Service Learning Program at Stellenbosch Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Providence College) for

AIFS: Stellenbosch - Study Abroad or Service Learning at Stellenbosch University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2010

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The educational experience occurred inside and outside the classroom

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Shannon Sanctuary is in charge of AIFS in America, and was very helpful when it came to logistics prior to departure. Hestea, the resident director, was incredible from the minute we arrived, and so helpful if there were any problems. The excursions hosted by AIFS ran flawlessly and were incredible. My only complaint would be that there are no treadmills in the gym, but there are good aerobics classes.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Academia: A kitchen, a bathroom, and 2 bedrooms for 2 students. Some of these apartments had a common area that was shared with 3 other pairs, but mine did not. Overall, I would recommend living in Concordia instead of Academia, but it really depends what rooms/residence halls the school makes available to AIFS. <br /><br /> In Academia, you have to pay extra to have your room cleaned, which we did not do. It was dirty when we moved in, which is really my only complaint, and not the fault of AIFS.

* Food:

groceries are cheap and good quality, and the restaurants are awesome!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone was so friendly

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I was never sick or felt unsafe, and health services was very convenient when I needed Malaria medicine to travel to Zimbabwe

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Sunscreen and contact solution are expensive, best to bring these things from home.


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

In Stellenbosch, though the primary language is Afrikaans, it made little to no difference if you spoke it. Everyone could speak English. I would reccommend making some effort to learn simple words to be polite, but it is not necessary

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? COME HERE

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

HIV/AIDS: A South African Perspective

Course Department: HIV/AIDS
Instructor: Jaco
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very interesting, especially for people who have little to no knowledge of the disease, the epidemic, and its cultural implications
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Truth Commissions

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Hugo Van der Merwe
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Teacher was very knowledgeable. This course was helpful in gaining a greater understanding of the issues faced in transitional justice and conflict societies,especially with regard to the South African experience post-apartheid
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Learning for Sustainable Community Engagement

Course Department: LSCE
Instructor: Grant Demas
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Throughout the semester, we taught at Lynedoch Primary School. The class, the teacher and the students were one of a kind. I would absolutely recommend that students coming to Stellenbosch take this course.
Credit Transfer Issues: No