• South Africa
    • Stellenbosch
Academic Year, Fall, J-Term, Maymester, Short Term, Spring, Summer, Winter
Subject Areas
African Studies Agriculture Anthropology Art History Arts Biology Business Conservation and Preservation Ecology Education English Environmental Studies Gender Studies Global Studies Health Sciences History International Relations Linguistics Literature Photography Political Science Public Health Public Policy Religious Studies Service Learning Sociology Theology +17
General grants/scholarships, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
High School Diploma Bachelors


Price Details
AIFS Abroad is a premier provider of study abroad programs. Program fees cover tuition and housing. Coordinated AIFS Abroad Flight Packages with major airlines are also available.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Some Meals Travel Insurance
What's Included (Extra)

Round trip flights and airport transfers included for students on the optional AIFS Abroad Flight Package.

Feb 21, 2024
Dec 10, 2019
16 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Spend a January, summer, semester or academic year in Stellenbosch with AIFS Abroad. Earn up to 15 credits studying at the University of Stellenbosch. Courses are taught in English.

Choose your course of study on the Full Curriculum Program. Focus on South African history and culture through the General Education Program. Volunteer opportunities and a Learning for Sustainable Community Engagement Program are also options.

Live in the student resident hall at the heart of campus life.

You’ll enjoy cultural and social activities such as:
• Sporting events
• Beach excursions
• Trips to local craft and food markets
• Vineyard tour
• Hiking trips
• 6-day trip along the famous Garden Route
• Day trips to Cape Town, Robben Island, Cape of Good Hope Nature Preserve and Boulder’s Beach (home of 3,000 African penguins).
Optional excursions include a 3-day trip to the Cederberg Mountains and a 5-day visit to Addo Elephant Park and

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

At AIFS Abroad, we want to support all participants in their study/internship abroad journey, inclusive of gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Everyone has a complex identity, and faith, spirituality, and religion are important factors when deciding on a program location.

LGBTQIA+ Support

At AIFS Abroad, we want to support all participants in their study/internship abroad journey, inclusive of gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Everyone has a complex identity, and faith, spirituality, and religion are important factors when deciding on a program location.

Accessibility Support

Everyone’s experience is unique. We recognize the location you choose can have an impact on your sense of belonging. We encourage you to use the information below as you review your options to select the program and location that will be the best choice for you. If you do not hold the identities that are amplified here, this information is still a great resource for you as well. It will give you a better understanding of those who have this identity.



In response to the overwhelming global climate crisis, AIFS Abroad is pleased to make Sustainability a key priority when considering organizational, operational, and programming decisions. We understand that the only way to effectively combat this crisis and mitigate the effects of climate change is to drastically reduce our environmental impact. Therefore, AIFS Abroad has committed to reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2025. AIFS Abroad is proud to announce we have signed the CANIE Accord, becoming the first US provider to make this commitment.

Program Highlights

  • Earn up to 15 credits and transcript issued by Stellenbosch University
  • Volunteer and service learning opportunities
  • Onsite Program Director To help with any questions or advice you may need throughout the program
  • Excursions & Day Trips Cape Town and Robben Island, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, beach trip and scenic Garden Route
  • Carbon offsetting for all participants’ flights to and from their program location

Popular Programs

AIFS Abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Earn 3-semester credits during a 2.5-week January term study abroad program in Stellenbosch, South Africa with AIFS Abroad! Choose one of the following two courses — Travel Photography or Doing Business in South Africa — taught by faculty of Stellenbosch University. Courses are taught in English.

AIFS Abroad in South Africa

Spend the summer in the captivating city of Stellenbosch, South Africa with AIFS Abroad! You’ll earn up to 6 credits through the General Elective Program, Global Service Learning, Public Healthcare, or Doing Business in South Africa at Stellenbosch University. Courses are taught in English.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 29 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.3
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.8
  • Safety 4.45
Showing 1 - 8 of 29 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa will change your life!

