South Africa: Stellenbosch - Undergraduate Courses

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About

Live and study in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa, featuring historic architecture, rich cultural heritage, and easy access to outdoor and sporting activities. Stellenbosch is in the heart of South Africa's wine country, providing the cuisine, culture, and stunning scenery that entails. Surrounded by mountains in the Jonkershoek Valley, it offers the best of both worlds: a small, historic, university town with convenient access to the amenities of the bigger metropolitan area of Cape Town.

The program at Stellenbosch University offers the opportunity to create an educational program that meets your personal and academic goals. Choose courses for international students designed to familiarize you with South Africa’s unique culture, history, and politics, and “Mainstream” courses offered in a wide variety of disciplines that are open to all SU students.

Highlights
  • Study at one of the highest ranked universities in Africa, an institution focused on student, faculty, and staff diversity and inclusivity and on developing a multicultural campus culture.
  • Enroll in courses in a variety of disciplines taught in English—from the required South Africa history and culture course, to local and indigenous languages, sciences, liberal arts, mathematics, social sciences, and more.
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture by participating in the Voluntarism and Community Engagement (VCE) program, by signing up for a Matie Buddy (an experienced Stellenbosch student who can help you adjust to life in South Africa).
  • Live in a historic town, located in the heart of South Africa’s wine country, and explore all the natural resources and recreational activities this picturesque mountain region has to offer.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 8.5
  • Safety 8.3
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Default avatar
Danielle
10/10

I Bless the Rains Down in Africa

The USAC South Africa program is easily the best thing I've done. My time in Stellenbosch provided me with valuable education, an immersive cultural experience, and lifelong friends. For this particular program, the on-site team are all Stellenbosch University staff, so there aren't representatives from USAC helping you in person while in South Africa. However, they were super helpful during the months leading up to my departure, answering my barrage of emails and questions and generally making the process much easier and less stressful. This trip was my first time ever leaving the United States, and they addressed all my concerns to make sure I had a truly positive experience.

As far as my actual time in Stellenbosch, it was an amazing mixture of interesting classes (I chose the General Elective program and took South African Political History; Equity, Leadership, and Transformation in the Global Classroom; and HIV/AIDS in South Africa) intertwined with memorable excursions. Some of my favorite outings were: shark cage diving in the cold waters of Gansbaai, wine and chocolate tasting at Spice Route, hiking Table Mountain in Cape Town and Jonkershoek Mountain in Stellenbosch, bonding with my peers at braais (Afrikaans for barbecue), boating out to Robben Island and learning more about anti-apartheid activism, and meeting with community members at an HIV/AIDS clinic in Mbekweni. South Africa is a beautiful country with a troubled history, but the people I met were wonderfully kind and loved sharing their culture with us.

Aside from the planned excursions, there are so many opportunities to explore Stellenbosch and Cape Town on your own, or see more of South Africa through the Garden Route tour. On colder, rainy days, it was fun to curl up with some tea and blankets in the "Wi-Fi room," or grab a hot chocolate from the Neelsie. One of my favorite things about the program was that our group consisted of students from 19 different countries; I now have friends all over the world I can visit, like Germany, Egypt, Italy, Australia, Tunisia, and, of course, back in South Africa.

This program stretched my comfort zone and increased my confidence. Now, rather than feeling hesitation at the possibility of traveling and volunteering abroad, I'm monitoring flights everyday waiting for another chance to try something new. (FYI--you'll probably listen to Africa by Toto more times than you can count).

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would've wanted differently is to book my flight earlier (so it's not so expensive), as I had to wait for USAC to confirm with me that I was accepted and enrolled at SU. However, I'm not sure if they can really change this.
Yes, I recommend this program
Madison
9/10

Stellenbosch Review

Staying in Stellenbosch was a really big culture shock to me, but it was the most beautiful place I've seen so far. Surrounded by mountains, wineries, and some of the nicest people put me in awe all semester. I went with my roommate and we were able to travel down to the garden route (which I recommend fully), travel to Muizenberg for surfing (favorite trip), and hang out at wineries in the company of our new friends or even sit in our flat in Academia and talk for hours with friends (my favorite times). I loved meeting everyone from around the world considering Stellenbosch is a very big school that accepts a lot of study abroad students and exchange students. Afterwards, I realized that I WILL be going back to South Africa someday and that I will travel more to explore the world. Being 8,500 miles away from home made me realize how big the world is and how much of it I haven't seen. Stellenbosch changed my perspective on life and how I should spend it. Always use the buddy system and beware of beggars who talk fast to try and confuse you to give them money! Other than that, have a lekker time in ZA!

How can this program be improved?
I think adding an employee from USAC to be stationed in South Africa to help students become more acquainted with the town would be super beneficial to future abroad goers!
Yes, I recommend this program
Bia
10/10

Life in Stellies

If you have the opportunity to study abroad at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape, South Africa, DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF PASSING IT UP! My only regret is leaving. Studying abroad here was my first time in Africa, and I had plenty of support from staff here. The opportunities are endless, and you have so much freedom and safety to travel to neighboring countries if you're interested! The academics are so interesting and I highly recommend taking South-Africa oriented history/sociology courses. Don't be afraid to talk to your neighbors, no matter where you are living, everybody is friendly.

How can this program be improved?
No, this program could not have been better!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Thomas
10/10

My time in Stellies

Honestly, there is no better place to study. The most intensely social, cultural, conservative, academic place I've ever been. I've traveled most of Europe, some of Asia, most of the Austral-Pacific region but Afrika - you're something else.
I could not emphasize enough how much you should undertake study here. I met the most amazing people; being an Australian, I met many from the US and Europe, but every local I met was warmly welcoming and integrated me into their lifestyle.
And don't even gt me started on the social life! 45 minutes from Long Street in Cape Town and the local scene in Stellies is enough to keep even the hardened clubber entertained. Trust me!
Festival scene is also amaing - the wineries around Stellenbosch are some of the best in the world and the sights! You will feel as though you are waking up every day in a blessed land, surrounded by peaking mountaintops which are smothered in snow in winter, and you can lose yourself in travels around this amazing country.

The concerns? Security can be dicey at times but if you're aware of your surroundings, you're fine. Compared to the rest of South Africa, it is a very, very safe place. Very Afrikaner and very traditional. The only other problem? You won't want to leave. South Africa and the entire continent are just something .... else. It's a special place, and you will not regret studying there! Get into the digs jols as well, and don't shy away from Bohemia or DeLapa; these places are student hives of activity. Accomodation is excellent and safety is great in Academia and Concordia; your residences should you go.

Going to study at Stellenbosch University through USAC was the single greatest decision of my entire life.

How can this program be improved?
It couldn't be - this was the perfect overseas study experience. Maybe encourage every student to go to Rocking the Daisies, though!
Yes, I recommend this program

About USAC

USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing...