AIFS Study Abroad in South Africa, Service Learning: Semester

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About

Spend a semester or academic year in the captivating city of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Earn up to 15 credits with the Learning for Sustainable Community Engagement Program and electives taken at the University of Stellenbosch. Courses are taught in English.

Live in the modern and well-appointed University Student Residence which at the heart of campus life. Enjoy cultural and social activities such as sporting events, beach excursions, trips to local craft and food markets, a vineyard tour, and hiking trips. AIFS includes a trip along the Garden Route and many other excursions.

Students in the Learning for Sustainable Community Engagement Program (LSCE) take specific courses in Sustainable Community Engagement, plus one or two electives, in addition to working on a service learning project with the local community. Students can choose courses from Stellenbosch University’s full course catalog which cover a broad range of subjects.

Highlights
  • 6 -day Garden Route Tour
  • Day trip to Cape Town and Robben Island
  • Day trip to Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach
  • Day trip to Beach, Craft and Food Market
  • Visit to Table Mountain

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 3 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Default avatar
Jordan
9/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
McKenzy
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Crystal
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program

About AIFS Study Abroad

AIFS is a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, more than 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS. Comprehensive program fees make it convenient for students to study abroad and experience all that the world has to offer....