Program Overview

Grab a camera and a journal—you’ll want to capture every moment of your Summer in South Africa. You’ll study at the top-rated Stellenbosch University, located in the city by the same name. Ideally situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, the University is nestled in a valley flanked by mountains on all sides. Climb up for a panoramic view of the oak-lined streets, the chic bars and cafés, and the stunning campus you’ll call home. Your program includes hands-on courses, guest lecturers, and a six-day Garden Route Tour along the coast of beautiful South Africa. Take advantage of the many opportunities to learn both inside and outside the classroom by visiting famous vineyards and exploring nearby Cape Town. Your summer is just getting started!

GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
Summer: March 15
Avg Course Load
2-3 Courses (4-7 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction

Key Program Highlights

  • Community development and service-learning projects
  • Innovative, South Africa–focused curriculum
  • Trips to Stellenbosch Winelands
  • Extensive adventure opportunities
  • A college town on the outskirts of a cosmopolitan city
  • Private room a short walk from 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.

Housing Options

Summer in South Africa students are housed in a centrally located student dormitory on campus. The residence is a five-to-ten minute walk from the lecture halls and the heart of campus. The university offers a student center, where students can spend time together and also visit the many coffee shops, restaurants, banks, a convenience store, 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!


  • Double room
  • Shared bathrooms
  • Bedding is provided, as well as your own study desk and lamp
  • Internet access in rooms (via Ethernet cables)
  • Cafeteria, which provides breakfast
  • Cooking facilities are not provided
  • Recreational facilities
student on Stellenbosch campus

Local Life

  • 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!

Program Excursions

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.

6-day Garden Route Tour

Explore the rich landscapes and diverse wildlife that South Africa has to offer. On the 6-day Garden Route Tour, you'll have the opportunity to travel the coastline, visiting some of the country's most spectacular sites. This excursion may include visits to an ostrich farm, the Congo Caves, Addo National Park, Jeffery's Bay, and Tsitsikamma National Park.

Boulder's Beach

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.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program in south africa nature water cape point

Cape Point Nature Reserve

This reserve marks the southwestern-most tip of the continent. Enjoy dramatic views, deserted beaches, and fantastic hiking trails.


GPA Requirement

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.

Course Approval

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 Information

Course descriptions and catalog:

There are 4 program offerings for Summer in South Africa:

1) General summer program (Up to 6 credits)
2) Service Learning program (7 credits)
3) Doing Business in Southern Africa (7 credits)
4) Public Health (7 credits).

Please note that all summer school students must take the following course the first week, Introduction to South Africa’s Political History. After this course the first week, the summer school groups split into their respective programs.


For the General summer program, courses are worth 2 US credits each; you can take up to 3 courses (including the required Introduction to South Africa’s Political History) for a total of 6 credits. Students must choose one course from each Elective group.

Elective Group 1: (1 week, 2 US credits)
Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History
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. (Required)

Elective Group 2: (1 week, 2 US credits)
Course 2: Bio-Diversity: Plants for the People in the Western Cape
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: Visual Controversies in South Africa, Past and Present
This course will track major developments and changes in South African art and media from the Union years (1910 – 48), through the Apartheid era (1948-1994) and after (1994- present). The point of this broad historical perspective is not so much to provide a condensed history of South African art and media, as it is to explore the relationship between South Africa’s turbulent socio-political landscape and its visual culture.

Course 4: Challenges for Democratic Consolidation
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.

Course 5: Growth, Unemployment and Inequality in South Africa
Economists usually view development from two perspectives. Firstly, we wish to understand more broadly why some economies are poor and why others have performed so well. Secondly, we consider how broad economic trends and policies impact households and individuals. The literature on economic growth is vast, and seeks answers in many focus areas: from the relationship between aid and growth, to the more long-term influences of geography, the slave trade, and legal and informal institutions. The lectures of this component of the forum will give a broad overview of the theoretical and empirical literature on economic growth, and hopes to understand a large spectrum of likely causes and influences.

Course 6: Multilingualism and Intercultural Communication
The three main themes covered during this course are:

Intercultural Communication as a field of academic reflection: This theme will cover the historical background, and the reasons for scholarly and popular interest in the phenomenon of intercultural communication. It will also give definitions and general features as well as the main research themes currently covered in Intercultural Communication. In the course of introducing this theme, key concept in the field, such as ‘language’, ‘multilingualism’, ‘culture’, ‘communication’, ‘miscommunication’, ‘misunderstanding’, etc. will be introduced.

