Summer in South Africa

Ride an ostrich, visit a colony of beach penguins, and explore Tsitsikamma National Park this summer. Field trips, hands-on community service projects, and expert guest lecturers make this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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

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

2. When are program fees due?

Program Fees for Summer in South Africa Sessions 1 & 2 are due on May 1st. 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, and Scholarship Application (Optional).

4. Mail in your official Transcript to our office.

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application for Summer in South Africa Session is due on March 15th.

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

For Summer 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 Summer in South Africa, you will NOT need a Visa.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes! For Summer in South Africa, the GPA requirement is 2.8.

6. What are my housing options?

Summer in South Africa students will be living in shared apartments with South Africans as well as other international students - you will make friends from around the world.

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 Summer in South Africa, you will enroll in 2–3 classes (4-6 U.S. credits). You can take up to 3 classes per semester. To see the courses available, go here.

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 a 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.

Stellenbosch is located in an area of South Africa that’s ideal for students. It is a safe college town with more than 100 bars, restaurants, and coffee shops around campus. If you’re interested in shopping, historical sightseeing, or the nightlife of South Africa’s most modern city, Cape Town is only a quick bus ride away. Also, the nicest beaches are a 20-minute drive.

Stellenbosch is the proud capital of the Cape Winelands and is situated on the banks of the Eersterivier (“First River”). While wine-lovers come for the more than 200 local vineyards, many other tourists seek out the wonderful mix of architectural styles. The town is filled with beautiful Cape Dutch thatched cottages, Gregorian double-story houses, and ornate Victorians, often presided over by large oak trees.  

Semester in South Africa is located at Stellenbosch University, just 20 minutes from Cape Town and the ocean, in the picturesque Jonkershoek Valley. The University can be traced back to the 17th century, when the Dutch Reformed Church held regular school instruction on campus. Today, the University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education.

Stellenbosch University offers an ideal blend of academics, campus events, and social opportunities. Stellenbosch is a beautiful, safe campus with many international students. Both the campus and the surrounding communities are a melting pot of cultures. You can choose from 6 hands-on courses taught by highly qualified professors.  This program is special because you will also have the opportunity to explore the African continent, make lifelong friends, and assist a local community with development work.

As a CIS study abroad student, you’ll get outstanding support. We’re with you every step of the way, providing academic advising, personal help, and cultural counseling. We want to ensure that you hit the ground running and don’t miss a thing.

Upon arriving in South Africa, you will participate in an extensive orientation program, including a tour of Stellenbosch University and an excursion through Cape Town. You are also free to join other CIS students on a wine trip through the surrounding vineyards.
CIS students have access to acres of playing fields, 2 sports stadiums, 2 large swimming pools, and a high-tech gym. These amenities encourage more than 30 competitive and recreational sports. The hills and mountains surrounding campus are perfect for hiking, mountaineering, cycling, jogging, hang gliding, or just picnicking.

During the Summer in South Africa program, you will also have the option of joining other students on a 6-day, 5-night Garden Route Tour. The popular Garden Route is a scenic road that wraps along the southeastern coastline. The name comes from the lush and diverse vegetation, lagoons, lakes, and national parks found along the route. You will have opportunities to view penguins, ostriches, cheetahs, dolphins, whales, and of course the Big 5—lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo! You can also walk on the wild side and sandboard, bungee jump, surf, skydive, and cage dive with great white sharks.

Summer in South Africa has an incredible housing plan. Living in shared apartments with other international students and South Africans, you will make friends from around the world. 

Here are some highlights:

  • Shared room
  • 3–4 roommates 
  • Convenient location close to campus
  • Fully furnished (coffee tables, chairs, beds) 
  • A breathtaking view of the mountains surrounding Stellenbosch
  • Perfect for meeting other international students
  • Internet access
  • Recreational facilities

Summer in South Africa is a 4-5 week program at Stellenbosch University during the month of June. Field trips, hands-on community service projects, and expert guest lecturers make Summer in South Africa a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

GPA Required: 2.8. 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 found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses. You can select from 6 summer courses.

Course load:  2–3 classes (4–6 US credits). You can take up to 3 classes during the summer.

Course approval:  It is best to get 4–5 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.

Course descriptions and catalog
There are 3 distinct program offerings in Summer in South Africa:

1) General summer program (take up to 3 of the 6 general courses listed below)

2) Service-Learning program (7 credits)

3) Doing Business in Southern Africa (7 credits).

If you choose the general courses, please note that Course 1 is mandatory. Also, general courses are 2 US credits; you can take up to 3 courses for 6 credits.

If you choose the service-learning program, you will need to write an additional essay for your application. You will take both courses listed below for a total of 7 US credits.

General courses

Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History (mandatory)
This course will introduce you to South Africa’s unique 20th-century history and the interplay of the country’s political, social, and economic issues. In particular, the focus is on South African identities and how they were and continue to be shaped by the country’s past.

Course 2: Biodiversity: Plants for the People in the Western Cape (elective)
An introduction to South Africa’s incredible biological diversity, with special focus on the plants of the Cape Floristic Region (a global biodiversity hot spot). It starts with an evaluation of people as threats to biodiversity, and of the conservation efforts being applied to help people use of the flora sustainably.