The best part of this program was our onsite director, Hestea. She is a Stellenbosch local and took us on excursions to see the most beautiful parts of her hometown. Being able to travel with her was a unique opportunity that added so much value to all of our trips. The academic life in Stellenbosch is very different from a standard university in the United States. Classes meet once a week, and there is usually only a paper and a final. It takes a lot of independent commitment to make sure you do well. Class discussions were interesting because there are students from all over the world. This made group projects a challenge, especially with some language barriers, but I always looked forward to gaining new perspectives from my international peers. I liked that our class schedules made it easy to have time for seeing more of the town and taking trips to Cape Town (about 40 minutes away). Stellenbosch is a fun town for college students. There's always something to see or do, and it's fairly easy to navigate. I enjoyed walking or cycling most places, but uber is also a very affordable option. The housing situation looks different each term depending on how big the group of international students is. I had a great experience with housing. I lived in an apartment with 3 other girls from the United States, and we had plenty of space. It was cool to live in a building with other international students, because I made connections from all over the world. It did make it more difficult, however, to connect with local South African students. Still very doable, but it's definitely something you have to seek out for yourself! There is so much diversity in South Africa, and I'm thankful for the friends I made there. Can't wait to visit again soon!

What would you improve about this program?
More opportunities to connect with local South African students.
104 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

This program is amazing!

I would absolutely recommend this program or any AIFS program to anyone looking to study abroad. This program gave me the once in a lifetime chance to travel to a beautiful country and immerse myself in a culture that I would not have been able to if I did not study abroad. I so appreciated the fact that AIFS is an inclusive program, meaning that your meal plan, housing, travel insurance, excursions, etc. are included in the cost of tuition. I also found the flight package they offered unbeatable. My favorite excursion I went on during this program was completing the world's highest bridge bungee jump! Through my photograph course provided, I was able to learn how to take professional grade photos of all the wildlife I saw, including a family of elephants. I highly recommend this January term program to anyone looking to go somewhere amazing and adventurous.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw was a wild giraffe, in it's natural habitat. This was apart from our safari tour but our tour guides still stopped our vehicle and were able to see it and take photos! It was amazing.
85 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Learn Unexpected Lessons in Stellenbosch!

Every international experience helps you grow and provides context for your own life and experiences. But none of my prior experiences have opened my mind quite in the same way that this program did!

I selected this program because it was on a continent I'd not yet journeyed to and because it fell within the guidelines of the research grant I was awarded that summer. While short (8 weeks or so flies by so fast!), I felt challenged by the classes and cared for by the staff and local students. That's right, I said local students! Getting to meet and spend time with locals is unfortunately not always a given during academic-focused programs, but this unique program uses a crew of local volunteers who take classes with you (this is their winter term, so they are giving up their school break to hang out with international students - so cool), live in the dorms with you, and help guide your transition to the new city. By the end of the experience, it felt like a private school full of international friends.

In addition to that component, two other things really stand out about this AIFS experience: 1) The option to take part in a Garden Route one week tour when the classes are done. Your classes are finished, you've made close friendships, you've had a unique culture experience and now you get to take it on the road for a week! So fun and solidified the friendships I had made in the previous weeks. 2) The classes are interactive, exploratory, and created to open your mind beyond the classroom. I am struggling to think of a single course I took that didn't have a field trip or cultural experience linked to it. Taking the class about HIV & AIDS in South Africa? Well, not only do you learn about how it is affecting the nation, but you actually go to a site where locals are working to create legal action to make the change and get to sit down with them. Taking any class about Apartheid? You are learning in a classroom where political decisions were made about this injustice and learning from teachers who participated in the first open elections. You visit townships to see first hand how that still plays out in today's society.

It's not for the faint of heart, but it will open your heart in a big way.

What would you improve about this program?
There are certain aspects of the program that cannot really be helped, but there are a few things to know before committing (that you may or may not understand from the brochure):
1) Although it may be your summer term, it is taking place over South African winter break. While I mentioned that there are a wonderful crew of local students to interact with, the rest of the campus is mostly empty because students are gone visiting their families. If you were looking for a busy city and lots of students hogging the cafeteria, you may need to adjust your expectations or do one of their semester programs.
2) The dorms are comfortable and safe, but there were quite a few of my fellow students who were disappointed with the food and cleanliness. Keep in mind that cleanliness, access to certain foods, and hot water are all cultural expectations of the USA - don't expect to find things exactly to your liking all the time. That's where the growing and gratitude happens!
86 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer in Stellenbosch

As a student with a STEM major, I was only able to do a summer study abroad program, and it was not long enough. The AIFS Public Health Program in Stellenbosch, South Africa was applicable to my field of study, as well as during the ideal time of year and within the continent of my choice. This program was truly the perfect option for the opportunity of a lifetime.

