Summer in South Africa

Program Information

Our Summer in South Africa study abroad program offers you an amazing college experience in an exotic destination, studying at Stellenbosch University. Ideally situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, the University is at the core of Stellenbosch, the country’s oldest college town. Your summer study abroad program in South Africa includes hands-on courses, guest lecturers, and opportunities to learn both inside and outside the classroom.

6-day Garden Route Safari Tour – Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride an ostrich? On the 6-day, 5-night Garden Route Tour, you can try it at an ostrich farm, visit a colony of beach penguins, and explore Tsitsikamma National Park. If you have an adventurous side, there are also opportunities to safari, surf, sand board, and ride horses on the beach.

Cape Town and the wine country – When you arrive in South Africa, we’ll give you a detailed 3-day orientation, during which we’ll take you on a tour of Cape Town and the Stellenbosch wine country.

South Africa-focused academics – Summer in South Africa provides you the unique opportunity to study the history of South Africa, as well as issues faced today.

Community development projects - In the classroom, you will develop an understanding of the issues affecting community life in South Africa. You then have the opportunity to participate in a service-learning project in your new community.

Highlights and Excursions

There are many reasons to study abroad in South Africa on our Summer in South Africa program, but here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • Excursions around Cape Town and the Stellenbosch Winelands 
  • Extensive adventure opportunities 
  • 6-day, 5-night Garden Route Safari Tour 
  • Classes at a world-renowned university 
  • Community development and service-learning projects 
  • A college town on the outskirts of a cosmopolitan city 
  • An innovative, South Africa–focused curriculum 
  • Extensive sports facilities on campus

Summer in South Africa incorporates excursions into your course material. You’ll gain an understanding of the culture by visiting such places as Swellendam and Cape Point. Regardless of the courses you are taking, you’ll visit places of historic importance, such as Robben Island; places of natural beauty, such as Cape Town and Table Mountain; and the Seder Berg wilderness area.

Also included in Summer in South Africa is the Garden Route Safari tour. You will travel along a stretch of land that is like no other in the world in terms of beauty, natural attractions and unique flora and fauna. During these amazing six days, you will visit an elephant sanctuary, hike and zip line through jungles, and even ride an ostrich (if you want to!). Students say this is the highlight of their summer study abroad experience.


Summer in South Africa has an incredible housing plan. Living in shared apartments with other international students and South Africans, you will make friends from around the world.

Here are some highlights:

  • Shared room 3–4 roommates 
  • Convenient location close to campus 
  • Fully furnished (coffee tables, chairs, beds) 
  • A breathtaking view of the mountains surrounding Stellenbosch 
  • Perfect for meeting other international students 
  • Internet access 
  • Recreational facilities


Courses include biodiversity, community development, health, history, and political science.

General Courses:

Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History (mandatory)
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.

Course 2: Biodiversity: Plants for the People in the Western Cape (elective)
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: Apartheid and After: Representations of South Africa in Art and Media (elective)
This course focuses on the way in which art and media register and reflect the social and political conflicts and tensions of nation building and racial reconciliation in South Africa. Through analysis of visual culture (which may include art, photography, and popular media such as music videos and soap operas), you will investigate the complexity of identity creation in pre- and post-apartheid South Africa. The course includes visits to artists’ studios, galleries, and other culturally significant sites in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

Course 4: HIV and Aids: A South African Perspective (elective)
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 5: Apartheid and After: Negotiating Identities in Literature and Film (elective)
This course focuses on the way in which South African literature and film registered and reflected the social and political conflicts and tensions of the apartheid years, and how, since the first democratic elections in 1994, these cultural products have served as a means of questioning and negotiating identity not only nationally, but also at the level of the community and the individual. This weeklong course will engage with poetry, songs, 2 novels, a play, and a small selection of apartheid-era and more recent South African films.

Course 6: Challenges for Democratic Consolidation (elective)
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

Service-learning option

Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History (mandatory)
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 for Sustainable Community Development (mandatory)
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.

Doing Business in Southern Africa
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 (mandatory)

Course 2: Doing Business in Southern Africa - 4 weeks, 7 USA credits (mandatory)

Campus Setting


Average Course Load

1-2 courses (4-6 US credits)

GPA Requirement


Language of Instruction


Program Dates

Summer 2014*:

General summer:

Start Date: June 13
End Date: July 16

Service learning:

Start Date: June 13
End Date: July 23

*Application Deadline: March 15, 2015

Program Fee

$5,740 - $6,340*

*Cost may change at any time due to the current exchange rate.


  • 6-day, 5-night Garden Route Safari Tour
  • Excursions to Cape Town and Stellenbosch Winelands
  • Full-time tuition & fees
  • Housing
  • Pre-departure and onsite orientation
  • Airport pick-up
  • Medical & accident insurance
  • Stellenbosch University official transcript
  • Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide

How to Apply

  • Set up an appointment with Frances Weiner,
  • Fill out the CISabroad Online Application
  • Pay the $200 application deposit*

*This is NOT an extra fee, but is a non-refundable deposit applied towards your total program fee. You will be directed to pay this after completing the online application.