Course 3: Apartheid and After: Representations of South Africa in Art and Media (elective)
This course focuses on the way in which art and media register and reflect the social and political conflicts and tensions of nation building and racial reconciliation in South Africa. Through analysis of visual culture (which may include art, photography, and popular media such as music videos and soap operas), you will investigate the complexity of identity creation in pre- and post-apartheid South Africa. The course includes visits to artists’ studios, galleries, and other culturally significant sites in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

Course 4: HIV and Aids: A South African Perspective (elective)
This course aims to nurture and develop in students—as leaders and future professionals—the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to manage HIV prevention and care in the workplace, both locally and abroad. You will develop a global understanding of HIV and AIDS through the South African experience of the HIV epidemic.

Course 5: Apartheid and After: Negotiating Identities in Literature and Film (elective)
This course focuses on the way in which South African literature and film registered and reflected the social and political conflicts and tensions of the apartheid years, and how, since the first democratic elections in 1994, these cultural products have served as a means of questioning and negotiating identity not only nationally, but also at the level of the community and the individual. This weeklong course will engage with poetry, songs, 2 novels, a play, and a small selection of apartheid-era and more recent South African films.

Course 6: Challenges for Democratic Consolidation (elective)
This course builds on some of the issues introduced in Course 1. Its focus is contemporary South Africa—a society in transition, characterized by elements of both change and continuity. You’ll explore some of the most urgent policy challenges facing the country (like crime, poverty, and social delivery) and further investigate the politics of identity, race, and nation building. In light of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the course will specifically focus on sport as a driver of national identity and also take a look at the role the South African state plays in Africa and internationally

Service-learning option

Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History (mandatory)
An introduction to South Africa’s unique 20th-century history and to the interplay of  its political, social, and economic issues. In particular, the focus is on South African identities and how these were and continue to be shaped by the country’s past.

Course 2: Learning for Sustainable Community Development (mandatory)
This program is an opportunity to demonstrate and develop your global citizenship through community engagement. You will come to understand the impact of both history and current issues on community life and problems in South Africa and experience it firsthand through engaging in a South African community—while earning academic credits.


Doing Business in Southern Africa 

This course aims to help students investigate the unique institutional and policy conditions in Southern African countries which will not only allow future entrepreneurs and managers to understand the challenges that will confront their businesses, but also allow them to identify the opportunities that this rapidly growing region offers.

Course 1: Introduction to South Africa's Political History - 1 week, 2 USA credits (mandatory)

Course 2: Doing Business in Southern Africa - 4 weeks, 7 USA credits (mandatory)

Summer in South Africa incorporates excursions into your course material. You’ll gain an understanding of the culture by visiting such places as Swellendam and Cape Point. Regardless of the courses you are taking, you’ll visit places of historic importance, such as Robben Island; places of natural beauty, such as Cape Town and Table Mountain; and the Seder Berg wilderness area.

Also included in Summer in South Africa is the Garden Route Safari tour.  You will travel along a stretch of land that is like no other in the world in terms of beauty, natural attractions and unique flora and fauna.  During these amazing six days, you will visit an elephant sanctuary, hike and zip line through jungles, and even ride an ostrich (if you want to!).  Students say this is the highlight of their summer study abroad experience. 

CISabroad’s Site Director in South Africa

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 Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Brasil, South Africa, Greece, and Spain.  After college, she taught 2nd grade in Honduras and travelled through Central America.  Later, she founded an after-school arts & 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.

We’ve got dynamic South Africa–focused courses.  From Apartheid and After to Botanical Diversity of South Africa, the courses offered in this program combine lectures, group discussions, and field trips so you really understand the whole picture.

We’re with you every step of the way. At CIS, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your summer abroad.

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

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.

There are many reasons to study abroad in South Africa on our Summer in South Africa program, but here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • Excursions around Cape Town and the Stellenbosch Winelands
  • Extensive adventure opportunities
  • 6-day, 5-night Garden Route Safari Tour
  • Classes at a world-renowned university
  • Community development and service-learning projects
  • A college town on the outskirts of a cosmopolitan city
  • An innovative, South Africa–focused curriculum
  • Extensive sports facilities on campus

Our Summer in South Africa study abroad program offers you an amazing college experience in an exotic destination, studying at Stellenbosch University.  Ideally situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, the University is at the core of Stellenbosch, the country’s oldest college town. Your summer study abroad program in South Africa includes hands-on courses, guest lecturers, and opportunities to learn both inside and outside the classroom. 

6-day Garden Route Safari Tour – Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride an ostrich? On the 6-day, 5-night Garden Route Tour, you can try it at an ostrich farm, visit a colony of beach penguins, and explore Tsitsikamma National Park. If you have an adventurous side, there are also opportunities to safari, surf, sand board, and ride horses on the beach.

Cape Town and the wine country – When you arrive in South Africa, we’ll give you a detailed 3-day orientation, during which we’ll take you on a tour of Cape Town and the Stellenbosch wine country.  

South Africa-focused academics – Summer in South Africa provides you the unique opportunity to study the history of South Africa, as well as issues faced today.

Community development projects - 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.