Theoretical approaches to the study of Intercultural Communication phenomena and methods of research in Intercultural Communication: This theme will introduce a number of theoretical approaches and the associated methodologies within the field. These will include the contrastive approach, the interlanguage approach; the interactive-intercultural approach; pragmatic approaches; sociolinguistic approaches; ethnographic approaches, (critical) discourse analysis; linguistic analysis (e.g. structural features of codeswitching; pragmatic features such as irony and truism).

Intercultural Communication in social interaction: Here two broad themes will be covered, namely (i) Intercultural Communication which involves minority language groups, and (ii) Intercultural Communication in the workplace.

Elective Group 3: (1 week, 2 US credits)
Course 7: Marketing
The module provides the student with an introduction to marketing and will focus on marketing dynamics in a rapidly changing environment. The main aim is to assist students in understanding the discipline of marketing management from a brand building perspective, as well as the variables that are important when making marketing decisions. A strong focus will be placed on marketing in the South African environment, but the module also includes a section on marketing in global markets.

Course 8: Present Imperfect: Negotiating Identities in Film and Literature
This course focuses on the way in which literature and film in South Africa have registered and reflected the social and political conflicts and tensions of the Apartheid years, and how, since the first democratic elections in 1994, these fields of cultural production have served—and continue to serve—as a means of questioning and negotiating identity, not only nationally, but also at the level of the community and the individual.

Course 9: HIV / AIDS: A South African Perspective
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 10: Ethics, Science and Culture in Philosophical Perspective
The three main themes that will be covered during the course are science, ethics, and culture. We will discuss the question of what science is and why it matters to answer this question. We will focus on the different answers that Popper and Kuhn gave to this question. We will discuss utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics as three prominent ethical theories. We will also look at the relation between selfishness and altruism, the relation between ethics and science and the relation between ethics and evolutionary theory. Culture is largely a matter of the institutions that a society adopts. We will look at the nature of institutions and discuss the status of questions like ‘capitalism v. socialism’.

Course 11: China in Africa
During this course, you will be introduced to China’s growing role on the African continent. While China engaged with African liberation movements during the Cold War, it was only from the 1990s onward, following its shift to a market economy, that the Chinese presence in Africa became a topic of widespread public debate. Understanding the nuts and bolts of how China engages with Africa is crucial to grasping a much larger phenomenon, namely the rise of East Asia and the geopolitical realignment of global power which is currently taking place.


Please note if you choose the Service Learning Program (Learning, Sustainability, and Community Engagement), you will need to write an additional essay for your application. In addition, since students will be working with children, students are legally required to provide an up-to-date police clearance.

Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History – 1 week, 2 US credits
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, Sustainability, and Community Engagement – 3 weeks, 5 US credits
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.


Business Studies background is recommended, although not a requirement.

Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History – 1 week, 2 US credits
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: Doing Business in Southern Africa – 3 weeks, 5 US credits
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
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: Public Health within the South African Context – 3 weeks, 5 USA credits
This course offers students an introductory look into the health care system of South Africa, with a thematic approach. Theme options are identified by determinants of health in the Western Cape, and grouped as follows: HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis; Non-Communicable Diseases and Infectious Diseases; Substance Abuse; Domestic Violence; Mental- and Psychological Health; Sexual and Reproductive Health. The courses consist of classroom instruction, readings, and presentations which are integrated with an experiential component that includes exposures to healthcare facilities in the Western Cape Province. Students make observations and/or participate in planned activities on site.



The University

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)

mountains behind stellenbosch campus

Student Feedback

CISabroad student study abroad head shot photo
CISabroad was so helpful and instrumental in helping me achieve a lifelong dream of going to Africa. I will miss everything about my experience in South Africa. The food was amazing, the views were perfect, and the people were of a different caliber. I miss my fellows that I conquered South Africa alongside. They definitely made the experience unique.

Porchia Bradford - Hampton University

Program Support

Meet 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.

Ongoing Support

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

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Summer 2018
    Application Deadline
    March 15
    June 15 (Estimated)
    June 17 (Estimated)
    Classes Start
    June 18 (Estimated)
    Classes End
    July 13; Garden Route Tour: July 13 - July 18 (Estimated)
    July 18 (Estimated)
    $5,990 - $6,690 (Estimated)

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Excursions to Cape Town and Stellenbosch Winelands
  • 6-day, 5-night Garden Route Tour at end of program
  • Weekend away
  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • Predeparture orientation and onsite orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Stellenbosch University official transcript
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program