AIFS Study Abroad in South Africa: Global Service Learning - Semester or Academic Year

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About Program

Spend a semester or academic year in the captivating city of Stellenbosch, South Africa with AIFS! You’ll earn up to 15 credits per semester with the Global Service Learning Program at the University of Stellenbosch. Courses are taught in English.

During this program, you'll take a 9 credit Sustainable Community Engagement course along with electives, and will work on a service learning project in the local community.

Live in modern student residence halls on campus with a meal allowance to subsidize the cost of groceries and meals. Stellenbosch University’s ISOS-International Student Organization offers many events to help you experience South African culture. Excursions are built into your program fee including trips to Cape Town and Robben Island, Cape of Good Hope and Boulder’s Beach, and Table Mountain. A once in a lifetime 6-day Garden Route tour is also included.

Optional excursions include a 3-day trip to the Cederberg Mountains & a 5-day visit to Addo Elephant Park.

Program Highlights
  • 6 -day Garden Route Tour
  • Day trip to Cape Town and Robben Island
  • Transcripts issued by the University of Stellenbosch

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Program Reviews

9.75 Rating
based on 4 reviews
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  • Academics 9
  • Support 10
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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.

1 person 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.

2 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.

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

worth the little extra work

So service learning is the exact same experience as the semester in Stellenbosch. You room with the same people, have the same coordinator, and enjoy the same experiences (which are awesome). The only difference is that you go off campus to work with children in a school and that is where your credits come from. It was a short train ride which was taken care of by AIFS. You all go together as a group so it's totally safe. I loved the kids I worked with and it seemed like a more in depth experience compared to my friends who volunteered in Kayamandi through our program. You get paired with one or 2 other students and you basically run a classroom and teach different topics. You dress up kind of like a teacher each day and go to Lynedoch Primary school. It's great because you learn a lot working with their teachers and learning from your students how different life really is. They're all great kids and so eager to learn. You still travel with the other AIFS students in the regular program so get to experience great hiking trips and different cultural activities throughout your stay. The garden route tour during spring break alone should make you study here. Mama H was great and her "helpers" become your friends. You'll meet a ton of people from all different nationalities and make enough memories to last a lifetime!

2 people found this review helpful.

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