pot of cultures and languages. You’ll stroll the oak-lined streets, meet other students at hip bars and cafés, and hike up the mountains beyond the town for a gorgeous, panoramic view. On Semester in South Africa, you’ll study at Stellenbosch University, a premiere university in the nation. Stellenbosch is located in the heart of the Cape Winelands, one of the best wine regions thanks to the warm Mediterranean climate and rich soil. Participate in dozens of clubs, take on a service learning project, or try sailing or rugby. Semester in South Africa is the perfect opportunity to embark on unique adventures.
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
Spring: September 15
Fall: March 15
- Avg Course Load
- 3-4 Courses (12-16 US credits)
- Language(s) of Instruction
- English (Afrikaans and Xhosa courses available)
Key Program Highlights
- CISabroad South Africa orientation
- Excursions around Cape Town, the Stellenbosch Winelands, and Table Mountain
- Innovative curriculum in liberal arts, science, business, social science, languages, and more
- Extensive adventure opportunities
- Fantastic sports facilities on campus
- Private rooms close to campus
Your Journey Begins Here
Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.
Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.
Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.
Life in Stellenbosch
Welcome and Orientation
Upon arrival you’ll take part in both the university and CISabroad orientation program. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of South African life, like how to get around by public transportation, how to stay safe, what to do in case of an emergency and who to contact if you have any questions. We’ll also tell you all about our favorite places in town (restaurants, museums, markets etc). Oh, and you’ll join in on a welcome meal, something traditional and yummy (ever heard of “Bobotie?”) so that you can start to taste the local flavor.
Farewell and Re-entry Program
Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you again as part of our farewell to South Africa.
Semester in South Africa students will live in one of the two international student accommodations, which are only a five-to-ten minute walk from the heart of campus.The university offers a student center, where students spend time together and also visit the many coffee shops, restaurants, clothing stores, banks, bookstores, and adventure and travel stores located inside. Living on campus will allow you to explore the area at your own pace; you’ll be in a great position to learn more about the South African culture and the people, which will only enhance your study abroad experience!
- Private room in shared apartment
- Shared kitchen, bathroom, and living space
- Kitchen utensils and bed linens, as well as a bed, desk, chair, dining table and chairs, and a wardrobe for clothes
- Self-catered apartments with kitchen facilities, which means students will need to either prepare their own meals or dine out
- Festivals and Music Gigs: South Africans love their festivals! Every season offers something special, whether it’s music or fun events; it’s a great way to experience community.
- Baphumelele Orphanage: Visit and volunteer at this local orphanage. Participate in their monthly art and yoga program.
- Long Street: Lined with Bohemian coffee shops and bookstores, discover why this is the heartbeat of Cape Town’s city center.
- V&A Waterfront Harbour: Take a stroll along the harbour, enjoying the sweeping views of the Atlantic.
- Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood: Here you can learn how to cook local Cape cuisine!
- Greenmarket Square: Shop in this local market and get great bargains for Pan-African crafts.
More About Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch, South Africa, is a breathtaking university town nestled in the foothills of the Hottentots-Holland mountain range, beneath the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. Stellenbosch is sheltered in the Jonkershoek valley and is surrounded by soaring mountains on all sides. With dry, warm summers and cool, rainy winters, you'll rarely see snow in this gorgeous locale!
Known as the center of the South African wine industry, Stellenbosch is the second oldest European settlement in the province after Cape Town. Rich in history and cultural activities, you'll never have a dull moment. You can spend a weekend touring the many wine estates in the area, which are considered among the top in the world. Visit the Botanical Gardens of Stellenbosch University, or stroll through a nearby nature preserve if you prefer something more slow paced.
With a comfortable population of just over 110,000, Stellenbosch has a city-feel without being overcrowded. For a boost of excitement and energy, Cape Town is only a quick 30-minute bus ride away! South Africa can fit all sides of your personality, whether you're looking for a scenic walk or are a thrill-seeking adventure. Leap from the highest bungee jump on the planet, dive with great white sharks, or go on safari to see lions, elephants, and rhinos . . . that's only the beginning!
While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in weekend and day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
This sheltered beach is made up of gigantic granite boulders which provides calm waters for swimming. You’ll have to share the beach with the African penguins who nest there.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
This reserve marks the southwestern-most tip of the continent. Enjoy dramatic views, deserted beaches, and fantastic hiking trails.
If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.
How to Choose Your Courses
Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.
Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. 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.
Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.
Course descriptions and catalog:
Stellenbosch University offers two different types of courses – Global Education Program (GEP) courses and Mainstream courses. We advise that students select their first course choices from the Mainstream courses, for integration purposes, since GEP courses are attended only by international students. Also, there are a much wider variety of course options available in the Mainstream course options.
Global Education Program (GEP) Courses:
GEP courses are specifically designed for non-degree seeking, international semester students. They focus on providing study abroad students with an in-depth look at the languages and history of South Africa. Students may enroll in a maximum of two pre-approved GEP courses upon their arrival in South Africa.
Please click here to view the 2018 Term 1 GEP Course Booklet for international students. We recommend that students choose their courses from this booklet, as it is unlikely the courses will change drastically between Term 1 (January – June) and Term 2 (July – December).
One course that we highly recommend for students interested in service learning is the Learning for Sustainable Community Engagement (LSCE) course. This course is an experiential learning, writing-intensive, academic credit bearing, community engagement program worth 9 US credits. This course includes both theoretical and practical work where students will learn about eradicating poverty and transforming lives through partnerships. The program enables participants to broaden their understanding of South African history and contemporary life and to develop their global citizenship through community engagement.
For students who would like to apply for the LSCE course, please note that this course has a separate course application needs to be submitted. Ask your Program Coordinator for more details!
Please click here for the Learning Sustainability & Community Engagement syllabus.
At Stellenbosch University, study abroad students are welcome to apply for Mainstream courses, which form the university’s major degree programs. These courses are open for application to international semester students. Please note, upon arrival, students may register for a maximum of 60 South African credits (15 US credits), but we recommend that students apply for more courses than the maximum credit registration limit.
Students can take courses in English in any of the following faculties at Stellenbosch University. Please see the links to the full course catalogs (known as “yearbooks”) below. For more information regarding course codes and how to select courses from the following yearbooks, please click here to view a Guideline of Mainstream Courses Offered.
Mainstream Courses – Yearbooks:
Important Mainstream Course Code Information:
Each course at Stellenbosch University is represented by a three-digit code, which represents the academic level of study and the semester during which the course is offered. The following guideline applies to all undergraduate Mainstream courses offered at SU:
First digit: 1, 2, 3 or 4 – Indicates the year level of the course. 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.
Second digit: 1 through 9 – Indicates which semester the course is offered.
- 1, 2 or 3: Modules offered in the first semester – Stellenbosch University Semester 1 = January to June
- 4, 5 or 6: Modules offered in the second semester – Stellenbosch University Semester 2 = July to December
- 7, 8 or 9: Modules offered over two semesters, i.e. a full-year module. Please note that if a student applies for Semester 1 (January to June), they may be eligible to register for a full year course for half the credits only, provided that the academic department agrees to this arrangement. Students who apply for Semester 2 (July to December) are not eligible to apply for a full-year course.
Third digit: Stellenbosch University purposes only.
When choosing courses, please make sure you double check that the class is appropriate for your academic level of study and is offered during the semester you will be participating on the Semester in South Africa program. For example, Course Code 144 is a first-year subject course offered in Term 2 (beginning in July).
Additional Course Details: The number in parenthesis following the course code indicates the South African credit value of the course. For instance, course 344 (16) Advanced Topics in Molecular Genetics (3L, 3P) is worth 16 South African credits. 4 South African credits = 1 US credit. Students can take a maximum of 60 South African credits (15 US credits).
The series of numbers/letters in parenthesis following the course title indicates the type of instruction and the amount of instruction each week. For the module above, for instance, you can expect three lectures and three practical periods per week for the duration of the module. The following abbreviations are used to indicate the type of instruction:
- L –Lectures lasting 50 minutes, for example 1L, 3L
- P – Practical period lasting 50 minutes, for example 1P, 2P, 3P
- S – Seminar lasting 50 minutes, for example 1S, 2S
- T – Tutorial lasting 50 minutes, for example 1T, 2T
Study at the world-class Stellenbosch University in the heart of South African wine country. The campus and surrounding communities are a melting pot of cultures. You'll find a beautiful, safe campus with many international students. You can take innovative courses taught by highly qualified professors. And you'll have access to Stellenbosch University's amazing facilities, including a gigantic underground library, a music conservatory, open-air amphitheater, and a student center that has everything a student could want.
Affectionately known as “maties," Stellenbosch University students (that means you!) can join a wide variety of student organizations, club sports, and social organizations. You can join university trips to Oudshoorn, shark cage diving, a color run, hiking, a trip to the Langa suburb of Cape Town, and a wine weekend! If you want to organize your own adventure, there's something for everybody in and around Stellenbosch. Take a trip to a nature preserve to meet native South African species, make a toast at a world-famous vineyard, or simply grab a homemade ice cream at a relaxing cafe in town.
Founded in 1918, Stellenbosch University was ranked #11 in the 2016 BRICS & Emerging Economies Ranking and a top 50 University for Development Studies in 2015.
Accreditation: Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)
Porchia Bradford - Hampton University
Program SupportMeet Our Staff
Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.
Robust Advising Center
Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.
Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators
Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.
Experienced On-site Staff
From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.
Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.
Your Support Staff
Global Advising Team
Site Director in South Africa
Application DeadlineMarch 15ArrivalJuly 14OrientationJuly 15 - July 22Classes StartJuly 23Classes EndOctober 26; Exams: October 30 - December 6DepartureDecember 14PRICE$11,990
Fall 2018 + 6-Day Garden Route Tour
Application DeadlineMarch 15ArrivalJuly 14OrientationJuly 15 - July 22 | Garden Route Tour: September 8 - 16Classes StartJuly 23Classes EndOctober 26; Exams: October 30 - December 6DepartureDecember 14PRICE$12,490
Application DeadlineSeptember 15ArrivalJanuary 26 (Estimated)OrientationJanuary 28 - February 2 (Estimated)Classes StartFebruary 4 (Estimated)Classes EndMay 17 (Estimated)DepartureJune 29 (Estimated)PRICE$12,990 (Estimated)
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:
- Full-time tuition and fees
- Medical and accident insurance
- CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
- Academic advising
- Financial aid counseling
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Pre departure orientation
- Airport pickup
- Stellebosch University orientation
- On-site support
- Optional excursions to Robben Island, Table Mountain, Cape Town
- Stellenbosch University official transcript
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program