During my stay, I was able to live in the dorms with other students from all over the US and the rest of the world, and was even lucky enough to room with a South Africa, who knew all of the local places to go and see, and all of the activities to do. The first of two classes I was able to take were an introduction to the political history of the country, which was taught in the most engaging, and memorable method of instruction I've experienced in my college career. The second, which related to my career, was the public health program, where I was able to learn about the local health care system and health problems that plague the country in a personal and eye-opening manner.

Throughout this time, classes were balanced by experiencing the beautiful country, nearby cities, culture, and tasting all of the amazing food that South Africa had to offer, all with the best company a person could ask for. As a whole, the organization of courses and excursions that AIFS offered for this program made my study abroad the best I could have possibly asked for. It's the best thing I've done for my studies and for myself, and I wish only that it could've lasted longer.

97 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The unforgettable country of South Africa

This experience was so meaningful for me and my peers. The people of South Africa are very heart-warming and caring folks. I felt connected to many of the people I met while abroad. I was in the service-learning course, where my peers and I became more immersed to one of the many cultures South Africa is home to. This experience was eye-opening and it challenged me to grow. I enjoyed being with the primary kids and learning more about where they come from.

The culture in South Africa is rich and diverse. It was incredible to learn so much with each passing day, most days were full of opportunities to learn more about other perspectives and yourself.

93 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

You Can Make a Difference

I want to make a difference in my students’ lives, even if it is in a small way. Each week, as we taught our students English, they taught us Xhosa and imparted some of their culture, building their confidence as competent and valuable sources of knowledge. While the students were always excited to see us, and I knew I was getting something out of the experience, I often wondered whether I was actually making a difference. While I cannot guarantee that our students' lives are better because of this program, I did see some positive outcomes during my time there. On the first day, our teacher started hanging up the vocabulary words we covered so the students could practice English every day of the week, on their own. One day, some students were finished coloring early and were sitting by the wall. Usually, they’d sing songs or play games amongst themselves, but this time, one of them stood up, went to the front, and began to quiz his friends on the vocabulary from that day. In all of our talk about sustainable development, this image replays in my mind. It gives me hope that, even after we leave, our students will continue to educate themselves. We cannot instantaneously change the fact that knowing English and Western culture increases opportunity in life, but we can attempt to bridge the gap and make those opportunities more accessible. This experience has inspired me to become a more informed global citizen and to practice sustainable education. Throughout my career, I hope to empower others through education and help bridge the socioeconomic gap.

93 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience Like No Other

Studying Abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa with AIFS truly changed my life. Having the opportunity to participate in the Service Learning program in the township of Kayamandi allowed me to both give back to the community I was studying abroad in and gave me the chance to experience a new and different culture from my own. This program was a transformative and enlightening experience that allowed me to reshape my notion of community engagement and what making a difference actually means. While having the opportunity to study abroad comes with the excitement of excursions, having some of the most memorable experiences of your life and building friendships, it was also a time for me to learn more about myself in a new environment away from the comforts of what I knew. My reflections of my surroundings and the people around me were important in how I perceived the new culture I was experiencing.

101 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Stellenbosch, South Africa

My experience in Stellenbosch, South Africa with AIFS was one of the most influential moments of my life so far. My time there was a really pivotal moment in both my personal life and career plans. There were many opportunities for myself and others to learn about and experience the rich culture. South Africa has eleven national languages, so it was so different and great to meet people who spoke completely different languages from town to town. Living there, we were able to experience the every day lives of South Africans and feel extremely welcome there. We also experienced the diversity that is present in an individual town and from town to town across the country. It was extremely important to me to be able to travel to different parts of the country and learn about their culture. This experience allowed me to be immersed in their culture and be challenged. It allowed me to grow as an individual and I believe that it presented me with a purpose in life that I plan to pursue.

85 people found this review helpful.
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Questions & Answers

When I went I used Facebook to meet up with the others who were in my program. If they search "South Africa Spring 2016" into Facebook they will probably find their program, or another program around them and can join the group there. The cost of living there was very cheap when I was there a few years ago when $1 was equal to about 7 rand. Right now $1 is almost 15 rand so it is probably even...